Top 5 Budget Friendly and Scalable Hosting Solutions

Budget shared hosting should only be used for development or for the smallest companies and blogs. Most developers, myself included, build new projects in shared hosting environments and once the site starts receiving attention, we move it to a VPS or dedicated server. Web designers will recommend shared hosting, to keep your recurring expenses down.

If your project is starting on a shoestring budget than you want to use a hosting company that offers solutions allowing you to easily upgrade your hosting in under an hour. The hosts below all allow you to add additional resources on the fly and upgrade to enterprise level hosting solutions. Although, if your site gets large enough, your best bet is to purchase dedicated servers from companies like SoftLayer, who provide many small hosting companies infrastructure.

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post or any compensation for my recommendations.

1.) MediaTemple

Media Temple LogoMediaTemple is a GREAT choice for growing websites. You can start out on the “Grid Service” for under $20 a month with an easy to find coupon that gives you 20% off every month.

When you outgrow the Grid Service, you can add a separate MySQL container to keep your site alive. After outgrowing that, you can choose either their (dv) Dedicated-Virtual hosting or their (ve) hosting. The DV is a managed VPS, while their VE is not.

Their VPS can be scaled instantly at the click of the mouse and a swipe of your credit card. If you are lucky enough to max out a single VPS, you’ll want to move to SoftLayer or Rackspace and look into dedicated servers.



  • Budget hosting: $20/month cloud-esk hosting
  • Virtual Private Servers: (ve) $30-$2000 (dv) $50-1500
  • Dedicated Servers: $2,000+


VPS.NET LogoVPS.NET offers cloud servers with LiteSpeed webserver available. Litespeed costs an additional $14 per month, and is not free as has been stated elsewhere. Their support is supposedly top tier.


  • Founded: 2009
  • Employees: 51+
  • Datacenters: (6) France, Netherlands, Singapore, and USA – CA, TX, DC. (7) Additional data center presences planned
  • Website:


  • Basic: $20/month to $260/month

I can’t recommend VPS.NET after a recent firsthand experience with them. I will update this post with a company I can actually recommend. Remember, I don’t use affiliate links or ads on this site – I don’t have to recommend a company I dislike 🙂

3.) Linode

Linode LogoLook past Linode’s terribly designed website and you will find one of the best budget friendly hosting solutions available. Starting a $20/month you can build a LAMP server from the ground up. Want lighttpd? You got it – because your going to have to install everything yourself. Don’t know what Lighttpd is? Then Linode won’t be suitable for you.

Linode offers amazing, scalable hosting for just about anything but you have to install Apache, MySQL – EVERYTHING but your distro yourself. If your not familiar with Linux or comfortable with server administration this is not a suitable solution.

For the risk takers running WordPress, Ryan Wenderlich has a guide entitled “How to Move Your WordPress Blog to Linode” that can get you on your way.

By the way, if your wondering how much RAM each Linode comes with – the number after the name is the amount of ram it has in MB. For example, the $19.95 Linode 512 has 512mb of guaranteed RAM, 20gb storage, and 200gb transfer. Ram is burstable up to all idle ram on the host.


  • Founded: 2003
  • Employees: 25+
  • Datacenters: (6) UK, Japan, and USA – CA, TX, NJ, and GA
  • Website:


  • Basic: $19.95/month to $800/month

4.) Gigenet

Gigenet LogoGigenet is well known for their dedicated hosting and cloud computing services. Not many people seem to take advantage of their cloud solution for hosting web sites, and it gets its most use for batch processing. One of my favorite setups on Gigenet is to start with a $20 cloud plan. As you need, you can add more processor/memory/bandwidth/etc. Once your site gets large enough, you can purchase a dedicate server or seperate cloud to use for your database or just switch over to dedicated servers entirely.

Also, they actually operate their own datacenter in Chicago, IL – they aren’t leasing space – and offer collocation. I recommend these guys over RackSpace as they are smaller and have a great reputation among smaller clients.



  • Cloud: $20/month and up
  • Dedicated: $99/month and up
  • Hybrid: By Quote

5.) ServInt

ServInt LogoThe entry price to ServInt is a bit higher than the other companies we have talked about at $49.99, but their hosting is SOLID. First, their virtual private servers are fully managed and come with unlimited user license Plesk or cPanel. Secondly, the price includes 4 IP addresses.

At $1 less than MediaTemple’s cheapest VPS, you get DOUBLE the disk space, 1.5 times the ram, and DAILY off server backups. Also, having had larger sites on MediaTemple, the burstable ram at ServInt is actually accessible.

These guys rock. You could host a bunch of small sites on the smallest VPS offered. Just consolidating some shared hosting accounts would put you on their lowest offering, and you would end up with a single bill and less headache. Their VPS solutions go up to 300gb of disk space with 20 gigs of ram (32 burstable). Your in good mentionable company at ServInt – they host Wikileaks.


  • Founded: 1995
  • Employees: 50+ (2010 estimate)
  • Datacenters: (4) Virginia, Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA
  • Website:


  • VPS: $49/month and up
  • Dedicated: $199/month and up

If you need any assistance selecting the best host for your situation, let me know in the comments and I’ll let you know who might be a good fit.

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