There comes a time in the life cycle of every WordPress blog when shared hosting just doesn't cut it anymore. As your blog grows in popularity, serving webpages to an increasingly larger audience places tremendous strain on system resources. On a shared hosting service this results in poor performance, which can slow down your site, cause pages to load incorrectly, and eventually drive away your visitors (besides negative SEO effects since page speed is a crucial factor in determining SERP rankings).
When your WordPress website starts growing large enough, it is time to make the switch to VPS hosting. With VPS hosting, you essentially run a virtual operating system on a machine shared by other users. Thus, you can reap the benefits of dedicated hosting – customization, dedicated system resources, privacy and control – at a far more affordable price point.
What to Look for in WordPress VPS Hosting
- Managed or Unmanaged: Unless you are extremely technically competent (and have several hours a week to spare), managed hosting is the way to go. With managed hosting, all system repairs, maintenance, and technical support is taken care of by the hosting service so you can do what you really love: run your website.
- Operating System: You have the option of choosing between Windows and Linux based VPS hosting. While Windows has a user-friendlier UI, Linux is more stable, efficient and cheaper. For most purposes, you should choose Linux based VPS hosting.
- Multisite Support: Many bloggers run WordPress websites using the Multisite feature, which makes it imperative that your VPS host supports multiple WordPress blogs on the same account.
- Standard or Cloud Hosting: With standard hosting, your site runs on a single local server, while with cloud hosting, your WordPress website is housed on a cluster of interconnected servers. The primary advantage of cloud hosting is that you can scale resources when required and you are also protected from hardware failures. Cloud hosting is more expensive, but a safer alternative to standard VPS hosting.
- Speed: The speed of your server depends on the CPU speed and available RAM. The faster, the better.
- Installed Software: For easier management, you should ensure that your VPS webhost offers cPanel and Plesk pre-installed on the servers. You should also have the option to install Fantastico, RVSkin, etc.
- Price: Good VPS hosting packages start at $20/month. In this regard, cheaper isn't always better. Always make sure that you take the above six metrics into account before deciding on a hosting service.
myhosting.com is a highly recommended VPS hosting service. It has plans for Linux hosting starting from as low as $15.95/month with Plesk and cPanel. You can also install custom software such as RVSkin, PHPMyAdmin, etc.