How much memory do you need with VPS hosting?

No person or company wants their page to suffer from slow loading speeds, lagging, and inconsistent availability. That’s why having enough resources is crucial to avoid these issues. A common question among those that are just starting their websites or are currently migrating from one hosting option to another is: “Which VPS hosting plan should I choose?”. Well, the answer is “Depends”. Selecting an appropriate one is, of course, critical. If it’s too modest, it will diminish the system’s performance, but if it’s too big, you might be overspending. But there is a way to determine what amount of resources one needs to have enough power.


This is a critical system component. Having too little will result in application crashes, unresponsiveness, and server downtime. When choosing, users can follow several guidelines:

  • 2GB. This is enough for a simple VPS server with a set of 20-30 domains with low to intermediate traffic. It will be enough to run either cPanel, Plesk, or ISPConfig, with webmails, firewalls, MySQL, Apache, Statistics, and a monitoring script running in the background.
  • 4GB. For consistent performance during traffic spikes and 100% stability, this is suitable for a virtual server with intermediate or medium traffic with 30-60 domains. It’s beneficial for those that have a moderate load and around 15-20 clients connecting to the server.
  • 8GB. This is sufficient for those that have traffic spikes of thousands of visitors connecting to the website at the same time.
  • 32GB+. If MySQL and PHP processes consume more than 16GB memory of your VPS server, this is an option for you. Websites with heavy traffic should also think about caching options or spreading out across more servers to alleviate the load.

Tracking down your traffic and memory consumption can help better understand what size plan is suited best.

CPU Cores

The number of cores your server will need correlates to the types of loads that will be running on the system. Some work best with 2 CPU cores, others will require 4 or more to ensure the best performance. The most common applications that run on ordinary VPS servers scale quite well with an increasing amount of cores.

A heavy MySQL database server will benefit from 4, 6, 8, and more. The same can be said about heavy Tomcat/Java applications and Mail servers. When it comes to Apache, NGINX, Tomcat and other Webservers, added cores translate into better overall performance under increased loads.

Disk space

It’s very easy to overspend when it comes to storage. To properly evaluate how much you need, one should assess how much disk space is currently being consumed. This can easily be done directly through the command line or the cPanel/Plesk interface.

One should create a realistic estimate for the expected growth in the next 12 months. If it looks like it’s going to be significant and you’ll be experiencing heavy traffic spikes soon, getting a VPS plan with bigger disk space is the best option.


Data Transfer is the measurement of the data, which includes images, HTML, CSS, Javascript files, that is transferred in and out of your virtual server to website visitors. One can calculate core bandwidth requirements with three key variables:

  • A – page size;
  • B – average pages per visit;
  • C – average visitors per day;

AxBxC=the amount of MB used per month. By doing this estimate, one can quickly predict future needs. Having enough bandwidth is crucial. With a proper amount, you can have more media elements on your webpage, it will have less chance of crashing, and the visitors can view more pages of your site.

How much memory your virtual server needs depends on many factors. But by using the guidelines outlined above, it should be significantly easier to decide which VPS plan you should go for. Users should prepare for the possible future growth of their website, but they should also remember that smaller plans are also a good option that can be upscaled quite easily if limited resources become an issue.