Choosing a VPS or Dedicated Hardware: A Buyer’s Guide

This article is part of Hosting: A Buyer’s Guide, a series on finding the right web hosting for your business.

full course
  1. Why Site Speed Matters to Your Business
  2. Web Hosting: Finding The Right WordPress Hosting at the Right Time
  3. Choosing a Shared Host for your WordPress Site: A Buyer’s Guide
  4. Choosing Managed WordPress Hosting: A Buyer’s Guide
  5. Choosing a VPS or Dedicated Hardware: A Buyer’s Guide

As we highlighted in our recent guide to choosing the right WordPress hosting for your site, there are three main options when it comes to the type of hosting available.

Is a virtual private server or dedicated hardware a good fit for your business?

In our fourth and final post on web hosting, it’s time to look at whether a virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated hardware is a good fit for your business.

What is VPS and Dedicated Hardware Hosting?

As we previously discussed in our guide to the different types of web hosting, a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hardware service can be a good choice for websites that require more resources, such as a more powerful server and more bandwidth. This means if your website is very large, or makes use of complex features, and is also getting a lot of visitors and page views, then a VPS or dedicated hardware could be the best option for you.

With a VPS you will be sharing with less users than regular shared hosting.

In the case of VPS hosting, you will still be sharing a portion of the server with other customers in a similar way that you would with the entry level shared hosting packages.

However with a VPS service you will be allocated a much more substantial portion of the server, and be sharing with fewer users and their websites in comparison to the lower capacity shared hosting packages.

In the case of a dedicated hosting package, you will be allocated an entire server to use for hosting your website, making this a higher performance, but more expensive option compared to a VPS.

With a VPS you can optimize the server for your website in order to get the best performance.

However, for both VPS and dedicated hosting, you have control over, and responsibility for the server your site is hosted on, compared to entry level shared and hosting and managed WordPress hosting. This allows you to configure and optimize the hardware in the optimum way for your website, but can easily be intimidating if you’re not familiar. With this higher level of access, you can also install other software and applications on the server that you might need for your business.

VPS or dedicated hardware is often the best choice for resource-hungry websites.

So while shared hosting is ideal for those just getting started, mainly due to its low cost, and managed WordPress hosting is a popular next step up or starting point for websites that need fasting loading times and a higher level of expertise from the support staff, VPS or dedicated hardware can often be the best choice for resource-hungry websites.

To learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of VPS and dedicated hosting, check out our earlier post on choosing the type of web hosting that’s right for your business.

Who are the Best VPS and Dedicated Hosts?

Like choosing any other type of hosting, there are many options available, and the best option for you will depend on many factors. These include the type of website you are hosting, how many visitors it receives, and also your budget.

Many shared hosts also offer low cost VPS hosting packages.

Many of the web hosts in our guide to shared hosting also offer high performance VPS and dedicated servers and they are definitely worth checking out to get an idea of what is on offer and at what price points.

However, it’s important to take into account our advice from that guide to shared hosting on the reliability of some of those hosts.

As well as the large web hosting companies that offer all types of hosting, there are also more specialist hosts that are well known for their VPS and dedicated services.

Linode VPS Hosting

VPS Linode LogoAmongst those well-regarded options is Linode, a privately owned VPS provider based in New Jersey. With Linode you get plenty of options for picking the right plan for your needs.

The hardware used on their cloud servers are all chosen for optimal performance and customers get access to a graphical dashboard which makes working with the hosting straightforward.

The managed add-on gives you access to more support for your VPS.

Linode also offers a managed add-on for their VPS packages which covers backups, responding to incidents and the offer of advice from their experienced support staff.

This is a great way to get access to these high performance servers, while also allowing the hosting company to shoulder some of the responsibility for managing your website.

View the hosting plans at Linode

Digital Ocean

VPS Digital OceanLogoDigital Ocean is another good provider of VPS hosting with a great reputation, while also being considered relatively low cost.

Line Linode, their servers all take advantage of the latest high performance components to ensure your site is able to run as fast as possible.

One feature of Digital Ocean that will appeal to WordPress users is their one-click application installations. With affordable plans and a good reputation, Digital Ocean is definitely worth investigating when shopping for a VPS host.

View the hosting plans at Digital Ocean


VPS.NET is another option that offers an instant setup and a good selection of options for creating a custom hosting plan to suit your needs. They also offer server management as an add-on allowing you to take advantage of their web hosting expertise.

Amongst their packages is their WordPress cloud hosting packages which combine the benefits of high performance hosting and managed WordPress hosting.

View the hosting plans at VPS.NET


VPS hosting can rival managed WordPress hosting in terms of performance.

Virtual private servers and dedicated servers give you more freedom and access to the hardware your website is hosted on, compared to a managed WordPress hosting server.

This means that this type of web hosting has the potential to rival a managed hosting service optimized for WordPress in terms of website speed and performance.

However, these benefits – access and performance potential – come with their own considerations. If you don’t have the resources in place to configure, optimize, and maintain a server, whether virtual or dedicated, then this might not be the best option for you and your business.

If you still need the extra performance, but without the hands on management requirement, then one of the managed WordPress hosting services in our guide would be a better choice.

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