Take a look around in the hosting world, and you’ll find a unique disparity: On a per capita basis, there are more boutique hosts offering virtual private server/VPS hosting than big hosts. Why is this, and why is it taking the big boys so long to catch up? It can all be summed up in one word: Service. Simply put, thanks to advances in technology hosts now need to offer VPS hosting for the same price point as a basic shared plan (or very close). It’s not benefitting them to go to the trouble of adding VPS hosting when they’re not making more money from it.
It makes sense from a strictly business standpoint. However, if a host truly wants to give their customers the best tools and more options, they will add VPS hosting. They will likely need to buy more servers (which can be very expensive), train their staff, advertise VPS hosting, and educate customers on the benefits of VPS hosting. Then there’s the maintenance and upgrades that go into VPS hosting, which are different than basic shared—so they’re essentially doubling their workload.
Smaller, boutique hosts offer VPS hosting because it makes them more competitive and it gives their customers what they want. Sometimes, it’s all about the competition. There are some hosts who wouldn’t survive in this highly competitive market if they didn’t have VPS on the table. Others are truly passionate about hosting, and will only offer their customers what they’d want for themselves. Your task, as a customer, is finding the host who sees VPS as a passion project.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to tell. For starters, they embrace transparency, it’s easy to connect with a real person, and they’re open to educating you. Every host knows that their industry is confusing and overwhelming to anyone outside of it. They can either take advantage of this, purposefully being quiet or confusing customers, or they can address it and help inform customers so they can make the best decisions.
The Host with the Most (Hosting Options)
Going with a small web host offers other benefits, too. For example, you might be able to find a host in your home state and build a real relationship with them. If the data center is nearby, you might even be able to tour it and see “your” server in action. Smaller web hosts attract employees who are highly knowledgeable and want to make a difference with their work. As such, you’ll probably get access to better servers, better service, and a company that will offer scalability with no hidden fees.
With so many web hosts competing for customers, this puts you in the driver’s seat. Don’t settle for a subpar web host when there are thousands of others eager to give you a great experience. Start by identifying which hosts offer VPS and which are hoping you’ll happily stick with your same old basic shared plan. That alone is an indicator that a host cares—or at least wants to be competitive!