Once your website has outgrown shared hosting, the next step for most companies is to buy a virtual private server (VPS).
Of course, not every company is the same and there are some cheap VPS hosting companies out there. Deciding on a VPS host is more than just the price though.
It is also important to know the technical specifications of each VPS company, such as the OS, virtualization type, and performance demands; any features that can have a determinate effect on website performance.
That is why in this article we are going to discuss the 9 best cheap VPS hosting companies of 2021 and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
If you are looking for great UK web hosting and manage a large website, then this one's for you. Now that the boring intro spiel over, let’s get to the interesting stuff.
1. HostPapa: Enterprise-Level VPS (25% Discount)
Professional Business-Level Capabilities
You might know that speed is crucial for customer conversions, since you’re looking for a VPS package (Google does). Other than uptime, page-loading speeds make the difference between sales and high bounce-back rates (i.e. losing visitors forever).
Security protocols include: RAID redundancy, DDoS & brute-force detection/protection, and server firewalls. Not to mention a free ‘Let's Encrypt SSL’ ... which we like to see. The SSL is super-simple to install and will boost your SEO-scores.
Self-Managed, Managed, or Fully-Managed Option
Select one of three management levels, depending on how much of HostPapa’s extensive support you want to draw from - and your budget. In the first tier: app installs, migrations - and so on - are left up-to-you. The ‘Managed’/‘Full-Managed’ levels partially or totally handle these for you.
*HostingData readers get a special 25% discount for all tiers of HostPapa's VPS hosting.
2. Hostinger - Highest Quality Budget VPS Hosting
Hostinger VPS Review
Up next is Hostinger, a great web hosting company known for its extremely cheap hosting options. Shared hosting options for hosting start as cheap as just £0.99 per month and their cheapest VPS option costs just under 4$ per month.
With their basic VPS plan, site admins get access to 1GB of memory, 20GB of SSD storage, 1000GB of bandwidth, and 1 CPU core. Now to be clear, these specs are not as impressive as some of the other companies on this list, but very few companies beat Hostinger in terms of monthly fees.
Hostinger x Cloud
Best of all, Hostinger’s VPS options are all entirely cloud-based so they are extremely reliable, have high up times, and can easily scale as your business grows. Hostinger offers extremely fast response times at a global average of 143ms which can get down to 5ms in some geographic areas. They also boast a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Hostinger also offers a fully customizable cPanel for web developers, free domain registration, and gives you free access to a responsive support team that can help you with server issues.
The only problem is that the basic VPS hosting option does not offer daily backups, but that can be added for an extra 1$ a month. Also, Hostinger does not offer free SSL security certificates so you will have to go elsewhere to secure those (pun intended).
Hostinger Website Builder - Zyro
If you are looking for a website builder that doesn’t require you to have any beforehand coding experience you have come to the right place.
Zyro comes with quite a few of the regular features - Free SSL Certificate, unlimited SSD storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
Furthermore, it offers a couple of new ones - Zyro’s AI Content Generator and Logo Maker. All of the new features have one goal in mind, to allow you to focus on your company.
3. HostGator - Best Cloud Based VPS Performance
Hostgator VPS Review
HostGator is a great web hosting service that is very easy to use and offers some of the best website building software for the price, which includes countless free templates, script installer, and web development tools.
HostGator offers a wide range of plans that are useful for consumers and small businesses. One of the best things about HostGator is its impressive bandwidth and customer service. The basic VPS plan costs just under $30 a month and includes 2 GB of RAM, 2 core CPU, 120GB of storage and a very high 1.5TB of bandwidth.
Increased Server Resources and Performance
HostGator’s VPS hosting plans give you full root access so you have complete control over your hosting environment, which includes custom installs and configuration. HostGator also gives you the option to host unlimited domains, subdomains, email addresses, FTP accounts, and private nameservers.
Finally, as already mentioned in our HostGator review, they work closely with hardware manufacturers like Intel and AMD to make sure its VPS platform is optimal and that their suite of web building tools is up to standard.
HostGator also has free 24/7 customer support and offer live chat with their server technicians so you can troubleshoot issues in real-time.
4. Bluehost - Official WP Hosting Partner
Bluehost VPS Review
Up next is Bluehost, a VPS hosting company based out of Massachusetts. Bluehost is actually one of the 20 largest web hosting companies in the world and hosts over 2 million domains. Bluehost offers a wide range of plans ranging from shared hosting to quality dedicated hosting.
Bluehost’s entry VPS plan offers 1TB of bandwidth, 2 CPU cores, 2 GB of RAM, and 30 GB of SSD storage.
The SSD storage is a nice touch as it cuts down on load times and increases site performance compared to standard HDD storage. The basic VPS plan only allows for 1 IP address, though you can up that amount by signing up for their premium plans that start at $29.99/month.
High Quality Performance but Expensive
Bluehost distinguishes itself from its competitors with its powerful KVM Hypervisor server virtualization and the basic VPS plan comes with a Web Host Manager and CPanel root access. Additionally, Bluehost offers a CentOS option for users who want to install a Linux OS on their server.
Bluehost is a great choice for experienced web developers and newbies alike. The entry prices may be a bit steep for companies just starting out but for developers and larger companies, the price is extraordinarily reasonable for the quality of hosting you get.
5. Dreamhost - Jack of All Trades
Dreamhost VPS Review
Up next is Dreamhost, an LA-based web hosting company and domain name registrar.
Dreamhost offers a basic VPS hosting package for an affordable $10 a month which includes 1 GB of RAM, 30 GB SSD storage, unlimited websites, unlimited emails, and a free SSL certificate; an extremely nice addition if you want your website to be as secure as possible.
Dreamhost is known for its reliable server network, excellent support team, and customizable Wordpress hosting options.
Dreamhost offers two special VPS options that are specifically tailored to optimize MySQL databases and WordPress performance. Their fully managed solutions allow up to 2 VPS per customers and have an amazing 100% uptime guarantee.
Aside from the reliable uptimes and great customer support, Dreamhost offers its customers a full bevy of compatible apps, including WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, Shopify, Wix, and more.
Their web speeds are above average compared to other hosting options in the same price range, and the company offers a generous 97-day refund policy so you can get your full money back before you get completely locked into the VPS.
Also, Dreamhost has dedicated itself to environmentalism and is one of the few 100% carbon neutral hosting companies out there.
Their data centers use “high-efficiency” cooling processes and they are involved in several state ‘clean wind” programs that focus on harnessing renewable resources. So you can rest easy buying from Dreamhost and know they are working to offset their carbon footprint.
6. GoDaddy - Popular Choice
GoDaddy VPS Review
Aside from their somewhat raunchy ads starring famous NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, GoDaddy is known for being one of the largest and most user-friendly web hosting options out there. Since 1997, GoDaddy has hosted more than 71 million domains worldwide for more than 17 million customers.
GoDaddy offers VPS plans for both Windows and Linux based servers. The basic VPS option starts at $19.99 per month and includes cPanel root access, unlimited bandwidth, 40GB of disk space, 2 GB of RAM, and 1 CPU core.
GoDaddy is probably most well known for its user control options which have modes for newbies and more experienced technical users. All server functions are available on an intuitive interface and GoDaddy has won industry awards for its excellent customer service team.
In short, there is a reason GoDaddy is one of the most popular hosting options worldwide. They offer simple installation of popular apps like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal and their VPS options allow for seamless scaling as your company grows.
7. A2 Hosting - Best Customer Support
A2 Hosting VPS Review
Sitting at 7th is A2 Hosting, a Michigan-based hosting company that has been around since 2001. Compared to other hosting companies, A2 Hosting has some of the best quality support networks and their database includes hundreds of articles from users on how to figure things out.
A2 Hosting’s basic Power option starts at $25.00 a month and includes 4 GB of RAM, 75GB of storage, 4 CPU cores (!!) and free SSL and SSD certificates. A2 Hosting has fast response times (~336 ms) and some of the most responsive customer support in the business.
Also, A2 Hosting protects all data on their servers with their unique “HackScan” service that monitors security 24/7 and scans for malware and other attacks.
Their servers are also scalable which protects you from denial of service attacks (DDoS). Lastly, A2 Hosting offers free transfer options and will transfer your existing site to their servers for no extra cost.
8. InMotion - Best Midrange Hosting
InMotion VPS Review
The penultimate entry on our list is InMotion which offers standard VPS services and VPS cloud hosting. Their basic VPS option costs just under $30 a month for 2 years and gives site admins access to 4 GB of RAM, 75 GB of storage, 4 TB of bandwidth, and free SSL certificates.
High Processing Power
InMotion is distinguished from other hosting companies as they offer unlimited CPU cores and free backups, along with root access to the server and 24/7 phone and live chat support. InMotion is a great mid-range option for growing businesses and large websites that need a lot of resources to handle traffic.
InMotion is designed to work with Windows-based servers but they do offer the option to use CentOS for those who favor Linux.
SiteGround VPS Review
Last (but not least), let's review SiteGround, a popular web hosting service that is known for its cloud solution plans and excellent Wordpress hosting capabilities. SiteGround has switched from traditional VPS hosting to cloud-based configurations that give you a greater degree of flexibility and scalability.
Expensive But Fully-Managed
The first thing to notice is the price tag. SiteGround cloud hosting starts at $80 per month. This might sound expensive, but you need to keep in mind that all SiteGround servers are 100% managed so you don’t have to adjust or install anything on your server if you don’t want to.
So, even though the monthly price tag is pretty high, you are also getting access to a fully managed VPS.
In that sense, SiteGround’s cloud options are a great choice for mid-sized companies who need a flexible server infrastructure to scale with the business. The entry-level option includes 2 CPU cores, 4 GB of memory, 40GB SSD space, and 5TB of data transfer.
The cloud platform guarantees optimal resource usage and their account management interface lets you tweak any aspect of your site you want.
10. iPage - Inexpensive with Performance Issues
iPage VPS Review
At the end of our list is the VPS hosting company iPage. Unlike many VPS hosting companies that offer extremely cheap prices for absolutely minimalist server plans, iPage offers managed VPS services with a full suite of technical applications and still manages to beat the industry standard of $30 a month.
As seen in our detailed iPage review, this host is a great option for marketers, designers, and any other agencies than need some extra help with the technology.
Great Service for Pricing
The standard $20 a month plan nets you a single-core server with 40GB of storage space, 1 TB of bandwidth, and free cPanel installation. If you like having complete control of your website, properly using cPanel is a great way to go about it. Unfortunately, iPage does not offer Windows servers and primarily offers Linux OSs.
So, while iPage may not be the best for people who want a strict performance-to-price ratio, they offer VPS services at a reasonable monthly rate that comes with free managed customer support.
VPS Hosting Buying Guide
What is VPS Hosting?
In short, a VPS is a private virtual server that companies can buy to host their website data. VPS hosting can be better understood by contrasting it with two other kinds of website hosting: shared hosting and dedicated server hosting.
Shared hosting is largely considered the “basic” hosting option and most websites start out using a form of shared hosting. With shared hosting, all of your website data is shared on a common server with other user’s data.
The key thing about shared hosting is that everyone on the server has equal access to that server’s computing resources.
Shared hosting is usually very cheap but it has some drawbacks. Unfortunately, since computing resources are shared amongst users, that means that traffic for one website shared on the server can affect your website performance.
If one person’s website has a lot of traffic and eats up computing resources, the performance of other websites on the server can take a hit.
On the other end of the hosting spectrum is dedicated server hosting. With dedicated hosting, companies rent out a separate physical server that is reserved entirely for their own data. With dedicated hosting, the only data stored on the server is a single website and that website has full access to that server’s computing resources.
Dedicated servers are great because they give you full control over your website’s server configuration and you don’t have to share server resources with other people. Unfortunately, dedicated hosting is typically expensive and most small to mid-size companies don’t have the revenue to run their own servers.
VPS hosting (virtual private server) occupies a middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting. With VPS hosting, companies pay to rent out a virtual “space” on a server that acts as their own dedicated server. In other words, VPS hosting mimics a dedicated server on a shared server.
VPS servers run several different operating systems (OS) at the same time, which means that people who rent VPS servers have access to a dedicated portion of that servers computing resources that no one else can use.
That is why it is a middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. Like shared hosting, everyone’s data is stored on the same physical server. Like dedicated hosting, each user has access to a predefined virtual server that works for their site alone.
Things to Look for in a VPS Hosting Company
Here we will be talking about the most important things to look for in VPS hosting services.
High Server Uptime
Nobody wants to rent a server that is constantly down or offline. Most VPS hosting companies offer you a guaranteed server uptime, meaning that the server should not go offline and take your website down. Server uptime is usually directly related to how much you spend a month on hosting fees.
Most VPS companies try to offer a 99.95% uptime guarantee and honestly, you shouldn’t even consider a hosting company unless they can guarantee that. Bad server uptimes affect site performance which will hurt business performance.
Managed or Unmanaged VPS
You also want to check with your hosting provider if the VPS is managed or unmanaged. Managed VPSs are managed by the hosting company. Managed servers give you less control but you won’t have to worry about security updates, performance patches, data back-ups, and the like.
On the other hand, an unmanaged VPS needs to be managed directly by the site owner. An unmanaged VPS gives you a lot more control over server and OS configuration, but if you don’t know much about running a server it can be a real hassle.
In short, a managed VPS may be the best option for someone who is not tech-savvy and needs someone to handle all the technical aspects of running a server. On the other hand, if you are comfortable working with servers and computers, feel free to rent an unmanaged VPS.
You also need to check on the server hardware. Normally, VPS companies offer two hardware options. The first is renting virtual space on a single physical server. A single server VPS offers good performance and reliability and usually have a lower entry cost.
However, the performance of even single server VPSs can take a hit if other sites stored on the server see a lot of traffic. Also, if the physical server goes down, then all of your site data goes down too.
Nowadays, many VPS hosting companies offer cloud hosting options. Cloud hosting options are relatively new and have seen much growth in recent years. With cloud hosting, your data is stored on a decentralized network of servers that are connected via the internet.
The benefit of cloud hosting is data redundancy. Data stored on one server is replicated on every server in the cloud network. So, if one server has hit the maximum traffic load, then your website queries are routed to another server that is currently idle.
Cloud hosting solutions are extremely reliable because of this data redundancy. If one server goes down, there are other servers to pick up the slack and make sure your site remains online and accessible.
Best of all, cloud hosting options are scalable and can grow in tandem with your business demands. Cloud hosting companies also usually only charge you for the data you use.
Lastly, you want to make sure you pick a hosting company that has reliable and comprehensive customer service and support.
Even if you are an expert on server maintenance, it always helps to have access to company technicians who can help you solve problems on your server.
This is where checking company reviews can help with your decision.
Try to find customer reviews for the potential hosting company and see what others have to say about their customer support. Compared to shared and dedicated hosting, VPS hosting has several benefits.
First and foremost, a VPS server gives you access to your own OS configuration.
Normally with shared hosting, users cannot customize their own server performance.
With a VPS, you have your own OS that you can customize as you see fit.
This also means that you can reset your server to install any applications without affecting anyone else’s data on the server.
Even though you technically share a physical server with other people, your virtual server has its own runtimes and configurations that are separate from everyone else’s.
Additionally, since you have your own virtual server and OS, other people using the server can’t get access to your files unless you explicitly let them. With shared hosting, there is the potential that other people could access your website data without your knowledge.
One of the biggest problems with shared hosting is that everyone shares computing resources. This means that if one site has a lot of traffic and is using up most of the RAM, then the other sites stored on the server will notice a drop in site performance.
With VPS hosting, since you have your own dedicated pool of computing resources, no one can eat into your RAM when you are not using it. This means that other sites’ performance has no effect on yours.
VPS hosting is usually more expensive than shared hosting but is significantly cheaper than dedicated hosting.
Pricing for VPS hosting can start as little as $2-$5 per month and rarely exceeds over $40-$50 a month, though the industry standard is normally around $30 a month. Considering that the cheapest dedicated server hosting options start at around $60 a month, VPS hosting is usually the more economical choice compared to dedicated hosting.
Even though shared hosting is a cheaper option, performance on shared servers is typically variable, which can hurt your business by affecting website traffic. So while shared hosting is cheaper, it may be better for your business revenue in the long run to rent VPS hosting.
Which Is the Best VPS Hosting?
The “best” VPS option depends on your specific needs so there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
If you run a small business and don’t know much about web hosting, then your best bet would be to go for a cheaper managed plan so the experts can take care of server maintenance. If you have some technical expertise, you can go for a larger unmanaged VPS you can handle on your own.
How Much Does VPS Hosting Cost?
VPS hosting options are usually more expensive than shared hosting but cheaper than dedicated hosting. The cheapest VPS hosting plans can start as low as $2 a month but normally fall into the $7-$10 a month range.
Normally, monthly VPS plans give you access to your own virtual server and a determinate amount of bandwidth which you can upgrade by paying more. For instance, a basic hosting package from a VPS company may initially give you 500GB of bandwidth with the option to upgrade to 10TB or unlimited bandwidth down the road.
Are There Any Free VPS Hosts?
There are some high-quality free/cheap VPS hosting options, but these normally are not 100% free. While it may be free to set up a server, these kinds of companies usually charge users for extra bandwidth and put a hard cap on performance unless you buy add ons.
Unless you are running an extremely small site that does not see much traffic, your best bet will be to go with a more reputable company that charges a flat rate and won’t force you to pay for upgrades.
Do I Need VPS Hosting?
It depends on the size of your company. Most people consider VPs hosting the natural progression from shared hosting. As your internet business grows, at some point shared hosting won’t be able to cut it and you’ll need more computing resources.
In other words, the right time to switch to VPS hosting depends on site performance. If you have shared hosting and are getting so much traffic that your site performance is faltering, then it may be time to make the switch to VPS hosting. Here are some general criteria that help you know it’s time to make the switch:
- If you get at least 100-200 website visits a day.
- You notice increased website loading times or start to see more server downtimes.
- You start to see an increase in your bounce rate (bounce rate = percentage of people who leave your site after seeing only one page).
These criteria are just a general rule of thumb. If you have a particularly robust shared hosting plan, your site may be able to handle up to a few thousand site visitors a day. Also, other factors besides your type of hosting can affect website performance, such as layout, plugins, and OS configuration.
One Last Thought About Cheap VPS Hosts
So there you have it, 9 of the best cheap VPS hosting options of 2021. These hosting companies have been judged to provide some of the best quality economical plans for small to mid-sized businesses and web pages.
So, if you currently run shared hosting and notice frequent drops in performance, or you are looking for efficient hosting solutions that are cheaper than a dedicated server, give VPS hosting a try today.