Our Guide to the Best SSD VPS & Cloud Hosting (Windows, cPanel & Cheap)
If you’re ponying up the extra dough for VPS hosting, make sure you’re getting what you pay for. You’d think as you rise through the hosting ranks that the quality of the architecture would follow — but you may be surprised at how many VPS offerings didn’t include higher-performance solid-state hard drives.
Just as with any hosting, from generic shared plans to luxurious, fully managed WordPress, a quality provider can make a world of difference. Fortunately, some of our longtime favorite hosts understand the value of devoting extra resources to making sure their higher-tier customers, websites, and applications, are running at peak efficiency.
What is VPS SSD Hosting? — Just a VPS with SSD Storage
It looks like alphabet soup, but VPS SSD hosting just strings together two acronyms that are pretty common in the hosting realm. VPS stands for virtual private server, which entails dividing a physical server into different partitions or slices. Each slice can be configured to run different operating systems or software programs to customize the environment to the customer’s specific needs.
In a way, a VPS plan is a combination of shared and dedicated hosting — you’re sharing a server with a handful of other clients while still enjoying the extra oomph of dedicated resources.
SSDs, or solid-state drives, are a faster, more modern version of the traditional hard disk drive. Instead of a spinning platter with a read/write arm, SSDs store information on flash memory chips. Fewer moving pieces mean much higher performance and reliability.
SSDs gained traction in the late 2000s, making them more expensive and not quite as large, capacity-wise, as traditional hard drives. The lightning-quick time to transfer files and run applications, however, make SSDs particularly relevant in the web hosting world, where milliseconds matter.
Best Overall: Cloud/VPS SSD With InMotion Hosting
Cloud VPS adds another wrinkle to our collection of hosting vocabulary. Instead of relying on a physical server to house a certain number of virtualized environments, cloud hosting connects massive networks of hardware to add seemingly unlimited resources for availability and scalability.
In addition to splurging on SSDs, top-notch providers like InMotion Hosting offer customers a highly redundant cloud network boasting virtually no downtime. With server management included for free, InMotion Hosting’s team of experts will update and patch things from cPanel licenses to operating system security layers. We also love that InMotion Hosting gives new customers two hours of dedicated time with a Tier III system administrator for help with website migrations, security setups, application installations, and automation configurations.
Best Cheap VPS: SSD Hosting With InterServer
While several budget-minded hosts sneak watered-down hosting plans and infrastructure past the legions of non-technical website owners, our friends at InterServer provide well-rounded plans full of features and options for a hardly believable price of $6.00 per month.
Long known for its high-speed servers, InterServer boasts a highly configurable platform that gives developers the freedom to explore and test new tools. As your VPS environment grows, so does the level of managed support the company offers — freeing you from tedious maintenance and letting you concentrate on your online initiatives.
Best Managed VPS: SSD Hosting with Liquid Web
For those looking for five-star treatment, look no further than Liquid Web. Managed services can mean wildly different things to various hosting companies. Instead of doing the minimum to keep the lights on, Liquid Web’s experts cover the wide range of complicated platforms and regulations with their managed services, including WordPress, HIPAA and PCI compliance, cloud, and hybrid plans.
Thanks to Liquid Web’s expertise, the company’s managed infrastructure and SSD servers outperform AWS, Rackspace, and Digital Ocean. By handling software updates, security patches, and other issues within your hosting environment, Liquid Web empowers customers to focus on their website and business instead of IT hassles.
For an Operating System-Specific SSD VPS: Windows vs. Linux Users
Users will select a particular operating system based on their previous experience, along with the requirements and languages of their application. Most hosts and clients opt to go with Linux-based operating systems, including CentOS, Fedora, or Ubuntu, but those running ASP.NET or Visual Basic programs will definitely want to stick with a Windows virtual server plan.
Why Liquid Web for Windows
In addition to the standard CentOS, Debian, and Fedora systems, Liquid Web can provision a VPS running Windows Server 2012 or 2016 in just an hour or two. The hosting company goes beyond slapping an operating system on a partition by offering around-the-clock monitoring and a 100% uptime guarantee.
Windows lovers will appreciate Liquid Web’s several integrations, including scalable Microsoft SQL Database-as-a-Service packages and managed Active Directory installations. We also appreciate the luxury host adds Cloudflare CDN, enhanced security, DDoS protection, and built-in backups.
Why InMotion Hosting for Linux
InMotion Hosting maximizes its SSD VPS infrastructure by offering CentOS 6 in a LAMP stack, the environment of choice for many website and application developers. That means your hosting environment will be ready to go with tried-and-true versions of Apache, MySQL, and PHP. If you’d like to test InMotion Hosting’s Linux offerings against other providers, we’ve compared the top Linux VPS hosts.
Users can remotely access their infrastructure through secured shell, or SSH, or use the included graphic interface of cPanel. In addition to offering customers a choice between datacenters on the East or West coasts, InMotion consistently receives high marks for customer satisfaction behind 99.99% uptime and 90-day money-back guarantees and 24/7/365 knowledgeable support.
For a Control Panel-Specific SSD VPS: cPanel vs. Plesk Users
As with operating systems, hosting customers can be quite picky about which control panel they use to manage their hosting account and infrastructure. Plesk and cPanel are industry leaders and quite similar. Minor differences in user interface aside, the price, supported operating systems, and administrative panels options can make or break a user’s hosting experience. To compare other hosts that specialize in cPanel, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite providers at all levels of hosting.
Why Bluehost for cPanel
Known for superb customer support and ultra-accessible shared hosting and WordPress plans, Bluehost offers SSDs as part of its VPS hosting platform, giving customers room to grow. Users might be somewhat limited on the number of cores or amount of storage they can use, but seamless migrations and instant provisioning are big-time perks.
Bluehost created a custom management interface on top of cPanel, giving customers all the familiar tools of the administrative interface in addition to extra programs to further simplify website, server, email, and billing management in one easy-to-use dashboard.
Why Liquid Web for Plesk
The price tag scares many inexperienced site owners away, but Liquid Web is a standard-bearer when it comes to high-octane SSD infrastructure and luxurious, white-glove managed services. The company offers a rare 100% uptime guarantee and promises the most helpful support in hosting.
Liquid Web capitalizes on the Plesk platform’s flexibility by offering the control panel on Linux or Windows VPS plans. Plesk Onyx comes with GitHub, Docker, and Node.JS support, as well as an improved log browser and tools for monitoring resource usage and updating the operating system.
Harness the Power of the SSD — VPS Hosting at Maximum Performance
Now that you’ve gotten the rundown of the perks of VPS hosting on SSDs, it’s time to move into the fast lane. Most hosting providers’ server configurations squeeze out 20x faster performance with the specialized hard drives, making the plans we’ve listed above a valuable investment. Add in the managed services, operating system, or control panel of your choosing, and your website or application is ready to blow people away.
Still not sure about SSDs? Take a look at our rankings of the top VPS hosts in general — you’ll notice many of our favorite hosts mentioned here rank at the top of that list, as well.