A VPS of Virtual Private Server is like a mini dedicated server. You have all the features of a dedicated server, such as root access, WHM, ability to host multiple websites, ability to modify your server environment to suit your needs. The only difference is that you are actually sharing space on one server with other vps servers. However, everything is separated so essentially it really is just like your own dedicated server just generally smaller and less expensive.
VPS servers are a great bridge between shared hosting and a dedicated server. For example if you want to host a small forum or your blog is starting to get significant traffic you might be taking up too many resources for your shared hosting. Also if you want to install some sort of mailing script or autoresponder software you might find your shared hosting has limitations.
I use 3 separate companies for my VPS servers. Why? Because I never like to put all my eggs in one basket. It is very tempting to do so if you find a host you like because you are “comfortable” with that provider. My advice is to get uncomfortable and research other hosts. A great resource for researching web hosting is the forum Webhostingtalk.
I have used both Servint and Liquid Web and my VPS hosting providers for many years. Servint was the absolute gold standard in hosting. Unbelievable service. Do you have a highly complex issue to solve at 3 am? Their super competent techs were on it in record speed. They blew me away with their fantastic service for over 10 years.
Then something happened. I had to move to an upgraded server. Usually this process was done smoothly and professionally. I had no worries. After all they had been giving me superb service for over 10 years. Then everything fell apart. They did not deliver the server with the specs that sales told me, the server was not set up correctly and the tech department was completely dropping the ball.
When I contacted them through chat (phone support was taken off) I asked “what happened to the old Servint.” They flat out told me not to expect the same level of service I had been getting. Wow! I was shocked. It went down hill from there. They double billed me, over billed me, lied to me multiple times and never set up the server properly. Servint had been taken over by new management and everyone including the employees are complaining. They went from being one of the best hosting companies with a stellar reputation to being borderline criminal.
Now for the good news. I am with a new company called Inmotionhosting. The service and server is excellent. I chose the VPS 1000 Package with 4 gigs of RAM and free cpanel and WHM. Truly a great deal. Prices have been coming down on VPS hosting and this is to our advantage. A package like this would easily have cost $100. per month a few years ago.
Sign up was easy and swift. They delivered the server almost immediately. They have excellent chat support which is available all the time. I chatted with sales, then with support on a Sunday morning then called and talked to a real person to phone confirm my order.
Inmotion Hosting phone confirms all orders to avoid fraud which is totally understandable.
I had a few technical issues when first getting the server going which is usually the case. I just opened up a support ticket and highly competent techs were there to help me.
Now the server is running smoothly and I probably will not have to contact support for months. However, I know there are there 24/7 to help me which gives me peace of mind.
Inmotionhosting offers a 30 money back guarantee and they mean it. I was so happy with them I broke my rule. I ordered an additional hosting package from them after I set up the VPS. I have some small websites that I host for other people and I had them on a Liquid Web server costing me $100. per month! Ouch. I purchased a reseller hosting package from Inmotionhosting.
What attracted me to this package was that it included free WHMCS hosting billing software. This is software that completely automates billing and account set up for selling web hosting packages. A huge time saver! I wanted to learn this software and I was saving $75 per month from my Liquid Web VPS.
I signed up and the billing and delivery process was as smooth as ever. Again, I phone confirmed with a knowledgable staff member. However, I noticed that with the reseller hosting I did not have nearly the control over the server that I had with all my other VPS servers.
For example WHM has a system where you can automatically transfer accounts from your old Cpanel server to your new one. This is a huge time saver because otherwise you have to manually set up each account and database. With reseller hosting this feature was not in the WHM. I had about 40 accounts to move.
I realized that I really needed a vps and if I wanted the WHMCS software I could get it separately for just $15. per month. I decided to cancel the order. I contacted billing through chat and they did not give me one bit of problem. I explained the situation and they put through the cancellation and refund in short order.
Not every hosting company does this. Some will try to make you pay if you somehow ordered the wrong package. I really appreciate this flexibility with Inmotionhosting. You know that you can order from them in confidence and if you make a mistake it will not cost you. Great company.
Inmotionhosting has excellent reviews in Webhostingtalk and this is how I found them. I always check this forum before choosing a web host and look for real reviews and recent reviews.
If you look for reviews for Servint hosting you will find many glowing reviews including mine! But look at the dates. They are all about 1 year old or older. The recent reviews are terrible. That is why it is important to look at recent reviews
Another highly reputed hosting company on Webhostingtalk is Knownhost. I decided that I needed another VPS for my web hosting clients because I needed the full server control that is not available with reseller hosting. I could have easily ordered another VPS with Inmotionhosting. However, remember the Servint story? Unfortunately companies get bought out and management can change and that is why I have the rule never to put all my eggs in one basket.
The reviews were great for Knownhost and I noticed a popular blog Shoutmeloud just switched to them so I thought I would dive in an order a VPS from Knownhost.
Here are some of their VPS packages.
I chose the VPS 2 with 2.25 gigs of RAM. There is a coupon code right on the order page which gives you a 15% lifetime discount on the package and all future upgrades. Cpanel and WHM control panel costs another $5. per month. After the discounts and with the cpanel I am paying extra for the price is $34. for essentially my own mini dedicated server with 2.25 gigs of RAM.
The Inmotionhosting VPS is costing me $27.49 per month for 4 gigs or RAM and cpanel so it is definitely the better deal but the Knownhost VPS is still a bargain.
I did not chat with anybody before ordering with Knownhost. I just ordered directly from the website and they automatically sent me my hosting, ftp, nameserver details. It was an instant and very smooth process. And yes the server was set up just right immediately. Not bad! Take note Servint which could not set up a VPS after 1 month of trying!
I immediately started setting my my server to my specifications. Everything worked except there were a few technical issues I had questions on. I opened a ticket and Jeremy a highly competent tech supervisor responded completely and promptly to my issues. Maybe all those top techs from Servint of old have moved to Knownhost? I had the same feeling of competence from Jeremy as I used to with the former good Servint.
I just discovered that for just $5. per month I can get the same WHMCS web hosting billing software that Inmotionhosting offered with it’s reseller plan. So for just $5. more I can have a full VPS with web hosting billing software. Nice!
I have just started setting up the Knownhost server and it is working fine. I will keep you posted as the months pass. So far a big thumbs up for Knownhost!
I have been with Futurehost for a number of years. I actually have a real dedicated server with them not a VPS. I have a full dedicated server with 16 gigs of RAM for $149. per month which is a very good deal for me. I needed this for my classified ad site and then forum www.thefreeadforum.com which is a very busy site that takes quite a bit of resources.
The server has been running smoothly for years. The tech is support is very competent though I rarely need them. At first when I used their tech support it seemed like I was dealing with lower level techs who eventually got the job done but this seems to have improved quite a bit. Overall a very good company.
Below you will find the various Futurehost VPS packages. I can testify that they have kept my classified ad sites up and going for a number of years and so far have been quite a reliable company. They certainly are a viable option for your VPS or even dedicated hosting needs.
What about Liquid Web? This is a fantastic company. They have incredible service, the best in the business. If you have a multi million dollar website certainly consider Liquid Web. Their servers are managed and the best tech support in the business is available 24/7. So if Liquid Web is so great (and they are) why am I leaving them? They are very expensive. Here are some of their VPS packages:
For only 2 gigs of RAM prices start at $79. per month. But wait there is more. You need to pay another $10. per month for cpanel. So now you are up to $90 per month for a VPS with 2 gigs of RAM. This is a huge leap from Inmotionhosting which gives you 4 gigs of RAM cpanel included for $30. per month.
You get what you pay for? Well hold on. The server and support for Inmotionhosting is fantastic. I am really not seeing any difference between the great support of Inmotionhosting and Liquid Web. Actually the VPS works much better than the one I have with Liquid Web because it is more up to date and has more RAM.
To be fair I have had the VPS with Liquid Web for years and needs to be updated. But bottom line competition is stiffer and other VPS hosting providers are providing great server and products for less. I cannot justify paying an additional $60-$70 per month for inferior Liquid Web servers.
If I had a multi million dollar website and simply wanted the best and I was willing to pay for it I would surely consider Liquid Web. They have a top notch reputation (they actually host and run Webhostingtalk) but for my VPS needs they simply are no longer competitive.
This is my take on my web hosting journey. If you have other VPS providers you would like to add or comments please let me know if the comments section. Thank you. Matt.
P.S. What if you just have a simple website which does not get thousands of visitors or use high resource consuming databases and scripts? Should you get a VPS? Probably not. If you just have one website or blog and you are just starting out a shared hosting plan can work just fine for you and is much less expensive. When your business grows you can upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server. If you just want to get your own domain name and hosting you can do so with www.quickregister.us or here with Blue Host. If you get the deal with Blue Host I will even set up your wordpress blog for free. See here for details.
Update: I am now also experimenting with another excellent VPS hosting company which also offers windows servers called IOZoom. Windows servers are great for running software 24/7 like the software we offer at www.coolmarketingsoftware.com.
This is a great option for those who want to run windows applications but have a MAC or even XP which is now not supported by Microsoft. You can lease a Windows VPS from IOZOOM for just $10. per month and access using a remote connection direct from your MAC or any windows computer. You can set up your programs get them running then turn off your computer. The windows server will then keep running your programs 24/7 even if the computer you work on is off.
I have a Linux server with Iozoom which works great and I will be experimenting with the Windows server soon.