Our topic today is VPS hosting — one of the most popular web hosting services right now.
VPS stands for virtual private server and depicts an isolated server environment where every customer receives a dedicated amount of system resources with the option to scale easily as their project grows. It’s a multi-layered service, and there are many hidden advantages to it.
But before we go any further, let’s take a moment to outline the basics.
Table of Contents
- What is VPS Hosting?
- 11 Best VPS Hosting Providers in 2021
- Why choose Managed VPS hosting over Unmanaged VPS hosting?
- Why choose VPS hosting over Shared hosting?
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting comes as the logical next step when shared solutions become insufficient for your website. Instead of many users hogging the same server resources, you have a setup where only a few clients utilize the machine. Furthermore, the accounts are completely isolated from each other, so no one else can meddle with your performance or security.
That is all possible through a process called virtualization.
It lets you take a single physical machine and split it into several virtual instances, each operating as a separate entity. As the users act independently, they are allowed much more access, compared to shared services. So, if you know a thing or two about server management, there are little to no limits for what you can do with VPS web hosting.
11 Best VPS Hosting Providers in 2021
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty now — the best virtual private server hosting providers on the market.
Scala Hosting is an aspiring host with a strong focus on managed VPS services. The company combines robust and scalable packages at surprisingly affordable prices — starting at just $9.99/mo for entry-level customers.
Scala Hosting constantly looks for ways to boost the whole industry, and their in-house products are a great statement for that. The company offers its own alternative to cPanel called SPanel, keeping the wide feature set of the market leader but offering the tool absolutely free of charge. SShield and SWordPressManager are two other proprietary solutions that help with website security and WP management.
As for the other features included, you can count on free website migrations, daily backups, and a dedicated IP, among many other perks.
A one-stop-shop for WordPress users in need of a powerful VPS solution.
- Start: from $9.95/mo
- Advanced: from $21.95/mo
- Business: from $41.95/mo
- Enterprise: from $63.95/mo
Even with a rate of under $10/mo, Scala Hosting still supplies a robust server with at least 1 CPU, 2 GB RAM, and fast 20 GB SSD storage. All clients get the same feature set — the main difference in the packages is the amount of dedicated system resources.
If you wish, you can go for a fully customized solution and build your own server.
Pros & Cons
- A free control panel alternative to cPanel
- Advanced virus and malware protection with SShield
- Guaranteed share of the hardware resources
- Very friendly support, available 24/7
- Daily backups to a remote location for safekeeping
- SSD drives for faster performance and optimized load times
- Easy WordPress installation but no auto-installer for other apps
- No phone support
Scala Hosting’s managed VPS deals are a great way for beginners to try a powerful server without any previous knowledge or experience. Great support and user-friendly solutions for small and growing projects.
2. Liquid Web
Liquid Web is known for its powerful VPS servers and enterprise-grade infrastructure. The company does not cater to shared clients — instead, it focuses on businesses that need more website firepower.
Both Linux and Windows hosting users have numerous virtual server options, mainly varying in the hardware resources you get off the bat. But even with Liquid Web’s entry-level deal, you can still secure 2 CPU cores, 40 GB disk space, and a whopping 10 TB bandwidth. The storage is SSD-powered as well, guaranteeing optimal speeds for all websites on the VPS.
As for server management, you can choose between all popular control panel choices — cPanel, Plesk, and Interworx.
Liquid Web also offers bundle services for clients in need of more help. They include perks like site security, premium business email, and daily backups.
- Linux 2 GB: from $15/mo
- Linux 4 GB: from $25/mo
- Linux 8 GB: from $35/mo
- Linux 16 GB: from $95/mo
- Windows 4 GB: from $54/mo
- Windows 8 GB: from $74/mo
- Windows 16 GB: from $149/mo
Liquid Web might offer some high-quality managed VPS services, but its prices also reflect that stature. Even if you opt for 12 months package it will still cost you $35/mo, which could easily be a turn-off for starters on a budget.
And if you choose a month-to-month option, the prices get even higher ($59/mo).
Pros & Cons
- Extremely powerful VPS infrastructure
- SSD drives for better speeds and load times
- First-class support team
- Proactive server monitoring
- Advanced DDoS protection and an integrated firewall
- Cloudflare CDN for better content caching
- Too expensive for small projects
There’s no doubt that Liquid Web is a reliable VPS provider with a solid infrastructure. The team is knowledgeable and always ready to help in case of troubles. The relatively high prices make LW’s premium servers more suited for bigger businesses and enterprises.
Contrary to Liquid Web, Hostinger is all about low prices. The Lithuanian provider operates internationally with the help of hundreds of subsidiaries, each targeting a specific local market.
Hostinger supports the full range of hosting services, so you can count on some sweet VPS deals as well. You can start with a small server with 1 GB RAM and 20 GB disk space or opt-in for a monster of a machine with 8 GB RAM, 160 GB storage, and 8 TB monthly traffic.
All packages scale easily and include extras like full root access and a dedicated IP (IPv4 or IPv6).
Hostinger’s VPS deals get their names from the number of CPU cores dedicated to the server:
- 1 vCPU: $3.95/mo
- 2 vCPU: $8.95/mo
- 3 vCPU: $12.95/mo
- 4 vCPU: $15.95/mo
- 6 vCPU: $23.95/mo
- 8 vCPU: $29.95/mo
As you can see, the monthly rates are comparable to the shared hosting deals with most providers. The thing is, securing these promotional deals means you have to prepay for a long period, in this case, 48 months. Smaller discounts are available for the 1-year and 2-year billing plans.
Pros & Cons
- Unmatchable VPS prices
- Options for Linux and Windows users
- Special servers for Minecraft gamers
- Dedicated IP address
- Unrestricted 100GB/s network
- Latest edition Xeon servers with solid-state drives
- Not very suitable for high-traffic websites
- Lacks live chat support
If your project needs a virtual server, but you are working on a limited budget — it may be time to check out Hostinger. The provider is famous for its cost-effective deals, which pack great optimization options, even on the lowest level. Great for startups and SMBs.
DreamHost VPS users are never limited in the monthly bandwidth they utilize. It’s more about the size and popularity of your website.
Startups and small businesses can take a 1 GB RAM machine and create a safe haven for their lightweight project. Analogically, if you’re an enterprise with hundreds of employees, you would want a more resource-intensive solution.
Every account comes with the option for unlimited mailboxes and an SSL certificate for extra security.
Running out of resources? Add more RAM or storage with a click of a button and benefit from instant provisioning.
- VPS Basic: from $10/mo
- VPS Business: from $20/mo
- VPS Professional: from $40/mо
- VPS Enterprise: from $80/mo
Flaunting some extremely affordable plans, DreamHost’s rates are available even with a monthly payment. That’s not to say you can’t choose a longer prepayment and get a further discount.
As for additional extras upon signup, this host offers a MySQL VPS option for another $15/mo. The premium service focuses on your databases and their flawless scaling.
Pros & Cons
- Great for US-based projects and clients
- Unlimited monthly traffic
- Managed security updates from industry experts
- Expandable RAM and storage space
- Customized control panel
- Unlimited business email accounts
- Website migrations are not free
- Live support services can be more efficient
DreamHost is one of the officially-recognized WordPress partners, so you can be sure the host is prepared for the most popular challenges of the CMS. Great performance and top speeds for WP-optimized projects.
Cloudways is slightly different than other companies on our Best VPS Hosting list. Instead of a direct provider, it’s a PaaS solution, which acts as a reseller of other cloud services.
You start by choosing between several premium plans from industry leaders like Linode, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, Vultr, and more. After you pick a host, Cloudways adds professional cloud server management and 24/7 support, so your only focus can be on the business side of things.
It’s like buying groceries from the market and having the cashier come and help you cook the dinner.
- DigitalOcean VPS: from $10/mo
- Linode VPS: from $12/mo
- Vultr VPS: from $11/mo
- Amazon AWS VPS: from $36.51/mo
- Google Cloud VPS: from $33.63/mo
You’ll struggle to find another marketplace that integrates with so many premium server providers.
Working on a tight budget is not a problem as Cloudways offers monthly and hourly billing plans. It’s even better as you can start for free with any of the first three hosts and use the trial period to check the environment and see if it fits your needs.
Pros & Cons
- A range of market-leading cloud providers to choose from
- Top-class hardware with Varnish and MemCached installed
- Extremely knowledgeable support
- Custom control panel solution
- Host unlimited websites within one account
- One-click deployment
- Does not allow for full root access
- You have to register your domain name elsewhere
Cloudways is a service for all the people who need to run a VPS but have no technical or server management skills. Instead of hiring a developer or keeping an in-house team on salary, you can fully trust these experts in the field with a proven track record.
SiteGround is one of the biggest hosting providers today, giving a home to over 2 million domain names worldwide. Among other services, the company offers cloud VPS solutions in fixed or custom package plans.
We are talking about powerful servers with at least 3 CPU cores and 6 GB RAM, which is more than enough for most ecommerce stores and business websites. When you add the 40 GB SSD space and 5 TB monthly transfer, you already have a package that comes with plenty of room to spare.
Now for the good stuff — the feature set.
Make whatever server changes you need with the SSH root access or set up a CDN for better content distribution — SiteGround doesn’t mind. What’s more, the host will also throw in daily backups, a dedicated IP, and helpful collaboration tools as part of the deal.
- Entry: from $80/mo
- Business: from $120/mo
- Business Plus: from $160/mo
- Super Power: from $240/mo
SiteGround’s Cloud VPS pricing is very clear and reflects the standard month-by-month rates. You can also choose a 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month prepayment and secure a further 10% discount.
Pros & Cons
- Great choice of data centers on four different continents.
- Free SSL + Dedicated IP
- Access to the industry-leading Cloudflare CDN
- Daily backups on a remote location. Keeps up to seven copies.
- White-label collaboration tools
- Advanced priority support
- Costly for starters
- Bandwidth limit fixed at 5 TB
SiteGround is one of the top VPS choices when it comes to support services. The company keeps a huge in-house customer care team, so every client can get the 24/7 prompt assistance they deserve. SiteGround reps are knowledgeable enough with most hosting topics, but you can always escalate your case to a more experienced operator if needed.
7. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is a Michigan-based company that understands the need for speed in today’s online world. All types of services aim to optimize page load times and reduce server loads.
A2 achieves that with some impressive hardware, giving VPS clients at least 4 GB RAM, 75 GB SSD storage, and 2 TB monthly transfer. Bringing speeds to the maximum, you can also add the Turbo option that employs a lightning-fast LiteSpeed server for your website needs.
The host includes core upgrades, free site transfer, and timely security patches to top this lucrative offering off.
- Core VPS: from $25/mo
- Managed VPS: from $25/mo
- Unmanaged VPS: from $5/mo
A2 divides its VPS services according to the server access you’ll need. You can easily get a virtual server with or without an SSH option or go for a bare-metal machine where you are the only master. Best thing is, there is an anytime money back guarantee, so you can safely commit, even for a longer term.
Apart from the data center location options, you can also purchase an SSL certificate or Turbo boost upon signup.
Pros & Cons
- Turbo option for maximum speed
- Generous server resource allocation
- Free data migration
- Anytime money back guarantee
- Cloudflare CDN + firewall
- 99.9% uptime commitment
- On-demand backups are paid
- Support services could improve
A2 Hosting puts an emphasis on optimal speeds, so all servers are packed with more resources than you might ever need. In today’s dynamic business world, we need a flexible hosting solution able to react to our ever-changing needs, and that’s A2 for you.
GreenGeeks’ VPS plans come equipped with a cPanel and a Softaculous auto-installer for easy web hosting management.
Take your pick between three package plans, ranging from 2-8 GB RAM, 4-6 CPU cores, and 50-150 GB disk space. Solid-state drives power the latter, so you can count on excellent speeds and hardware durability.
Feature-wise, you get all the basics — proactive monitoring, advanced DDoS protection, and a free dedicated IP.
GreenGeeks also helps reduce the carbon footprint by giving back 300% of its processed power in the form of renewable energy.
- VPS 2GB: from $39.95
- VPS 4 GB: from $59.95
- VPS 8 GB: from $109.95
GreenGeeks advertises it’s monthly billing rates for virtual servers. You can also choose to prepay annually, but there is no further discount if you do so.
No premium extras available on checkout. You can only pick a server location between the US, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Pros & Cons
- Green-friendly services
- Free data migration
- SSL certificate included
- No-cost dedicated IP address
- cPanel+Softaculous license
- Managed support on all plans
- Lack of out-the-box features
- Similar solutions appear more cost-effective with other hosts
GreenGeeks is an environmentally-aware provider, which is great as tech enterprises often consume tons of natural resources in their daily operations. You can count on the company to supply green-friendly servers with a focus on flawless site performance and constant availability.
Just like many of our other competitors for best VPS hosting, HostPapa gives every client the same in-built features with a difference in system resources only.
This Canadian host spares no effort there — even entry-level users still enjoy robust servers with 4 CPU cores, 60 GB SSD storage, and 1 TB bandwidth. As this is a VPS machine, after all, you can naturally scale your core resources without upgrading to another plan.
New users have plenty of features to tinker with. They’ve still got the essentials, like site migration, a control panel, and a security certificate. But HostPapa doesn’t stop there and also adds perks like private nameservers and two dedicated IPs instead of one.
- Mercury: from $19.99/mo
- Venus: from $59.99/mo
- Earth: from $109.99/mo
- Mars: from $169.99/mo
- Jupiter: from $249.99/mo
All HostPapa VPS rates are monthly and currently include a special discount of 16-60% depending on the chosen plan. The price then “freezes,” and you will renew at the same rate.
Daily backups, website security, and a private SSL are available upon signup.
Pros & Cons
- Root-level access
- SSD-enhanced offers
- Migrate your server from another host
- Two dedicated IP addresses
- Free private DNS nameservers
- Unlimited email addresses
- Daily backups are paid
- Low bandwidth limits
HostPapa offers a convenient way to get on-demand resources and scale them as your website grows. Combine the easy operation with some helpful round-the-clock support, and you’ll understand why beginners fancy this VPS web hosting provider so much.
10. InMotion Hosting
InMotion outlines three crucial aspects of your VPS hosting management — performance, security, and convenience. That’s why the host offers enough features to cover all three.
InMotion Hosting’s solutions are highly configurable and equip you with five cPanel licenses to start you off. The company applies a traffic-centric configuration so your website can handle more visitors than the average virtual server.
As with other managed VPS services, you get SSH access to configure any specifics you might need. InMotion will ensure your projects are safe from DDoS attacks, all thanks to the partnership with Corero.
- VPS-1000HA-S: from $29.99/mo
- VPS-2000HA-S: from $49.99/mo
- VPS-3000HA-S: from $83.99/mo
Keep in mind that the above prices tie you to a 2-year contract with InMotion. Still, the money back guarantee ensures you can test the service for enough time absolutely risk-free. The same deals look differently if you are just looking for a month-to-month solution — priced at $42.99, $61.99, and $126.99, respectively.
Pros & Cons
- Well-suited for busy websites
- cPanel + WHM included
- At least 3 dedicated IPs
- Resource monitoring dashboard
- Server snapshots
- Free two-hour launch assist
- Fully managed VPS plans are quite expensive
- Free domain for 6 months only
InMotion Hosting can easily provide a suitable home for online projects with an increasing need for traffic and server power. Even on the lowest tier, clients benefit from as much CPU and RAM as a mid-level offering with other hosts.
HostGator is one of the oldest and biggest hosting providers in the world, famous for its budget deals and fast server provision.
The provider puts no caps on your monthly bandwidth, and the disk space is more than generous. Still, keep in mind the storage is HDD, not SSD, so the focus is more on quantity than fast performance.
There is a good number of feats that make a nice first impression. You get a couple of dedicated IP addresses, unlimited email accounts, and centralized DDoS protection. Daily and scheduled backups are another great selling point for HostGator.
Overall, robust enough packages for growing businesses.
- Snappy 2000: from $19.95/mo
- Snappy 4000: from $29.95/mo
- Snappy 8000: from $39.95/mo
HostGator impresses with its affordable VPS hosting prices, but there are some conditions to them. First, those are just introductory rates and do not apply when the renewal comes. Also, the best discounts here are with a whopping 3-year deal, going lower with the less time you’re prepared to commit.
All VPS servers are subject to a 45-day money back guarantee.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful Intel & AMD hardware
- No bandwidth caps
- Free domain name for the first year
- Easy one-click software installs
- Scheduled offsite backups
- Complete customization freedom
- Good prices require a longer commitment
- Poor support
HostGator is a great choice for the average user with lower server needs. Many startups and SMBs choose the HG solutions because of the resource abundance and cost-effective prices. Amazing deals for first-time clients.
Why choose Managed VPS hosting over Unmanaged VPS hosting?
There are generally two types of virtual solutions — managed and unmanaged. As you can tell by the name, the major difference between the two is the level of assistance you are getting from your host.
Managed VPS Hosting: you get a server with somewhat limited customization freedom but benefit from the professional support services of your host. The provider can help with hardware and software setup, maintenance, updates. Ideal for more novice users who have no experience with servers or how to operate one.
Unmanaged VPS Hosting: the host provides only the initial setup, giving you full freedom afterward. You get full root access, but any support assistance is practically up to you. Perfect for web developers or experienced users that look for more flexibility.
Whichever you choose, you are definitely looking at a more sophisticated solution than shared hosting. Here is why…
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VPS hosting is the next level after shared solutions, and there are many good reasons for that. Because of its configuration and abundance of server resources, virtual servers carry tons of lucrative advantages for growing websites and businesses.
Performance: This one is a no-brainer. On one side, you have a server with 100+ clients on it, all utilizing the same pool of resources. On the other, you have a machine with just a few users, each existing in a separate, caged environment. The latter group will always get a ton more server power and, subsequently, better speeds.
Security: Shared clients often suffer from something called “the bad neighbor effect.” Even if you apply all the needed security measures, a breach from a neighboring account means the hacker has control over the entire server. Any reliable VPS hosting solution will eliminate that risk.
Scalability: VPS services are perfect when you want to steadily grow and adjust your CPU and RAM accordingly. The standard shared deal will require you to upgrade to a costlier plan once you hit the limits, but virtual servers will allow you to just add the component you most need. Same goes for downgrading — with a VPS, you can simply remove some disk space or RAM if you no longer need it.
Control: shared clients have absolutely no access to the server. That’s quite logical, as you don’t want to wake up with your website inactive just because someone decided to activate some module or tweak the permissions. As you are the sole user on your virtual machine, you get root access and the ability to install any software or make advanced server customizations.
At the end of the day, WordPress does not require any specific server settings or a large amount of resources (at least out-the-box). Any type of Linux hosting should be perfectly capable of accommodating such a project.
Still, you are aiming for perfection, so we researched only the best VPS hosting in 2021 and ranked the top contenders. As virtual servers are generally faster, safer, and better optimized, your WordPress project will reap the full benefits from its hosting setup.