WiredTree is our top pick for the best VPS or Dedicated Server host of 2016. They provide a top-notch product, excellent and fast customer service, and competitive pricing. We don’t just recommend WiredTree. We use them!
I’ve been in the hosting business for a long time. Over the years I’ve moved my client base from platform to platform as my business increased in size. I’ve hosted with Godaddy, SiteGround, GreenGeeks, and MyHosting. I even had a stint of a self hosted “datacenter” in my basement. Most recently I needed to make a move away from MyHosting.com due to some poor customer service. When important issues weren’t being handled by MyHosting, it was time to find a new host. Thus began the search for a reliable VPS hosting solution.
I support about 50 small business client websites so I’m not quite to the point of needing Dedicated Hosting. But, I do need a solid VPS to maintain that customer base.
There are a lot of considerations that need to go into choosing a VPS provider– much more than I will go into here. But here were the key things I was looking for:
- Data Center – With the number of VPS hosts out there, it’s hard to know which own their own data center and which live inside a co-located facility. To me it was important that the host I choose maintained their own facility. It also needed to have redundant internet connections and power. Along those lines, I also needed premium bandwidth.
- Support – Given my poor experience with MyHosting.com and considering that was the reason I needed to make a move, responsive customer service was paramount to my decision.
- Managed – I wanted a service where the VPS would be monitored and maintained. It’s not that I’m not capable of managing a server, but there’s a certain peace of mind that comes from knowing if things hit the fan, there’s a team on standby to help.
- Price – This is the tricky one. You can price a VPS for just about any price point. But I needed to make sure I was getting the most for my money so as to keep my business profitable.
- cPanel – This was a requirement as my current host also used cPanel/WHM. This would make migration infinitely easier.
If you’ve ever tried to find honest reviews on shared, VPS, or Dedicated hosting, you may know that affiliate campaigns make this very difficult. While we do use affiliate marketing on this blog, rest assured that my review of WiredTree is glowing.
My First Test : GoDaddy Pro
As much as it grieved me to even consider it, when I first decided I was going to move away from MyHosting.com, I tested Godaddy Pro. I had used Godaddy for domain registration for years but I had written off their hosting a long time ago. But their new Pro VPS plans had the right price point and seemed pretty solid. I tested one using their 30 day money back guarantee. I’ll be honest, I was very impressed. Their support was U.S. based and they answered the phone quickly when I needed them. The VPS was provisioned within a couple of minutes of ordering and their admin panel was actually really nice. Here’s what I didn’t like:
- SMTP Relays. GoDaddy requires you to send all email through their SMTP relays and they limit you to 5000 SMTP transactions per day. This is hard coded into your VPS when it is set up. (I was able to bypass it by tricking it, but it was a pain.) Clearly this is to control spam, but for 50 website clients and about 250 email users, I didn’t think that was enough. They will let you increase that number, but you must call support. I was able to get mine lifted to 20,000. It wouldn’t be terrible to have to use a relay, but their SMTP relay was SUPER slow. It could take 5 minutes for a simple email transaction to take place.
- Speed. I get it, GoDaddy is a big company with undoubtedly huge datacenters. That’s a lot of traffic to juggle. However, there was no definite way to test what my VPS server could do when it came to band width. Installing a speed test on the VPS showed speeds of about 7mb by 5mb. I could run this from mulitple clients at the same time and achieve the same speeds on both, but I could never max out my client’s bandwidth as I would hope. This was a concern. Even my VPS on MyHosting.com could max out my internet connection at the office.
Those two considerations were enough for me to cancel my GoDaddy Pro VPS and continue my search.
Other Providers I Considered
I looked at Linode, Digital Ocean, and even Amazon EC2. There were different reasons I decided against all three of these. While all seemed to have superior products they just weren’t the right fit for me. Either they were too expensive to get Managed, or cPanel wasn’t included in the pricing.
Why I Ultimately Chose WiredTree
My first experience with WiredTree was a phone call to their sales department. The call was answered quickly by a knowledgeable rep who was able to explain the differences between the VPS and Hybrid plans. I ultimately chose a Hybrid option as this fell between VPS and Dedicated for performance. Since I’ve signed up, I’ve had to contact their support multiple times for various issues. (Not with the service, but rather my own stupidity). These request have all been via their ticketing system, and responses have consistently been within 20 minutes. Here are some of the other pros about the service:
- The Network – WiredTree utilizes 4 Tier-1 bandwidth provides at their Chicago-based datacenter.
- The DataCenter – SSAE 16 Type II Certified. 3 diverse power feeds with UPS and 36 hours of Generator fuel on-site.
- The Pricing – WiredTree’s pricing was right around where I was hoping to be. Considering most plans offer SSD storage, I was pleasantly pleased here.
- No Shared Web Hosting – This may seem like an odd pro, but the lack of cheap shared hosting shows me a much more focused product line. WiredTree doesn’t mess with shared hosting. The do VPS and Dedicated hosting, and they do it well.
- Backups included – Daily R1Soft backups are included with the price of the plan.
- Speed – The plan I chose includes 15TB of premium monthly bandwidth. Here is a speed test from my office to the WiredTree Server:
(Keep in mind that my office internet is 150 mbps by 20 mbps. It’s safe to assume that the upload speed is probably faster than this but was limited by my local internet service provider.)
If you’re in the market for a VPS or Dedicated Server, my recommendation is, without question, WiredTree. I have had nothing but positive experiences with their service. This review is by no means exhaustive so if you have questions about WiredTree, please use the comments section below. Otherwise, use the links below to learn more about their services.
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