Building and running your own website is easier now than it has ever been. With the release of HTML 5, many easy-to-use websites have started popping up focused on helping you build and maintain your website, and even help you register your domain and host your website’s server!
This is great for individuals or small businesses who need some professional-looking presence on the internet, but for anyone more serious about their website or for larger businesses who have much more rigid needs and expect much higher traffic, these solutions aren’t going to do the job.
In these cases, you’ll need to find a way to host the website yourself. Just a few years ago this meant either buying or renting a dedicated server and running everything yourself, which could be expensive and difficult. Luckily, VPS’ came around and now you can rent a share in a vps server where all the most difficult parts of website hosting are taken care of for you at now very affordable prices.
The Virtual Private Future
VPS’, unlike shared servers (a slightly older solution to the website hosting problem) provide you with a share of a server that has all the functionality of an actual server, allocating you exclusive usage of some of the server’s RAM, CPU, and storage.
This means that VPS function almost exactly the same as any remote server, but allows you to purchase far smaller amounts without losing out on functionality. Being aimed at the wider market, VPS usually includes some useful tools for building websites and helps with buying a domain making them a great way to host your site at any level of expertise.
Starting on the more expensive side, my first recommendation for a VPS would be Liquid Web. They are definitely not the most affordable option, but you pay a premium for a great service. Deciding to focus their business on providing value for money instead of just a low price, they easily give you the most bang for your buck in the market.
They provide a huge amount of customization for your server, including many Operating System choices and a host of web building tools where most VPS have a very limited set of options. They provide very powerful servers with extremely high bandwidth, allowing you to host a huge amount of data and traffic through your website.
Their main draw is that they provide a fully managed service, meaning they will actively detect and fix any service malfunctions or website crashes. This will often cost somewhere around $30 a month extra on top of your normal fee from other providers, meaning that this service can often end up cheaper than budget options.
Acting as almost a holistic host service, Hostgator offer a wide variety of different option, including domain hosting and a cloud service. Their VPS offering is also extremely impressive, and often considered best-in-class for unmanaged servers, providing up to 240GB storage and uncapped bandwidth to ensure that even decently demanding servers can run flawlessly on their service.
They provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee making it up there with the greats when it comes to reliability and provides plenty of early benefits such as a month of free transfers for new accounts and a 45-day money-back guarantee. They also provide heavy discounts for any customers who decide to opt for their 3-year plans, meaning that you can upgrade with some extras and get a brilliant service for a fair price.
Perhaps one of the most customizable services by way of their pricing model, Bluehost has some of the cheapest bare-bones plans on the market, with many options to add only the extras you need for your particular website. This service also comes with free domain and web building tools, providing extreme value for money at the lower end of the market.
Their hardware also makes the cut, providing SSD storage for faster service and powerful shares of CPU and RAM. They have a somewhat limited bandwidth limit without paying for extra and the actual amount of storage you get is very low, but if you’re aiming for a budget VPS it is very likely you are running a smaller site that won’t take advantage of higher limits anyway.
Hostwinds has decided to try and appeal to the largest market possible, providing a huge amount of customization with both its pricing and its service. They provide many managed and unmanaged plans at a huge range of prices for exactly how powerful and what type of server you would like. Their basic plan is extremely weak, but their other plans are quite impressive for the price.
The main draw to Hostwinds is definitely the option to pay a small premium to have your server run one of the Windows Server operating systems. This is quite unique for a VPS, especially one at a mid-low price point. This saves a lot of hassle for those who are used to running windows servers and now want to run their own site, which is a market that houses a surprising amount of punters.
It is easier than ever now to run your own website and it is getting easier by the year. VPS has broken one of the greatest boundaries stopping small businesses from achieving their full potential online. Any of these services will end up cheaper than hiring a web technician or buying your own server, and they offer more than enough extras to help anyone start a website.