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Best Dedicated Hosting Plans Compared by Crazy Egg

Best Dedicated Hosting Plans Compared by Crazy Egg

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

We tripled our amount of research to create the best article about dedicated web hosting on the internet. That way, our work can remove any anxiety you could have about making the upgrade from your current hosting. We’ve found InMotion Hosting to be the best dedicated web hosting for most people. They offer the most generous combination of resources and solid performance without being extravagantly priced.

The Best Dedicated Hosting Plan For Most

InMotion

Best for Most

All the power and resources you could ask for are at your disposal with dedicated hosting from InMotion. From its already-powerful basic package to custom, bare metal plans, InMotion can handle whatever your site throws at it without breaking a sweat.

For dedicated hosting to be worth it, you need resources that make your site superior. InMotion Hosting leads the pack with a perfect score on our grading scale for CPUs, RAM, storage, and bandwidth on their entry-level plan. 

But, better still, is the additional value you get from InMotion. Server response times are impeccable, so your site visitors are never waiting for your pages to load. And for those who need dedicated hosting but aren’t confident in self-management, you’d be hard-pressed to find better technical support than what InMotion’s reps provide.

The 8 Best Dedicated Hosting Options to Consider:

InMotion Hosting – Best for mostLiquid Web – Best for setting up a custom serverHostGator – Best uptime for the priceBluehost – Best for getting started in 30 minutes or lessA2 Hosting – Best for worry-free customer supportDreamHost – Best guarantee for high-performing website

When it Makes Sense to Invest Into Dedicated Web Hosting

When you know you’re about to outgrow your current hosting, the fear of where to go next can be paralyzing. So we created this section to help you make the right move at the right time. 

If you’ve had an immediate rise in traffic or are anticipating a flood of growth in the future, dedicated hosting is a worthwhile option if you think your new popularity is here to stay. 

Dedicated hosting stabilizes speed and even offers ways to increase or decrease resources on demand. 

You also might want complete control over your server environment. Dedicated hosting provides you with your own server that you get full oversight of. That’s huge if your site runs a web app or other platform that needs rapid updates deployed on the fly.

If you take payments or have a site with sensitive user information like financial, medical or personal data, you can boost security instantly with dedicated hosting—dissolving any concerns about attacks on the data you hold. 

Look at it this way—dedicated hosting is the big leagues of hosting.  

So don’t invest if you’re just getting started and have little web traffic to worry about. You can start with shared hosting. It’s cheaper and way easier to manage. 

But if you’re ready to bring on the avalanche of visitors and need security, performance, and customization that’s unmatched, it’s time to make the switch. 

These reviews will show you how.

InMotion

Best for Most

All the power and resources you could ask for are at your disposal with dedicated hosting from InMotion. From its already-powerful basic package to custom, bare metal plans, InMotion can handle whatever your site throws at it without breaking a sweat.

Overall Score: 4/5

InMotion Hosting gives you the resources to handle just about anything visitors can throw at you. 

You come to dedicated hosting for generous resources and speed. With InMotion you get that—including the best array of resources of anyone on this list—bolstered by rock-solid customer support if you ever get stumped by an issue.

That makes it the best option for most people making the jump to dedicated hosting. 

Let’s look at the details and how they did in our testing. 

Server Reliability: 2/5Server Response Time: 5/5Technical Resources: 5/5Customer Support: 4.7/5Pricing: 3/5

Server Reliability: 2/5 – Our InMotion dedicated server had two minutes and 59 seconds of downtime over 25 days, resulting in 99.99% uptime. 

You might say that’s good, and it is when looking at it from a high-level view. But when you get down to the nitty gritty of what dedicated hosting should offer, this score is not up to the standards of what other providers offer you. 

Fortunately, it all came down to a single incident—a connection timeout—on our sixth day of testing. 

However, the average downtime across all the hosts we tested was one minute and 29 seconds. So, InMotion comes in just a bit below average.

Incredibly, though, InMotion had the worst uptime performance across all the hosts we tested.

For context, here’s what we saw when we tested their shared and VPS hosting options: InMotion shared hosting had six minutes, 17 seconds of total downtime, while InMotion VPS hosting had just 18 seconds of total downtime.

Our dedicated server was more reliable than InMotion’s shared hosting environment but slightly less reliable than our VPS server during testing. 

When you rent your own server, you should be getting better performance than if you’re using VPS. The level of dedicated hosting competition is fierce and being down for almost three minutes is an eternity when you have loads of traffic funneling in. 

One nice benefit InMotion gives you, however, is their two-hour hardware replacement guarantee. So, if something technical does cause your server to go down, InMotion will have it fixed in two hours or less.

Server Response Time: 5/5 – InMotion Hosting delivered exceptional server response times. 

Our server had an average response time of 292 milliseconds over 25 days. 

This was the fastest server we tested in the category, earning InMotion a perfect score.  

Your visitors won’t have to wait for pages to load upon arrival. The experience is snappy and exactly what you want from a dedicated host. 

Look how smooth that graph is. Not only do you get fast response times on average, but it’s consistent. Just one little spike you’ll recognize from our uptime outage from the previous section.

The average response time across all the hosts we tested was 503 milliseconds, making InMotion significantly better than average in this category. 

InMotion Hosting has demonstrated this to us time and again in other categories. Its shared hosting and VPS servers both averaged well under 400 milliseconds themselves (which you’ll notice is still faster than the average of the dedicated hosts we tested for this article).

When you’re running a web app or online business, the expectation everybody hopes for is near-instant page loading times. People want to get to your site and see all it has to offer with no delays. InMotion Hosting provides the perfect environment for you to deliver that to users and site visitors. 

Technical Resources: 5/5 – InMotion is the only host that scored perfectly for technical specs and resources. 

Its entry-level plan is the most powerful on our list.

Yet, it’s priced right in the middle of the pack, making it an excellent deal if you need a lot of resources and don’t want to pay premium prices up front for them.

It’s important to mention that if you have more than one site you’re hosting on a plan, all resources are spread between them. Most hosting plans work this way. 

InMotion offers both managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting plans. 

Unmanaged plans give you more flexibility, but InMotion won’t be able to help you as much since you’ll have a more customized server configuration. The managed plans are more expensive and less flexible but much easier to use. 

On InMotion’s entry-level dedicated plan, Essential, you get a massive 1 TB solid state drive for storage with RAID 1 mirrored storage. That means your files are kept in duplicate, so if one disk is down or suffering poor performance, the server can pull the data or files from the other instead, making your site more reliable. 

You also get 15 TB of bandwidth. The amount of data your site can transfer to users each month is massive. 

That’s bolstered by the speed you get from the Essential plan’s 16 GB of RAM and a quad-core CPU with eight total threads. 

This lets your site multi-task like a beast and doesn’t slow down your site when multiple users are doing different things. And you saw above our speed test, which serves as a testament to how fast this server’s resources are.

Plus, you get up to 5 dedicated IP addresses. Having multiple dedicated IP addresses ensure email deliverability when marketing your site or communicating with visitors or customers. Email services trust your dedicated IPs more, helping you avoid the spam folder.

InMotion is Linux only, so there’s no way to use Windows as the servers’ operating system. But if you’ve used VPS or cloud hosting previously, you have most likely used Linux as a server OS already. 

The advantages of having so much in InMotion’s most basic dedicated hosting plan are numerous. It allows you to plan for how your site can scale without having to move to a more powerful plan as soon as you taste success. 

Customer Support: 4.7/5 – In any hosting plan, things can go wrong. 

That’s why leaning on a knowledgeable support team matters. When we tested InMotion’s support, they blew us away. 

Starting a live chat takes one click. We never had to wait more than a minute to connect with someone and all of the reps we talked to went above and beyond to help us.

You can see below that the chat and support links are always in the top right of your account management dashboard:

In our first support interaction, we needed help logging into the Application Management Panel (AMP)—InMotion’s main dashboard.

We started the chat at 7:54 a.m. Pacific and were connected to a rep almost immediately. The rep let us know that they were waiting on the data center to finish provisioning the server and reached out to their team to see if there were any updates.

Five minutes later, they told us it could take a few days and we would get an email confirming when it was done.

The rep also confirmed we would not be charged for any days of service until our server was ready. 

The chat was done after 16 minutes.

We liked that they don’t charge for services in the lead up before they can be used by a customer. The rep was patient and answered us very clearly so we understood the full process and timeline. And we got an email in a couple of days when the server was ready as promised. 

For the second live chat with InMotion support, we wanted to confirm our CPU information. 

Several dedicated hosts have an approximate CPU configuration on their sales pages, but it’s not always what you get. 

It’s a crucial piece of advice of ours to always verify your CPU configuration when signing up for a dedicated hosting plan.

Sometimes you’ll get a better configuration than what’s listed on a host’s website. But, you also want to make sure you’re not getting less than what was promised.

We asked this question of InMotion support at 1:25 p.m. and got an answer quickly.

Turns out we got a better CPU, but we wanted to know why it wasn’t the same as what was listed on their sales page. 

The rep let us know that the CPU configuration there is the minimum hardware they’ll provide and they always either install that or something better if it isn’t available. The rep clearly, politely, and quickly answered the question and clarified why there was a difference.

The chat took only seven minutes. 

On the third live chat, at 5:46 p.m.,  we asked if we could change the operating system.

We were connected to a rep right away. They asked for some time to research our question. 

After seven minutes, the rep let us know that they only support CentOS but we could switch the operating system to whatever we want. They just wouldn’t be able to give support for it if something went wrong. 

They then said that, in order to switch, we needed to migrate our data from this server to a new one and that they also would not be able to help with that either.

We thanked them and ended the chat. It took 11 minutes. The thorough explanation was great, letting us know what we could do and their limits on assisting us with that.

In closing, InMotion’s support was outstanding. We were connected to each rep super fast and they all gave us the information we needed quickly. 

If you value customer support—and, with dedicated hosting, you should—InMotion is just short of perfection. 

Pricing: 3/5 – InMotion’s entry-level dedicated plan starts at $139.99 per month for a year commitment up front. 

So, with the promotional pricing, your first year runs a total of $1,679.88. 

Renewal pricing is just $30 more per month (a 21% increase in rate), leading to a second year that costs $2,039.88. 

All told, two years of entry-level dedicated hosting from InMotion is $3,719.76—averaging $154.99 per month over that time. 

This may seem like a lot, but InMotion pricing is right in the middle of the pack for dedicated hosting. In fact, it’s about $200 cheaper than our list-wide average cost of $3,919.84.

Three hosts on our list are cheaper and two are more expensive. 

In terms of cost, InMotion is about average, but the value of the resource set and site speed means you’re getting a ton out of what you’re paying.  

InMotion Hosting is excellent for anybody about to graduate to the big leagues of hosting. You get the perfect blend of resources, performance, and support to make your move up to dedicated as pain-free as possible.

#2 – Liquid Web — The Best for Setting Up a Customized Server

Liquid Web

Most Customizable Hosting

Get a custom dedicated web hosting solution tailored for your specific business needs with real-time monitoring. Introductory plans start at $169/month.

Overall Score: 3.9/5

Liquid Web’s dedicated hosting plans are insanely customizable—the most malleable out of all the options on our list. 

You can individually configure all of the resources to match your needs and choose between fully managed, semi-managed, or unmanaged options. They also offer a fleet of add-ons to take advantage of, like additional backup drives and storage encryption.

Let’s take a look at how they scored:

Server Reliability: 5/5Server Response Time: 5/5Technical Resources: 2/5Customer Support: 4/5Pricing: 2/5

Server Reliability: 5/5 – Liquid Web had no downtime over 25 days. Not even one second. 

You can’t do better than truly 100% uptime. That’s the sign of a server you can trust. 

Liquid Web is one of only two hosts on this list to achieve this. 

Look at that nice, smooth sailing all month long. 

This isn’t new for Liquid Web. When we tested their VPS servers, we got the same result. 

Not only do you get unassailable uptime, but Liquid Web makes sure it always stays that way through automatic software updates and security patches, plus 24/7 server monitoring. 

At this stage of hosting, you expect sterling uptime availability and Liquid Web delivers. When you are running a business that puts food on your table, it’s nice to know you don’t ever have to wake up and find out you’ve missed out on opportunities because of your site being down. 

Server Response Time: 5/5 – Keeping with the perfection they showed in uptime, Liquid Web also makes your website speedy as all heck. 

They are the only dedicated host on our list to score perfectly in both uptime and server response time. 

Our server had an average response time of 346 milliseconds over 25 days, making it the second-fastest server on our list.

Liquid Web well out-performed the average speed for our list, 503 milliseconds.

When looking at the image above you can see a long steady line for response time. Showing that server performance is stable and reliable

It’s also a big step up in speed compared to their VPS hosting, which was 343 milliseconds slower than this result on their dedicated servers. 

The speed your visitors will experience will make bounce rates a thing of the past while giving you an inside edge to reaching the first page of Google results. 

Technical Resources: 2/5 – Liquid Web scored low on technical resources here, but it’s made up for by the customizable environment they provide. 

You can get managed dedicated hosting, but you will succumb to the lower level of resources. With semi-managed and unmanaged plans, you can turn your server into a powerhouse if you know how. 

As you change your configuration, the price updates in real time so you always know how much you’ll be paying every month. 

It’s a great option if you know exactly what you need or none of the cookie-cutter plans match your needs.

Let’s dive into the specs. 

To start, you don’t get the standard 6 TB of bandwidth we recommend with dedicated hosting. But the 5 TB that comes standard is close. 

You are also in the red with only 480 GB of SSD storage on the entry-level plan and just one dedicated IP address. 

You can easily add more IP addresses at checkout, though, at $2 per.

What you do get is a large amount of RAM. 16GB to be exact. And you also get a quad-core CPU with eight threads standard. 

The two threads per core gives you substantial processing speed, allowing your site to handle more traffic and requests. 

Again, though, it’s easy to customize your plan with Liquid Web. That extends to operating system choices as well.

You can choose from CentOS 7, CloudLinux 6 or 7, Debian 8 or 9, and four different Windows options—Standard 2016 or 2019 and Datacenter 2016 or 2019.

With semi-managed and unmanaged plans, you also get the option to use one of two versions of Ubuntu.

Plus, you get three different control panel options: your standard cPanel with WHM, Interworx, or Plesk Obsidian. 

These options can seem mystifying to a dedicated hosting novice. Worry not, though, because you can lean on Liquid Web’s reps to help you create a custom plan that will fit you like a glove.

One crucial detail to note, though: the entry-level plan on Liquid Web only comes with the free version of Softaculous. The free version doesn’t allow you to install WordPress. 

You have to purchase a license for Softaculous if you want to use WordPress on your sites. 

Given how much you pay, Liquid Web is not necessarily the best deal. But, if you know what you’re doing, the value is incredible for the level of flexibility you get with Liquid Web. 

Customer Support: 4/5 – Overall, it’s very easy to get in touch with Liquid Web’s support. 

You also don’t have to wait long to connect with someone, but responses may come slowly after. We found you’ll likely have to wait a bit to get an answer, but it didn’t affect the quality of the support we received.

Plus, you can call Liquid Web any time for help, something that’s not always an option with other hosts.

The first thing that stood out was how easy it was to start a chat. You can always open a new live chat from the support button in the top navigation menu. Some hosts don’t make this so easy. 

For our first support chat, at 8:21 a.m. Pacific, we asked about Acronis backups. We did not see this with any other host and wanted to know what this provided us. 

We were immediately connected to a rep who told us the main benefit of Acronis backups is that they don’t take up storage space.

We then asked if the backups are automated. The rep placed us on hold, then took a total of 12 minutes to find the answer, eventually letting us know it depended on our personal settings. By default, they’re set to daily automatic backups.

They also sent us an article with more information. We thanked them and ended the chat after 25 minutes. 

We felt the questions we asked were pretty basic and easy, but it took forever to hear back in between responses. It was great that the rep actually explained things to us rather than sending us just a tutorial or article to read through. We also liked that the rep looked into our own backup settings to offer personalized help.

For live chat number two, we asked about the included version of Softaculous. We only had the free version and that did not allow us to install WordPress. 

We asked a sales rep before we signed up if the Liquid Web plan comes with Softaculous and they told us yes, although they didn’t specify if it was the free version or the premium version.

We started this chat at 12:44 p.m. and got an answer in five minutes. The rep said that we would have to purchase a license to Softaculous if we wanted to install WordPress. 

All told, the interaction took 10 minutes. 

When we started the third chat at 6:05 p.m., we asked about switching operating systems. 

The rep joined immediately and asked three minutes later if we meant switching from CentOS to something like Ubuntu or Windows. We confirmed and added that we were curious what that process would look like.

The rep said it basically means destroying the existing server and starting fresh with a migration to a new one.

We followed up by asking how we’d start this process if we wanted to move forward with it. After being on hold for 15 minutes, they let us know of two ways to do so. 

One way is reimaging the server, which would destroy all the data. The other way is paying for a new server, migrating to the new one, then destroying the existing server.

We thanked them for their time and we ended the chat after 22 minutes.

Our only gripe is the length of time to get answers. We loved how clear the rep was about our options and how they walked us through the process so we understood the differences of each choice. 

All in all, Liquid Web offered excellent support. 

Our interactions were longer than we’d like but they still answered all of our questions and the reps were nice and knowledgeable. As an advanced user, you want a pro that can answer any questions you have about custom dedicated hosting. We feel you will get that support with Liquid Web.

Pricing: 2/5 – Liquid Web is expensive. They are known for this but they give you the flexibility that many dedicated hosts can’t. So you pay the price for that. 

Again, you can choose to go the managed, semi-managed, or fully self-managed route.

Most people choose managed plans, so that’s what we tested and used for scoring. But our power users normally prefer unmanaged for full customization and control, so we’ve included pricing for the non-managed options as well. 

The entry-level plan starts at $169 per month, equaling $2,028 for your first year.

Renewal pricing for your second year is 30% higher at $219 per month. 

That adds up to a second-year total of $2628 and an overall two-year cost of $4656, well above our list-wide average of $3919.84.

Also, be aware that opting for Windows as your OS costs more, starting at $30 extra per month. 

You do get to choose between one-year, six-month, and one-month plans. So you can give them a shot and see if they’re a fit, though it costs $199 per month when starting with a month-to-month plan. 

Depending on your needs, more flexibility may be worth Liquid Web’s price. Going with self-managed or semi-managed will cost a bit more but allow for greater freedom. 

They start at $199.00 per month with no uptick on renewal, so it’s not all that much more than the managed options in the long run. 

There’s not a pricing table for semi-managed or unmanaged plans, but it is an option you can choose at checkout if you want to compare rates or sign up for it. You can fully customize your entire server setup, so pricing depends heavily on your other choices as well. 

This kind of fine tuning in dedicated hosting is where Liquid Web shines. You also get incredible service that will come in handy during any major problems. The price is high, yes, so take advantage of the payment options and see if Liquid Web’s superior customization is worth it before you commit to a long-term plan.

#3 – HostGator — The Best Uptime for the Price

HostGator

Best Value for Uptime

Get the rock-solid site reliability you’re looking for with HostGator’s dedicated plans. Ample resources and solid uptime come at a good price, especially if you commit to three years of service up front.

Overall Score: 3.4/5

HostGator stands out by delivering the uptime reliability you expect from dedicated hosting at a very reasonable price. And, it can be even better for you if you opt for a longer-term commitment up front.

There are some issues that keep HostGator from being our pick for most people getting started with dedicated hosting for the first time (namely, the poor quality of their customer support), but if you’re looking for reliability at a great price, HostGator is a great entry point into top-tier hosting.

Let’s look at how they do in the top categories to look out for in dedicated hosting. 

Server Reliability: 5/5Server Response Time: 2/5Technical Resources: 4/5Customer Support: 2.3/5Pricing: 4/5

Server Reliability: 5/5 – HostGator gave us a perfect uptime score of 100%. 

We watched closely and never saw one incident threatening our server’s availability. They’re one of two hosts that delivered flawless uptime with no issues at all. 

As you can see, our site was always available to visitors. 

HostGator delivered this as well when we tested their VPS servers, showing that they’re serious about ensuring their customers’ sites are always up and running.

Even their shared servers delivered 99.99% uptime when we put that category through its paces. 

HostGator has a fantastic infrastructure for maintaining reliable access to your website and apps, so your visitors, shoppers, and users can count on your site being there when they need it. 

Server Response Time: 2/5 –  However, HostGator falls below the bar with regards to site speed. 

Yes, an average response time of 565 milliseconds is well below one second. But when you’re comparing that to other hosts on this list that come in well under that, it makes a difference. 

There are three other providers that are faster than HostGator. 

You can see our testing below:

You can see from September 16 through the 18th, there was a spike in the server response time. It’s just a few days and it’s minor, but affects the overall score and performance. 

That slight blip may be the difference between ranking above your competitors on Google.

But when you couple this average speed with a perfect uptime, it’s not terrible. Just something you want to be aware of. 

This tracks with the other testing we’ve done on HostGator servers. Its VPS hosting was a bit worse than average as well. 

HostGator doesn’t do a terrible job with speed, it’s just not as good as the competition. It won’t affect the user experience much, because it’s splitting hairs when everyone loads sites in under a second. But, again, it may be crucial to getting more eyeballs on your site than the rest of the crowd.  

Technical Resources: 4/5 – HostGator offers above-average technology to get you started with dedicated web hosting. 

You get three dedicated IP addresses so you can avoid the spam folder when sending emails from your site’s URL.  

We know it’s important to have adequate storage for all your content and HostGator meets our standards with 1 TB of SSD storage on its entry-level plan. 

Both your storage and bandwidth are unmetered. That means you don’t have to worry about hitting limits as long as you’re not taxing servers too much. You’ll only incur a penalty if you’re using more than 25% of system resources for longer than 90 seconds at a time.

You also get 8 GB of RAM on HostGator’s cheapest dedicated plan. But the main issue is with HostGator servers’ processing power. Our plan featured a dual-core CPU, albeit with eight threads to compensate a bit. 

However, they list a quad-core processor on their sales pages. That’s a big problem, not getting what you’re paying for. 

Having more cores is better than having extra threads, but the extra threads do offer a boost in processing power. We asked customer support why our actual processor wasn’t what was promised. Stay tuned for more details on that in our section below on HostGator’s support. 

We highlight this because HostGator is the only provider that we tested that actually gave us a CPU that’s worse than what’s listed on the sales page. 

We like how much you get with HostGator for the price, but the misrepresentation about the CPU cores is a big problem to us. If your traffic spikes and you need your website to handle multiple processes at once, you will notice a difference and so will your visitors. 

Keep this in mind if you consider using HostGator. Complex sites or web apps may run into issues here.

Customer Support: 2.3/5 – Our experience with HostGator’s customer support was not a pleasant one. All in all, our interactions were slow and not very productive. We also had two separate reps join the chat and leave without saying anything. 

A good thing, however, is there’s a live chat button always in the top-right corner of your account dashboard (look for the text bubble icon).

It’s there regardless of what page you’re on. So, you can start a chat very easily or you can call them any time. 

For our first support chat, at 8:35 a.m. Pacific, we reached out about both our site data backups and clarification on our CPU specs. It took eight minutes to be connected initially. 

The rep told us that backups count towards our server’s storage limits and sent us a support article that talks about all the different software their hosting plans use. It didn’t mention the CPU or hardware, though.

We noticed our messages were not delivering and had to start a new chat at 9:07. 

This was a terrible experience. Imagine waiting on hold for over 20 minutes just to have to start all over. What’s even worse is that the next chat also ended abruptly and we were on our third rep after a few more minutes of waiting.

By then, it had already been over 30 minutes of dealing with support. 

At 9:19, our latest rep sent us a support article that said the Value plan comes with two cores. We then sent them the dedicated hosting page on their site that clearly says four cores in reply. 

They told us the sales page was wrong, after which we mildly suggested they update that and ended the chat after 48 minutes.

This was one of the most frustrating interactions we have ever had and we did not like being bounced around with no answers. HostGator’s reps treated us like our issue wasn’t important, and that doesn’t feel good. 

Our second interaction was about our web host manager (WHM) not working and timing out with an error message. 

The chat started at 10:33 a.m. The rep joined immediately but didn’t say anything for four minutes. Then, they disconnected and we had to wait for a new chat. 

After our last experience, we were thirsty for a better one. But things got even worse. It was like some customer support prank we didn’t know about. 

When the second rep came on, they said that just because our server was ready didn’t mean our WHM was. We felt the words used in this explanation were less than professional. They then said we had to wait another four to eight hours for everything to be ready, possibly even up to 24 hours. 

This wasn’t listed anywhere and we had to spend 22 minutes in live chat to find this out. Altogether, another terrible experience.

Most people getting dedicated hosting know that provisioning takes time, but why wouldn’t this information about lag in WHM’s readiness be something HostGator informed us of beforehand?

Our third chat was a vast improvement, raising HostGator’s score for this consideration. We asked at 3:53 p.m. how long our server would take to be ready.

After five minutes the rep told us their servers were down and rebooted the server, but that did not help. 

They said they would email us once the issue was resolved, which we received at 7:35 p.m. that evening. It included the IP addresses, name servers, and root login information for our server, information about backups, and a link to the knowledge base.

It took three hours to resolve our issue, but we appreciated that the rep went above and beyond by rebooting the server. They were very kind and empathetic towards the situation, which was nice for a change.

In brief, HostGator did not offer good service and their score shows it. They only scored a 2.3 because it’s easy to start a chat, they offer phone support, and our third interaction wasn’t absolutely terrible. 

They did the bare minimum and it showed. They also made us feel that our problems were not important with how the reps bounced us around and even dropped chats without warning. 

Pricing: 4/5 – Pricing for an entry-level HostGator dedicated hosting plan is very affordable. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable plans we tested. 

It’s only $109.98 per month, totaling $1,319.76 for your first year.

Once your promotional pricing period is done, the renewal rate jumps by 72% (the highest increase on our list) to $189 per month. 

So, your second year is $2,268.00, leading to a full two-year cost of $3,587.76. That comes in just under the list-wide average of $3,919.84 for two years of hosting. 

You can save more by going with a three-year plan, which brings the promotional price down to $89.98 per month. That’s a total of $3,239.28 due up front for three years of hosting. The renewal rate after your first three years stays at $189.

Basically, you’re getting an extra year while saving $348.48. That’s the key note to end on here. HostGator does fall well short in live chat support and the speed of their servers isn’t anything to write home about. But if you want unflagging uptime that you can secure for a great deal, HostGator is the place for you to start on dedicated hosting.

#4 – Bluehost — Best for Getting Started in 30 Minutes or Less

Bluehost

Best for Quickly Getting Started

Feature-rich dedicated hosting plans backed by a 30 day money back guarantee. 24/7 dedicated support, free domain, root access, and database management.

Bluehost is one of the most popular and reputable names in the world of web hosting. If you’re looking for the ultimate in control, security, and performance, a dedicated hosting plan from Bluehost will be a top choice for you to consider.

What makes Bluehost the best for most users is the rich feature set they offer, giving you more options out of the gate than most providers. 

Having a booming website means tons of data is being accessed, and that needs to be protected at all costs. Bluehost gives you high-quality storage configuration tools like RAID1 so that your data is mirrored, making it extremely protected. Plus, with cPanel storage upgrades you can control how much you need on the fly. 

The advanced features at the base level pricing makes Bluehost also stand out as the choice for top quality and value. You can control the server entirely with an unmanaged plan. You can even include multi-server management for additional hosting services on your existing account, making Bluehost a flexible provider for any online business. 

All plans come with access to 24/7 support from Bluehost’s elite dedicated server specialists. These agents have been trained specifically to accommodate dedicated hosting inquiries and issues. giving you the gold standard in customer support you yearn for when dealing with a complex server service.

Some of the top basic and advanced dedicated hosting features that come with all plans include:

Free domain for first yearFree SSL certificateRAID storageRoot accessFast provisioning (24-72 hours)cPanel interfaceMulti-server managementAccess controlDatabase management

And the best part, all Bluehost dedicated servers are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you an opportunity to try them out for free, eliminating all risk. Most business owners will appreciate that freedom. 

#5 – A2 Hosting — The Best for Worry-Free Customer Support

A2 Hosting

Best Customer Support

Choose an unmanaged or managed dedicated hosting plan. These servers are fast, reliable, and developer-friendly.

A2 Hosting is the standard in fast, efficient hosting. For years they have been racking up awards and testimonials for incredible performance. 

When you have a fast server, it makes all the difference in ranking on Google, getting the sale because a customer could buy your product on a quick lunch break, or even keeping an impatient millennial from bouncing to a competitor’s site because yours is too slow.

But A2 not only boasts fast servers, they also compliment it with a sturdy infrastructure that is guaranteed to keep your website up and running. 

Another reason why A2 Hosting is a top pick for dedicated hosting is its flexibility. No matter what type of dedicated plan you’re looking for, A2 has an option for you. You can manage your own server or have them do it for you. 

And, let’s be clear, not every provider offers unmanaged services. Some providers don’t want you fooling around with their servers, but if you have the skillset or IT team in place, A2 opens its doors to let you optimize your own server.

You’ll have the option to choose from a managed or unmanaged dedicated hosting plan among its core offerings: 

Unmanaged Server — Starts at $99.59 per monthDiscount SSD Server — Starts at $129.30 per monthManaged Flex Server — Starts at $141.09 per monthCore Flex Server — Starts at $141.09 per month

You can even add custom applications or script installs without any restrictions. 

The unmanaged plans are developer-friendly, so they come with root access and the ability to choose your Linux OS. 

But if you just want high performance while staying hands-off, you can go with a managed plan. A2 will migrate your site to a dedicated server for free, and you’ll have access to reliable Guru support 24/7/365.

An important factor we want to make clear before wrapping up is the added speed you want must be used with an add-on that you must purchase. The Turbo Boost add-on is not standard-issue, and can only be included for an additional price between $42-$85 per month extra. 

All dedicated servers from A2 Hosting are backed by an “anytime money-back guarantee.” This promise comes with some stipulations, but you can try a dedicated plan risk-free.

#6 – DreamHost — The Best Uptime Guarantee

DreamHost

Best Performance Guarantee

Managed plans with 24/7 server monitoring and 100% uptime guarantee backed by a generous SLA. Dedicated plans come with root access, DDoS protection, RAID 1 storage, and a custom control panel.

DreamHost knows how to keep you doing business—they offer an ironclad service level agreement (SLA) for your uptime that is one of the most generous in the category, to boot. 

If you are not clear on uptime, you can find yourself paying for a cheap plan thinking you’re getting the deal of the century, when instead you are deflating the visibility of your website and revenue like a tire with a slow leak. 

Uptime ensures that your website data and services will be available to customers the vast majority of the time. No unplanned site outages or downtime errors keep revenue and traffic rolling in—keeping those Google rankings climbing to the top.

Switching gears for a moment, let’s be clear. No provider delivers 100% uptime, but DreamHost’s guarantee means they’re so confident in their uptime that you’ll likely get 99.99% or better. And they’re motivated, too, because they compensate one full day of service for each hour of service interruption. 

That guarantee implies DreamHost is willing to bet heavily on its servers reliability. This is made possible because of the efficient and connected data centers they provide around the world. Plus, with data redundancy, emergency generators, and constant monitoring, you don’t have to concern yourself with losing valuable face time with visitors and customers. 

That’s not to even mention that you’ll get a fully managed dedicated server at an affordable price, plus their expert 24/7 tech support and server monitoring.

Top features and benefits of DreamHost dedicated servers include:

DDoS protection100% network uptime guaranteeRuby Version Manager (RVM)RAID 1 storageUncapped bandwidthLocal MySQL serverUbuntu LinuxReseller and sub account features

The Standard servers start at $149 per month. This is great for those of you who are just getting started with dedicated hosting. For advanced needs, the DreamHost Enhanced servers start at $279 per month.

Get started with DreamHost today to take advantage of their best-in-class uptime guarantee.

Methodology For Choosing The Best Dedicated Hosting Plan

With so many dedicated servers to choose from, finding the best hosting plan for your needs can be tough. To ease the buying process, we’ve narrowed down the top features that should be taken into consideration as you’re shopping around.

This is the methodology that you should be using to find the best dedicated hosting plan according to your unique situation.

Do You Understand What You’re Getting?

Once you are running a website and it starts grabbing attention, it can explode quickly. That means traffic spikes, leading to more, higher-quality content creation to keep Google happy and   more ideas for adding value to your site. Your work is never done. 

What that means for you, however, is your rinky-dink shared hosting plan you started with won’t cut it for the major league site you’re now the owner of. 

Stepping into the arena of dedicated hosting plans generates new concepts about what managing a site looks like. This includes new terms and things you must understand in order to make the best decision for your site and its hosting. 

A few important questions you must ask yourself are:

What do I need to know in order to make this site secure?What do I need for my site to run smoothly with the demand being put on the server? Do I have the best understanding of what I actually need compared to what I’m getting? 

For example, do you need 15 GB or 32 GB of RAM? That memory gives your website applications a place to store the data they’re using, so it can be easily retrieved. If your site will be using alot of plugins or integrations, more RAM will be important. There is a direct correlation between RAM and the speed and performance of your system. 

How much you need is also affected by how many people are likely using your site at the same time and how often updates need to be pushed. In the same vein, your dedicated server’s hard drive capacity is another factor. Less so, but still something to consider, is the number of CPUs or CPU cores on the server.

Many people get a dedicated host but are still disappointed with the speed in which the site loads or how it lags when visitors interact with it. If there is not enough RAM, hard drive space, or CPU power on the server to handle demand, your site suffers. 

You can look for a dedicated hosting provider that gives you a little more than you need at the right price or one that fits your needs now and can scale with you in the future.

Do You or Your Team Have the Technical Knowledge?

Understanding how dedicated hosting works is normally for the IT departments and server gurus that eat sleep and breath server-side code. But intuitive dashboards and easy software integration have made it easier to manage things on your own. 

There is still a lot that goes into it. And if you want to give it a go on your own, you should know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. There are a myriad of intricate management details involved in keeping your server healthy and you must decide how hands on you want to be—it can be a full-time job. 

For example, PHP code management and regular plugin updates are important for security and website functionality. Backups for data must be done daily or weekly, depending on your needs and preferences. 

Plus, there’s the need to reallocate resources when dealing with traffic spikes to make sure visitors are not experiencing any lag or slow load times. 

These all take time to learn and understand. So, if you want dedicated hosting and you don’t want to get involved in all this upkeep (or hire a crew of IT ringers to do it), we recommend a managed plan. 

Sure it can cost more, but going with the cheaper unmanaged plan will cost you more in time and, possibly, losing your sanity. Paying the price for managed hosting will give you so much more freedom to focus on other parts of your business. 

But, in that case, be 100% sure that the plan you are choosing is fully managed. Some providers can be vague on the wording used when buying a dedicated plan. So double-check for included features like a dedicated IT team provided by your host or key phrases like “full-service dedicated hosting”. 

Also, we want you to remember something: You might not even need a dedicated web host. 

Paying for a dedicated host when VPS or cloud hosting will do just fine is something you want to avoid. When you consider this factor and the previous one on gauging the right level of resources you need, be honest about whether you need the full monty in dedicated hosting or if you can find the right capabilities on virtual private servers.

In the end, dedicated servers offer massive benefits in their speed and security. But only if you can properly wield them—remember you can actually hurt your business by not being proficient in this area of server management. 

Gold-Standard Support

When you reach the level of this kind of web hosting there can be big problems that arise. Even if you’re capable of handling the routine management of your server, there will be times you need to lean on your provider’s customer support. 

The reliability of your support team must be flawless. You can’t afford to pinch pennies or settle for less in this aspect. 

Imagine having your website hacked and the support team can’t figure out how or where it came from. On top of that, they suspend your server activity—leaving your website dark—while they figure it out. 

But the thing is, they can’t. 

So, for a month, your site is out of commission. No backup website, no revenue, no ability to get your data to inform visitors of a new link to follow. 

The worst part? In the end, the support team shrugged their shoulders, apologized, and said, “find a new provider.”

You can imagine the frustration. 

Think that over for a second. Do you think that business owner deserved that? We know what you’re thinking and agree—of course not. 

Customer support can often be included in your dedicated hosting plan. But, at this level, you most often pay for premium support for your specific server. The support team monitors the server like a hawk and knows everything there is to know about the resources being used, each visitor, and security threats attempted. 

Support like this will cost you. And it should. It’s better than dealing with a provider with limited support hours or one that only has support through chatbot.

Your provider’s support team should be available 24/7/365. They should have multiple ways to be contacted (phone, email, chatbot etc) and, most importantly, have a sterling track record of good communication between provider and customer.  

This should be considered even if you have your own dedicated IT department managing your server. 

If you’re not going the self-managed route, the other thing you want to avoid are providers without phone support entirely. 

This is a disaster waiting to happen. You’re naturally going to lean harder on support with fully managed providers. So, you don’t want to deal with disconnected tickets and email chains with no real accountability. 

Oftentimes, emails can be ignored. Have you heard the horror stories about email chains being hundreds of emails long before a resolution is reached? Plus, emails and chat bot conversations can be deleted in error, leaving you stuck with a server problem and no one actively helping. 

That’s the other useful thing about paying for premium support—you have a paper trail for guaranteed accountability that you can hold a provider to. 

A great internet marketing guru once stated “real support costs real money” and we could not agree more. As a beginner, you may be wary of paying for support. But, in the major leagues of web hosting, it’s almost always the better option. 

Uptime That You Can Count On

Your site must be accessible as often as possible. No website means no rankings, no revenue, and no authority building. Uptime is the guarantee that your site won’t experience many outages and be available to its visitors. 

Some dedicated servers are better than others, it’s that plain and simple. If you read through the hosting plans like we did, you will see practically every one promises a 99% uptime guarantee or better. 

You’ll see many providers keep adding nines after the decimal point, promising 99.9% or 99.99% uptime. Can this be true?  

The answer is yes, but all servers need maintenance and it’s the protocols good providers have in place that keep your site available, even when the server is out of commision for security, updates, and functionality checks. 

You can select a provider that has data center redundancy. That means that if a problem arises, they restart the server or application from a second data center and this server holds a real-time copy of your site. So, when maintenance needs to be done, you feel no effects. 

Other providers follow protocols that put up copied cloned sites on a temporary server so people visiting don’t get the live site but a clone. This is similar to data redundancy without needing to transfer data to another entirely different data center. 

One last protocol can be to do maintenance at odd hours when traffic is low, especially if you don’t have international visitors or sell digital goods. This is most common in the hosting world and can work fine for most websites.

Beware some providers that don’t count downtime in some instances, even if your site is not operational. They may only count against their guarantee when their servers are operational and your individual server breaks. This is absurd, but it happens. 

There’s also a difference between a “100% uptime guarantee” and 100% uptime. No provider can truly provide 100% uptime for the reasons we mentioned above, like routine maintenance and updates. 

The key here is how the provider compensates you for any downtime. 

A great provider will have a service level agreement (SLA) that states the compensation you will receive if they don’t meet the required uptime guarantee. Some providers will have an agreed upon credited amount that is given to you if said guarantee falls short.  

DreamHost is one of the most generous, crediting you a full day of service for each hour of unplanned downtime.

Some providers can go as far as allowing you to terminate the contract.

With so many businesses reliant on the continuous availability of service, SLAs are becoming more and more popular and more robust to provide more security and peace of mind to you for doing business with them. 

When deciding on your dedicated hosting plan, question them on uptime, what protocols they use to meet their guarantee, and if they offer an SLA. Read reviews and see if other customers praise the consistency of website accessibility; doing this could help you avoid common pitfalls others business owners face when taking the leap to dedicated hosting.

InMotion

Best for Most

All the power and resources you could ask for are at your disposal with dedicated hosting from InMotion. From its already-powerful basic package to custom, bare metal plans, InMotion can handle whatever your site throws at it without breaking a sweat.

Summary

What’s the best dedicated hosting plan?

With thousands of options to choose from, naming just one as the best isn’t very realistic. But the eight options reviewed in this guide will accommodate the needs of every website or business type in search of a dedicated server.

Just follow our recommended use cases and methodology to find the best dedicated hosting plan for your specific circumstances. 

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