7 Best VPS Hosting in 2020: Which Providers Present Perfection?

VPS hosting is a popular form of hosting available for purchase online, though it’s not as common as shared web hosting.

I’ll explain what VPS means soon, but the short version is that it’s higher quality and also more expensive than entry-level web hosting, but not as intense as the most premium hosting.

VPS hosting is great for hosting experiments and websites that need to deal with a lot of traffic or consume a lot of resources. It’s great for stability and performance.

If you’re running a business, or need hosting for big projects online, then you need to know what the best VPS hosting is.

So in this review, I’ll describe the 7 best VPS hosting providers around, with a run-down of their key features and pros and cons.

While this list won’t be perfectly accurate for everyone—your own circumstance and preferences could change the order—it should be accurate in its order for most people.

So let’s get into it. First, a look at the best VPS providers I’m examining:

The short list: 7 Best VPS

These are the best VPS hosting providers:

The detailed list: the 7 best VPS providers:

1. Bluehost

best VPS-bluehost

Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting providers around, competing with the likes of GoDaddy, for example.

As such a mainstream option, most of the attention goes to Bluehost’s shared hosting plans, but it’s VPS options are no slouch.

In fact, they’re good for a similar reason Bluehost’s shared plans are enjoyed:

Bluehost is straightforward, affordable, and works well.

Its performance is a mixed bag: it’s on the slower side, but the uptime is usually very high.

Uptime is consistently good long term, with most months being 100% and the few that aren’t being above 99.95%. Over the last 8 months, uptime has been 99.965%.

However, the last few months, it’s dipped a bit.

And the response times from the last 8 months have been slower, around 870ms. Recently, they’ve been even slower.

Features:

  • 2 cores, 30GB of SSD storage, 2GB of RAM, and 1TB of bandwidth in the first tier; 4 cores, 120GB storage, 8 GB RAM, and 3TB bandwidth in third tier.
  • Second and third tiers have 2 IP addresses
  • Free domain for a year included, and free SSL
  • Panels and control centers for: managing other hosting services in one account and regulating who has access to aspects of account
  • Custom-designed database manager

Pros

  • Very straightforward and easy to use, as Bluehost is known for
  • Prices start low and are generally affordable
  • All the basics of virtual server management are there
  • Long-term, uptime is consistently good.

Cons

  • Lacks very advanced server management tools
  • No email features included
  • Response time has been slow the last 3 months at1003ms
  • Lately (since the beginning of the year), the uptime has been a little lower, at 99.944%

2. GreenGeeks

best vps-greengeeks

GreenGeeks is a pretty unique entrant on this list:

As an overall hosting company, GreenGeeks is one of the best around, and it’s very eco-friendly. Overall, GreenGeeks has solid VPS plans: they’re well-equipped and perform well.

However, they’re a bit pricey.

It’s worth noting that GreenGeeks, over the last 2 years of use, has been near-perfect. However, there was a rare outage that brought down the uptime for 2 days in March, which has skewed the average score.

Every day outside of those 2 days in March, for the last 8 months, has had 100% uptime.

Features:

  • For every amp used to power your account, GreenGeeks matches 3x that amount in the form of renewable energy buybacks/credits
  • Starts with 4 cores, 50GB SSD storage, 10TB of bandwidth, 2GB of RAM; third tier has 6 cores, 150GB storage, 10TB of bandwidth, and 8GB of RAM
  • Managed support for VPS (read more about the scope here)
  • Free SSL certificates and website transfers
  • Blacklist free-IPs: GreenGeeks scans IPs before issuing them to customers, to ensure they’re not on any blacklists

Pros

  • Setup is very fast, and the VPS can be ready for use within a minute of order confirmation.
  • The eco-friendly nature of GreenGeeks lets you know your investment is going to a good cause
  • Very generous allotments of resources
  • The semi-managed support means that you can leave tasks you’re unsure of to GreenGeeks staff
  • In general, excellent uptime (with the exception of a couple days in March)
  • Additionally, very good response times

Cons

  • Pricing is high, although it’s proportionate to resources
  • First tier may have too many resources/be wasted on those with simpler needs
  • No email storage included, which wouldn’t be bad if the prices weren’t high

3. DreamHost

best vps-dreamhost

As far as hosting companies go, DreamHost is one of the industry’s veterans. It’s been around since 1996, and has powered well over a MILLION websites.

DreamHost is particularly popular for its shared hosting plans and friendliness with WordPress. However, its VPS plans are also pretty good.

The short version is that they’re affordable and well-featured…but do not perform that well.

DreamHost’s monthly uptime has often dipped below 99.9%, and the last few months has been closer to 99.6%.

That being said, it’s reliable enough that it’s a good option if you are prioritizing value.

Features:

  • First tier comes with 1GB of RAM and 30GB SSD storage; fourth tier has 8GB RAM, 240GB storage.
  • All tiers have unmetered bandwidth and unlimited traffic.
  • 1-click install WordPress on all plans.
  • Free SSL and unlimited emails.
  • US-based VPS

Pros

  • Wide range of pricing plans, which can accommodate high-buyers or those who want to save
  • Option of paying monthly, up-front for a year, or up-front for 3 years, which is rare in hosting
  • In particular, the first tier is one of the most affordable VPS plans around relative to resources
  • In general, very generous with storage, not to mention bandwidth
  • Offers unlimited email at a low price point

Cons

  • Although the performance more recently has been better, long-term DreamHost’s uptime isn’t that impressive.
  • Historically high response times (meaning, it’s slow).
  • Highest tier only has 8GB of RAM max, which isn’t a high maximum

4. GoDaddy

best vps-godaddy

GoDaddy is also an industry veteran—but it may just be the biggest name in consumer web hosting.

Like DreamHost, GoDaddy is known for its web hosting plans, but with a reputation for being affordable and also charging high renewal fees.

But it’s VPS plans are also worth their own look. They primarily offer a solid range of prices, including a very cheap first tier, and solid performance.

GoDaddy has had consistently fast response times: in the last 8 months, the overall response time has averaged out at 450ms.

Additionally, overall GoDaddy has had great uptime, with 2018-2019 uptime being at 99.99% overall. Most months were either 100% or 99.99%.

The main drawbacks to GoDaddy’s VPS plans are the extra money GoDaddy tries to suck out of you.

Features:

  • Starts with 1 core, 1GB RAM, 20GB of SSD storage; the highest level has 8 cores, 32GB RAM, and 400GB of SSD storage.
  • Unlimited hosting accounts with different control panel choices
  • Fully managed plans are available
  • Weekly backups with performance monitoring
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

Pros

  • Probably the cheapest starting options here: $4.99 a month for 1 core
  • Wide range of options in terms of price, number of cores, RAM, and storage
  • Great uptime
  • Consistently fast response times
  • Advanced DDoS protection, plus SSL is included, as well as weekly backups
  • Ability to make more accounts makes it great for servicing clients

Cons

  • Just about any help installing or setting up will come at a price
  • Doesn’t aim towards ease of use
  • Only one dedicated IP, even with the higher-tier plans
  • Fully managed plan are expensive, starting at $100 a month

5. InMotion

best vps-inmotion

InMotion is an older-looking provider that’s been around since 2001.

Unlike such giants as GoDaddy or Bluehost, InMotion has focused on retaining a smaller, but strong and consistent base of customers.

It has some interesting VPS options that make it attractive: basically, there are two types (as you can see in the image above).

The managed VPS hosting means InMotion’s staff will handle the mechanics for you, giving you the power of VPS without the hassle.

The self-managed VPS is more in line with other options here, but can be very affordable. Unfortunately…

InMotion’s uptime is not super impressive. For most of 2019, the uptime of a given month would be 99.8% or below. The average uptime of the last 8 months is 99.66%, which is not great.

Luckily, the response times are better. Overall the response time of a given month will be in the mid-500s. The last 8 months have averaged 523ms, which is pretty fast.

Features:

  • Managed and self-managed VPS plans; however, the self-managed VPS plans are cloud VPS (meaning multiple servers are used for your virtual server, not just one server).
  • Managed plans have 4-8GB of RAM, 75-260GB of storage, and 4-6TB of bandwidth.
  • Self-managed plans have 1-32GB RAM, 25-640GB SSD storage, 1-7TB of bandwidth
  • Managed plans let you choose your data center location, have free site migrations, and include unlimited email, websites, and parked domains.
  • Self-managed VPS plans come with support for many coding languages, OS choices, and are fairly configurable at point of order.

Pros

  • Has cloud VPS plans, which are highly scalable
  • Wide range of plans and prices, perhaps the widest range, including some of the most affordable plans around (starting at $5 for self-managed)
  • Consistently fast response times
  • The self-managed plans are designed with developers working on applications in mind
  • 90-day money-back guarantee (for the managed VPS plans)
  • The managed plans include one-click installs for WordPress and other CMS, plus a drag-and-drop page builder from BoldGrid.

Cons

  • No non-cloud, self-managed VPS plans
  • Uptime has historically been a bit shoddy
  • OS options do not include Windows, only Linux distros

6. Liquid Web

best vps-liquid web

Liquid Web is one of them more unique names on this list:

Liquid Web only does high-quality, managed hosting solutions. As such we’re ONLY looking at a managed VPS solution here—keep that in mind.

Unsurprisingly, Liquid Web can be expensive—but in general its price range is within that of normal self-managed VPS plans, meaning the prices are pretty good when you take into account that they’re managed solutions.

In terms of performance, Liquid Web has been consistently solid, with perfect or near-perfect uptime. In terms of response time, it’s good but not that exceptional.

Its flaws are relatively minor: Liquid Web is a very solid option. Read more about Liquid Web in general here.

Features:

  • Starts with 2 cores, 2GB of RAM, 40GB of SSD storage, and 10 TB of bandwidth; ends with 8 cores, 16GB RAM, 200 GB storage, and 10 TB bandwidth
  • Plesk, cPanel, and InterWorx available as choices of control panel
  • CloudFlare CDN (which boosts performance)
  • In addition to DDoS protection, other security features (including a firewall, backup space, and other proprietary security tools)
  • This VPS is also cloud VPS

Pros

  • Prices aren’t too bad for the starting Linux plans, considering they’re managed
  • More security features than average
  • Several control panel options
  • Additional 100GB of backup space included for free
  • Generous bandwidth allotments: 10TB on all plans

Cons

  • This is obvious, but no self-managed options
  • Windows plans start out MUCH pricier than Linux plans: $54 a month vs. $15

7. SiteGround

best vps-siteground

To be clear, SiteGround technically does not have a VPS plan—instead, it has a cloud plan.

The main difference is this:

VPS means a single server is virtually divided. Cloud hosting means you sort of get a virtual server…but based on multiple servers spread over the cloud.

You can read more about the difference here.

Many platforms offer cloud hosting, but SiteGround is particularly good and fits well with the other options here.

In general, SiteGround has a lot going for it: it’s got solid features and can be scaled up. It’s especially great for people running online businesses.

It’s also easy to use, which means you lose some of the complexity, and a bit pricey.

From May 2018 to the present, SiteGround has consistently had very high uptime. Any given month would be 100% or 99.99%, with one or two exceptions.

SiteGround used to be slower in terms of response times, hitting the 1,000-1,200ms marks in the summer of 2019.

But since then it’s gone back to being a very speedy service, averaging 513ms in the last 8 months.

Features:

  • Starts with 2 cores, 4GB RAM, 40GB of SSD storage, and 5TB of bandwidth; highest tier has 8 cores, 10GB RAM, 120GB storage, and 5TB of bandwidth
  • Autoscale option lets you automatically add resources if traffic spikes, and you can easily add more RAM or CPU (cores)
  • Constant security systems, and security experts who will apply updates as needed
  • Sub-accounts: create an unlimited number of hosting accounts for clients with their own separate control panels
  • Service is fully managed

Pros

  • Good for people managing clients’ sites
  • Being fully managed means it’s easy to use
  • Extra scalable because of the cloud
  • Configurable plans
  • Great uptime
  • Very good response time recently

Cons

  • High price range: entry-level plan is $80 a month
  • Some other plans here have options with more RAM, storage, or bandwidth
  • As it’s managed and cloud-based, less access to server specifics or similarly advanced controls.

What is VPS Hosting?

Although VPS hosting (also referred to as just “VPS”) sounds scary, it’s actually fairly simple.

VPS stands for virtual private server.

A server, as you probably know, is basically a powerful computer that has the resources needed to support things online.

Choosing a type of hosting mostly means choosing how much of a server’s resources you want.

Although there are nuances, there are usually 3 basic options when it comes to picking hosting: shared web hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers.

Shared hosting is what it sounds like: a bunch of people pay a lower amount to share the resources of a server.

This means performance is a bit more limited, but it’s more efficient if your project is smaller in scope. And, it’s great for beginners.

You can read more about the best web hosting options here.

A dedicated server is the exact opposite: like the name sounds, you pay a premium price to get an entire server just for yourself.

It means top tier performance and storage, but also requires more technical knowledge.

Virtual private servers are the middle ground: servers are partitioned and you get your own dedicated ‘slice’ of a server, so to speak.

This means it has the best of both worlds: it’s more affordable than dedicated hosting because the server itself is being shared, but your part of the server is dedicated entirely to you, which you can’t get in shared hosting.

While it’s more advanced than shared hosting, it’s also less demanding of your knowledge than dedicated servers.

To use a common analogy: shared hosting is like renting a cheap apartment, dedicated hosting is like owning a house, and VPS is like owning a large apartment or renting a small home.

You can read a more detailed explanation of VPS here.

With that cleared up, let’s start measuring up our competitors.

RAM CPU Bandwidth Space Uptime
Bluehost 2GB 2 1TB 30GB 99.96%
GreenGeeks 2GB 4 10TB 50GB 98.97%
DreamHost 1GB Unlimited 30GB 100%
GoDaddy 1GB 1 1TB Unlimited 99.97%
InMotion 4GB 46 4TB 75GB 99.83%
Liquid Web 2GB 2 10TB 40GB

How do I choose the best VPS?

It should go without saying that the best VPS option isn’t something I can simply declare for you. Your specific circumstances are key.

However, there are some general points that everyone should consider:

First, performance—mostly uptime and response time.

For most people seeking VPS solutions, top-tier uptime and response times are a key point, one of the biggest draw-ins about VPS.

That should definitely be a priority for most of you: after all, VPS DOES cost more than shared hosting, and part of that is because of the better uptime.

Another thing is the guarantee of resources. For most people, VPS plans have a perfectly adequate range of resources, but it’s always good to be aware of what you need guaranteed.

Yet another key thing is scalability.

If your business grows, if you start getting a lot more traffic, will your provider let you upgrade without hassle, or for reasonable prices?

Most VPS providers allow the ability to easily scale-up, as it’s one of the main appeals of this type of hosting. However, it may be worth investigating some of the cloud-based options here further if growth is on your horizon.

Support is another key factor. VPS is a naturally more complicated type of hosting.

That’s why a lot of platforms, including many of the options here, offer fully-managed or semi-managed (GreenGeeks) approaches.

Even if you are an expert and can do self-managed VPS, you want to make sure there are proper resources available. Luckily, all the options here do well in that regard.

Lastly, price still matters. Generally speaking, people purchasing VPS plans are willing to invest money for a quality hosting product.

That said, they still would not want to pay for a dedicated server, and most would prefer to save money IF they can still guarantee quality.

So while VPS can still be an investment, especially if you need a lot of storage, or the ability to scale, or manage VPS, be realistic about what it’s worth to you!

Conclusion

To sum up…these are the best VPS hosting providers!

Each one provides their own unique combination of power (resources and scalability), performance, price, and even ease of use.

It’s on you to determine what’s most important to you in a VPS provider.

If you’re an expert, you can probably afford to choose less expensive options that are still powerful and have lots of features, like InMotion or GoDaddy.

If you need managed solutions that still retain power and can scale up quickly, Liquid Web and SiteGround are great.

And even our earlier options are solid: Bluehost’s VPS isn’t managed but has simple and straightforward interfaces, and GreenGeeks is overall powerful with an appeal to your conscience.

So the best VPS for you is on you—but it’s likely one of these providers.

And remember…most of these options have at least a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you’re not sure, you can just try it yourself.

Happy hosting!

Frequently Asked Questions:


Why is VPS so expensive?

Shared hosting is cheap because multiple pay to share a server. But the underlying assumption is that such users won’t actually use that many resources.

VPS guarantees large amounts of resources, so it costs a premium to reserve that amount.


Why should I use VPS?

You should use VPS hosting if you need to guarantee stability and a certain amount of space.

If you’re running a business or online store, or have a high volume of traffic, VPS is great.

VPS is also good if you anticipate your site growing, as VPS is structurally scalable.


What is the difference between VPS and dedicated servers?

Getting a dedicated server means getting a single server just for yourself.

VPS is the virtual reservation of parts of a server: it’s like having slices of a server that are reserved solely for you.


What are the benefits of VPS hosting?

VPS hosting provides some of the stability, performance, and security as dedicated hosting, but for a much lower cost.

It also allows more tinkering from the customer than shared hosting.

Additionally, as I’ve said, it’s very scalable if additional resources are needed quickly.


Is VPS faster than shared hosting?

As a general rule, VPS is faster than shared hosting. There can be exceptions, however:

If you get the lowest-end VPS plan, without any augmentations, it could be slower than the highest shared hosting plan with tweaks.

But as even low-end VPS plans tend to be faster than expensive shared plans.


Is cloud hosting cheaper than VPS?

VPS and cloud hosting have similar price ranges. However, I more often see VPS prices start lower than cloud hosting prices.

Additionally, many cloud hosting plans are pay-as-you-go, while many VPS plans are prepaid for a portion of time—though again, it depends on the provider.


Which VPS hosting provider is best for small businesses?

Liquid Web and InMotion are good for businesses because they offer affordable managed VPS plans, giving you the power of VPS without the technical burden.

If your small business has an expert (or if you are the expert), then you can probably choose GoDaddy or InMotion, as they offer a wide range of self-managed plans that give you a good combination of low-price and power.