A Comparison of The Best VPS Hosting Providers 2017

vps-hosting-guide-2017-bitpak

Host Your Website Privately With a Virtual Server. 

Looking at stepping up to the next level with your website?

VPS hosting is where you go for the premium service delivery to your visitors. ​

Perfect for websites that are generating income and attracting a lot of traffic. The secure one up on shared server hosting subscriptions.​

Overview of this virtual private server hosting guide, and how I plan to help give you more of an understanding of how it works and what you need.

Introduction to VPS Hosting

A VPS hosting service is the next level up from a shared hosting account. ​A popular hosting for websites that want to operate with no disturbance is the VPS host. How the VPS works is by allowing for partitioning of the virtual server, several subscribers will be assigned to the virtual server. Each of the subscribers will be allocated a partition on the server, how each subscriber uses their assigned partition does not affect others on the same server.

Your VPS will provide you with independence, you basically have a server to yourself. Technically you are sharing the virtual server, but operating within that space as if you had your own server.​ Virtual in every sense of the word, your server is hosted virtually not locally.

The thing about VPS hosting is that, the performance is well above shared hosting levels. I find VPS hosting to be reliable and secure. Using virtual servers to host my website, I have now reduced many of my concerns that I have with shared hosting services. 

​One simple way to look at is that using a VPS is like using an Uber, Fast, sleek and classy. The VPS is all yours and is an overall more enjoyable experience to use. Clear communication between both parties and any unscheduled maintenance is communicated to all parties.

uber-car-represents-how-vps-hosting-works

​Why do you need a VPS

For web developers and those interested in testing their own designs, a VPS is much more flexible than a dedicated server and at a fraction of the cost. ​Developing a new function for your website and make an error, you can easily correct the mistake with a reset, wipe or backup. This is much more user friendly than a dedicated hosting server. 

​Developing websites is fun for me, what is not so much fun is making a critical change in structure and the website collapses. To prevent this from being a downside in developing websites, you can use a VPS host to provide a safe working environment. Your mistakes can be undone in moments, and without causing you to earn another grey hair. Working on websites without a VPS hosting solution, can give you a very stressful  afternoon so just avoid it by using VPS hosts.

How To Tell If You Need A VPS Hosting Solution​

I could tell I needed an upgrade when I started seeing a problem with my bounce rates. I noticed my bounce rate had increased much higher than I had recorded before, on inspection of my website I was looking at the spinning circle of death. I was victim of the over used resources on my shared hosting account.

There is a time in every growing businesses life when growth happens. Growth may be sudden, or take a creeping effect getting bigger and bigger.​ Identify your business growth surges, monitor and identify the next growth surge. Taking this aspect of your business into account, is great for knowing when to move to a bigger host. Using business growth surge reporting can also help change your business for the better.  Ecommerce store owners can align this with product releases or product trending charts to work out their growth.

growth in business and anticipating the next surge in business growth will help you identify when to switch to a VPS host. Ideally you want to make the move before you reach a certain point.

If you do a lot of website design and development, and have a lot of technical coding that may backfire on you.​ The VPS provides you with a safe room for testing, easy to correct and rewind the design.

​Virtual private servers are are much like other hosting types, where they are run from a data centre as outlined below. Like a hotel you book a room as advertised and you know what you are going to be staying in. The VPS is much like a hotel room in a hotel, the rooms are controlled and looked after by the hotel management. 

how-does-vps-hosting-work

Data Centre Overview

Virtual Private Server's can be tricky to navigate for complete new comers. The choice is yours to opt to use a managed service that can provide support and take control for you or you do it your self and just contact the hosting company support as you would with standard shared hosting. Taking the managed service option you can ask them to take care of any task that you feel is out of your capabilities. 

Worthy Mentions

LiquidWeb and Digital Ocean are worth checking out.​ Simplicity and reliability can describe LiquidWeb this company deserves a mention and has a quality VPS hosting service. Digital Ocean has an outstanding reputation in the hosting space, its hard to fault the service and while slightly more expensive than others they are more a choice of functions provided to cost effective. Within the digital marketing space these are both quite popular choices. We recommend our top 3 choices at the bottom of this post, these two options are great providers of VPS hosting but have not made the top 3 of this VPS guide.

Ive reviewed several hosting providers and have my top 5. I use an assortment of hosting services and have websites in all different stages of their lifecycle. The key thing I have found is not always going with one provider as your go to one stop shop. I think that by diversifying my hosting in the event that something happens to the provider I will still have live websites on other servers.

*If a hosting provider becomes bankrupt and  can no longer operate, your VPS and all other hosting types will cease to operate. I say this as an earlier paragraph mentions, that your website will function regardless of external interference. If the hosting provider can no longer trade this will impact your website.

​How to Pick A VPS Allstar 

What Do You Need? well a website to host would be the most obvious thing that you will need. You would also require some form of traffic or website valuable data that can not be placed on a host with other potential threats. Looking at your current status if you do not have valuable content, or some traffic you can always start at the shared hosting level. From the shared hosting you can plan your migration timeline to VPS once you have the content or the traffic.

Looking at the Price you will see that VPS hosting is just a slight step up than shared hosting. This makes complete logical sense to use a VPS host for your websites that generate an income. Flexible hosting configurations and increased speed and security for a couple of dollars more per month, I'm in take my money. 

Pricing is not everything, if you always navigate to the cheapest priced item you will miss out on the powerful alternatives. I look for price, functionality, features and security when selecting a solid hosting provider. If you can find a nice balance between all of these must haves then you have a contender for your business.

  1. ​Pricing - Its important if you are just starting out or measuring every dollar.
  2. Security - This is important for anything you do online.
  3. Features - We all love the features, the more it does the better it is.
  4. Functionality - The more versatile it can be the more things we can do with it.

You may have your own process for selecting the better hosting providers, but I use a selection process to identify the three best. To read about a tried and tested process of elimination read about my Hosting Selection process.

Looking at VPS Reviews around the web and the verdict is positive, the only negatives are from providers that fall down in customer service. People who use a VPS hosting service report back, that they are satisfied with the service but they have issues with the hosting company. I really do wonder, when the hosting companies that suffer these bad reviews will take a good look at themselves. The companies should place an emphasis on providing exceptional customer service to match the product they sell. Eliminate the negative reviews by providing a complimentary service to your successful product. Look out hosting companies, you should hope they don't place me in charge of any customer service task force.

Benefits of using a VPS Hosting Solution

​You are in the drivers seat, complete control of how your VPS operates. You want to change the operating system you can, not happy with generic firewalls you can change them.  

Your VPS hosting provides your website with a very high level of security. Your website is safe on your VPS, other users of the VPS can not influence the performance of your website.​ I do still recommend using security to keep out unwanted log in attempts, use the configuration that you are most comfortable with. In the event that your website has been compromised if you contact the host technical support, you should have your website back up and secured relatively fast. Hosting providers know just how damaging it is to let something like that go without reacting.

Web Developers  ​can operate in complete confidence, that any changes they make can be undone with ease. Think of it like training in the X-Men's danger room, it all looks real enough but its just a safety room with amazing virtual reality effects. As a web developer you can have full safety of rolling back one version if you have a site meltdown.

One of the main benefits is Security.​ In the words of Dwight K Schrute, you want security for your website.

wordpress-security-concerns-go-vps

Looking at Functions and Features

If you are a functions and features must have type of person, you will find virtual private servers to be right up your alley. Most hosting providers offer the same core service, there are so many hosting providers that its impossible to list all variations of features.

What Are The Drawbacks?

​When I first heard about VPS hosting from a school friend, I went on and explained what I was told to my friends. What I was describing to them was actually a VPN and not a VPS.  I was politely corrected, and had the finer details explained to me by someone that was talking about the correct thing. My point is that while using a VPS may sound quite technical in reality it really is not that complicated.

The drawbacks are it is a little more pricey than shared hosting. You will not need to use a VPS until you are generating traffic and income. I always wait until I have had 2 full months of decent traffic and regular income before changing my hosting plan.

As long as you do your research on the hosting provider you are thinking of using you shouldn't have any problems. Just to make it clear I didn't write this for no reason, you can feel safe using the three recommended providers at the bottom of this guide. ​One drawback from using a non tested provider of VPS hosting, is that they may not accurately allocate server resources to each member of the server. Overselling space or taking a calculated guess that not every subscriber on the server will use their full allocated resources. Yes this happens.

One thing that may annoy you more than be an actual drawback is the millisecond delay in reaction of the mouse. While not a hinderance it is no more than a annoyance if you like to work at light speed. ​You point and click and usually have instant reaction, using a VPS host the delay is slower by a millisecond if that. Like I said not a drawback just a small annoying part of using anything virtual.

​There really is not a lot of drawbacks in using a virtual private server. You may have financial concerns and stumble across a cowboy hosting provider, but not if you follow recommended service providers.

Things To Remember​

You are still sharing while using a VPS, but the entire share model is calculated differently than it is with shared hosting. ​Everyone on that server has their own allocated resources. Taking into account that you are operating in your own virtual bubble does not mean you should aim to wreck havoc within your bubble. Play it cool and perform your tasks as if you were on shared hosting. 

The Technical

The types of hardware you can expect to find in data centres that help the DC provide the service. The technical framework that keeps the system operating at high speeds for millions of people every second of every day​

  • ​SATA: Big drives , not super fast but reliable. Run at around 7.2K or 7200rpms (How fast the drive spins and you can move data on)
  • SAS: Most common in data centres , Very reliable, Super fast almost twice as fast as SATA drives. Runs around 10k or 15K  (also in rpms)
  • SSD: Common within data centres because of the super speed of delivery. Solid State Drives.
  • Cloud: 

A VPS Is Best Used With a website that requires exceptional delivery and fast speeds. Taking the mindset of your website visitor into account, you want to have a smooth enjoyable experience. The VPS host provides your website with the power to run smoothly with fast load speeds, almost zero downtime and overall lift the performance of your website online. Using this hosting you have more control over your website, and a more secure foundation for broadcasting your website across the web.

Not everyone in the hosting industry is out to take your money. Now it is becoming more and more effective for the providers to be transparent, and have superior customer support staff. ​Technical support staff are hard to find because they can make a living doing the real technical work, but every so often you will find a customer support member that has a few tricks up their sleeves with the technical side of hosting. Saviour the rare moment, get your problem fixed and rate that call as excellent.

Industry Pricing

Despite VPS hosting sounding like future technology, you can find it to be very affordable. Looking at the bang for your buck, you pay slightly more per month for a premium product that offers security and performance. Compare a shared host subscription to a standard VPS account, and the extra $4.00 to $$8.00 per month for advanced features is a win in my book. 

Forget about expensive components and managing every little detail through customer support. You are in the drivers seat​ with full control, changes happen as you make them no requesting features or waiting on approval.

Alternatives To VPS Hosting

You have heard me talk about virtual private servers and speed, security and performance! but you don't really think that a VPS is for you.​ I have you covered with alternatives to virtual private server hosting, you can also find out more information about the different kinds of host types in our knowledge base found here.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most common hosting service, it involves sharing a server with other subscribers. ​

I describe shared hosting like catching a public bus, you don't know who is on the bus and where they are going. ​Sometimes the bus is late or arrives doesn't get to your stop on time. I will admit though in the image below, this bus is much more pleasant and calmer looking than buses in my area.

Prices range between $2.50 - $8.00 per month payment.​

people-on-a-bus-represent-shared-hosting

Shared Hosting Is Much Like Catching The Bus.

Dedicated Hosting

Looking for a solution that is not sharing your server with other people, dedicated servers are the choice for you​, This service offers more security and control for your website. You do not have un-knowns that could jeopardise your business with malicious behaviour. I like to think of dedicated hosting as like using a taxi, you have that taxi for as long as you need and as long as you pay for it. No one else can use the taxi while you are using it, and while you are using the taxi you direct and guide the driver just like dedicated hosting.

Prices range between $16.00 - $29.00 per month payment .

dedicated-server-explained-by-this-taxi

Dedicated Servers & Taxis Much The Same.

The Top 3 Performing VPS Hosts

1 SiteGround - Read our recent review of this superb hosting provider, we rate them the number #1 VPS hosting provider.

2 A2 Hosting​ - We also reviewed A2 and can say they deliver the goods, for their VPS hosting solutions visit here.

3 ​InMotion a solid choice for hosting a small network of websites with their lowest level plan. Slightly more expensive but for good reason.

I'm a big fan of SiteGround and can not recommend them highly enough. There are many providers of hosting, and the other two that I felt worthy of mentioning are A2 Hosting and InMotion. These are the head and shoulders above leaders over other hosting providers for Virtual private servers.​ Ultimately this VPS guide was put together to provide you with information. Providing you with some more in depth information you can use when selecting your next VPS hosting provider.

You can use this guide as a measuring stick for your own business, and work out if the time is right. Do you need to move your business websites to virtual private servers to maximise their potential earnings. Only you know your business, make an educated decision after reading this VPS guide.

Conclusion​

My thoughts on selecting the best VPS Hosting.​ Consider what you really need and if you are ready to move into a VPS, I don't suggest moving all of your websites into VPS hosting, unless they are generating you a good revenue. I do suggest moving all websites that you are ready to scale up to the next level into their own virtual private server. If you want speed, security and customized configuration you go for the VPS every time.

You are obviously using a VPS host for a reason so match that reason with what the host offers. ​This VPS hosting guide was inspired by helping a friend navigate the world of virtual private servers and providers. Helping them make the right choice was hard to just say, pick DreamHost and be done with it. I had much more to tell them about the inner workings and the when and why of using a VPS.

I hope this has helped you understand a bit more, and that there are more benefits using a VPS they just aren't advertised. Now you know about why you would move your website into a VPS host. I also hope that you are the full bottle on what to look for in terms of performers.  If you enjoyed this drop a comment below.  

Always try to get the most bang for your buck!

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