How to choose your VPS hosting provider

You’ve officially outgrown your shared hosting plan, and now it’s time to upgrade to a VPS web hosting plan.

Excellent! A VPS provides more storage, robust disc space, and enhancements in security. Not to mention, when you opt for a VPS hosting plan, you get many of the same benefits of a dedicated server without the added costs. Namely, you’ll have your own private compartment on a server, root access, and unmetered bandwidth.

But with so many different VPS hosting companies on the market, how do you know which provider is right for you?

This article will dive deeper into everything you need to consider when researching a VPS hosting provider.

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What should you look for when choosing your VPS hosting plan?

As you’re researching the various VPS hosting plans available to you, here are the non-negotiable features.

1. Server uptime

When switching over to a VPS hosting plan, the last thing you want is to find out the hosting company’s servers are located in a land far, far away, and their uptime is garbage.

Upsets in server uptime mean your website will be down or that your game will be interrupted if you’re using a VPS to create a gaming server.

Nobody wants that and it’s worth paying a few extra bucks each month for reliable servers.

When looking for server uptime, you’ll look for a percentage. Shoot for a VPS hosting plan that has over 99% uptime. If, for whatever reason, the uptime percentage is lower than 99% or you can’t easily find the server uptime percentage, run.

2. Server speed

Speed is the name of the game in the VPS hosting world. When shopping for a new hosting provider, settle on a service with high ratings for web server speed. In other words, you want to make sure your web hosting server responds to queries at a lightning-fast speed.

Why? 

Let’s say you’re gaming, for example. The VPS server you’re using needs enough power to keep track of your actions (as the host) and every other gamer’s action in your game and respond instantaneously. If your server speed moves like a turtle, it results in lags in your game. And everyone knows playing a game with lags is a total snooze fest.

Do yourself a favor and opt for a VPS hosting plan with unmatched server speeds.

3. Security

One of the main reasons website owners switch from a shared hosting plan to a VPS hosting plan is for enhanced security.

If you’re on a shared hosting plan, you are sharing space on one ginormous server with many other website owners. When you upgrade to a VPS plan, you have a completely private virtual compartment on a server, resulting in better security.

While upgrading to any VPS will boost security, it’s critical to remember that not all hosting providers offer the same security benefits across the board.

Here’s what to look for in terms of security on a VPS plan:

  • SSL certificate
  • Https
  • Centralized DDoS Protection
  • Manual and scheduled backups
  • Network monitoring
  • Firewalls
  • Attack protection features
  • 99% uptime
  • Disaster recovery

Remember, security issues can lead to crashes, financial loss, and even online reputation problems. It’s worth it to make sure your hosting provider takes security seriously.

4. RAM

Here is the thing about RAM. When you’re looking for a VPS hosting plan, you’ll see RAM ranges all over the board. You’ll even notice that many VPS hosting providers offer different plans with different RAM options.

It’s common to offer different RAM ranges because how much RAM you need will depend on how you’re using your VPS hosting plan.

For example, if you’re hosting a website that gets a decent amount of simultaneous traffic, 2GB of RAM is probably sufficient for your needs. However, if you’re building a gaming server with your VPS, then you’ll need 8GB of RAM.

The reason hosting companies like HostGator offer different plans is to make sure you have enough RAM to accomplish your goals, but that you also aren’t overpaying for RAM if you don’t need it.

hostgator vps plans

You’ll definitely want a plan that has at least 2 GB of RAM. But if you have questions about if you’ll need more RAM, you can reach out to our support team at any time. 

And this leads perfectly into the next critical VPS hosting feature. Wait for it…

5. Support

Here’s the deal. There are approximately 1.8 billion websites on the internet. But I’d venture to guess that out of all those website owners, not everyone is versed in handling the intricacies of a web hosting platform.

When you pay for web hosting, you’re not only paying for server space. You’re also paying for the computer nerds behind the scene who are available 24/7 to answer your account questions and guide you through the technical stuff.

A web hosting provider’s customer support team should factor heavily into your VPS hosting plan decision.

Look for a company (ahem…HostGator) that offers 24/7 customer support from an actual human. Choose a provider that makes it easy to get in touch with someone via phone, live chat, and social media. 

It’s also smart to select a company that invests in its knowledge base and blog. Sometimes the best way to get an answer is with a quick search on your web hosting provider’s site.

Whatever you do, look for a web hosting provider that’s on your side.

Check out reviews of the providers you’re considering

Every hosting company is going to say they are the best hosting company in the world. But what are others saying?

For an honest look into how a VPS plan performs, check out what third-party reviewers and users are saying.

A quick Google search with the company you’re researching + review will offer insight into how good the service is and how your peers rate the respective plan.

web hosting review of hostgator

We like online reviews here at HostGator because it’s fun to see other companies and private users toot our horn for us.

Get VPS web hosting from HostGator today!

If you’re ready to make the switch from a shared hosting plan or jump right into a VPS hosting plan, HostGator is here for you.

We have three different VPS web hosting plans and would be happy to help you select the plan that matches your goals. Visit our site or give us a call today to get started.

Casey is the Senior Director of Marketing for Hosting and has been in the web hosting space for 7 years. He loves the slopes and hanging out with his kids.