Welcome back to another one of my ‘Review Guy’ reviews! Today, I am dipping into the world of hosting by doing a review of Vultr. I have actually been using Vultr for several years now and want to give you my honest review as an actual user. My plan is to talk about Vultr's features, what I like and don't like, and finally compare to other similar services. Sit back, grab a coffee and let's go!!
What is Vultr?
The first and most obvious question is 'What is Vultr?', it sounds like a bird of prey 🙂 Actually, it is a provider of servers. These servers can be used for many different things. I first used Vultr several years ago to host forex servers on. When I say forex servers, I mean servers that ran my forex broker's client 24/7 to enable me to trade around the clock in an automated manner. You can also use Vultr servers to host gaming servers, the most popular is still probably Minecraft servers. A lot of people are now turning to Vultr to host blogs and websites, usually using the WordPress platform. This is the great thing about Vultr. They simply say we have servers! Come get them and use them for whatever you need.
What Makes Vultr Special?
The Vultr platform allows you to spin up and down your servers at will from their cloud, not requiring any real commitment from your side. You simply use their dashboard to manage the servers you need at that particular time. It literally will take you a handful of minutes to put up a cloud server on Vultr.
When setting up a Vultr server, you can choose where you would like it located from 17 worldwide locations. This means you can get the best speed and latency in the area of the world you need it. For example, if you are making a website targeting Americans, you can host your server there so they get the fastest load times.
Vultr use 100% solid state drives, meaning the data on your server will load as fast as possible. Otherwise known as SSD's, these drives are the latest and greatest for use in server technology. Vultr also use the latest Intel CPU's too, meaning your server can compute data as efficiently as possible.
FULLY ONLINE & SELF MANAGED
You access Vultr through their online portal and use their control panel to manage all of your servers quickly and easily. This gives you full control over the setup and management of your servers.
Vultr offer several tiers of servers, meaning that they have a solution for every use case. Whether you want a small game server or a server capable of hosting a popular website with thousands of visitors a day, you can find a solution here. You can read descriptions of each of their current server tiers by looking at the image above.
INSTALL POPULAR APPS EASILY
Vultr makes it easy for you to install a variety of popular apps in one click. For example, if you want a WordPress blog, setup of this is just one click away. They even allow you to upload your own operating systems in ISO form if you would like.
Who is Behind Vultr?
Vultr was started back in 2014 by David Aninowsky, with the simple mission to simplify the world of cloud computing. Before this, he also founded Clan Servers Hosting and is the president of Choopa. So David clearly has a lot of experience in this line of business. It gives me great confidence using Vultr knowing an industry veteran is behind it!
How Much Does Vultr Cost?
The cost of a Vultr server depends very much on the power it has and the level of exclusivity you hold over it. Their regular tier is what they call SSD cloud instances. The reason you see prices that drill down as far as the hours, is because you don't have any commitment with these servers. You can spool them up or down whenever you would like, only having to pay for whatever up-time you had. Prices here start from as little as $2.50 a month, as you can see below.
You might be wondering how this stacks up against some other options you may have. I am going to take two examples from areas I have worked in, forex and website server hosting. Looking at forex server hosting first, ForexVPS.net offer a 'basic' forex server for $34.99 a month. You can get pretty much identical hardware over at Vultr for $10 a month. Looking at website hosting, Siteground has a tier called 'Startup' that costs $6.99 a month for a new customer going up to $14.99 a month to renew. A similar server at Vultr would cost you $5 a month. So, you can see that using Vultr could bring you substantial savings.
If you are after something more meaty Vultr also have a pricing tier they call the 'Dedicated Cloud'. Prices here start from $60 a month, and whatever hardware you are using is totally dedicated to your use. You can see the full pricing table below. Again lets compare with other server providers.
WPEngine are a well respected provider of dedicated hosting for websites. Their highest plan is $241 a month and comes with 50GB storage, 500GB bandwidth a month and a maximum of 30 sites on the server. As you will see from the Vultr pricing plan below, even the lowest $60 a month plan is enough to do blow this WPengine plan out of the water. The only real advantage WPengine has over Vultr is the fact they offer a global CDN (content delivery network) included with the price. To remedy this, you could easily attach your own CDN to your Vultr hosted server and still be way under the WPengine pricing.
On a side note, everyone always thinks of Cloudflare when they think of CDN’s, but my tip would be go with BunnyCDN, an excellent choice and way cheaper. As you can see above, a lot of expensive hosts put great value on CDN’s to speed up a site, whereas in reality they are actually quite cheap to run through BunnyCDN.
What do we like about Vultr?
The flexibility you have on Vultr is simply amazing! Most people will start on their SSD cloud instances and can easily start and stop servers at will, with no commitment. As long as your account has credit in it, you are free to play around with servers as much as you want. Most other hosting solutions want to tie you up to a monthly subscription. You also have many options for the type of servers you want to start on Vultr.
As you can see from my cost comparison above, Vultr can save you a lot of money on hosting services. When a lot of people are in the market to buy a server they are seduced by the marketing of other popular hosting providers. Go look at their packages and you see that they don't talk much about raw specifications of those servers, just some flowery language. They make it sound like you are getting a great deal, when actually you could get a similar server at Vultr for much less. They also tie you into special deals for new customers only to ask for often double or more the fee for renewals. They know it's annoying to move your website to another host at that point.
Speed and Reliability
Any server I have hosted on Vultr has always been blazing fast for the specifications they provide, and up time has been excellent too. Below is a speed test I did on a WordPress demo website. This was a fully populated site on the cheapest $2.50 a month tier, and it still came back with very impressive scores. A 417 millisecond response time is pretty amazing frankly!!
Amazing User Interface
I have to say, when I first started using Vultr they had a pretty ugly and confusing web portal! These days, however, they have one of the best user interfaces around. Their dashboard is almost a gold standard in simplicity and ease of use 🙂 Well done Vultr!
What don't we like about Vultr?
Not for the non tech savvie!
Think of Vultr as a stripped out style of server hosting. They are not there to hold your hand, they are simply there to offer amazingly priced servers. If you are even a little bit tech savvie, go watch a few tutorials and you will be fine! However, if you are scared of technology, this might not be the place for you 🙂
I will say that they have improved the help section of their website a lot recently, so as long as you are willing to do a bit of reading, all of the tutorials and support you might need is on there.
For example, after setting up an instance Vultr give you all the instructions you will need on what to do next by going to the server details tab.
Should you use Vultr?
I have to say that I have loved using Vultr over the years. As someone who identifies as a bit of a geek, I love getting top notch servers at a fraction of the cost. Watching a server I just instanced spool up is the best feeling ever! I feel that a lot of popular website hosts are pulling the wool over the public's eyes, using smoke and mirrors to make the perceived value of what they offer much higher than it actually is in reality! If you are willing to take a bit of time to learn how to operate Vultr yourself, you will save a lot of money in the long run!
If you want to try out Vultr for yourself, you can get $100 of your own server credits by clicking HERE. It may be a good idea to go play around with the service before you decide to actually host your website earning you $1,000 a month 🙂
For those of you that are not tech savvy and want a web host to hold your hand, I would highly recommend Siteground for you. Go check out their latest deals by clicking HERE.
I hope this article has helped you decide whether you should take the plunge with Vultr. If you are like me and using Vultr to spool up WordPress blogs, I would highly recommend learning about Wordops, a free and open source tool that will help you install and maintain a blazing fast WordPress install. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first to have to log in to your server and type in some text commands, but give it some time and you will be up to speed in no time. Trust me, if I can do it anyone can 🙂
Vultr Frequently Asked Questions
How do I setup a WordPress Server on Vultr?
This is what you do to start a wordpress server on Vultr.
- Click on the Products tab and click the big blue plus button in the top right hand corner.
- Select the option for deploy new server.
- Simply choose the server tier, location and for server type under the application tab choose 'Wordpress'.
- Click deploy now. On the products tab you will now see your new server and it will say 'installing'.
- Wait a few minutes until your new server is fully installed.
- When it says the server is 'running' click the 3 dots on the right side and choose 'server details'
- Under application information it will now list your installation and docs information. These sections will explain such things as how to login to your wordpress server and how to add a SSL certicate etc.
YOU NOW HAVE A SUPER CHEAP WORDPRESS SERVER 🙂 If you want to get deeper into the weeds of WordPress Server configiruation, I would highly recommend learning the open source Wordops tool.
Disclaimer: My reviews are always full and honest. Yes, they may have affiliate links in where I can earn a small commission, but this never influences my rating. I want you to trust and come back to my reviews!