In my last article I talked about shared hosting. In this article I am taking it to the next level with managed hosting, using a VPS (Virtual Private Server).
Adding A VPS Hosting Option For Clients
I am a Web Designer and Developer and I recently decided that I wanted to be able to add a hosting option for my clients. I don’t want this to be just any other shared hosting plan, I want to be able to add value to my clients by offering them a reliable, dependable, and secure service that comes with VPS hosting, giving them a one stop place to go for any issue they may have with their website.
Hosting is a very big decision for people, and most have no idea who to choose and what their hosting needs really are. I want to take that decision from them and give them the benefit of my knowledge and expertise to offer them a hosting option that they can feel good about and not have to worry about the manageability or security of their site.
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There are three main types of web hosting:
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosing
- Dedicated Hosting
The best way I know to explain each of these types of hosting is with an analogy.
Shared hosting in like having a room in an apartment complex with hundreds of other apartments.
VPS hosting is like owning your own home in a sub-division with say 10 to 20 other houses.
Dedicated hosting is like owning your own home, in the country, near a lake, with no one else around for miles.
Can you guess from the analogy above which would be the least and most expensive? If you guessed that shared hosting was the lease expensive, then you are right, with dedicated being the most expensive.
VPS hositng is in the middle price range and is really a hybird of both. VPS gives you the advantage of dedicated hosting without the high price tag.
Some pros of moving to VPS is that it is often less crowded and you can choose to have it all to yourself, or you have other sites in there along with you.
With a VPS, you really control your piece of the server (your virtual piece), and along with that comes more traffic capability, increased speed, reliability, manageability and security.
I did some research on VPS hosts, and asked my WordPress community that I belong to, for suggestions, and I then narrowed the choices down to the list below:
- Digital Ocean
I have used HostGator for years and never had a problem with them, even after they, and few other hosts, were aquired by EIG. (Endurance International Group). You can read about the acquisition here in this article, HostGator Sold to EIG For $225 million USD.
Hostgator has always had good customer service for me, but others have told me they have had bad experiences with them. Still they do offer a VPS service so I wanted to list it here.
As You can see, HostGator has 5 VPS plans starting from $19.95 to $159.95 a month. The most poplar being the Snappy 2000 plan for $89.95 a month. This gives you 2 cpu cores, 2gb of ram, 120gb of disk space and a bandwidth of 1.2 TB.
They also ofter 24/7 technical support. I will admit that I called them this month and they answered right away.
DreamHost is a well know host as well, and one of the things that they mention on their site is the use of SSD (Solid State Drive) technology. I don’t know for sure if SSD makes a difference with web hosting or not, but I know with computers, it definitely does.
They also claim 24/7 customer support, but I didn’t see any mention of this being with a live person.
DreamHost has 4 VPS plans ranging from $15 to $120 a month. So their prices are a little lower.
The only issue I have with them is they don’t use a C-panel. Actually the control that they have is a little challenging to use, but it could be worked out. I just like C-panel better.
I talked about SiteGround in my last article, 4 Of The Best Shared Hosting For WordPress Websites, and they have really gotten mixed reviews, but they also have a VPS service with plans showed below:
SiteGround refers to it as cloud hosting and they have 4 plans ranging from $60 to $140 per month.
They make it very easy to move up in plans and offer 24/7 support with a live tech. I called them and within minutes I was talking to a tech. They also offer SSD technology as well as HHVM.
What struck me with this host, was that they have 3 data centers worldwide, and so if do sign up with them, you can pick which data center you use, based on your geographic location.
LiquidWeb offers what they call, Storm VPS hosting, and of course, it is powered by SSD technology. They have 4 VPS plans that you can see below:
The plans normally start from $60 to $220 a month, but as you can see from the image, they are offering a special for the month of October. They also offer 24/7 support with a live tech. I called them and got right through to a tech. They claim to be the only VPS service with “heroic support.”
They also give you a lot of details about their data centers, which I was impressed with, as it made me feel more confident of their security and reliability.
Digital Ocean was one that I had not heard of before doing the research for this article. They have different approach to VPS and claim to be more for developers. I have to admit, I had a hard time understanding everything on their site. They have numerous plans but I only listed the first 5 here:
Digital Ocean has SSD technology, 99.9% uptime and have multiple locations globally with 3 in the US alone. I didn’t see anything on their website to indicate you could contact a live tech.
I had not heard of HostNine before so I was interested to find out what they were all about. They have 3 plans that they list right away that range from $14.99 to $59.99 a month. They appeared to be the least expensive of all the VPS services I listed here.
They also have 24/7 support, although I did not see how to contact a live person, they do have live chat, and 99.9% uptime.
This is a hosting company that I had not heard of before as well, and it appears to be a smaller one.
They have 3 Face VPS plans that range from $31.96 to 63.96 per month. They do have a toll free number that you can call, but I didn’t see anything on their site about 24/7 support.
I tried to call them on a Sunday, and although I first got an automated answer asking for my choice of who to speak with, when selected, the phone just rang and no one picked up.
BlueHost is well known in the hosting world and comes highly recommended by WordPress themselves.
BlueHost (also an EIG company) has 4 VPS plans ranging from $14.99 to $59.99 per month with the $29.99 plan being the most popular. It comes optimized for WordPress hosting.
They offer 24/7 customer support and you can talk with a live person.
Narrowing The VPS Choice
After going through these 8 web hosts I narrowed my choice down to the top 4, HostGator, DreamHost, SiteGround and LiquidWeb.
It is really important to me to have a VPS host that is reliable, reachable 24/7, and has the most up to date technology. Price is not a consideration to me as I know you get what you pay for, and I feel it’s more important to have reliability, security and support, to ensure confidence and piece of mind with a web host.
Which One Would You Recommend?
I would love to get your feedback on the top 4 hosts that I chose. I am leaning toward one in particular but I won’t mention which one here.
So which VPS host would you recommend and why? And if you wouldn’t recommend one of my top 4, then who else would you recommend?
I would love to hear your views in the comments.