If you’re looking to purchase a VPS hosting plan for your website (or websites), you’re probably wondering how much RAM you actually need.

At HostGator, we offer three different VPS hosting plans with different amounts of RAM, including 2GB of RAM, 4GB of RAM, and 8GB of RAM. 

How much RAM your VPS hosting plan needs depends on a lot of various factors, including how many websites you are running on your VPS, how much traffic the websites receive, how many plugins you plan on using, and more.

While you won’t find a one-size-fits-all answer to your question, there are some basic guidelines for how much RAM your VPS needs, depending on what you want to do. 

This article will take a closer look to help you pick the right VPS hosting plan, based on how you plan to use your VPS.

What is RAM and why do you need the right amount on your VPS plan?

Before deciding which VPS plan to purchase from HostGator, it’s important to gain a better understanding of what RAM is and why you need the right amount.

RAM is the acronym for computer random access memory. RAM is the temporary data storage your computer needs to determine your system’s performance. It is where your computer stores data on a short-term basis, and it allows you to access information on your computer quickly. It works the same on a VPS. Your VPS uses RAM each time that a new process is started. All of the software on your website will require some of this RAM to run efficiently. 

The more programs, the more traffic, and the more functionality you require, the more RAM you will need to keep your sites and system up and running smoothly.

If you don’t have enough RAM for the number of tasks you are trying to balance and perform, your system will be bogged down and run slowly. A slow running website or server could mean you need more RAM and/or processing CPU.

If you have too much RAM, your websites and systems will run efficiently, but you may be overpaying for RAM you don’t need. You can always check your VPS RAM usage and downgrade your plan if you aren’t close to reaching your maximums.

1. How much RAM does your VPS need for website & server management?

If you are planning to manage your single website or server via the VPS hosting plan, then 1GB to 2GB of RAM should be sufficient for your needs.

The SNAPPY 2000 is an excellent plan if your website is relatively light and you plan on receiving traffic from around up to a million users per month.

If your website is light and you don’t receive much traffic, then a shared hosting plan is a cheaper, yet effective, alternative.

2. How much RAM do you need for blogging on WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS), and the amount of RAM you would need to host your WordPress site or blog depends on your needs.

If you are running a basic, small, or single WordPress website or blog, then you probably only need around 256MG of RAM. In this case, a shared hosting plan would work. Even if you plan on installing WordPress on your own server, a shared hosting plan would probably be sufficient.

If you plan on building your WordPress site with a lot of open-source elements, including plugins, shortcodes, and page builders, and these elements require root access, then you’ll need more RAM, and a basic VPS hosting plan is a better option.

For a WordPress blog that uses lots of plugins, shortcodes, or a page builder, receives a robust amount of traffic and performs various functions, consider a plan of up to 2GB.

3. How much RAM do you need to build an eCommerce store on a VPS?

If you plan on taking payments online on a daily basis, your need for better security increases immediately. If you are building an online store, then opting for a VPS hosting plan over a shared hosting plan is a better idea.

To effectively run a single server online store, whether you build it on your own or use a platform like Magento, you’ll want at least 2GB of RAM.

If your website gets millions of views and you handle a large number of transactions, then it’s better to choose a plan with at least 4GB of RAM. 

If you’re just starting your eCommerce store and traffic is low, then the Snappy 2000 VPS hosting plan is a great place to start. As your traffic increases and consumers start purchasing more, you may notice your site start to slow down. This is an indication you need to quickly upgrade to the Snappy 4000 VPS hosting plan to handle the increase in traffic and transactions.

4. How much RAM do you need for online photo storage on your VPS?

Another excellent use of a VPS is to store all of your online photos. While online photo storage is an excellent feature for the everyday person, it’s integral for photographers.

While you can store a large number of photos via the cloud, sometimes you need immediate and safe access to your photos. 

It’s recommended that the average user have around 512MB of RAM. If you are an avid, or professional photographer, then consider the Snappy 2000 plan, where you get up to 2GB of RAM.

5. How much RAM do you need for a gaming server on a VPS?

If you are big into Minecraft, World of Warcraft, or another popular online gaming community, then you’ll get more bang for your buck by hosting your own gaming server on a VPS.

However, it’s important to remember that to keep your game up and running without any lags, you’ll need an excellent VPS plan with at least 3GB to 4GB of RAM.

We recommend you start with the Snappy 4000 VPS hosting plan if you’re running a gaming server. 

If you start to attract more players, then you may need to move to the Snappy 8000 plan, where you get 8GB of RAM and unlimited hours of fast-paced fun.

6. How much RAM do you need to host other websites?

If you plan on building websites for clients and hosting them on your VPS hosting plan, then you will need much more RAM than if you were hosting a single site.

Since you will be hosting a website for other clients, and you never know how quickly their sites will scale, it’s best to give yourself a lot of wiggle room.

If you plan on hosting others’ websites, we recommend the Snappy 8000 VPS hosting plan, where you get 8GB of RAM.

7. How much RAM do you need to host a private VPN?

One of the biggest benefits of a VPS hosting plan over a shared hosting plan is added security. If privacy is one of your main concerns, then you may be interested in hosting a private VPN on your VPS.

In other words, when you have a private VPN, you can connect to a public Wi-Fi (e.g. coffee shop, airport, another country, etc.), but maintain the privacy of a secured connection.

If you are hosting a private VPN for personal use, you only need around 1GB of RAM. For this, the Snappy 2000 plan will be sufficient.

If you add additional devices to your private VPN, you’ll need more RAM. Depending on how many devices you plan on using, you may need to upgrade to the Snappy 4000 or Snappy 8000 plan.

Get started with a VPS hosting plan from HostGator today!

If you are looking for a hosting plan that offers more security and more RAM, then a VPS hosting plan from HostGator is the way to go.

Use the information above as a guide for how much RAM you need and which plan is best for your needs. When in doubt, we recommend calling us to consult or starting with the Snappy 4000 plan. Get started today!

Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.