Current Recommendations for VPS Hosting?
October 21, 2010 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for VPS hosting?

I've searched the archives, but I don't see a recent post on this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm looking for recommendations for a reliable VPS hosting service. I'm in the US.

A place where I can start small and then seamlessly upgrade as my site grows.

I need a Cpanel.

Bonus points if they will move my website from my old host for me at mutually agreed upon time. I can move the site myself, but it'll probably result in some tears and take a lot more time than it should.

And some backstory:

I have a website currently hosted under a shared server plan that I'd like to move to a VPS because a) It's running a little slow and b) I have the time to move it and fine tune it right now and c) I think a spike could be a-coming, and I'd like to ready.

It's a heavilty customized wordpress blog, an openx installation and a couple of email accounts and email forwarders.

It's currently hosted on Hostgator. I've tried to set up a VPS account with them and get them to move the site like they said they would, but it's turning into such a fiasco that I'm ready to look for an alternative host. Normally they're really good with customer service but I feel like I've fallen into a black hole.

So, any got any other recommendations?
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I like slicehost. But your request for a cPanel is a bit off putting. Slice host has a console you can accesss but in general most VPS services require you to set up the software that you need. They are just blank slates, though some have maybe preinstalled images?
posted by bitdamaged at 6:41 PM on October 21, 2010

Response by poster: Oh I hope so, because I'd really like to continue with CPanel and I don't have any idea how to install it (and I think it requires a license?)

I guess I need a little bit more hand-holding than Slice will provide.

I'm a site builder, not, what? a hosting geek? Linux geek? There's a gap in my knowledge that I'm not even sure how to label.

Thank you for your recommendation.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 6:53 PM on October 21, 2010

What, specifically, do you need cPanel for?
posted by FlamingBore at 7:11 PM on October 21, 2010

I'm happy with my VPS Linode, but they simply offer blank slate virtual servers (with a variety of OS choices) like slicehost. Linode offers different tiers and will help you migrate your server to a higher one if need be.

I don't know anything about cPanel and how it can work on a Linode, though.

As for your knowledge gap, well, that's what the Linode Library is for! (And I think Slicehost has some good articles, too).
posted by losvedir at 7:15 PM on October 21, 2010

I came here to second SliceHost, but is a blank slate, and probably very much like throwing you in the deep end. What you are going to need is a managed VPS.

There are a lot of results for that google search term which seem affordable. Although I can't vouch for their reliability this pricing on WiredTree, looked good.

However, not to be rude, but if moving the site alone is going to be potentially traumatic for you, then even a managed VPS might leave you floundering, and it might be advised to try and wrangle a friend or contact who is more knowledgeable in the tech if you were to go that route. Or pay for fully managed hosting.
posted by chrisbucks at 7:23 PM on October 21, 2010

Since slicehost has been seconded, I'll second Linode. I like them, and their rates are better on the RAM front than slicehost.

There are alternatives to cPanel if you really need web based administration. Webmin and eBox are two popular ones. But here's the deal: if you really want to scale up, you'll need either expertise or the ability to learn as you go.

Also, wordpress is a fucking disaster in my experience. The installer is designed for shared hosting setups and yet requires loose permissions to use the theme editor. So in the absence of clear evidence of incompetence, I wouldn't be too hopeful you'll find some better at migration than Hostgator.
posted by pwnguin at 8:22 PM on October 21, 2010

My only experience with CPanel supporting VPSs is LiquidWeb, but I've been really impressed with them. I've broken things trying to work with them manually because I didn't understand how they integrated with CPanel (and it's parent WHM, or Web Hosting Manager) and LiquidWeb has happily and quickly fixed things up for me.

One thing to keep in mind is that often CPanel/WHM (and Plesk) VPSs often use a virtualization technology called OpenVZ/Virtuozzo, while Linode, Slicehost and the like generally use Xen. There is nothing wrong with OpenVZ, but its really a completely different market segment.

I'm really happy with Linode, but given your needs, I really think the suggestions of bare-virtual-metal Xen VPSs like Linode and Slicehost are way off the mark.
posted by Good Brain at 8:32 PM on October 21, 2010

CPanel has done an impressive job of commoditizing shared and VPS hosting by making it pretty easy to export your account settings and data and move them to another CPanel provider. An alternate web based control panel like Webmin or eBox aren't really in the same category. Plesk hosts might be, but it looks like the tools for migrating CPanel accounts into Plesk are imperfect.
posted by Good Brain at 8:41 PM on October 21, 2010

Been on Liquidweb for 4 years. VPS at $50/month. WHM and cPanel. I hadn't managed a server before but with their support I got the hang of it. They'll do anything you need them to on the server with no questions asked, and quickly. Uptime has been fantastic. Highly recommended.
posted by Chuck Cheeze at 9:57 PM on October 21, 2010

Best answer: A few clients of mine use ServInt. I can't recommend them enough -- their service and support are amazing; though that doesn't come free.
posted by SirStan at 10:11 PM on October 21, 2010

I've been using an EC2 t1.micro instance and am very happy with it. Possible advantages compared to Slicehost: slightly cheaper, flexible storage, easy disk snapshots, faster CPU (at least in short bursts). Also no CPanel.

I've also used Rackspace Cloud, which owns Slicehost I believe. They're fine too.
posted by miyabo at 10:17 PM on October 21, 2010

i used vpslink and loved them -- you get your own box, with most linux flavors supported, so you i guess you should be able to install cpanel too. Much less hassle and money than an ec2 instance..
posted by 3mendo at 1:16 AM on October 22, 2010

I've used A Small Orange for shared hosting, but not VPS hosting. They offer cPanel.

One thing to be aware of - most of the VPS options I've seen that offer cPanel also offer WHM, the back end component that is used to provision the customer-facing cPanel interface. So to get to the cPanel interface you're looking for, you'll need to actually be able to use and manage WHM, as if you were a reseller or hosting provider yourself. If you're admittedly not a "hosting geek" or a "linux geek", this may be more than you're looking for.
posted by ralan at 4:13 AM on October 22, 2010

I <3 Linode, but no Cpanel because most VPS providers assume if you want root, you want it for a reason.

I've posted this link three times before on MeFi, I think, but here it is again: VPS benchmarks. This was run before Linode increased the RAM in all of their plans 42%, so I imagine the results now will be even more impressive. In short, if you're paying for any other of those VPS providers, you're getting less than what you'd get at Linode. And Linode has awesome support when you need them. (Support meaning actual support worthy issues. Not knowing how to install apache is not a support issue, it's a VPS, you have root for a reason.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:57 AM on October 22, 2010

I'm also unclear what you need CPanel for. If you are going to administer your own linux host, CPanel is not really useful (and definitely not optimal). And if you don't want to administer your own host, I would argue that you don't need a VPS - you just need a more robust hosting package from some hosting service provider.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:18 AM on October 22, 2010

Nthing Liquidweb. Great support, and I've been with them for years - started with a simple, cheap shared plan, moved to VPS, and now on their Storm on Demand product. With very few exceptions, their support has been great. And yes, they will move everything for you when you say 'go.' You can call and talk to a human 24x7 in addition to their online ticket system.
posted by thatone at 8:46 AM on October 22, 2010

Partially for your benefit, and partially for that of future searchers:

For you: the term 'VPS' is not universally agreed upon, but in my experience it usually refers to places like the abovementioned Slicehost and Linode--i.e., no CPanel, and not what you're looking for.

It sounds to me like you want shared hosting, but with a better provider. I have heard Bluehost recommended, though I don't have any experience with them.

For the searchers:

For something more like a traditional VPS (and of course, in ways quite unlike): Amazon just started a free usage tier for their computing services.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:00 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

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