Best VPS Hosting Provider 2020
Our 2020 Best VPS Hosting Award goes to InMotionHosting.com, one of the first hosts to offer modern VPS hosting solutions.
We selected InMotion Hosting as the winner of our Best VPS Hosting Award for a number of reasons, and though we’d like to dive straight into the company’s various stellar benefits, we think it might be best to first discuss some of the overarching reasons to host with InMotion.
Why is InMotion our Top VPS Choice?
InMotion Hosting offers premium VPS Hosting with one of the most robust feature sets in the industry. While Virtual Private Servers are a bit more technical of a hosting option, running a VPS hosting account with InMotion is as easy as managing a shared hosting account with anyone else.
We’ve always been great admirers of the host’s unique setup: InMotion Hosting uses dual data centers — located on both ends of the continental United States — to bring the absolute fastest hosting experience to their users. Because of the interlocking speed zones, those who host with InMotion can enjoy transfer speeds up to 10 times that of the host’s leading competitors. Not only that, but InMotion will also back up your VPS data with clockwork regularity. Best of all, their managed virtual private server plans start at only $19.99 a month! For this price, you enjoy 4GB of RAM, 75GB of disk space, 4TB of data transfer per month, and 3 dedicated IP addresses.
Price isn’t the only reason we selected InMotion Hosting as our winner for Best VPS Hosting. Each of InMotion’s VPS servers comes with “burstable” memory or extra dedicated memory that’s only used when server load becomes too great to handle normally. InMotion also watches their VPS servers 24/7, taking every preemptive step possible to prevent any unwanted hiccups that might bring down your content. For the more technical user, they also offer a cloud VPS option without cPanel at a cheaper price point.
Finally, InMotion Hosting strives harder than any of its competitors to provide the best support and overall VPS hosting experience, making it our Best VPS Hosting for 2020.
Total Hosted Domains:500k
- Servers are built on a cloud infrastructure for redundancy and uptime and use solid-state drives for improved content delivery times.
- In addition to generous RAM, storage, bandwidth and dedicated IP addresses, InMotion Hosting also includes a free cPanel and WHM license, free backups and live-state container snapshots, unlimited websites and email addresses and a 90-day money back guarantee.
- All purchases include "Launch Assist," which includes 2 hours with a system administrator for things like website transfers/migrations, server customization or optimization and more.
- All VPS Servers are Linux-based and come provisioned with CentOS and LAMP stack by default and come with a number of security options and features.
- Plans can handle anything from a growing site experiencing performance issues on Shared Hosting to a robust agency hosting many clients using multiple cPanel accounts, all at an affordable, set price.
- AutoSSL feature, powered by cPanel and Comodo, allows you to issue SSLs for each and every website you host with InMotion.
- Responsive support team based in the United States.
Best VPS Hosting Nominees - March 2021
What is VPS Hosting?
Basically, every website owner wants to know that their website is secure and will always perform optimally. A dedicated hosting plan is probably ideal to meet these requirements however these plans can be expensive and out of reach for small business owners on a tight budget. They might also consider less costly hosting plans, but they are limited in features, and if their website ever grows, they'll quickly outgrow the entry-level plans.
How do business owners and bloggers get around this issue and find a solution that falls in the middle? The answer is Virtual Private Server or VPS hosting. If you need a solution that has the security and performance benefits of dedicated hosting with the costs and ease of use of shared hosting, this could be the answer you’ve been searching for.
When you choose a VPS hosting plan, you’ll have access to a virtual server with its own CPU, operating system, and other dedicated resources. Each VPS is stored on a server with other customers; however, your VPS is entirely separate from the others on the server with its own unique IP address.
VPS hosting happens to be a great and affordable solution for the kind of business ventures, which have outgrown shared hosting and have the next level needs to supercharge their online presence or service. It is common that the web applications demand more server power than shared hosting along with the next level unrestricted server administration to comply with the custom server environments, that are required by your development team. Both VPS and dedicated servers give you full control over your server.
How is VPS Hosting Different?
Many people think that VPS hosting and shared hosting are the same thing, and although they do share some similarities, they are two completely different services. With shared hosting, each of the customers on the server shares the same computing resources like the CPU, hard drive storage, and RAM. These resources are sometimes shared by thousands of customers, and if one website experiences a significant spike in traffic, the other sites on the servers will be affected.
VPS hosting keeps all of the virtual servers separate from each other, and each has dedicated resources. Because the sites operate using their own hardware, performance isn't affected should one website experience a considerable bump in traffic. VPS hosting essentially provides users with the cost-saving benefits of sharing a server with the performance stability of a dedicated hosting plan.
Difference between dedicated and VPS hosting? Well, its simple – dedicated server is a standalone machine and VPS is one of the very few pieces that the dedicated server was divided in to. As a result, VPS is cheaper than dedicated, but the amount that it is cheaper by is directly related to the allocated hardware (RAM, HDD, CPU) and the bandwidth.
Who Can Benefit from VPS Hosting?
Many people could benefit from VPS hosting. Most notably, website owners and developers that require more flexibility from their hosting would appreciate the unique features that VPS hosting offers:
- Specific server permission settings
- Custom software options
- Software flexibility
- Advanced security options
- Server reboot when necessary
- Access to server options and settings
VPS hosting is the best option for anyone that wants root access to their server without having to pay the high costs of a dedicated hosting plan.
How to Select the Best VPS Hosting?
A very common reason for transitioning to the VPS is when your hosting provider kicks you off the shared hosting account because your website started getting thousands of uniques per day. Now its time to realize that nothing is “unlimited” in the hosting world and never has been.
Presently, the demand for VPS hosting is greater than before. Web applications become more complex, growing towards better usability & content to user adaptation, thus requiring bigger processing power. A sophisticated online venture becomes very quickly in need of scalable, flexible and cost-effective VPS hosting plans that will enable them to take their competitive edge to the next level. With thousands of VPS providers out there, it is important, at least form a business standpoint, to make the right VPS hosting choice the first time. It should know that as much as there are good providers, there are also unscrupulous ones.
Stay tuned. Let's discuss the benefits, and potentials drawbacks, along with things to consider as you compare your VPS options.
Benefits of VPS Hosting
Many people that choose to use VPS hosting have found that the most significant benefit of the service is the user freedom. Typically, VPS hosting offers little in the way of usage constraints especially if you compare them to the other entry-level plans like shared hosting.
VPS hosting is also more affordable when compared to dedicated hosting plans. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a month like you would with dedicated hosting, you can find a VPS hosting plan at a relatively affordable rate that most small businesses can afford.
Advanced Security Options
When you use VPS hosting, your account is essentially walled off from the other accounts on the server. This adds enhanced security to your website, and should another website on the server experience a security breach, your site is protected, and the attack won't spread to the other virtual servers in most cases.
Because each of the virtual servers on the physical server uses their own dedicated RAM, CPU, and storage, your website will experience higher performance reliability. If another site suffers performance issues, it won't affect your site because you use separate hardware. The only potential performance issue that you might experience with VPS hosting is if the entire physical server encounters a problem such as a power outage or other physical issues. With a reputable VPS hosting provider, you shouldn't have to endure this problem, but it's essential to make a note of it.
When you choose VPS hosting, you get many of the same benefits of choosing dedicated hosting options, however, you won't need to pay nearly as much every month for the services. This is because VPS hosting operates on the same structure as shared hosting in which multiple websites are stored on the same server, which means that you get to share the maintenance and operating costs of the server with sometimes thousands of other customers.
Potential Drawbacks of VPS Hosting
Although the benefits of choosing VPS hosting are compelling, there are still a few potential drawbacks that you should consider before you make your final decision.
One of the most significant drawbacks comes from the root access that you'll have when using a VPS hosting service. If you aren’t an experienced developer and start tweaking different settings, if you happen to enter the wrong command, you could potentially erase your entire website or make a detrimental error that will affect its performance.
When working in a VPS hosting environment, you'll also be responsible for many of the security features. You are most likely responsible for configuring your website's security settings and permissions, and if you fail to do so correctly, you could expose your site to attackers. Most VPS providers will assist you, but it's best to know the best practices beforehand.
The final drawback to point out is that while you will have fewer resource restrictions than you would with shared hosting, you still won’t have nearly as much working room as you would with dedicated hosting. If you believe that your website will start growing exponentially soon, it might be best to choose a dedicated hosting provider at the beginning to avoid any hassle or performance issues moving forward.
What Should You Look for in a VPS Host?
Operating System Selections
When first comparing your VPS hosting options, you should consider your operating system options. We’ve found that Linux is the most popular choice for VPS hosting because it provides developers with more freedom and flexibility. If you know beforehand that your website will use applications running on a different system like Windows, you need to make sure that your VPS hosting provider will offer that selection.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that if you do decide that you need Windows, that a Windows VPS will generally be more expensive than a Linux system. This is because of the licensing fees as Linux is open source and Windows is not.
Managed or Unmanaged VPS Hosting?
Because you’re going to run your own server, you will need to be able to monitor its performance and maintain the operating system including updates and patches. You’ll also need to manage the security of the virtual server as well. When the website owner handles these things, VPS providers call these plans "unmanaged."
You might be able to find managed hosting plans, however, which means that the provider will handle some of these aspects for you. This means that if your server needs an update, the hosting team will take care of it for you. This type of plan is best for users that aren't experienced or familiar with server configurations and would rather have the hosting team take care of essential management duties.
Will the host allow your site to grow?
If you’ve decided to move from a shared hosting provider over to VPS, you probably know what can happen if your website starts to grow and scale at an unexpected rate. When you’re selecting the VPS provider that you want to work with, you should make sure that the servers they offer will match your expected growth rate to avoid any unexpected outages or performance issues.
When you’re looking at the different VPS plans available, keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always the best option. You should instead look at the different plans that a VPS provider offers and the functionality and features of each plan. Start by first deciding the features you need in a plan before you look at the prices.
Also, make sure that you look for any hidden fees. While you might see that a provider offers an extremely affordable plan, they might charge extra for technical support, software installations, or domain registration.
Reliability should be your number one priority as you consider the different VPS provider choices. Reliability can come in a few various forms, and you can't judge the reliability of a VPS based on one single attribute. Here are a few things to look for in a VPS service:
1. The first thing to consider is the promised uptime of the host. You should only accept 99% uptime or higher. Anything else is problematic, and with modern technology, there shouldn’t be any reason that a VPS provider can promise 99%.
2. Also, look at the redundancy services that the VPS provider offers. The most reputable VPS services will use backup and recovery technologies proven to work. They should also have fail-over services should the ISP cause an interruption.
3. You absolutely need to ensure that the VPS provider offers reliable support for customers. Although you are mostly responsible for managing and maintaining your virtual server, they should still provide technical support should you ever need it. Look for 24/7 phone support when considering your VPS options.
Checklist - 11 Essential Points in Choosing a VPS Hosting Plan
Prior to striking a deal with any provider for web hosting needs, it is advisable to put into consideration the following listed points while selecting a provider:
It is highly important to make certain that the identified VPS provider has acquired the most recent hardware, as well as, server builds within the market. This is one of the ways of affirming that the provider has the capacity to provide services at great speed. It also signifies that the provider is capable of delivering reliable services. Always avoid the providers that offer outdated series of the server class processors (simply check with Intel about most recent processors), and the lack of SSD (Solid-state drives) that is becoming industry’s standard very rapidly.
2. Bandwidth limit
The majority of the VPS providers impose bandwidth limits and charge extra costs for offering extra bandwidth. Therefore, one should always make sure that the subscribed bandwidth is sufficient for your data transfer requirements. This has to be clearly specified within the limits of the plans. How much do you need? Well, take the average number of visitors you expect per month, then multiply by the amount of data your visitors will pull (text, images, videos, etc). There are few options to minimize your bandwidth:
- Serve your static content of the CDN (Content delivery network) rather than off your hosting account.
- Use video streaming services like Youtube, Vimeo, and Wistia (great for tracking) if you are into videos.
3. Plans scalability
VPS hosting prices are determined by various factors. In the event one is searching for high memory, it may be more costly to go for managed hosting services that have high bandwidths and scalability, as compared to the normal basic plans. However, always carefully scrutinize the terms and conditions of the offers that are being presented as cheap and economical as they may contain some hidden costs. Besides, some providers may be offering the cheapest rates but their services may turn out to be wanting. It is also good to note that the provider that also offers dedicated hosting plans is your best bet for future scalability.
4. Managed vs unmanaged hosting
Only go for the unmanaged hosting if you have an internal systems team. Otherwise, make sure that the provider’s Managed Hosting team SLA states the adequate response times to your requests. Upon opting for the unmanaged hosting, always ensure that the provider accords you unlimited control over the respective server hardware. On the contrary, upon opting for the managed hosting, one should ensure that the providers carry out all the duties as per SLA. The managed hosting should be in the range of $20-40/month.
Everyone talks about Uptime, blowing dust in your eyes. In reality, nobody out there was able to measure the true uptime for the provider, simply by pinging their homepage and wasting yours as well as my time. Study provider’s SLA and sees if the guaranteed uptime is adequate for your needs.
There are plenty of uptime tools out there that allow you to get notified in real-time if your website stops responding to HTTP or other requests. The reason behind poor uptime may not only be the provider, but also your own web portal/application.
6. Safety and Security
You want to make sure that data is secured and nobody takes your customers’ sensitive information from your server. There are three parts to the equation: Your team, your software and your hosting provider. Most sophisticated VPS providers run periodic vulnerability tests and 3rd party intrusion audits. They spend extra time and a lot of money making sure that all of their infrastructures are protected from customers’ negligence. Phishing attacks are common to gain root access to the server, and if providers' infrastructure is outdated, we have seen examples when 1000’s of customer's websites get defaced. The issue is that no hosting company will publically list what they are doing with their infrastructure and how well the security is done. The good indicator that will help you choose one provider over another is the domain's growth trends. The good ones are trending up.
7. Customer/ technical support services
In spite of the manner in which a provider promises to offer the most reliable services at the best prices within the market, in the event they happen not to be offering around-the-clock customer support, do not fall for his or her bait. Once it gets to VSP hosting, customer support is one of the most vital services required by clients. Besides, one cannot forecast the time during which he or she will be in need of customer support services hence the need to confirm that the provider offers such services all the time round.
8. Customer reviews
It is always good to search the provider's name on the internet in order to unearth the various reviews that have been made by past customers. In the event the provider has been in the VSP hosting business for some years, one can easily weigh the number of positive reviews against the negative reviews. In the event the negative reviews outweigh the positive ones, then it is goes without say that such a provider is a complete let down! Go on a step further and visit various VSP hosting forums that are available in various social media platforms and request for references prior into signing a deal with any provider. Typically, the most reputable providers have a relatively big fan base.
One should also attempt to find out the number of years the provider has been in operation. The providers who have been in operation for a good number of years are likely to offer the best services as they have a better understanding of the various shortcomings that may emerge while offering VSP hosting services as compared to the providers who a relatively new within the industry.
A tip to check on the provider’s validity is going to Google images and search for the company name. Reputable hosting providers will have plenty of images there of their data centers, support department, and corporate parties. It is easy to see the difference between the real photo and the stock image.
11. Customer base
Always ensure that you obtain some information about the various clients that the provider has already served. Here at WebHostingGeeks, we show how many domains are managed by any hosting company, which is in a lot of cases very much relevant to the number of customers. Sometimes hosting companies will speak for their customer base in the yearly reports or other newsletters.
VPS plans are the best middle ground between dedicated and shared hosting. You get the flexibility and performance of dedicated hosting with the cost benefits of shared hosting. If you have a growing website or business, VPS hosting is an excellent choice before going entirely into dedicated hosting. Keep in mind that they aren't as simple as shared hosting, and you'll need to know your way around a control panel to make your server perform well.
Before you move forward with VPS hosting, make sure you know how to manage your server and what’s expected of you. After that, start shopping around, keeping the reliability and features of the plan above the sticker price.
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