What is VPS Hosting?
It would be beneficial for me to explain briefly what VPS hosting is. Then we can get into the nitty-gritty of the best VPS services. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server; pretty much as it states, you’ll have access to your own virtual server environment.
This will give you control over the type of operating system you use, apps you want to install, and so on.
VPS hosting is the next natural step to take once you’ve outgrown your shared hosting services, even if you’re hosting a WordPress website. Of course, this isn’t to say every person is the same and you have to choose shared hosting before VPS hosting.
VPS hosting is a little more complicated than shared hosting because there are other factors to consider, like server technical specifications, operating system, virtualisation type, etc.
Most VPS services will include tools like cPanel, so you’re not left completely in the dark. Others may even manage the server for you, but you’ll have greater flexibility by having VPS hosting.
If you’re not sure you want to dive straight into choosing a VPS host, you may want to consider some free VPS hosting companies that offer either free trials, extremely cheap web hosting or entirely free plans.
1 | Hostinger – Best Overall UK VPS Hosting (£3.95/Month)
Hostinger offers insanely cheap shared and VPS web hosting. Prices for VPS hosting starts from just £3.95 per month. In its first 10 years of business, Hostinger has served over 30 million customers.
The European host taps into a market that craves reliable web hosting at affordable prices.
All of their VPS hosting plans include a dedicated IP, full root access, SSD, 100 MB/S network and IPv6 support. When you compare this against other VPS hosting providers, you’ll realise what you’re getting for your money.
One of my personal favourite things about Hostinger’s VPS hosting is the variety. There’s a pricing plan for everyone on any budget. They’re offering affordable options across the board catering to varying needs.
Whether you’re a blogger looking for a managed hosting option or a large corporation, you’ll find what you want here.
Hostinger has got my approval from their stats alone. Although they may not offer the best uptime records, they’re as open and honest as you can get.
Hostinger publishes their uptime and downtime for all to see. There’s a breakdown of each server and detailed information of its history.
Here’s a rundown of the exciting features Hostinger offers:
- Great support – they provide multilingual customer support. Their support options are varied and reliable in my experience. Although their live chat isn’t available unless you’re logged in, it’s insanely good and helpful.
- Website Builder – it might not be as good as paid-for website builders, but it’s free to all customers.
- Ease of Use – Hostinger has created its own version of cPanel (cPanel). It’s very easy to get on with, offering everything in one place. Control panels can be overwhelming if you’ve never used one before. I’m sure even beginners can get to grips with this though.
2 | A2 Hosting – (£3.90/Month)
A2 Hosting is a company who offer various options for VPS hosting. If you’re looking for a less powerful but more affordable option, they cater to this. If you’re happy to spend a bit more on a managed solution, they offer this too.
Each of A2 Hosting’s VPS solutions has optional data centers. Globally, they cover the USA (Michigan), USA (Arizona), Europe (Amsterdam), and Asia (Singapore). Choosing a data center that’s located nearer to you and your website visitors is a sure-fire way of increasing your website speeds.
One of my favourite things about A2 Hosting is that you can configure your VPS hosting plan. So, if find a suitable option but want to tweak one or two things to your liking, you can! Increasing or decreasing disk space, CPU, memory, and bandwidth will either make your choice more or less expensive. The choice is entirely yours!
You can even choose your operating system, cPanel license, and optional extras like Turbo Boost and Webuzo. This tailor-made approach makes A2 Hosting a great option for developers, in my opinion. On top of all of this, they provide an ‘anytime’ money-back guarantee, so you can try them out for as little or as long as you like.
If you’re not sure whether to take a managed or unmanaged approach, have some questions, or need support, A2 Hosting is contactable via telephone, live chat, and email. Their support has always been very friendly and helpful when I’ve contacted them, but I would only recommend A2 Hosting to those with a little more experience.
3 | BlueHost – (£15.82/Month)
BlueHost is well known for its low-cost hosting solutions. BlueHost offers flexible and powerful VPS web hosting. If you’re not entirely sure on your websites resource usage, BlueHost is a solid option. You can add and remove space from your account at any time (which is really useful).
Their VPS hosting prices start from £15.82 per month. Whilst they aren’t the cheapest in the market, they do boast more features and performance on their lower plans. BlueHost offers a free domain name for every customer on their VPS hosting plans.
If you’re not happy with BlueHost you can get your money back within the first 30 days. If you do encounter any issues, they have 24/7 support. From my own experience, I highly recommend BlueHost’s customer support which has always been top-notch.
As I mentioned earlier, you can increase your storage through your accounts control panel. You can’t yet increase CPU or performance, but I hope this will be a future addition.
BlueHost VPS hosting is provisioned instantly so there’s no waiting around. Some hosts take up to 24 hours, so this is a real crowd-pleaser in my opinion. BlueHost certainly focus on a slick experience. Their SSD drives ensure high speeds at low prices.
3 | LiquidWeb – (£50.00/Month)
For me, Liquid Web is a hosting company who really put their customers first (and that’s obvious). Their website alone provides easy navigation and tonnes of information catered to any level of expertise – even beginners.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, their VPS hosting seems expensive. Yes, compared to the other hosts I’ve reviewed they are, but there’s a damn good reason for that! Liquid Web provide fully managed solutions meaning you’re free to focus on what really matters – your business.
Every VPS solution provided by Liquid Web includes:
- Gigabit Transfer
- Unlimited Sites
- Dedicated IP Address
- CloudFlare CDN
- Server Secure Advanced Security
- Integrated Firewall
- Local Backups
- DDos Attack Protection
- cPanel/WHM or Plesk Onyx Available
- Root Access
- Easy Scalability (upgrade or downgrade)
- 100% Network and Power Uptime SLAs
Woah, that’s a lot of stuff right? For me, Liquid Web are true professionals when it comes to VPS hosting. I’d even be tempted to say other web hosts are a stepping stone, or an introduction to VPS hosting, with Liquid Web being the final curtain.
As a managed solution, Liquid Web makes a lot of promises. The great thing is, those promises are backed up. They promise to answer support tickets within 30 minutes, have a 100% uptime & power guarantee, and faulty hardware will be replaced within 30 minutes. If these standards aren’t met, they will credit you 10x the amount they missed the mark by!
Aside from their outstanding features, above and beyond approach, and powerful servers, there’s not really much more to say about Liquid Web. If you’re serious about VPS hosting, Liquid Web could be the right option for you.
4 | Namecheap – (£11.40/Month)
Namecheap’s VPS hosting starts from only £11.40 per month. All VPS packages include a free.WEBSITE domain name, SSD drive, full root access, total security, and a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Both plans include a 99.9% uptime guarantee (which I love), 24/7 support including live chat, and a self-managed server with a choice of operating systems. You can upgrade your server to be managed or fully managed which open up a host of useful features like Apache LAMP stack features.
The aspect that unfortunately puts a downer on Namecheap’s otherwise great VPS hosting is the software and add-ons. Neither of their VPS hosting plans includes cPanel or Softaculous, and if you want these features, you’ll have to pay an additional monthly cost.
However, all-in-all Namecheap does offer up two flexible and customisable VPS hosting plans. I’d even be tempted to say that they’re beginner-friendly too, given how much you can add onto your server should you require it.
5 | InMotion – (£16.09/Month)
On the face of it, InMotion may seem like a more expensive choice when it comes to VPS hosting. And yes, you’re right, it is more expensive, but, it’s also a lot more powerful. Don’t be fooled by low prices – there’s often a reason behind them. Thankfully, InMotion is refreshingly different.
Their self-managed VPS hosting plans start from £16.09 per month and include:
- 4GB RAM
- 75GB SSD Storage
- 4TB Bandwidth
- Full Root Access
All plans offer high availability, DDoS defence, automatic backups, enterprise hardware, and allow you to configure your server with all the technology you like. I hope now you can see what I mean by better specifications!
If you’re keen to have a fully-managed VPS server, you plans start from £22.33 per month. They offer very similar specifications with a few added extra features, as well as being fully-managed by the host themselves.
If for some reason you aren’t satisfied, they also offer a 90-day money-back guarantee – that’s a lot better than most web hosts! If you’re not 100% sure, head on over to their support center and ask their friendly staff some questions to get started.
6 | OVH – (£2.99/Month)
OVH is a budget host that isn’t for the fainthearted. If you’re a novice, I wouldn’t recommend OVH, but if you know what you’re doing, you may just find a bargain with this host. You won’t be greeted with 24/7 support, but you will get a decent VPS for a fraction of the cost of other competitors.
OVH keeps things simple, offering 3 types of plans which all include an operating system, Anti-DDoS PRO, simplified control panel, and OVH API. You’ll have the choice between SSD VPS, Cloud VPS, and Cloud RAM VPS.
Each type then has their own individual pricing dependent on your VPS hosting needs. First, let’s take a look at the SSD VPS plans:
|VPS SSD 1||VPS SSD 2||VPS SSD 3|
|Cores||1 vCore(s)||1 vCore(s)||2 vCore(s)|
|RAM||2GB RAM||4GB RAM||8GB RAM|
|SSD||20GB SSD||40GB SSD||80GB SSD|
|RAID||Local RAID||Local RAID||Local RAID|
The SSD plans are fairly standard; they come with your basic VPS features, including 100 Mbps bandwidth, Anti-DDoS, and a choice of operating systems. There are also optional features should you want to spend a little more.
Things ramp up a little bit in terms of performance when we move onto OVH’s VPS Cloud plans, and this is reflected in the price:
|VPS Cloud 1||VPS Cloud 2||VPS Cloud 3|
|Cores||1 vCore(s)||2 vCore(s)||4 vCore(s)|
|GHz||3.1 GHz||3.1 GHz||3.1 GHz|
|RAM||2GB RAM||4GB RAM||8GB RAM|
|SSD||25GB RAM||50GB RAM||100GB RAM|
|Availability||High (Ceph)||High (Ceph)||High (Ceph)|
You are, however, getting a lot more for your money in terms of performance, but not much else in terms of features. This was slightly disappointing in my eyes as I’d like to have seen some new features.
There’s not an awful lot between the VPS Cloud and VPS Cloud RAM hosting plans aside from the RAM. This is increased to 6GB, 12GB, and 24GB retrospectively.
For me, OVH is a no-fuss option for the in-betweeners. Not great for novices, and not the best if you need solid reliability and support. However, if you’re technically-minded or you want to experience a VPS server cheaply, this host can offer you just that.
7 | HostGator – (From £23.56/Month)
HostGator have been in the business for many years. They offer the usual web hosting services you’d expect to see in the market. They also provide other web solutions like SEO, advertising, and website design. You can pretty much use HostGator for all your website needs in one place.
VPS hosting starts from $29.95 per month. For the price, you’ll get 2 GB RAM, 2 cores (CPU), 120 GB storage and 1.5 TB bandwidth. The issue I have is that other companies like InMotion hosting are offering double that for less money. On the other hand, HostGator’s 8 GB plan is below average (cost-wise) compared to the rest of the market.
HostGator may be a more affordable option in the long run. If you require more resources and you plan on going big from the start, you’ll get a better deal. Saying that HostGator do offer a very flexible and scalable VPS hosting solution. Their plans can be customised with the click of a button (or slide).
All of their VPS plans come with root access and are completely autonomous. Their reliability and security is certainly worth shouting about. Their RAID 10 disk configurations mean you’ll get the maximum protection for your site.
If you need to contact HostGator for any reason, their support is available 24/7/365. Having used HostGator on many occasions, I’m pretty confident you won’t have too many issues. Their hosting solutions come with plenty of web tools, templates and installers.
8 | iPage – (From £19.99/Month)
iPage has been around since 1998. With over 20 years experience in the industry, it’s no wonder iPage have millions of customers on their books. iPage offer a variety of hosting services, as well as web design, emails and more.
iPage stands true to their word when it comes to ease of use. Their platform is self-explanatory from the get-go. iPage offer their customers clear pricing plans for their VPS hosting. From just £19.99 per month, you’ll get 1GB RAM, 40GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, and a free domain name.
Whilst their certainly not the cheapest VPS host, they are extremely reliable. Just like their shared hosting, they guarantee 99.9% uptime (which is often exceeded in our tests).
iPage’s VPS hosting gives you the flexibility to manage your own web hosting server. With root access, you can customise your server to your own needs. If you’re wanting more control over your blog or website, it’s a perfect option to explore.
9 | GreenGeeks – (From £31.63/Month)
If you’re looking for a green VPS hosting provider, GreenGeeks is worth considering. Although it may seem like an odd choice to go green on your web hosting, it’s an eco-friendly choice that many are now buying into.
GreenGeeks are by no means the cheapest VPS host. Their lowest tier pricing plan starts at £31.63 per month and offers similar specs to other web hosts who charge much less. However, their servers all offer at least 4 cores, so if performance is a concern, GreenGeeks may be a wise choice.
Their plans include plenty of features, such as cPanel, root access, quick provisioning, free migration, and 99.9% uptime. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend GreenGeeks for beginners, or small blogs. However, if you’re conscious about the environment and know what you want from a high performing server, by all means, give them a try.
Managed vs Unmanaged VPS hosting
There are 2 types of VPS hosting; managed and unmanaged. I wanted to give you some insight into both of these options so that you’re equipped to make the best decision for your needs.
Although both approaches to VPS hosting gives you control, managed hosting hands over the reins to experts. These experts set up, manage, and run your VPS hosting, allowing you to focus on what you want – most likely, your business and your website. Managed hosting is often more expensive because you’re basically paying someone to look after the technical side of things.
Unmanaged VPS hosting gives you, the customer, complete control. You’ll need to have a good working knowledge of Linux and understand the technical aspects of running a server. You’ll be in charge of uptime, reliability, stability and security, as well as software, configurations, and performance.
Advantages of VPS hosting
- VPS is a more affordable option compared to dedicated hosting
- VPS hosting is much more customisable than shared web hosting
- The majority of VPS plans are scalable, allowing you to upgrade/downgrade where applicable
- You won’t have to share server resources with lots of other users
Disadvantages of VPS hosting
- More expensive compared to shared hosting
- Less powerful compared to a dedicated server
- More technical knowledge is required to use a VPS
If you’re up to the challenge and desire greater flexibility and customisation from your web server, unmanaged VPS hosting will give you just that. It’s a cost-effective solution that will meet your needs, but you will be responsible for almost everything.
What To Look For In VPS Hosting
Uptime is an important aspect of any hosting service, but as VPS hosting is a little more prestige in comparison to shared hosting, most hosts offer a guaranteed uptime or SLA.
To be honest, unless a hosting company can guarantee at least 99.95% uptime, I wouldn’t bother considering them, unless there’s proof in the pudding that they really are a great host.
Poor server uptimes equal poor server performance, thus your website and SEO will suffer.
Most VPS hosting companies will offer at least two hardware options (physical servers and cloud servers). Virtual space on a physical server often guarantees good performance and reliability as well as more affordable costs.
However, if another website on the same server gets a lot of traffic, your website could suffer. Admittedly this won’t be as much compared to a shared server, but it can still happen.
Cloud VPS hosting means your data is replicated on every server in the cloud network, so if one server goes down, your website will still be accessible. Similarly, if another server gets a boost in traffic, your site won’t take a hit.
Cloud hosting is much more reliable and scalable, however, cloud hosting will often charge you for the data you use, so if you’re a big data gobbler, you may want to reconsider unless you can afford it.
One of the benefits of having a VPS server is the amount of control you’ll have compared to a shared server. With a VPS, you can choose your own operating system and customise it to your heart’s content.
If you want to reset any data, back up data, or configure any settings, you won’t affect anyone else’s website on the server. Whilst you physically share a server with other people, your configs are separate from others.
Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is often more expensive. However, if you compare it to dedicated hosting, it’s much cheaper. VPS hosting can start from as little at £1 per month (though the hardware specs aren’t going to blow your mind) and go up to around £40 per month.
If you want more control over your server but you don’t want to fork out a lot of dosh, VPS hosting is a middle-ground compromise to renting a dedicated server.
VPS Hosting FAQs
What’s The Best VPS Hosting?
The best VPS hosting really depends on your own needs. We’ve crowned Hostinger the overall best VPS host as they offer incredibly affordable prices alongside decent hardware specifications.
However, if you run a larger business, you may want to consider a more expensive host who offers more resources and better specs. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, you may want to consider a host who offers cheaper pricing or even a free trial.
Do Free VPS Hosts Exist?
Yes! Free VPS hosting does exist, and we have an entire free VPS hosting best choice guide for you to indulge in.
Whilst free VPS hosting is an option if you mean business and you’re running a website that sees a fair amount of traffic, your best bet is to pay for VPS hosting with a reputable company who you can trust.
Do I Need VPS Hosting?
If you feel like your website has outgrown shared hosting, VPS hosting is the natural progression along the hosting line. As your website grows and traffic increases, VPS hosting can offer better performance and more reliability.
If your shared hosting plan is starting to suffer because your website is getting too big for its boots, you may want to consider switching over to VPS hosting. If you start to notice increased website loading times or an increase in bounce rate, it’s worth considering the move.
Now that we’ve listed the best VPS hosting choices of 2020, I hope you have a better understanding of what VPS hosting is, other options that are available to you, and what to look for in a web host.
VPS hosting is an ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses who are looking to grow or expand their reach. Some of the VPS hosts on this list are incredibly great value, whereas others cost a few more ££s but offer more exciting features.
If you currently run your website on a shared hosting server and have noticed a drop in performance or you want a more streamlined experience with more control, but aren’t quite ready to dive into the dedicated hosting market, VPS hosting is definitely worth a try.