Sometimes shared hosting is just not enough, you need to scale your project but don't want to lose all life savings on it.
If that's the case, you need a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. A perfect middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated servers.
But you probably saw terms like Managed and Unmanaged attached to this type of hosting. You might be a bit unsure of what exactly does it mean, don't worry you're not alone.
Let's look at what is different between these two types of VPS:
Unmanaged - it's the cheaper option and you get root access to the server, but nearly all of the technical responsibility is left to you. You're responsible for updates, security, performance, and troubleshooting.
It's a way to save money with your hosting, but only if you, or your team, are tech-savvy enough.
Managed - you pay more for your hosting, but can relax and focus on your content. You get a professional team of system admins to look after your server - updating, fixing bugs and increasing securing.
Instead of wasting hours looking for tutorials online, you can concentrate on making money from your content. And your server will always be in the best possible condition.
Let's get something out of the way, managed VPS hosting will always be more expensive than unmanaged one.
But unmanaged VPS will require more work from you and leaves a lot of room for errors.
I'll be focusing only on managed VPS in this article. They allow users of any technical skillset to set up and run their own powerful websites, so for most people managed hosting will be the best option.
With that out of way, let's move on to the best of the best list.
Best Managed VPS Solution for Your Budget - FAQ
I’ll highlight seven of the best managed VPS solutions for individuals and businesses on a tight budget. I've found a number of providers offering great plans for less than $100 per month.
Here are the 7 best affordable managed VPS hosting solutions:
- Bluehost - WordPress recommended provider
- HostGator - Managed VPS with free domain
- Scala Hosting - Balanced price and performance
- A2 Hosting - Fastest managed VPS
- Liquid Web - Hosting with free backups
- DreamHost - VPS with unlimited bandwidth
- InMotion - Hosting with free launch assist
Bluehost is the second most inexpensive managed VPS on this list but every plan comes with a lot of features. And Bluehost is even recommended by WordPress itself, so if you want to use this CMS, this provider can be a perfect choice.
You get a free domain name for the 1st year, of course, you do have to buy VPS for at least a year. And to make you feel a bit safer it offers a full 30-days money-back guarantee for every customer.
The Standard VPS plan costs $18.99 a month and includes 2 cores, 2GB of RAM, 30GB of SSD, 1 IP address, and 1TB of bandwidth. If you need more storage space, you can easily add it from the control panel. And it plans to introduce additional CPU and RAM integration later on.
The Ultimate VPS hosting plan costs $59.99 a month. It increases your hardware to 4 cores, 8GB of RAM, 3TB of bandwidth, and 120GB of SSD storage. Unfortunately, there is no unlimited storage space or bandwidth available with any plan.
With Bluehost, you get a free SSL certificate, guaranteed resources, and root access. You also can get additional security add-ons, like SiteLock and domain privacy protection.
The other advantage of Bluehost is that it makes it easy to get started with hosting a website or e-commerce store. The server comes with one-click installers for WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla. And because it's fully managed, you never have to worry about your website's infrastructure falling out of date.
Support here is available 24/7 by phone, email or live chat options. A standard knowledge base is also here, and you can even learn something and get help by using Bluehost webinars.
Bluehost offers affordable pricing with a free domain name and great security features. And even with managed hosting you still get root access to your server.
- Free SSL
- 30-day money-back
- Easy scalability
- No unlimited plans
HostGator is a powerful managed VPS solution that gives you full root access to your VPS server. That’s unusual among VPS providers and makes it an ideal choice for companies that need a high degree of customization and performance.
With HostGator, you get top of the line network and advanced server features. As well as a domain name for 1 year completely free, when you buy hosting for at least a year.
The pricing starts with the Snappy 2000 plan that costs $29.95 a month. You get 2GB of RAM, 120GB of storage space, 1.5TB of bandwidth, and 2 cores CPU. While you get quite a lot of storage space, it's important to know that this space is HDD and not SSD.
HDD can greatly increase the time it takes for your website to load the content. If you're a media-heavy website, like video portfolio or galleries, SSD will be especially useful to you.
The Snappy 8000 plan costs $49.95 a month and bumps the hardware to 8GB of RAM, 240 GB of storage space and 3TB of bandwidth. For your website's security, you get a free IP table firewall and centralized DDoS protection. Unfortunately, no plan features a free SSL certificate.
You can expect 24/7 customer support by phone, live chat, and emails. And if you want to solve problems yourself, you can use its knowledge base and more than 500 video tutorials for those who like more visual learning.
With easy scalability, you pay for what you actually use, and if you get more visitors you can scale up your hardware with just one click of a button. And for those who don't like to risk, HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.
HostGator offers powerful managed VPS with root access, great customer support, and a free domain name for a year.
- Full root access to your server
- Free domain name
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- HDD storage space
- No free SSL
Scala Hosting is a provider determined to bring the best VPS hosting for the best price, or as it puts it, the next step in hosting evolution. And in most regards, it succeeds in these goals.
If you already host a website somewhere else, Scala Hosting can transfer it completely hassle-free. And if you change your mind, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee available here, so you can have an extra grace period.
While some providers manage your server at certain times, this provider manages your VPS 24/7/365. Its admin teams will be responsible for fully setting up, configuring, securing and optimizing your server.
There are two ways of choosing a managed VPS at Scala Hosting - choose a plan or create your own server. If you want something already configured, there are 4 plans in total.
The Starter plan costs $12 a month for 2GB of RAM, 20GB storage space, 1 CPU, and daily remote backups. The Enterprise plan gives you 8GB of RAM, 80GB of storage space, and 6 CPU for $66 a month.
Now, if you want something custom you can add up to 24 cores to your server for an extra $139 a month. And up to 32GB of RAM for extra power and an additional $61/mo to the Starter $12 plan.
You also can add both extra SSD and HDD storage space to your server. For SSD, you can get up to 500GB for $96/mo, while HHD can go up to 2000GB for an extra $200 a month.
The best thing about Scala Hosting for me is the fact that there is no price increase for a shorter hosting period. The starter plan is $12/mo no matter if you choose the monthly or yearly billing term.
So for a really small price you get quite a powerful server, unfortunately, no domain name is included in these hosting plans.
But Scala Hosting also works as a domain registrar. You can find .com, .net, or .org TLD's for as low as $9.95 a month. And while it's not as big as some of the more popular registrars, it still offers quite the variety.
If you have some questions about hosting or billing, Scala Hosting customer support works 24/7. You can reach them by phone, live chat, or email system.
You can find powerful virtual private servers with enough customization and support. The best thing - prices are always the same no matter your hosting term.
- Daily remote backups
- 30-day money-back
- No unlimited SSD
A2 Hosting is a fast and reliable VPS provider. The service boasts a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer support. On top of that, A2 Hosting VPS plans come with the industry-standard cPanel server interface so there's no learning curve to get started.
Basic Power+ VPS hosting plans, starting at $25.00/mo, comes with 4 CPU cores. That makes A2 Hosting ideal for servers with a lot of traffic. Storage offerings are relatively competitive, starting at 75 GB with the first plan.
However, note that RAM can be somewhat limiting, as all plans include only 1 GB of RAM per CPU.
The most advanced option Pinnacle+ plan cost $50.00 a month, it includes 8 cores and 8GB of RAM, as well as 4 TB of bandwidth. The storage space is upgraded to 150GB, and all this space is SSD, so you can expect even faster loading time.
In addition, all A2 Hosting VPS servers come with a free SSL certificate and free SSH access to your server. However, there is not much in the way of advanced security features.
For those that are careful with their money, A2 Hosting offers a ridiculous Anytime money-back guarantee. For 30 days you can get a full refund for the money you spend, and if you want to cancel hosting later, you get a prorated refund of unused service.
A2 Hosting is probably most well known for its speed and 20x faster Turbo Boost option. This option combined with CloudFlare CDN gives you a significant loading time decrease. But of course, this option isn't free, and you have to add $11 a month to your VPS bill.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- 24/7 customer support
- Basic plans come with 4 CPUs
- Only 1 GB of RAM per CPU
Liquid Web offers fully managed VPS hosting and great customer support. There is a reason why its support is called The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting. And the company expanded quite a lot from the humble start in 1997.
It has 3 data centers around the globe, 2 in the United States of America and 1 in Amsterdam. With every plan at Liquid Web, you also get a free 100GB backup, to keep your content safe.
The first VPS option available costs $29/mo, it gives you 2vCPU's, 40GB of SSD storage, 10TB bandwidth, and CloudFlare CDN. There isn't a lot of customization options at the checkout, so don't expect to construct a VPS you want.
You can choose what control panel you would like to be installed, either Interworx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Pro. VPS with both Linux and Windows OS are available but do note that Windows plans are around 50% more expensive than Linux.
The most advance VPS you can get costs $129 a month, it gives you 8 vCPU's, 200GB of SSD, and 10 TB of bandwidth. As you can see the bandwidth here is capped at 10TB no matter what plan you choose.
Liquid Web takes care of your website, you get free local backups, integrated firewall, and Server Secure Advanced Security. So, your website will have both speed and security.
As for the 24/7 customer support, you can get help by Live chat, phone, tickets, and email options. Supports initial response is guaranteed within 59 seconds.
And there are different phone numbers for picking your plans, getting technical support, or reaching the sales team.
- Free 100GB backup
- CloudFlare CDN
- Great 24/7 customer support
- Capped bandwidth
You get a lot included with a DreamHost managed VPS plan. To start, DreamHost offers unlimited bandwidth and unlimited email messages at your domain. Even better, you can host an unlimited number of websites on your dedicated VPS server.
DreamHost plans start from $10.00 per month, this VPS Basic plan is limited to 1 GB of RAM and 30 GB of solid-state storage. However, you can scale up your storage limits and server RAM at very affordable rates as the website traffic grows.
For bigger projects, DreamHost offers VPS Enterprise plan that cost $80.00 a month. With this plan, you get 8GB of RAM and 240 SSD storage space. But apart from that, the plans are identical, so you should decide before buying hosting how much storage space and RAM you will need.
Even with the cheapest 10 dollar plan, you'll get a free SSL certificate, SSH access, one-click app installer, and password protection. No matter how much you spend you can rest assured that your website will be secure and protected.
Like the best managed VPS providers, DreamHost offers 24/7 support with every plan. However, DreamHost’s support responses are a bit slower than for other hosts. That said, DreamHost offers a 100% uptime guarantee for all of the sites it hosts.
The $10 price point is available only if you buy hosting for 3 years, if you want to buy a VPS for a month the price jumps to $15 for the Basic plan. So, if you want to save money we recommend choosing a longer period of hosting.
It’s worth noting that DreamHost uses a custom control panel for server management, rather than cPanel. The administrative features are largely on par with cPanel, although it can take some getting used to if you are switching from another host.
- Unlimited bandwidth and emails
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Plans scale at affordable rates
- No DDoS protection
- Custom control panel takes some getting used to
InMotion hosting strives to bring its customer great hosting for a great price, it offers extremely reliable managed Linux VPS hosting. It can offer competitive pricing, real-time redundancy, and 24/7 customer support by phone, Live chat, and emails.
The cheapest VPS hosting plan starts at $24.99 and includes 4GB of RAM, 75GB of SSD storage space and 4 TB of bandwidth. Every plan also includes completely free website migration and a free SSL certificate.
DDoS attack protection and a 90-day money-back guarantee are also included, so you won't have to blindly give your money away. And overall, the best managed VPS hosting should include security for both your money and the website itself.
If you want more power, you can choose the VPS-3000HA-S plan for $59.99 a month. It will upgrade your hardware to 8GB of RAM, 260GB of storage space, and 6TB of bandwidth.
Note that you can choose your data server for even better performance, there are two options available at the checkout - Los Angeles (West Coast) and Washington D.C (East Coast).
But you don't get any app installer for free here. If you want to have a Softaculous installer with over 440 different applications to install, you have to pay for it. Now, the price isn't too bad, $5 for a month or $50 a year, but this usually comes free with a lot of other providers.
With InMotion you also get free Launch Assist, this includes 2 hours of dedicated time with a T3 server administrator. You can use that time as you want to, setting server security, getting help creating emails, or changing hardware customization. If you're a bit less knowledgeable with servers, this can be a lifesaver, solving your problems and having an easy launch of your website.
- Free Launch Assist
- Multiple data centers
- Free website migration
- No unlimited storage available
- Softaculous is a paid add-on
Finding the Best Managed VPS Solution for Your Budget
Finding the best managed VPS solution on a budget comes down to finding a provider that offers the resources you need without any expensive extras.
All of the hosting providers I’ve covered offer competitive pricing for fully managed servers. But they each have different strengths:
- Bluehost has great VPS plans and is recommended by WordPress.
- HostGator offers managed VPS with a free domain for the first year.
- Scala Hosting offers the most balanced price and performance plans.
- A2 Hosting offers the best managed VPS with the ability to get Turbo Speed.
- Liquid Web gives you 100GB of backup space with every VPS plan.
- DreamHost gives you unlimited bandwidth and flexible plans.
- InMotion has a free launch assist, that helps you set up your server.
Did this guide help you find the best managed hosting solution for your website? Or maybe there's something else that you love to use? Let us know in the comments below!
Best Managed VPS Solution for Your Budget - FAQ
What Are the Cons of Managed VPS Hosting?
The biggest disadvantages of VPS hosting are price point and server control.
A VPS is more expensive than shared hosting (usually several times more) while also giving more features and resources. But you might not really need those features right now, and might not know how much hardware your website will need.
It also requires you to have more technical knowledge about hosting and servers. Most providers offer a cheaper unmanaged VPS option, but it requires you to be responsible for everything. You can go with managed VPS...
Of course, managed hosting will be more expensive than unmanaged. This can cost from an additional $10 to $300 a month, but you do basically hire people to look after your server.
How Does VPS Differ From Shared Hosting?
The main difference, when comparing these two options, is the recourses you're actually getting.
With shared hosting, a server is used (or shared) by a couple of hundred users at the same time. This means that someone else activity can cause your website to load slower.
Just like sharing an apartment with friends - not an ideal option, but way cheaper.
A Virtual Private Server, on the other hand, creates your personal virtual server inside a real one. This means you get more power and other users' actions won't affect your website. There's also more customization that is allowed with VPS, so you can configure it the way you want.
You can think of it as having an apartment in a building, you're still sharing somethings, but also get a lot more privacy.
What About Dedicated Servers, How Are They Different From VPS?
With dedicated servers, it's kind of a reverse situation. The main differences are how much isolation, security, and power you get.
A dedicated server is all yours, basically, you get an empty server that can just be used for your websites. It's the most powerful version of hosting, which is mostly meant for corporations or large projects.
While costing substantially more, dedicated servers give nearly the same features as VPS. So if you don't need too many resources and security, I would suggest sticking with a Virtual Private Server.
If we use the same analogy, a dedicated server is like buying an entire house. Everything is just for you and you can do whatever you want.
If I Have a Website With Shared Hosting Already, Can I Upgrade It to VPS?
Absolutely, most VPS providers offer free website transfer when you start hosting with them. This means that no matter where you host your site right now, all of your files and data will be transferred to the new VPS. And usually, you don't have to do anything, it's all done by the technical teams.
Some providers offer only paid options for this. If you need to transfer your website, I suggest making this feature a top priority when selecting providers.
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