Vultr is a popular cloud VPS hosting platform that is most noted for their low entry price, making unmanaged VPS hosting a lot more accessible to people who may otherwise not be able to afford to host their websites.
That said, Vultr isn’t perfect for everyone.
Some people have had mixed results with them, noting that other similar hosts sometimes offer a higher tier of performance, even if Vultr’s specs are higher, on paper, it doesn’t always work that way in practice.
It’s great to have a budget option like Vultr, and it opens the doors for a lot of new webmasters, but sometimes you’re looking for something different, something that packs a little more punch…
Also, another reason that people might seek out Vultr alternatives is becasue they find it difficult to setup their sites using Vultr. Unmanaged hosting isn’t for everyone, and it’s especially not the best choice for beginners.
If you’re just getting started in the wild world of web hosting, it’s probabally a good idea to start off with what is known as “shared hosting”, or managed shared hosting, because that means that the hosting company themselves are going to take care of setting up the server for you, and many shared hosts also have incredibly easy solutions for installing WordPress, or whatever other platform you want to use to manage your site. We recommend WordPress because it’s powerful, easy, and widely supported.
Take a look at these options below because we’re going to feature a few different hosting brands that each offer something unique and different compared to Vultr, and ultimately you can go with the one that will be the best fit for your project and for your needs. We’ll explain why each of these is a viable choice, and how they differ from Vultr in particular.
That’s not to say that Vultr isn’t good, they’re certainly not a bad hosting company, but sometimes you just want something different, regardless of what the reason is, so here are our absolute top picks when you need an alternative to Vultr.
We’ll start off with other unmanaged VPS providers, who offer a similar service to Vultr, and then we’ll feature some shared hosting plans as well, which is definitely where you want to start off if you’re looking for something easy to setup and where you don’t need to learn how to actually manage the server yourself, becasue these companies take care of all the work for you. You may end up paying a little bit more for managed hosting vs unmanaged, but it can be well worth it in the long run since you’ll save yourself a ton of headaches.
Before we dive into the other options, let’s quickly give a rundown of what Vultr offers, so we have something to compare these other brands to.
Here’s an overview of Vultr’s hosting packages:
The first thing that jumps out here on Vultr’s pricing table is that their prices start at just $2.50, which is among the lowest you’ll find for a decent quality server.
Now, when you compare them to the options below, it’s important to remember that “1 CPU” with one company isn’t necessarily the equivalent to “1 CPU” from another brand. Some companies use newer, faster hardware and other companies use older, slower hardware in order to cut down on costs, and in order to be able to offer lower prices. 1 CPU from one brand could outperform another company’s 2, 3 or 4 CPUs. The same goes for other specs, too.
Since most of these companies are quite competitive, a decent rule of thumb is to compare them based on price, rather than the specs that they list, since it can still vary a lot. Also the location of the server, the type of website you’re running, how well your theme/site is optimized, and many other factors can have a big impact on performance.
Here’s the Top 3 Alternatives to Vultr:
- Digital Ocean
- Bluehost (shared hosting)
Here are some alternatives that are similar in the sense that they’re also unmanaged VPS companies like Vultr is, however they aren’t identical. These are the leaders in this space, and any one of them would make an excellent choice.
Digital Ocean is the first brand that comes to mind for many when they think about unmanaged VPS providers. Digital Ocean has grown massively over the years, and while they weren’t the first to offer this type of hosting, they definitely brought it into the mainstream. They’ve tried to bridge the gap between something that’s easy to use like shared hosting, and something that offers more flexibility like a barebones dedicated server.
Digital Ocean certainly isn’t easy to setup if you’re inexperienced, in fact it’s about the same as Vultr, give or take. Both companies have done a great job of making the registration and server-setup process as easy as you can for this type of hosting, but it’s still not as easy or straightforward as shared hosting. On the plus side, it’s a good geeky weekend project if you’re looking for something like that, however if you simply want to get your website up and running as quickly as possible, you’ll want to go with shared hosting instead.
Here’s an overview of Digital Ocean’s plans:
For simplicity’s sake, lets compare Digital Ocean’s entry-level plan to that of Vultr. Digital Ocean charges 2x the price, for 512MB and 1 CPU, but they offer twice the data transfer compared to Vultr’s most entry-level plan, which can make a big difference. Now, if you compare Digital Ocean’s $5 plan to Vultr’s $5 plan, you’ll see that Vultr offers twice as much RAM. However, just to repeat an important point from earlier, what really makes the difference is the actual hardware they’re using, not just the specs of it.
In either case, both should work out very well for most websites or web applications, however if you aren’t on a strict budget, you may be slightly better off with Digital Ocean.
Shared Hosting Instead of Unmanaged VPS
The other style of hosting that’s worth considering instead of Vultr or any of the above brands is called ‘shared hosting’ and the major appeal is that it’s considerably easier to setup, especially if you’re new to this whole thing. When you register a shared hosting account, you’re basically ready to go right out of the gates, you don’t have to learn the ins and outs of server setup and maintenance.
Shared hosting is “managed”, which means that the hosting company takes care of just about everything for you, from keeping things up to date, to ensuring that security is up to par, and more. With unmanaged VPS like the ones we featured earlier in this article, you’re on your own in many more ways. That doesn’t mean Digital Ocean and Vultr don’t have customer support, it’s just the scope of their support is a lot more limited.
Since it’s not uncommon to run into issues getting unmanaged servers setup, even thought most of the companies come with great instructions, we wanted to highlight some much easier options.
If you’re just looking to get a website setup and ready to go with a minimal amount of extra work or tinkering, the following options are going to be your best bet.
BlueHost is a wildly popular hosting company that has a variety of different products available, however their shared hosting plans are their bread and butter and those are what we’re going to be focusing on today.
Their shared hosting plans vary in price, starting near the entry level of what we’ve looked at so far, and going up from there, depending on what you need.
Most new websites can get away with the cheapest option, at least to start with, but you’ll want to think about upgrading at some point if your site starts to gain traction.
Let’s go over what BlueHost has to offer, and what sets them apart…
You’ll notice the pricing is a bit different. Since you’re sharing a server with other websites, the servers are much more powerful than the ones offered by the VPS companies we looked at first. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you’ll get better performance from a shared host, because even though you’re on a more powerful server, you’re still sharing it with other sites, rather than having your own RAM, CPU, and other specs that are allocated specifically to your website.
The absolute best reason to go with BlueHost, especially if you’re newer to this, or even if you just like saving time, is the fact that they make it incredibly simple to get your website up and running, and especially if you’re using WordPress. Once you sign up, you’re pretty much all set, it only takes a few minutes to start working on your site with BlueHost, and the WordPress platform makes it easy to manage your site.
BlueHost works very closely with WordPress and have done an industry-leading job of incorporating their hosting plans with WP, making the two a dream team for hosting all sorts of websites, from blogs, to business sites, to sites for sports teams, and anything else you can imagine.
You can get a free domain name with BlueHost, their famous 1-click WordPress installation, and 24/7 access to customer support who can help you with everything you need to get your website up and running, but chances are you don’t need much help since it’s all very straightforward. It’s setup in a way that anyone can do it, you don’t have to be a techie person or some kind of computer programmer, you just have to be someone who wants their very own website!
BlueHost has been around for ages and they’re one of the leaders in the hosting industry, but they aren’t the only company offering this type of service. Let’s take a look at another option.
SiteGround offers similar options and packages to BlueHost, with some small differences. Here’s a quick rundown of SiteGround’s packages…
One key difference is that SiteGround tells you exactly how many resources you’ve got for your site, for example the storage space for your website, and your bandwidth. Even though BlueHost offers “unlimited” plans, it’s not actually unlimited, it should be read more like “Within reason”, because if your site is using an unreasonable amount of resources, you’ll have to upgrade your plan. At least with SiteGround they tell you what those numbers are.
It’s not something you really have to worry about, most sites aren’t going to come anywhere near using up all of their allotted resources, and by the time your site is, you’ll probabally want to upgrade to a higher-end and more expensive hosting plan anyways. That’s why its not a bad idea to start out with the cheaper ones like StartUp from SiteGround or Basic from BlueHost – you can always upgrade!
SiteGround, like BlueHost, is also very easy to setup. SiteGround also has excellent support staff who are availiable around the clock, and can be contacted in a number of different ways. This is a company that has been around for a long time, and proven themselves as a mainstay in the world of hosting.
They know what it takes to run websites, from simple and small sites, to massive sites that get used all around the world. SiteGround can definitely help you get your site online, and they’re one of the easiest options out there.
We’ve talked about Vultr and what they have to offer, and highlighted four alternative hosting companies that you can check out, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you need and what you’re looking for, and what your level of expertise is. We recommend each of the companies featured on this page, so whichever one catches your eye is probabally going to be the best option for you. Beyond that, here are some more things to consider:
What’s your budget?
All of the companies on this page offer affordable entry points, with the ability to upgrade to high-tier plans, so it’s a draw in this category. Shared hosting and unmanaged VPS hosting are both among the most affordable options out there, and they both have the potential to scale up to serve very busy websites. So, whether you’re just getting started, or you already have a popular site that you’re thinking of moving to a new host, you’re covered with any of these options.
Do you know what you’re doing?
If you know your way around server administration, you’ll probably want to go with Digital Ocean or Siteground. They offer a bit more flexibility and customization, but should only be used by more experienced people.
If this is all new you to, on the other hand, we’d recommend going with one of the much easier options like SiteGround or BlueHost, where everything’s pretty much done for you already, so you don’t have to roll up your sleeves when it comes to server stuff – you can skip all of that and start working on your site immediately, instead.
What’s your site for?
If you’re making a small hobby site for yourself, you can get away with the most entry-level plans on this page. If you’re going to be making a site for a business, or anything that’s a little more on the important side, or anything that you expect to be quite popular, it might not be a bad idea to skip ahead to one of the higher-tier plans offered by any of the brands we looked at today. You’ll unlock better performance which is crucial for businesses and other important sites, not to say that your personal hobby site isn’t important!
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