Two names dominate the unlimited graphic design space – Penji and Design Pickle. Design Pickle vs Penji, which is the better service for you? We signed up for both companies and see who offers a better service, so you don’t have to.
Unlimited graphic design companies are a new breed of services that are gaining popularity in the last few years (see the complete list of unlimited graphic design companies). Their promise is simple, you pay a flat monthly rate and get unlimited design projects for the month.
No hiring, no HR, no interviews, and absolutely no managing on your part. Just submit the designs, and the company will find the best designer for you and take care of the rest. Sounds too good to be true? We did an in-depth review of Penji and Design Pickle (coming soon) to see if the promise is real, and the promise holds up.
Today, we’ll see which of these two unlimited graphic design service providers offer the best value for your money. For our comparison review, we’re going to be comparing these two companies based on the following criteria: Speed, Quality, Communications, Ease of use, and Value.
DESIGN PICKLE VS PENJI – QUICK SUMMARY
This is a rather long and extensive review. So if you don’t want to go through everything, here’s a quick 2-minute summary of everything.
- We signed up for both Penji and Design Pickle’s $399 plan to see which company provided a better service and experience.
- Pricing differences: Penji’s pricing included more design types. Design Pickle didn’t include Logos, complex infographics, and presentations.
- Custom Illustrations: Included with Penji’s Team ($499) and Agency ($899) plan. Design Pickle charges $499 add-on on top of your existing plan.
- Design quality test: Both companies received the same four projects with the same exact wording, attachments, etc.
- Design Pickle won “Versus” blog Featured Image
- Penji won Facebook Cover Image For Digital Pub, Print Magazine Cover Re-Design, and Content Infographic Re-Design.
- Creativity & details: Penji’s designs were more creative and got the small details
- Customer support: Design Pickle had more responsive support and online knowledgebase. Penji’s account manager was more responsive and proactive emailed us.
- Turnaround: Both companies delivered 2-3 drafts within 24 hours. Revisions were also speedy. Design Pickle took 12 – 24 hours for revisions, while Penji usually turnaround revisions the same day.
- Platform & Integrations: Both had intuitive and easy to use platforms. Design Pickle had more integrations. Penji’s slack integration was difficult to use and requires dev help.
Design Pickle vs Penji, the winner is Penji in several categories. Design Pickle did win in a few categories. However, Penji won in the major categories that mattered. Penji’s design quality, attention to detail, and creativeness tends to be superior.
Penji offers better value as covering more design categories. Penjis’ team also was more responsive and felt like working with people instead of processes and canned responses.
Design Pickle was excellent in terms of their processes and operations. However, that shows in the design output and communication. Everything felt more mechanical, robotic, and templated.
Penji promo code
If you want to give them a try, use this Penji promo code “OMDVP25” to get 25% off your 1st month. Full disclaimer, we receive a commission when you use the code.
Design Pickle’s promo code
DESIGN PICKLE VS PENJI FULL REVIEW
Although both companies offer the same services, their pricing model is very different. Design Pickle separates their plans into Pro and Standard. Standard starts at $399/month and you’ll be working with a Philippine designer for next-day turnaround.
Meanwhile, the $995 lets you work with the designer via Slack for real-time communication and same-day delivery. You also get advanced infographics, animated GIFS, and Powerpoint designs for the Pro plan.
Penji’s pricing, on the other hand, has three tiers. Penji’s low plan is ironically called its “Pro” plan. At $399/mo it costs the same as Design Pickle’s Standard plan and appears to offer the same level of design service. Design Pickle offers Zapier integrations. Although Penji doesn’t offer Zapier integrations, they have an Invite feature that lets you add more than one user to the account. I personally find that very useful.
For this review, we chose to sign up for the $399 Standard plan from Design Pickle vs $399 Pro plan from Penji. Here’s a chart to compare the two plans side by side.
DESIGN PICKLE VS PENJI $399 PLAN COMPARISON
The pricing page alone doesn’t tell the whole story. We want to know exactly what each plan offers and what you get in terms of design offerings for $399/month. After digging around their websites and asking their support chat, we uncovered more details each plan has to offer. Here’s a chart we made to showcase all of the hidden features and important benefits included with the $399 plan from each company.
There’s a number of differences between the two Company’s offerings for their base $399 plans that you need to be aware of.
# Of Designers
This is how many designers you’ll be working with essentially. Design Pickle’s pricing plans indicate that you’ll be assigned to 1 designer and be working with just that designer. Meanwhile, Penji doesn’t assign you to any designer until you actually create a project. When you create a project, they will assign you to the best available designer for that type of project.
Penji’s support team told me they utilize this method of assigning to make sure we only work with designers who are actually good at the type of design we’re requesting. I’ll have to give a point to Penji for this one.
Design Pickle explicitly stated that they only offer Logo design for their Pro plan ($995/m). It’s not explicitly stated on Penji’s pricing page, but their customer support confirmed logo design is included for all plans.
Neither company offers custom illustrations as a part of their $399 plan. However how they incorporate it is uniquely different. Penji packaged Custom Illustration in their Team ($499) and Agency ($899) plans.
Design Pickle doesn’t include Custom Illustration in their Pro plan ($995). To get Custom Illustrations, you will need to pay an extra $499 add-on every month that you need an illustrator.
Design Pickle vs Penji: Here’s what it will cost you to get custom illustrations with each company.
Penji: Team plan $499 / month (includes Custom Illustrations)
Design Pickle: Pro plan $399 + $499 Custom Illustration add-on = $898 / month
It costs quite a bit more to get custom illustration with Design Pickle. If you rarely need custom illustrations, this won’t be an issue. But if custom illustration is a big part of your design needs, you might need to look closely at this.
1. REGISTRATION AND ONBOARDING
Design Pickle vs Penji’s registration process was both smooth and efficient. I didn’t feel either one asked too many questions or was complicated. Penji allows you to sign up for any plan you want right away. Meanwhile, Design Pickle only lets you sign up for the Standard plan. To register for the Pro ($995) plan, you need to schedule a demo
Design Pickle versus Penji’s Onboarding
After I signed up for their services, both led me straight into their online portal right away. I was able to create my first project almost immediately. I didn’t actually get a “Welcome” email with Design Pickle, which was strange, I figured they’d send me something. I did get a handful of emails, one of which was a brilliantly created video that showed me how to write a better project description. The video was quite long, but it was polished, well written, and hilarious. I love that about their company.
Penji was very conservative with their onboarding. I received an official “Welcome to Penji” email with essential information, which was nice. Then the next day I received an email from someone named Charmaine from their company. It wasn’t a templated or auto-responder email, it was my account manager emailing asking how I was doing. I liked that.
2. CREATING DESIGN PROJECTS
Now for the real question – who provides better quality designs? All the features, bells, and whistles are pointless if the company can’t turnaround quality designs for you.
We created three test projects and posted them to Penji and Design Pickle. To make sure everything was fair, all projects have the exact same description and attachments. We even went as far as giving them the same exact feedback on each of the drafts.
Here are the test projects:
- Facebook Cover Image For Digital Pub
- Print Magazine Cover Re-Design
- Content Infographic Re-Design
- “Versus” blog Featured Image
As a digital publication, we work with design agencies and freelancers to get our design work done. These projects are taken directly from our queue. We chose these projects specifically because they all require different skills to complete and will give us an idea of how versatile each company is.
3. TURNAROUND TIME
We submitted the four projects to both Penji and Design Pickle respectively. Both the drafts and revisions were quick by both companies.
We received drafts for 2 out of 4 projects back the next day. This was very fast, much faster than any of the freelancers we’ve hired. One of the projects didn’t receive submissions because my designer had a question that needed a response, which was understandable.
Upon submitting revisions, I started to see delays. Even when I submitted simple revisions, it seems to always take 24 hours no matter how small or big the revisions were.
We received drafts for 3 out of the 4 projects back from Penji within 24 hours. Just as fast as Design Pickle. My designer also asked a question about one of the projects, but she skipped that one and worked on the 4th project instead of waiting for my response.
Revisions were usually done the same day. And I noticed that if my designer isn’t online, my account manager would assign another designer to quickly jump in and make the revisions.
Design Pickle vs Penji in terms of turnaround time, Penji is the faster company. Both companies were fantastically speedy with delivery and I can’t say I was disappointed with either company. However, Penji was able to deliver fast revisions, especially simple ones much quicker. And that’s important because waiting 24 hours for a fix on a small grammatical error is frustrating.
4. DESIGN QUALITY
Now for the ultimate reveal. Design Pickle vs Penji, which company produced better quality design? See for yourself.
“Versus” blog Featured Image
This was a fairly simple blog graphic request. We write a lot of comparison articles and wanted a featured image that we can use as a template and swap out names of products or companies we’re comparing.
Design Pickle: My designer was Arvin. It took us several revisions to get to the final product, and overall it’s very close to what I had envisioned. 8/10
Penji: My designer was Kenny. It also took several revisions, however, I can’t say I was pleased with the final product. It felt like Kenny was just following literal instructions and nothing more after the 2nd revisions. I give this project 5/10.
Facebook Cover Image For Digital Pub
One of our publishing partner Consumer’s Guide needed a new Facebook cover photo. This was a fairly simple design request, with the exception that you have to check out the website and understand what the company does in order to create a banner. I gave special instructions such as …use the Logo in the design and showcase what the publication does on the cover image.
Design Pickle: Given I was impressed with Arvin on the 1st project, I was thoroughly disappointed with this one. I don’t think the designer ever went to the website to review the publication at all. Just a glance would’ve helped. This looks like 6 random images from Pexel or Unsplash stitched together. 3/10
Penji: Rowell (a different designer) was assigned to this project, and it seemed like he took the time to review the website before designing. I didn’t even know, but apparently there was a new logo on the website that I wasn’t aware of. Rowell took the time to ask for the new logo. The end result was beautiful and our friends over at Consumer’s Guide loved it. 9/10
Print Magazine Cover Re-Design
By far one of the most important projects for us. We’re both a digital and a print publication and this spring we’re releasing another edition of Owner’s Mag. The designers are tasked to design the actual cover for Owner’s Mag second edition print magazine. All instructions, copy, and even past designs were given. The cover needed to look professional, refined, and most importantly highlight the Coronavirus Pandemic. I also asked for this to design in Photoshop.
Design Pickle: I was assigned to Alyssa randomly, and wasn’t sure why. The first draft was atrociously bad and she gave me Adobe Illustrator files instead of Photoshop like I had requested. Arvin (my main designer) was quickly re-assigned to fix the design. Several drafts later, it’s just nowhere near the level of polish and professionalism that we needed. I gave instructions to “Highlight the Coronavirus” section. My designer proceeded to make the texts CORONAVIRUS texts bigger. Quality rating: 3/10.
Penji: Billie was assigned to this project. The first several drafts were simply amazing. It was clear to me that Billie has designed plenty of magazine covers before as she knew where to place things and how to organize content blocks on a cover. It took a few revisions to be perfect, but I was happy from the beginning.
What I was most impressed with was how she clever highlighted the “Coronavirus” section. I was speechless at the final product. I showed the design to my editor and they couldn’t believe it didn’t come from one of the design agencies we hired. Of all the designs we submitted, the quality and level of creativity in this design far exceeded our expectations. And this is the design we will likely be going with for our print edition. Quality rating: 10/10
Content Infographic Re-Design
Infographics are some of the most challenging and difficult designs to get right. We’ve hired a lot of people to design infographics for us, and it’s hard to find someone good who understands how to design infographics. Infographics need to be entertaining to look at. And they also need to present statistics and numbers in a creative and meaningful way that’s easy to read and digest. We weren’t sure how either Design Pickle or Penji would fare in this. If anything, we expected both companies to do poorly.
Design Pickle: Arvin did follow instructions, however, there was no creativity in the design. It’s just left and right blocks of texts and icons. The icons were all of the different stylings, clearly from different designers on Freepik or another free resource site. And there’s just no creativity in this design. It looks boring, bland, and the numbers are just displayed. It’s hard looking at this design and imagining a lot of thought went into it.
I have to be fair and say that it’s not a bad design, but it’s not an infographic. Not even close. And this isn’t something we can use to publish for our audience. Design quality: 4/10
Penji: I was assigned another designer from the beginning, but requested for Billie given how impressive her Magazine cover design was. The result – absolutely breath-taking. The gradient is beautiful and easy to look at. Each item from 1 – 8 was organized and flow gracefully down the page.
Each icon makes sense with its content block. And the way the 55%, and 78% statistic was intelligent and meaningful. All of the content seems like they fit and flow together. This infographic design is on the same level of professionalism and detail that we’re used to from working with design agencies in our city. Design quality: 10/10
5. ATTENTION TO DETAILS
Both designers from Penji and Design Pickle were fantastic individuals to work with and we don’t have complaints with either Arvin or Billie. However, designers from Penji seem to pay more close attention to the details of the designs. In several designs, if you inspect closely, you can see how much attention Penji designers put into all the little details.
There was a lot of little errors from Design Pickle’s submission. The woman in the pink shirt icon is duplicated in two of the graphics. The 78% graphic didn’t make any sense and you can’t see the tiny icons inside of the icon.
The other thing that bothered us was the use of colors. The design on the left had poor color choices for the background colors. The light-blue is used twice, and they connect and bleed into each other (1 and 7). Penji’s design on the right had colors that complement one another and just overall looks more professional.
Creativity is a difficult thing to measure and ask for. It’s easy to tell your designer to “be creative” with the design, but it’s almost impossible to pinpoint. Creativity is one of those things where you just have to trust that your designer has.
My experience working with Design Pickle vs working with Penji was polarizing. Despite giving the same instructions and feedback word for word, the outcome was completely different. Design Pickle’s designers were great at following detailed instructions and almost too good to the point where they didn’t put in their own creativity.
For the Magazine cover design, I gave the following instructions
- Have stock images of people moving and working in the background to show movement
- Make Product Review and Exclusive sections stand out
- The major headline is “Coronavirus Pandemic Explained”. Make this the most prominent element on the page
As you can see from the image above, the two designers both had a different creative vision for how to make the Coronavirus section stand out. To us, Penji’s vision was more creative and impactful.
Both Design Pickle and Penji have their own dedicated platform, which is both a good and a bad thing. We personally prefer if their designer just joins our platform and works with our team on Asana or Trello. But we understand their business model can’t allow for that kind of personalization.
Both platforms were super easy to use and I have very little complaints. They’re not complex platforms and are both seamless enough that you won’t need any complicated tutorials or share-screen walk-through to get the hang of.
I didn’t like how Design Pickle’s platform constantly tries to sell me their CEO’s content. The platform tries too hard to get me to click on links to his podcasts, webinars, etc. and I was more annoyed than appreciative.
Penji’s platform is cleaner, less bulky, and didn’t try to sell me anything. And that, I appreciated. I get that Design Pickle wants to get more clicks and signups for their CEO’s webinars, but there are better ways to do that.
One of the things I love about Design Pickle is its abundance of integrations thanks to Zapier. Although I haven’t used it myself, my co-workers swear by it and have used Zapier integrations with other software. I don’t know how their Slack integration works because we signed up for the Standard plan, but I have a feeling it’s not actually an integration, but more so someone joining our slack team and working with us. And that’s a great thing.
Penji didn’t have Zapier integration, instead, they have Slack Integration API. It was a bit complicated and required our developer to actually setup with our Slack. Definitely not user-friendly or intuitive. This point goes to Design Pickle.
Communication is VERY important in graphic design. Both companies did an exceptional job communicating within all of the design projects. Despite not being able to meet or talk to any of the designers and having everything be done online, communication always felt responsive and tight with both companies.
The one thing I like about Penji was that my account manager was very active in communicating with me. I believe I also had an account manager for Design Pickle, but I can’t even remember their name since they rarely contacted me except when I wanted to cancel.
My account manager, Charmaine, emailed me right after I signed up and personally contacted me when she saw that I wasn’t happy with some of the revisions. That’s an extra layer of care that Penji gave that was missing from Design Pickle. And to me, it made a huge difference in my overall satisfaction.
Design Pickle vs Penji’s customer support. Both companies provided top-notch customer support and both were very responsive to my needs.
Design Pickle shined in two major areas when it comes to their support. They use Intercom for live chat and during most day-time hours someone was available to answer me. They also have a knowledge base where you can look up commonly asked questions, although I’m not sure how useful this would be since this is a service and not a complex SaaS software. Regardless, it was a nice thing to have just in case.
Penji’s customer support was also excellent as my account manager was a real person who constantly checks on my projects and contacts me proactively whenever there was an issue. I really liked the human element that Penji always seems to provide. The downside is that there’s no live chat. And whenever I needed help, the chat interface of Penji just sends an email out to my account manager.
Overall, both companies were great. Design Pickle responds faster and has more online help resources. Penji, on the other hand, has a very active account manager who proactively emails me.
OUR FINAL VERDICT
Choosing a winner is difficult as both companies are great in their own respective ways. Both have been around for several years, however, I believe Design Pickle has been around longer. Both provide a great experience and I can’t say I’m upset or disappointed with either service. But there are many areas where one outshines the other.
Design quality – Penji
Of the four projects, Design Pickle won 1/4. Penji won the remaining 3/4. The clear winner in terms of design quality goes to Penji. From our experience, the design quality, creativity, and attention to detail were better with Penji than with Design Pickle.
Turnaround time – Tie
Design Pickle vs Penji in turnaround is a complete tie. Both were exceptionally fast with their initial drafts and also revisions. Design Pickle lagged a bit and usually took 12 – 24 hours to complete revisions, but my designer turned around more drafts than Penji.
Penji even though turned over fewer initial drafts, the designs were higher quality and revisions were usually the same day. Both providers were incredibly fast by any standards, therefore we call this one a tie.
Attention to detail – Penji
Penji outright wins in this category. In just about every design submission we received, our designer from Penji seems to pay closer attention to the little details than their counterpart at Design Pickle.
Creativity – Penji
Design Pickle vs Penji’s creative output is actually a close one. Arvin from Design Pickle was great at the Versus blog graphics. It was so creative that we’re using it for this specific review. However, Arvin and the other designers assigned to me seemed to stumble at more complex projects such as the infographic and Magazine cover.
Penji designers tend to ask me more questions and submit more drafts for me to choose from. You can see from the designs above, submissions from Penji generally appear more refined, creative, and artistic.
Overall, Penji wins at the creative output.
Design Pickle vs Penji – the winner has been decided. It’s Penji. Both companies are exceptional, however, we chose Penji for the following reasons:
- Penji offered more value for the same price
- Better quality design, attention to detail, and creativity
- Felt like I was working with real people more than processes and automation
This certainly doesn’t mean that Design Pickle doesn’t have good designers. We acknowledge that luck could play a role. Perhaps Arvin from Design Pickle wasn’t the best pick for us. And perhaps we got paired with the best designer on Penji. Who knows. But factoring in multiple criteria and testing various types of design projects, we concluded that Penji gave us a better experience and proved to be a better value.
Top 10 Highest Rated VPN
Internet security and privacy must be taken seriously now more than ever. With millions of people using the internet, wide-scale cybercrimes are also likely to happen. This includes fraud, hacking, identity theft, scams, and malware attacks, to name a few. And if you do not have an added protection over your internet usage, you could be the next victim. This is not to scare you but rather to emphasize how these cyber criminals work. They will use every opportunity and it doesn’t matter who you are.
This is where a VPN can help you.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an extra layer of protection that allows users to create a secure connection to a different network over the internet. This means that everything you do over the internet will be encrypted. No one (not even the government) could track your online activities. Additional benefits of a VPN is that you can access websites that are restricted in a particular region.
So the next question is: Who should get a VPN?
Back in the day, big companies are the common clientele of VPN providers. But as we’ve mentioned, the number of individual internet users surged over the years. It goes without saying that the rate of cybercrimes could go up too.
10 Best VPN for 2020
If you Google ‘free VPN’ right now, you will be overwhelmed with hundreds of providers to choose from. It is tempting, but we do not encourage free VPNs. Frankly speaking, these do not guarantee a high level of protection. Thus, our list only includes paid VPN providers that have passed our high standards.
In the last 6 years, NordVPN’s team of engineers, designers, and system administrators worked hard to create a tool that will bring them closer to their vision – Having a more open, yet private and secure internet.
With NordVPN, you can safely transact online even on unprotected Wi-Fi. Your online activities won’t be tracked as well because basically, it’s nobody’s business. And since they have more than 5600 servers in 59 countries, you can access your favorite websites, streaming services, and messaging apps anywhere in the world. The best part is, it works on all devices.
We recommend that you take advantage of their 3-year plan where you get to enjoy the VPN services for only $3.49 per month. In our opinion, it’s a cheap price given its features.
Aren’t you interested to see Netflix libraries from other countries? SurfShark has 15 different libraries to choose from. But of course, there is more to love about SurfShark.
With them, just one subscription can cover unlimited gadgets in your home. They also have more than 1700 servers in 64 countries.
Let’s not forget their Kill Switch option wherein your connection will be automatically disabled when your VPN drops. Talk about protection all the time.
They have a very affordable package for only $1.99 per month if you get their 24-month plan.
PrivateVPN allows their users to enjoy geo-restricted websites and it will only take you one minute to unleash the internet. With them, expect lightning-fast streaming services and excellent website experience.
The PrivateVPN’s team is particular with their customer service. It’s one of the things they are proud of. For issues, you can directly talk with their in-house developers and it will be resolved the fastest time possible.
To date, they have 100 servers in 60 different countries. You can get their services for $3.82 per month as long as you choose their 13-month plan.
ExpressVPN is almost in every top VPN list. That’s not surprising considering the quality of service you can get from the provider. They have a huge global network in 94 countries, and that means you can expect nothing less from them. You can even use the VPN in most devices and gadgets! It’s pretty hard to pinpoint what’s not to love about it.
What we personally like about ExpressVPN is their split tunneling where you can route some of your app traffic through the VPN while others can be directed to the internet.
Get their 1-year plan for $6.67 per month. This might be a bit steep but considering that ExpressVPN is one of the leading and most trusted providers, the price can be justified.
CyberGhost has 15 years of experience under its belt. We recommend this if your online activity involves heavy streaming and torrenting. With one subscription, you can cover and protect up to 7 devices. Their customer support is also available through chat and email.
As of the moment, they have 6400 servers in over 90 countries. In addition, CyberGhost uses 256-bit military-grade encryption which can protect your data all the time. Get their 18-month plan for only $3.15 per month.
IPVanish provides its users access to over 1400 anonymous servers. You are guaranteed with fast and unrestricted internet access practically from every corner of the globe.
What’s good about IPVanish is that all its services are managed internally and there is no middle man. Having said that, your information and data will be kept safe and confidential.
Lastly, they offer SugarSync which provides file management and encrypted data backup for various devices. It also has a wipeout feature in case your device gets stolen. For $3.25 a month, you can get all of these and more from IPVanish.
UltraVPN boasts its fast internet connection where you can watch continuous videos without the need to pause. Right now, they have more than 50 server locations across the globe.
UltraVPN gives you the access to unlock social media, watch sporting events that are restricted in your region, or check out videos that are only available in certain countries. UltraVPN can give you that power and limitless internet connection that we all deserve.
You can use the VPN for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even for Fire TV. Get their 1-year plan for only $3.75 per month.
ZenMate is easy to use with its one-click connect feature. But even with its simplicity, it delivers an optimal experience to its users. With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 360 reviews on Trustpilot, it is beyond satisfactory. Currently, it has 3800 servers in more than 74 countries.
Affordable rates are also waiting for you. Their package starts at $2.22 every month under their 18-month plan.
9. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is known as the fastest VPN and this has been verified by experts. In fact, the company’s outstanding services bagged them a number of recognitions including ‘the 2019 Most Innovative Security Company’.
To date, they have more than 740M downloads and the number continues to grow. You can install Hotspot Shield in 5 devices, and it detects more than 3.5M malicious websites. For their 3-year plan, you just need to pay $2.99 every month.
Last in our list is PrivateInternetAccess. It has more than 3300 servers in 45 countries. With their services, you can block unwanted connections – thanks to its advanced firewall and filtering features of the Netfilter Project. Without a doubt, it is one of the best VPN providers today.
Its layer of security includes IP cloaking, encryption, firewall, identity protection, and unblocking websites, to name a few. Choose their yearly subscription and only pay $3.33 per month.
If security and privacy matter to you, we encourage that you get the best VPN right now. Think about it. Most of us pay monthly subscriptions for Netflix, Spotify, and other online services. It seems logical that you pay for protection too. Most VPN providers we’ve included in the list offer a money-back guarantee. Use that lead time to decide before actually paying for the services. It’s definitely a win-win if you ask us.
Top 10 VPS Hosting Companies
Looking for the best VPS is what probably got you here, read on to get to know ten of the top hosting companies this 2020. Finding the lovely blend of reliability and affordability can be a daunting task, so we scoured around to give you the rundown and help you make an informed decision.
What is VPS Hosting?
Publishing a website online means having to upload your files to a web server. Typically, you purchase this service from a hosting provider. This is what is known as web hosting. Think of this as cyber real estate. Shared hosting means renting a portion of the space, and dedicated hosting is where you have space all to yourself. This is what makes VPS (Virtual Private Server) special.
Shared hosting is perfect for simple websites, but as your website’s needs grow, this type of hosting won’t be enough. A dedicated server would be ideal but can be expensive. Then comes VPS that’s almost the same as shared, but faster and cheaper than a dedicated one. You still share a server with other websites, but with less population, which is what makes it better and inexpensive.
The bigger question now is, what VPS hosting do I go for? With the multitude of choices out there, we made choosing simpler for you. Here are the top 10 VPS hosting companies we think are the best and the brightest:
1. InMotion Hosting
One of the strongest and most deserving of the top spot on this list, InMotion Hosting has smart features at a fair price. A few of these are its 75GB SSD storage, 4TB bandwidth, 4GB RAM, and free SSLs, among many others. They also provide shared and dedicated hosting as well as web design and tools to help with site maintenance.
They provide three hosting plans with a price range from $29.99 to $83.99 per month. These come with a 90-day money-back guarantee and chat support that’s available 24/7.
Boasting of a VPS hosting service that mimics a dedicated server, Hostinger offers one of the most affordable in its class. Starting at $3.95 a month for its basic plan of 1G bandwidth to $29.95 with 8GB bandwidth. Each plan is broken down by storage, memory, vCPU, and others.
All of their plans include IPv6 support, a dedicated IP, 100 Mb/s Network aside from the usual Ubuntu, CentOS, and Suse hosting services. Along with their fully refundable plans that allow you to try them, they also have 24/7 customer support.
A VPS hosting that has one of the best uptimes and feature-packed plans, HostGator is also one of the most popular and reliable. It provides flexible hosting solutions that include full root access, one-click upgrade system, development tools, and offsite backup.
Prices start at $29.95 for the basic plan, which comes with 2GB RAM to $49.95 with 8GB of RAM per month. You’ll get all the services of a typical hosting service, but you can also avail of their SEO services, PPC advertising as well as web design services.
If you’re looking for a VPS hosting company that gives out free domain permanently, Bluehost is for you. It lets you add more space to your account any time with their multi-server management services. Their main selling points are their 8GB of RAM and 4 CPU cores, plus their unlimited email accounts.
Their Standard plan costs $19.99 with 1TB bandwidth and 30GB of SSD storage while their Ultimate plan will get you 3TB bandwidth and 120GB of SSD storage.
Offering unlimited email accounts, domains, and monthly data transfers, Hostwinds truly deserves this spot on the top 10 VPS hosting companies. They have several VPS hosting plans from Fully Managed Windows to Unmanaged Linux VPS, all aimed to provide specialized services.
Their Managed Windows basic plan starts at $7.99 with 1GB of RAM and 30GB of SSD disk space. The premium plan goes for $26.79 per month, which comes with 6GB of RAM and 100GB of space.
6. A2 Hosting
For newbies in the VPS hosting scene, A2 Hosting provides intuitive service and the best speed for your website. It also has features that even the experienced will appreciate, such as their Railgun Optimizer and preconfigured server caching. They are one of the few that take speed seriously, with an average load time of 99.99% at 424 ms.
Their plans’ prices range from $25 for their Power+ plan that includes 4GB of RAM, 75GB storage space, and 2TB transfer rate. The Pinnacle+ plan is at $50 per month of 8GB RAM, 150GB space, and 4TB of data transfer.
Probably the least expensive on this list, or anywhere else on the web, iPage offers great value for your money. Their unlimited disk space, scalable bandwidth, free site backups, and superb customer service are just but a few wonderful features. With an above-average uptime of 99.96% over 24 months and an average of 746ms page loading time, this is pretty fast for something so cheap.
Their one and only plan will cost you $1.99 a month, so what’s not to like?
8. Liquid Web
From hardware management to proactive service monitoring, Liquid Web will do almost all of the work for you. Boasting the best customer service around which they named “Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®,” they are a solid choice. With 99.999% uptime, they will assure you of top quality service at $15 to $95 a month.
Although one of the costlier choices, they match it with services that are unparalleled in the industry.
With unmetered bandwidth, stable and fast hosting (99.97% uptime, and 554ms average), GoDaddy is also one of the most well-known choices. This hosting provider allows you to integrate with 125 popular web applications. Just one click installs WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more.
The Economy plan is worth $7.99 per month with 100GB of storage space, while the Ultimate plan is at $16.99 per month and the Maximum plan at $24.99, which includes twice the memory load speed and free SSLs.
One of the oldest in this list, DreamHost, hosts more than 1.5 million sites, proof that it’s also one of the best. Its above-average uptime of 99.94% and page load speeds of 648ms is practically still the same as the day they started, some 25 years ago. They have a few unlimited features, which include cloud hosting services and data transfers.
The price starts at $10 for their Basic plan, which gives you 1GB of RAM and 30GB of SSD storage. The most expensive plan, the Enterprise costs $80 a month with 8GB of RAM and 240GB of storage space.
Top 10 Shared Hosting Companies
According to Google, if your website takes more than 10 seconds to load, people are 123% inclined to leave your site. That’s why you need excellent hosting service to prevent that.
Dedicated hosting services can help ease that pain, but it can break your bank. So, it’s best to go for an affordable option so you can save up on the things that matter. That’s why you should consider going for a shared hosting service to keep your site running smoothly.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 shared hosting companies on the internet.
Features include the following:
- SSD Space
- Free Domain Transfer
- Free Website Transfer
- Unlimited bandwidth
The regular price for their FastCloud plans starts at $9.95/mo, while the most expensive one, FastCloud Extra, is $19.95/mo. At the time of writing, all plans are 70% off with FastCloud at $2.95, FastCloud Plus at $4.45, and FastCloud Extra at $5.95.
FastComet users may experience faster loading times boasting speeds at 200 milliseconds. Not only that, but users get a 99.99% uptime. So, website visitors don’t encounter any site downtime. Plus, according to Website Host Rating, their shared server is secure for all users, which is why it’s one of the top 10 shared hosting companies on the net.
According to Blogger Sneed, there’s no dedicated IP address for the shared hosting server. While FastComet has better loading times and even performance than its competitors, the FastCloud plan may not load faster than usual. So, it’s a much better option to upgrade to the higher plans.
Potential customers of ChemiCloud can choose among three plans on the site. It’s on sale at the time of writing, so the most affordable plan is the Web Hosting Starter for 3.95/mo for three years. ChemiCloud priced it originally for $7.90/mo. Their most expensive plan, the Web Hosting Turbo, is for $7.66/mo for three years. It’s 10x faster than its two other plans.
Some features of the ChemiCloud plans:
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Different server locations
- Free migrations
For some experts, uptime is one of the many pros of the ChemiCloud hosting service. Rare are downtimes with using ChemiCloud, and there’s a 99.98% of uptime most of the time. Another thing is you can migrate your site for free within 24 hours, WP Glossy says.
According to Host Review Now, ChemiCloud can be difficult to navigate since there’s no FAQ or guides. Billing may become an issue for many users due to its billing cycles.
For many users, iPage is one of the top 10 shared hosting companies. The cost for an iPage shared hosting service is $1.99/mo (regularly $7.99/mo) for the first term of service. Users get some of the following features:
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited disk space
- Shopping cart integration
One pro of the iPage hosting service is its user-friendly cPanel that even beginners can use easily. It’s great for small business owners that need a domain quickly. TechRadar also noted that it has incredible performance even during the testing period.
Even if the starter price is lower than most hosting services, iPage tends to upsell to their customers. Another con for using the iPage shared hosting service is there’s no cPanel. Besides, users have mixed reviews over their support. Also, if you’ll have to migrate a site, you’ll need to pay $150.
Hostpapa offers three shared hosting plans for potential customers: Starter, Business, and Business Pro. The hosting site recommends that its customers go for a Business plan. Its regular price is $12.99/mo, but they have a deal that is $3.95/mo for three years. The most expensive subscription is $19.99/mo (regular price), and their most affordable is $7.99/mo.
You can get the following features in all plans:
- SSD Storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free domain registration
- Choose between a Canada or US server
Hosting Facts says that small businesses can get a bang for their buck on the Starter Plan. They offer essential features even on the plan, so it’s good value for money. Another reason why small businesses could go for Hostpapa is because of the performance and speed it gives to their sites.
Arvixe has two plans with two categories for its shared hosting service. You can choose between a personal or business plan and a Linux or Windows shared hosting one.
Their most affordable shared hosting service is the PersonalClass Linux shared hosting service that starts at $7.70/mo. You can get a PersonalClass Pro starting at $11.00/mo. You can upgrade to more features for $20/mo.
Some features of the PersonalClass plan are:
- Unlimited disk space
- Free domain name
- Use of cPanel
Arvixe isn’t just a website hosting site. You can build a site and get excellent uptime during the testing period, according to PCMag. Plus, you may get a 60-day money-back guarantee if you want to try out Arvixe for a while.
One disadvantage of using Arvixe is that you’ll need to buy an SSL certificate for $25.00 a year. You might want to consider other hosting sites if you need support often since many users across different review sites aren’t pleased with them.
If you want to avail of a Namecheap shared hosting server, you’ve got three options and two servers to pick from before you purchase a plan. You can opt for a Stellar, Stellar Plus, or Stellar Business plan. Meanwhile, the two data center locations available are US and UK.
Small businesses can get more out of a yearly subscription on a US server since it also includes cloud storage. The price is $52.88 for the 1st year and $104.88 a year ($8.88/mo). They do recommend availing of the Stellar Plus subscription. You’ll pay $29.28/yr for the first year, and it renews at $57.88/yr ($4.88/mo).
Some features you get on the Stellar plans are:
- 50GB SSD
- Unlimited websites
- Free one domain name
According to WhoIs Hosting This, your account and data are secure on Namecheap because they enable two-factor authentication. The cPanel is also something many find an advantage against its competitors. It’s because of the ease of use and design.
Some experts note they face issues over uptime. They found that it has less than 99.99% uptime, which isn’t a good thing. Plus, not many are satisfied with the support given by Namecheap.
Hostinger recommends that small businesses go for Business Shared Hosting for $3.99/mo for four years. It will renew to its regular rate of $15.99 after that period. Its most affordable plan, the Single Shared Hosting Plan, is at $0.99/mo for four years. The Single Shared Hosting plan is limited, so it’s best to opt for a Premium Shared Hosting plan or higher to get more features.
Here are some features you get if you choose a Premium Shared Hosting plan and above:
- Free SSL certificate
- Free domain
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited number of websites
If you want to save money, you’ll need to avail of a 1, 2, or 4-year plan.
Experts notice that support is one of its main issues because you can’t call their support. Otherwise, many do like that support is responsive online, so that’s a plus. That’s why users do find that Hostinger is one of the top 10 shared hosting companies.
For KnownHost, they present you with three options (prices discounted for three years only):
- Basic ($3.47/mo)
- Standard ($6.47/mo)
- Professional ($9.97/mo)
KnownHost promises unlimited bandwidth for all tiers and free SSL certificates.
Experts and users alike report that uptimes are as advertised. It seems many find satisfaction with support also. One downside about using KnownHost is that it hosts using Linux only. Otherwise, it’s an excellent service overall.
Like most of the shared hosting companies on this list, they also offer a 1, 2, or 3-year subscription. But if you just want to test the waters on Hostens, you’re free to opt for a monthly subscription paying their regular price.
Their most affordable plan is the S10 plan for only $0.99/mo for three years. They do suggest you avail of their S20 plan for $1.80/mo for three years. Their most expensive shared hosting plan is $3.60/mo for three years.
Common features of the three plans:
- Free website builder
- Different server locations
Aside from its affordability, Website Planet finds that there’s the ease of use and the one-click installer for programs. One main disadvantage of using Hostens, though, is it doesn’t offer DDoS, and it could affect your website. Despite such, it’s one of the top 10 shared hosting companies on the list.
Similar to other hosting companies, you have three plan options that would best suit your small business. Their recommendation is the Business Plan priced $4.95/mo, while the regular price is $7.95/mo.
You can get the following perks when you use TMD Hosting:
- Unlimited SSD space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Plesk Control Panel
Website Planet finds that free daily backups are helpful. Another point goes to TMDHosting because they have servers in different locations. However, there are frequent complaints about billing from users. Other than that, TMDHosting is one of the top 10 shared hosting services for some users.