If you find your website outgrowing the space provided on your shared hosting plan, but are not quite ready to jump into a dedicated hosting environment, then a Virtual Private Server (VPS) may be just the service for you.
Offering a flexible “in-between” solution so that your high traffic websites can access the resources required to run at the speed your visitors expect, a VPS is also a great way to gain control over your server environment.
Today we will be looking at HostSailor, a VPS hosting provider that can help you take your website to the next level, without taking all of your money with it.
What is VPS Hosting?
Virtual Private Hosting allows website owners the chance to share a physical server in a remote location without sharing resources like you would with a shared hosting provider. This means that although you are sharing the physical machinery with other website owners, because you have defined memory and bandwidth allocations within your virtual environment, you will never be compromised by someone else’s website.
Even better, with a VPS you will have root level access to install and delete software, set permissions, create accounts, and even customize your server environment, much like you would using a dedicated server yet at a fraction of the cost. Plus, you will not have to deal with physical server maintenance or security issues.
HostSailor’s VPS Hosting Features
According to CEO Alexander Freeman, HostSailor was established in early 2014 and aimed to become a quality VPS hosting provider that did not lose sight of performance, stability, or support. Proud to be a provider of VPS hosting offering limited “top notch services” to help website owners grow their online businesses, HostSailor wants your website visitors to have the best online experience ever.
Here are some of HostSailor’s top reasons for considering their VPS hosting services:
- Affordable storage
- Improved server resources
- Unlimited domains
- Scalable services
- Number one Netherlands provider with 2 VPS locations.
- Weekly backups.
- Gbit connections for all plans
- raid10 hardware technology
- Free incoming bandwidth
HostSailor is convinced your website loading speed is never sacrificed when using their VPS services. Check out the broadband connection speedtest done on HostSailor’s Netherlands VPS servers.
Since I was not familiar with the Ookla Speedtest, I thought I would check it out on my own computer. Here were my results:
At faster than 99% of all Netherland server providers, while my own personal computer proved slower than half of the United States, HostSailor clearly lives up to their claims.
When you use VPS hosting, you are in charge of the entire server. You have full control and no other website can interfere with your resources. However, this also means someone must monitor its performance.
HostSailor offers managed services so you don’t have to worry about things like server software crashes or security issues. It is unclear however whether the choice to manage your own server is available as an option should you be experienced in things such as shutting down, repairing, restarting, or rebooting your server.
Operating Systems and Control Panels
It is important when choosing a VPS hosting service that it is compatible with your preferred operating system (OS). HostSailor works with several operating systems including: Ubuntu, openSuse, Scientific Linux, NetBSD, Microsoft Windows, Gentoo linux, FreeBDS, fedora, debian, and CentOS.
In addition to having an OS that suits your needs, it is nice to have options when it comes to your control panels as well. Control panels are a great way for you to manage all of your website’s services in one conveniently located place. Here are some of HostSailor’s available control panels:
HostSailor VPS Plans
HostSailor offers website owners 3 distinct plans. Let’s take a look at what each plan offers website owners and what kind of experience you might expect from each one.
This plan is for those comfortable using Linux. OpenVZ is the open source version of Virtuozzo and is the least expensive plan HostSailor offers. This basic, no frills plan does have a respectable amount of disk space, bandwidth, and memory and comes with both Hard Disk (HDD) and Solid State Disk (SSD) storage options. Either option comes with the promise of high performance, flexibility, guaranteed uptime, and customer support.
I was disappointed that the descriptions for each storage option were rather limited. I am not sure that everyone looking for a VPS hosting service will know the differences offhand. It is worth noting that in the SSD description there was a link to a VPS Wikipedia article, however the link was not obvious and the article was not really helpful when it came to HDD versus SSD information.
Another Linux option, the XEN VPS plan is great for those who know how to configure their server’s kernel. With this plan you can operate multiple operating systems on the same computer hardware concurrently. You can also expect full access to iptables, more swap space than storage space, and diverse file system tapes. You are also fully in charge of your backup schedule.
Offered for both Linux and Windows operating systems, KVM VPS is the most expensive of the VPS hosting solutions. If you choose this plan you can expect high performance because it doesn’t come with proxy architecture, plus you will not need extra drivers.
Unfortunately the descriptions here are severely lacking when it comes to outlining the benefits of using HostSailor’s most expensive plans. Simply stating that I will have access to “a bevy of benefits and top-notch performance” doesn’t convince me to spend the extra money on a more expensive plan.
Documentation and Support
HostSailor doesn’t provide much as far as documentation goes. Although they do have a blog that is updated regularly, the lack of categories made finding specific articles difficult. I would have liked to have seen more information in the VPS section itself. I think it’s safe to say not everyone understands the hosting jargon and by defining VPS services and the differences in plans in more detail would have helped.
As far as support goes, I do believe HostSailor has it right. Claiming a 99.9% uptime guarantee in their Service Level Agreement (SLA) proves they are serious about their customers’ websites. In addition, HostSailor offers 24/7 real-time email for technical support and at no charge, which I think is great. Lastly, they also provide live chat services for general assistance which can be very helpful for website owners.
HostSailor offers VPS hosting services with no setup fees or contracts to sign. Managed services are provided at no extra charge, cancellations can be made effective immediately, and they even have a 14 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their service.
Each HostSailor plan has an extensive table representing the various price levels that you can purchase depending on the hosting features you choose. Check out each plan individually to see which pricing level works for you.
Conclusions and Recommendations
HostSailor does offer an affordable, flexible, and scalable VPS hosting service. If your website is continuing to grow and you are in need of something more reliable and better performing than the shared hosting you are currently using, yet do not want pay for expensive and time consuming dedicated hosting services, then HostSailor’s VPS hosting is definitely for you.
I like that HostSailor is dedicated to providing an affordable solution for those looking to maintain website performance and speed. The fact that they do not charge for things such as managing your server, support, or the initial installation make me confident they are not out just to get your money.
In the end, HostSailor caters to many different website users and their variety of plan options prove to me there is a solution for everyone.
What are your thoughts on Virtual Private Servers? Have you ever used a VPS before? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!