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Best VPS hosting

We highlight the top VPS hosting service providers to help you decide which is best for your small business website. Discover more, and find out which is number one...

Are you a small business owner with a website that’s developed beyond the capabilities of shared hosting? Or are you running a startup with big ambitions from day one, and expecting high traffic to match? These are just two scenarios where VPS hosting could be perfect for your business.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This type of hosting can be thought of as a mid-way point between shared and dedicated hosting. Not only is it private, but it offers a virtual copy of the operating system. This provides more resources than shared hosting, without the price tag and management requirements of dedicated hosting.

However, with so many hosting providers to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a guide to the best VPS hosting providers to help make the process easier for you.

Our research was based around the five key areas that are considered essential for small businesses: help and support, features, value for money, disk space, and uptime performance. This helped us identify our top four VPS hosting providers for small businesses:

ProviderPriceGet it
InMotion$29.99 - $83.99 per monthGet InMotion

Bluehost£14.52 - £45.86 per monthGet Bluehost
HostGator$19.95 - $39.95+ per monthGet HostGator
A2 Hosting£19.27 - £38.54+ per monthGet A2 Hosting


InMotion: Best overall VPS hosting provider

inmotion logo
4.7
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

InMotion is a US-based web hosting provider. It offers a range of hosting services, including VPS hosting, as well as shared, dedicated, and WordPress solutions. And with InMotion stating that it received over 25,500 customer compliments in 2019, it must be doing something right. Not only this, but InMotion is number one it’s the best overall VPS provider.

Both managed VPS hosting and self-managed cloud VPS hosting are available. In this article, we’ve focused on InMotion’s managed VPS hosting service, as this is likely to be suitable for most small businesses. This is because it offers more resources than shared hosting, without needing the technical knowledge required for dedicated hosting. We go into more detail about the different types of VPS hosting in the specific section below.

InMotion offers a particularly strong range of features, such as optional root access and free backups. Although Windows servers aren’t available, the unlimited CPU cores across all plans are certainly welcome! Amounts of RAM and bandwidth will vary depending on your chosen plan, as will the number of dedicated IP addresses available. 

Disk space is another area in which InMotion shines: between 75GB and 260GB of storage is available, depending on the plan you choose.

On top of this, InMotion provides high quality help and support. It has an online support centre that features more than 5,000 articles and guides. As well as this, you can get help through 24/7 live chat and phone service, as well as ticketed support.

InMotion providers Linux VPS server hosting – Windows, unfortunately, isn’t available. Other areas in which InMotion could improve are its uptime performance 99.97% is good, but it could be better and the value for money it offers.

There are three managed VPS plans available:

PlanFeaturesPrice
VPS-1000- 4GB available RAM
- Three dedicated IP addresses
- 4TB bandwidth
- 75GB storage
$29.99 (£23.12) per month*

InMotion VPS pricing
VPS-2000- 6GB available RAM
- Four dedicated IP addresses
- 5TB bandwidth
- 150GB storage
$44.99 (£34.69) per month*

InMotion VPS pricing


VPS-3000- 8GB available RAM
- Five dedicated IP addresses
- 6TB bandwidth
- 260GB storage
$83.99 (£64.76) per month*

InMotion VPS pricing

Note that InMotion offers a 30-day money back guarantee. 

*based on USD to GBP currency conversion at time of writing

All plans offer:

  • Free domains with all 6-month and 12-month plans
  • Multiple allowed domains/websites
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Comprehensive support
  • Unlimited CPU cores
  • Optional root access
  • SSL certificates 
  • 99.97% uptime
  • Free backups

InMotion pros

  • Unlimited CPU cores on all plans
  • Generous number of dedicated IP addresses and amount of bandwidth available
  • 260GB storage on top plan the most of any provider featured

InMotion cons

  • No Windows server option
  • Uptime is good, but could be better
  • Could offer more value for money


Bluehost: Best for features

4.3
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

Founded in 2003, and part of the Endurance International Group since 2010, Bluehost offers a range of web solutions. This includes an array of different hosting options, as well as domains, emails, and more. It has partnered with WordPress for more than 10 years, and hires internal experts specifically for WordPress. 

Bluehost scored highly in our research for its features. This includes root access, free backups, and the ability to have unlimited email accounts, no matter which plan you’re on. It offers a free domain, and there aren’t any restrictions on the number of allowed domains/websites on any of its plans. 

At 99.98%, Bluehost offers strong uptime performance. This is better than InMotion, but lower than HostGator. An area in which Bluehost could really improve in is disk space with only 30GB available on its Standard plan, this is the lowest amount of storage available when compared to other providers’ offerings at a similar level. 

That being said, Bluehost is another top performer when it comes to help and support. There are plenty of online help resources available, as well as 24/7 live chat, a 24/7 phone line, and ticket-based support.

Although Windows isn’t available, Bluehost offers solid Linux VPS server hosting. 

You can choose from three VPS hosting plans:

PlanFeaturesPrice
Standard- 2GB available RAM
- Two CPU cores
- One dedicated IP address
- 1TB bandwidth
- 30GB storage
£14.52 per month

Bluehost VPS pricing
Enhanced- 4GB available RAM
- Two CPU cores
- Two dedicated IP addresses
- 2TB bandwidth
- 60GB storage
£22.92 per month

Bluehost VPS pricing
Ultimate- 8GB available RAM
- Four CPU cores
- Two dedicated IP addresses
- 3TB bandwidth
- 120GB storage
£45.86 per month

Bluehost VPS pricing

A 30-day money back guarantee is available. 

All plans include:

  • Unlimited allowed domains/websites
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • SSL certificates
  • 99.98% uptime 
  • Free backups
  • Root access
  • Free domain

Bluehost pros

  • Unlimited allowed domains/websites across all plans
  • Free domain
  • Strong uptime

Bluehost cons

  • No Windows server option
  • Lowest disk space score out of all four providers


HostGator: Best for disk space

Hostgator
4.2
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

HostGator was founded in 2002, and has its headquarters in Texas. 

Disk space is a clear strength, with HostGator providing a very generous amount of storage across all plans. The lowest tier Snappy 2000 includes 120GB, which is equal to the highest amount of storage on offer from Bluehost. In contrast, HostGator’s maximum available storage is 240GB, which is included on the Snappy 8000 plan.

With 99.99% uptime performance, HostGator leads the way out of the four providers showcased in this article. 

However, this all comes at a cost literally since HostGator scored the lowest in the value for money category out of the four providers. If budget is your main concern, then other providers may be more suitable. 

HostGator is another provider that excels with its help and support offering. It has an online support portal, as well as video tutorials. 24/7 live chat and 24/7 phone support are also available, as well as a ticket system.

Note that phone support is temporarily only available 8am-9pm EST, although 24/7 chat agent support is still available as normal.

Although Windows isn’t an option, HostGator uses Linux VPS server hosting. 

There are three plans for VPS hosting available:

PlanFeaturesPrice
Snappy 2000- 2GB available RAM
- Two CPU cores
- 1.5TB bandwidth
- 120GB storage
Starting price: $19.95 (£15.36) per month*

HostGator VPS pricing
Snappy 4000- 4GB available RAM
- Two CPU cores
- 2TB bandwidth
- 165GB storage
Starting price: $29.95 (£23.06) per month*

HostGator VPS pricing
Snappy 8000- 8GB available RAM
- Four CPU cores
- 3TB bandwidth
- 240GB storage
Starting price: $39.95 (£30.75) per month*

HostGator VPS pricing

HostGator provides a 45-day money back guarantee. 

*based on USD to GBP currency conversion at time of writing

All plans offer:

  • Multiple allowed domains/websites
  • Two dedicated IP addresses 
  • Unlimited email accounts 
  • Extensive support
  • SSL certificates
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Free backups
  • Root access

HostGator pros

  • Very generous amounts of storage available on all plans
  • 45-day money back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime

HostGator cons

  • Offers the least value for money out of the four providers listed
  • Features could be improved
  • No Windows server option


A2 Hosting: Best for value for money

a2 hosting logo
4.1
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

A2 Hosting was launched in 2001 by a UNIX systems administrator, and is independently owned.  

Similar to InMotion, A2 Hosting offers the following types of VPS hosting: unmanaged, managed and core. We’ve focused on managed hosting, as this type of hosting is likely to be the most relevant option for many small businesses.

Like all the other providers in this article, A2 Hosting offers considerable assistance to customers, and scored top marks for its help and support. It has an online knowledge base, with FAQs and resources to help you locate an answer yourself. But further help is available, should you require it: A2 Hosting provides 24/7 live chat and 24/7 phone support, as well as the option to submit a support ticket. 

A2 Hosting offers the best value for money of the four providers listed. It especially stands out when comparing the providers’ highest prices, with A2 Hosting charging the least at this level. The anytime money back guarantee is also appealing – indeed, of the four providers featured here, this flexibility is unique to A2 Hosting.

While there’s sufficient disk space provided on each plan, the amount of storage didn’t wow us, especially in comparison to some of the other providers. Uptime performance was another weak area in fact, 99.95% is the lowest available of the four providers.

But the available features are worth a mention: both InMotion and A2 Hosting offer the same amount of RAM on all plans, but A2 Hosting does so at a more competitive price. Root access and free backups are included, while A2 Hosting is the only provider in this article to have both Windows and Linux VPS server hosting

The three managed VPS plans provide:

PlanFeaturesPrice
Power- 4GB available RAM
- Four CPU cores
- 2TB bandwidth
- 75GB storage
Starting from £19.27 per month

A2 Hosting managed VPS pricing
Prestige- 6GB available RAM
- Six CPU cores
- 3TB bandwidth
- 100GB storage
Starting from £26.98 per month

A2 Hosting managed VPS pricing
Pinnacle- 8GB available RAM
- Eight CPU cores
- 4TB bandwidth
- 150GB storage
Starting from £38.54 per month

A2 Hosting managed VPS pricing

Note that all plan prices are offered on a prepaid basis.

A2 Hosting provides an anytime money back guarantee.

All plans include:

  • Multiple allowed domains/websites
  • Substantial customer support
  • Two dedicated IP addresses
  • 99.95% uptime performance
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • SSL certificates
  • Free backups
  • Root access

A2 Hosting pros

  • Offers both Windows and Linux servers the only provider in this list to do so
  • Great value for money
  • Anytime money back guarantee

A2 Hosting cons

  • Lowest uptime of all four providers
  • Storage amounts could be improved
  • Free domains not available


Glossary box

CPU cores

This was one of the criteria for assessing the providers. CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, and it refers to how many cores the processor has essentially, how a computer processes and carries out instructions. 

Root access

This is a term that’s specific to Linux admin accounts. It refers to the level of access a user has to the server: with root access, users have more access to the server than a regular user. You can use root access to install or configure server-wide changes, as well as for editing any files.

Best VPS hosting UK: How to choose a provider for small businesses

Searching for VPS hosting providers might feel a bit overwhelming there are so many to choose from, with many offering low prices and speedy services. Although price is a key consideration for a lot of small business owners, it’s not the only factor to take into account when making your decision.

The providers included in this article are some of the top VPS hosting companies available on the market, and have made it into this list for UK small businesses. But how was this conclusion reached?

Our research analysed providers based on the following five factors, which were considered crucial for small business owners looking to select a VPS hosting service provider:

  • Help and support – the providers were assessed on factors such as if a knowledge centre and ticketed support were available, as well as live chat and phone support (including if 24/7 support was on offer for both of these). All of the providers included in this article scored top marks in this category
  • Features – our research reviewed the amount of RAM available, as well as if root access and free backups were included. It also looked at whether Windows and/or Linux servers were available, plus the number of CPU cores. In addition, how many email accounts and dedicated IP addresses were offered, along with if free domain names were possible, were taken into consideration. The number of allowed domains/websites, as well as available bandwidth and if SSL security certificates were included for free, were also all assessed
  • Value for money – this category reviewed providers’ pricing options, including the number of plans available, along with the starting and highest prices (excluding discounts), plus the timeframe of any money back guarantees
  • Disk space – each provider was assessed on the amount of storage it offers, per plan
  • Uptime performance – uptime is measured as a percentage, and the figure determined how providers were rated in this category. 99.97% and above is good, while 99.99% is excellent, although 100% is impossible

Which type of VPS hosting is best for my business?

Just as there are different types of hosting in general, there are also options within VPS hosting itself. You can choose from managed or unmanaged VPS hosting: some providers offer both options, while others may offer more, or only provide a managed service. 

Managed VPS hosting 

This option means the provider will manage setup and updates, as well as backups, security, and more. This is ideal for startups without the resources to handle all of these functions themselves, or for those that don’t have the technical skills to do so. Then again, although there’s far less to worry about, your access is limited.

Unmanaged VPS hosting 

While the provider is responsible for installing the operating system, you’ll have to take care of software, security, backups, and more if you opt for unmanaged VPS hosting. Even though this option offers greater control and freedom, you’ll need to have sufficient technical knowledge or resources to manage this properly.

In this article, we’ve focused on managed hosting, as this is likely to be more suitable for many small businesses.


For more help, you can contact the providers directly to explain your requirements. They can assess your business needs, and offer insight into which plans could be an ideal match. 


How much do VPS hosting plans cost?

VPS hosting is provided on a pay monthly basis. There are usually around three plans to choose from, although some providers may offer a different amount. All of the providers included in this article offer some kind of money back guarantee.


inmotion logo

Best for: Best overall VPS hosting provider

Features: Free backups, optional root access, unlimited CPU cores on all plans

InMotion VPS pricing

Best for: Features

Features: Free domain, unlimited allowed domains/websites across all plans, root access

Bluehost VPS pricing

Hostgator

Best for: Disk space

Features: Two dedicated IP addresses on all plans, free backups, root access

HostGator VPS pricing

a2 hosting logo

Best for: Value for money

Features: Root access, free backups, Windows and Linux servers

A2 Hosting managed VPS pricing


Next steps

It may be tempting simply to opt for the cheapest provider on the market, but there’s a lot more to choosing a VPS hosting provider than the price tag (although if budget is your primary concern, A2 Hosting could be ideal).

It’s important to take a close-up look at the providers, and review the details of different plans. Some points to consider include: what’s the uptime performance like? How much RAM, bandwidth and storage is available? And what else is included on top of the necessary functions? These can help you to streamline the available options to find a provider that’s best for your business.

If you’re still not sure, we’d suggest opting for InMotion as your VPS hosting provider. It’s our overall best VPS hosting provider, and regardless of which of its three plans you choose, you’ll benefit from unlimited CPU cores. Get started with InMotion now!


FAQs

What is VPS hosting?

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is designed for website owners that need more than what a shared hosting service can offer, but aren’t yet at the stage where they require their own dedicated server. 

This is because VPS hosting uses a virtual server, which has a specific copy of the operating system (OS) installed. Better still, since it’s private, it’s only available for your website to use – meaning there’s no need to worry about other sites taking all the bandwidth.

What’s the cheapest VPS hosting?

From our research, A2 Hosting offers great value for money. It scored the highest out of the four providers in this category, with plans priced from £49.99 to £99.99 per month, excluding discounts. 

While A2 Hosting may be ideal for budget-conscious business owners, be aware that what it offers in terms of affordability, it lacks in other areas namely disk space and uptime performance. You can learn more about A2 Hosting VPS pricing in the specific section above.

VPS vs shared hosting: Which is better?

Whether VPS or shared hosting is better depends on your business requirements. For example, if you’re just starting out, or run a low-traffic website and want a hands-off hosting service, then shared hosting is likely to be the best choice. 

Alternatively, if your business is growing, or you’re already using a shared hosting provider and your website requires more resources, then VPS hosting is likely to offer the features and functions that could help take your business website to the next level.

Learn more about the different types of hosting with our guide to the best web hosting for small businesses.

Scarlett Cook
Scarlett Cook

Scarlett writes about a wide range of topics on the site, from business security to digital marketing and EPOS systems. She can also be found writing about diversity and sustainability in business, as well as managing the Just Started profiles.