10 Best: Hosting for High-Traffic Sites 2017 — Website Hosting at Scale

There’s no shortage of advice on the web covering how to grow an online business. Let’s say you’ve done your homework and adhered to the experts’ guidance on targeting audiences with customized content and employing user-generated reviews to boost sales and drive more traffic. It worked, and your eCommerce site has rapidly scaled and outgrown its shared hosting environment. Now what?

While this is definitely not a bad problem to have, it does present a crossroads where you’ll have to pick the best path to expand your site’s capabilities. There is an array of hosting options for high-traffic site owners who’ve graduated from shared hosting. Here, we’ll take a look at the best cloud, VPS, dedicated server, and managed WordPress hosting that can handle the large number of visitors your business depends on.

Cloud Hosting: Best Web Hosting for High-Traffic Sites

Cloud computing has been one of the biggest technology disruptions of the past 10 years, impacting the way we do business and deliver applications to the world. And the web hosting industry has embraced it. Cloud hosting is gaining in popularity with hosts and site owners, mainly due to the high performance and scalability the cloud provides.

A core benefit cloud hosting offers is the scaling potential, as your website’s hosting needs are distributed across a network of machines. This allows for virtually unlimited instance and hard disk scaling with a flexible pricing model (pay for what you use). Your business site can grow in tandem with your customer base, and you don’t even have to buy or maintain the hardware!

We provide a comprehensive review of the top recommended cloud hosting provider below.

CLOUD RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Ranked #1 for cloud (VPS) hosting
  • FREE SSD included and up to 8GB of RAM
  • FREE control panel with SSL certificate
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
Cloud Hosting Plans www.inmotion.com/cloud

Our Expert's InMotion Review

With leading-edge cloud technology, InMotion offers free site transfer, setup, and SSD drives for the ultimate cloud solution offerings. They include free data backups and offer fully managed servers to help you scale your site with cloud-based... read more + With leading-edge cloud technology, InMotion offers free site transfer, setup, and SSD drives for the ultimate cloud solution offerings. They include free data backups and offer fully managed servers to help you scale your site with cloud-based hosting… collapse info -

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Best VPS Hosting for High-Traffic Sites

Downtime — it’s every online merchant’s worst nightmare. In 2008, Debenhams, a major UK retailer, experienced a 24-hour period of downtime due to a traffic increase that led 48% of its visitors to turn to competitors’ sites. If the merchant’s eCommerce site had had a more reliable host, it could have avoided the lost sales and, more importantly, the damaged customer trust in its brand.

If you’re selling products online, it’s imperative you have a robust hosting solution, and VPS (virtual private server) hosting delivers. While not as cheap as shared hosting, the performance, scalability, and peace of mind a VPS provides are well worth the few additional dollars you’ll be spending each month. Below, we’ve compiled our top recommended VPS hosting providers. Deep dive into the full reviews to see how these hosts can keep you online and converting customers.

VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 50% off the first month with added discounts the first year
  • Real-time redundancy powered by a cloud infrastructure
  • FREE cPanel/WHM licenses with enterprise-grade CentOS
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
VPS Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/vps

Our Expert's InMotion Review

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere. Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6,... read more +

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere.

Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6, which is incredibly fast and secure. Each of their plans also come with an awesome amount of RAM for the server cost, so the speed-to-dollar ratio is high with this host.

InMotion’s VPS packages run on CentOS 6 Linux operating systems and all feature a license for cPanel. Each plan also comes with Web Hosting Management (WHM) software, making it super-easy to resell some unused server resources.

InMotion's reputation for uptime is second-to-none, with a solid track record as a large-scale VPS host and a large, friendly support team available at any time.

Lastly, InMotion has a 90-day money-back guarantee and offers a choice of datacenters, which are nice customer-centric features. Their support is top-notch and 24 hours. We highly recommend you check them out if you are looking for a VPS with great hardware and reseller options at a low price.

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VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Only pay for resources you use with daily billing
  • 5TB of outgoing bandwidth and FREE incoming bandwidth
  • API access and cPanel available
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $29.50
Money Back Guarantee N/A
Disk Space 50 GB - 1.6 TB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
VPS Hosting Plans www.liquidweb.com/vps

Our Expert's Liquid Web Review

It's no secret by now that Liquid Web is known for best-in-class technology and reliability that exceeds expectations (from uptime to technical support). Their VPSs embody that reputation to its fullest — including a new... read more +

It's no secret by now that Liquid Web is known for best-in-class technology and reliability that exceeds expectations (from uptime to technical support). Their VPSs embody that reputation to its fullest — including a new Managed WordPress product (Hop one tab over to the WordPress Review for more info on this awesome addition.).

Perks of a Managed VPS: Support Meets Reliability

They offer a high-powered VPS solution as well as their in-house-built, cloud-based Storm® Servers, all of which are backed by their popular SLAs (service-level agreements) promising high uptime rates and highly reliable help from the Heroic Support® experts.

Better Performance with Liquid Web Virtual Servers

With high-powered SSDs and, of course, the Heroic Support® team, the VPS platform shines among the managed services offered at Liquid Web. You'll pay a bit of a premium for managed hosting, but there's a reason customers rave about the Heroic Support®, incredible SLAs, and excellent uptime rates.

SSD Power & Fully Managed Support

RAID-protected SSD storage comes standard for Liquid Web VPS users, which decreases latency and keeps your page loads fast and secure. They offer a range of management plans, as well as cPanel control and API access, so you get the perfect level of infrastructural management support for you and your site.

Cloud-Level Flexibility & Supreme Uptime

The Liquid Web VPS infrastructure was engineered with customer priorities in mind. These solutions are ideal for users that want cloud-like flexibility, such as billing by the day and custom configurations, but also seek the affordability of shared hosting. Customers can instantly provision and deploy their virtual server, easily upgrade, downgrade, clone, or resize, and only pay for the resources they use.

Award-Winning Heroic Support® & Sonar Monitoring™

Liquid Web's SLAs promise speedy response times and industry-leading performance. Their blazing fast and fault-resistant servers are backed by the round-the-clock attention of the Sonar Monitoring™ team.

Heroic Support® Team Helps Consistently Earn High Net Promoter Scores

Not only does the Heroic Promise ensure a Heroic Support® technician will get to you quickly, but their policy of Best Effort Support guarantees that they will attempt to help with any problem you encounter. That kind of customer support translates into customer loyalty, and it's a commitment that's rare and wonderful in this industry.

Sonar Monitoring™ Team Helps Yield Virtually No Downtime

In 2014 Liquid Web yielded an incredible uptime rate of 99.995%. With their wholly owned hardware being watched over and maintained by highly trained technicians, there's no reason to doubt their promise of virtually nonexistent downtime in the future.

All server statuses are watched around the clock by the Sonar Monitoring™ team, which is trained to detect system issues quickly, and ideally have problems resolved before a hiccup even shows up on your radar.

Storm® Platform, Private Cloud, & Add-Ons

In addition to a heroic army of support, Liquid Web has 50+ developers dedicated to the build-out and up-keep of custom solutions. A great example would be their Storm® Platform: an in-house innovation based on their top-of-the-line VPS infrastructure.

With automatic migrations and provisioning and easy scaling options, the Storm® Cloud Server offers all the SSD speed and custom functionality you want in an affordable, shared cloud environment. To give users even more options, Liquid Web developers are constantly working on new projects, including the latest Storm® Private Cloud functionality and their Block Storage, Object Storage, and VPN Storm® Add-Ons.

Liquid Web VPS in a Nutshell

If you want easy scaling, screaming fast speed, custom functionalities, and unparalleled support, look no further than Liquid Web for your VPS. They own all the hardware and have a rather large development team in their corner, so the technological possibilities are pretty much limitless. We'd recommend going with their custom Storm® Servers, which offer all the power, flexibility, and scaling options you'd require of a virtual or dedicated server with the affordability and ease of use of a shared hosting solution.

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VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • 2-4 cores and 4-16GB of RAM
  • Endorsed by the WordPress team
  • Redundant storage and optional SiteLock security
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
VPS Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/vps

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

When comparing the performance versus price of VPS plans, Bluehost brings supreme value to the table. In addition to competitive pricing, they offer premium support and excellent uptime compared to other VPS options in the... read more +

When comparing the performance versus price of VPS plans, Bluehost brings supreme value to the table. In addition to competitive pricing, they offer premium support and excellent uptime compared to other VPS options in the industry. If you’ve outgrown shared hosting, or need the flexibility and security of a VPS, Bluehost is a great choice for you.

Bluehost’s virtual servers boast several benefits compared to standard shared hosting and other VPS offerings. The first is speed; Bluehost offers your choice of two or four cores and 4GB to 16GB of RAM with guaranteed resources, so you have the power you need when you need it. The second perk is security; Bluehost offers redundant storage and optional SiteLock protection to secure your data.

For those new to VPS hosting who may not know exactly what is needed, Bluehost makes it incredibly easy and seamless to switch between their plans to find the perfect package for you. If you have questions or need some advice, their wonderful support staff is standing by to assist 24/7.

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long since been a hosting innovator and leader. Today, the company powers more than two million websites and carries the official seal of approval given by the WordPress.org team for their managed WordPress services hosted on their VPS platform. With years of experience, competitive pricing, and excellent support, Bluehost is a pick you can take to the bank in the VPS hosting space.

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Best Dedicated Servers for High-Traffic Sites

Just a one-second delay in load time on an eCommerce site can negatively impact conversion rates by up to 7%, industry reports show. If your site earns, say, $10,000 each day, a one-second break in load time can end up costing you more than $250,000 per year — a figure that can run into millions of dollars for higher-earning sites.

It’s imperative that large-scale eCommerce sites with high traffic volumes invest in an ultra-reliable, performant hosting service — assurances for which dedicated servers are known. While the prices increase dramatically from those of shared, cloud, and VPS hosting, the benefits of having a server dedicated to hosting only your site are unmatched. Most of the top hosts offering the service provide around-the-clock support and monitoring and guarantee very high uptime rates. Our top three dedicated server hosts are below. Click on the reviews to read our comprehensive take on all the features and perks associated with going dedicated.

DEDICATED RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • FREE incoming bandwidth and choice of operating system
  • Custom configurations with SSDs and instant provisioning
  • Auto-migrations, backups, and 24/7 Sonar Monitoring™
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $79.00
Money Back Guarantee N/A
Disk Space 211 GB - 1,775 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
Dedicated Hosting Plans www.liquidweb.com/dedicated

Our Expert's Liquid Web Review

Liquid Web's strong suit is their managed dedicated server hosting. They own and operate three state-of-the-art datacenters in the US and have over 50 developers working tirelessly to build and maintain custom solutions for added... read more +

Liquid Web's strong suit is their managed dedicated server hosting. They own and operate three state-of-the-art datacenters in the US and have over 50 developers working tirelessly to build and maintain custom solutions for added performance and security.

Fully, Core-, or Self-Managed — Plus Storm® Servers

Liquid Web offers single, dual, and quad processor servers with fully, core-, or self-managed plans. All dedicated server customers reap the benefits and support of the Heroic Support® team and the 24/7 protection of the Sonar Monitoring™ team.

Redundantly Built, Multi-Tiered Network

Featuring top-of-the-line Cisco equipment, the Liquid Web N+1 network is redundantly built to allow routing devices to quickly self-heal. They're designed to bounce back and correct system failures without interrupting the customer's connection. With the integration of premier providers, Level 3, Verizon, Comcast, Cogent, and Equinix, the Liquid Web network is optimized for rapid and fault-resistant performance.

Highly Available Sites with the Tech of 50+ Developers

Liquid Web boasted an incredible 99.995% uptime rate in 2014, a bragging right that's helped shape their reputation for performance. With the maintenance of 50+ developers, the Liquid Web infrastructure is engineered to evade and survive typical site disasters.

24/7 Proactive Protection from the Sonar Monitoring™ & Heroic Support® Teams

Should disaster strike, the Sonar Monitoring™ team is trained to catch the issue first, performing system-level health checks and patches 24/7, so they can hopefully have it handled before you're even aware of the situation. Meanwhile, the Heroic Support® team of 300+ experts is available anytime to help with any troubleshooting need.

Storm® Servers & Add-Ons

For the dev nerds out there, one of our favorite facets of Liquid Web as a hosting provider is the commitment to in-house-built technology. All of their team members' experience and expertise becomes very evident once you check out their custom Storm® Platform.

All the Power Plus All the Flexibility

If you're in need of dedicated resources, drawn to the customization of the Cloud, and know you need screaming fast performance, the Storm® Dedicated Server may be your solution. These custom server systems allow for cloud-like flexibility that traditional dedicated servers aren't capable of, like instant provisioning and automatic migrations.

Added Extras Make the Dedicated Cost a Done Deal

The Liquid Web development team is constantly coming up with new Storm® Add-Ons, like Load Balancers, Block Storage, Object Storage, and a VPN. Think you can't afford such full-featured and flexible hardware? Think again. With pricing starting around $110/month, the Storm® Platform is great for the cost-conscious dedicated server shopper.

Liquid Web Dedicated Servers in Review

If you want feature-rich dedicated resources and relentlessly reliable technical support, Liquid Web should be on your short list. They're known for strong managed service offerings, but the drawback to managed hosting is usually the cost. Liquid Web doesn't leave you hanging there though — in-house solutions like the Storm® Dedicated Server keep the cloud-level flexibility and performance up and the cost down.

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DEDICATED RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Rebootless kernel updates
  • 1-click installs and FREE SSDs
  • cPanel/WHM licences with FREE SSL
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $99.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 500 GB - 1.2 TB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Dedicated Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/dedicated

Our Expert's InMotion Review

InMotion offers amazingly fast, reliable dedicated hosting on market-leading hardware — making it an easy choice for anyone seeking a premium dedicated host. From free SSDs to a fanatical support team, InMotion has all the... read more +

InMotion offers amazingly fast, reliable dedicated hosting on market-leading hardware — making it an easy choice for anyone seeking a premium dedicated host. From free SSDs to a fanatical support team, InMotion has all the bases covered for both small-scale and large-scale operations, featuring a truly reliable dedicated host.

Unlike some hosts, InMotion gives SSH and Root access to their servers. Each plan is managed and comes with between two and four hours of SysAdmin time at launch, which is an excellent help in getting your site configured to meet your needs. Each server also is set up with cPanel and WHM for easy management.

Plenty of CPU power, RAM, and storage, plus lots of IP addresses, come with each plan. Perhaps our favorite feature of InMotion is their zero-downtime, rebootless kernel updates, which are partially the reason for their superb 99.999% uptime.

InMotion has a 30-day money-back guarantee on their dedicated plans, which is fairly rare and just another reason you can’t go wrong selecting them as your dedicated host.

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DEDICATED RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • RAID 1 mirrored storage
  • Minimum 3 IP addresses per plan
  • Modern hardware, spec'd and maintained in house
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $79.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 1 TB
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Dedicated Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/dedicated

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

Built on OpenStack technology, with a minimum of four cores per server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise their shared hosting options for having fantastic... read more +

Built on OpenStack technology, with a minimum of four cores per server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise their shared hosting options for having fantastic hardware and a great management console, and their dedicated offerings are no different.

Designed and maintained in house, Bluehost uses only the latest technologies on their dedicated servers. Their most recent upgrade moved all CPUs to four cores, 1TB of RAID storage, and between four and 16 gigs of available RAM. Each server is provisioned instantly and can be upgraded at any time with essentially just a few mouse clicks.

One reason we’ll always consider Bluehost for our hosting needs is their fantastic 24/7 support team. They do have a premium team of engineers for their dedicated servers. The expert technicians are incredibly helpful and available at a moment’s notice.
Already one of our favorite hosting companies, when you combine their fanatical support and the value offered in their dedicated hosting plans, Bluehost is hard to pass up.

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Best WordPress Hosting for High-Traffic Sites

The numbers have been in for a while now. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and powers more than 27% of sites on the web. In fact, version 4.6 has been downloaded 21.7 million times. The platform is very popular with online merchants because of the versatility provided by the more than 51,000 plugins available to customize their sites.

For businesses seeking heightened performance and security for their WordPress sites, making the move to managed WordPress hosting might be the way to go. With this type of service, your host’s team of experts manage the technical aspects of your site, such as software updates and security fixes, so you are able to zero in on your business mission. This is especially useful for high-traffic sites where site owners need to focus on their products and customers without having to worry about availability, platform maintenance, and load times. If you’re using the WordPress software and this sounds like a fit for you, take a look at 2017‘s best managed WordPress hosting providers below.

ASP.NET RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Ultra-performant Windows/ASP.NET hosting
  • Support for ASP.NET 2.x, 3.x, and 4.x, plus Classic ASP
  • Plenty of database storage and SQL support
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.92
Money Back Guarantee Anytime
Disk Space Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name $14.99
ASP.NET Hosting Plans www.a2hosting.com/asp-net

Our Expert's A2 Hosting Review

A2 Hosting delivers ASP.NET Windows hosting fit for powerful, dynamic, speed-demanding websites and applications. Shared hosting plans feature Windows Server 2012 with support for recent versions of ASP.NET, PHP, MySQL, Classic ASP, MVC, and SQL… read more + A2 Hosting delivers ASP.NET Windows hosting fit for powerful, dynamic, speed-demanding websites and applications. Shared hosting plans feature Windows Server 2012 with support for recent versions of ASP.NET, PHP, MySQL, Classic ASP, MVC, and SQL… collapse info -
ASP.NET RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • ASP.NET hosting on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Support for ASP.NET, Classic ASP, and SQL
  • Plenty of database storage for dynamic websites
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.00
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (w/ annual plans)
ASP.NET Hosting Plans www.godaddy.com/asp-net

Our Expert's GoDaddy Review

The web’s #1 domain name registrar also tops the charts in Windows shared hosting, including ASP.NET-specific plans. Code out your latest site or app with support for recent ASP.NET versions, PHP, Python, and MVC… read more + The web’s #1 domain name registrar also tops the charts in Windows shared hosting, including ASP.NET-specific plans. Code out your latest site or app with support for recent ASP.NET versions, PHP, Python, and MVC… collapse info -
ASP.NET RATING
★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
  • ASP.NET Windows hosting with FREE migration
  • 1-click installs for popular ASP.NET-friendly scripts
  • Most recent ASP.NET versions supported
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.48
Money Back Guarantee 45 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name New or Transfer
ASP.NET Hosting Plans www.hostgator.com/asp-net

Our Expert's HostGator Review

HostGator is a hosting industry trailblazer across niches. The company’s Windows shared server hosting plans serve ASP.NET developers well, featuring support for current ASP.NET versions, Classic ASP, MVC, PHP, and Python… read more + HostGator is a hosting industry trailblazer across niches. The company’s Windows shared server hosting plans serve ASP.NET developers well, featuring support for current ASP.NET versions, Classic ASP, MVC, PHP, and Python… collapse info -

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Handle Traffic Spikes & Future Growth with a Scalable Hosting Service

Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the rocky roads of starting an online business. You now have a large customer base, so it’s time to expand and upgrade your site so they can see what’s next.

For sites with high-traffic demands, cloud, VPS, dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting ensure high performance.

If you’re at this crossroads and trying to decide which type of hosting will best meet your scaling business’s needs, or if you simply want to be prepared before you reach that fork, the hosts mentioned here are a great place to start your research. Cloud, VPS, dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting will help pave the wider paths your growing site needs to handle the increased flow of traffic.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sean Garrity

Sean Garrity is a Contributing Editor at HostingAdvice with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing for numerous industry-specific publications. His goal is to help inform stakeholders about the latest trends and technologies in the hosting industry. When he isn’t wrapped up reading about the latest high-tech solution for hosters, you can find Sean connecting with experts to better understand and present topics that are of interest to the hosting community.