So you're in the market for Minecraft hosting? There are several different factors that you should consider before coming to your final decision. Depending on where you fall in the market, you're going to need to purchase hosting that will fit your needs.
Factors to consider:
- How large your player base is
- What type of server you're looking to run (Craftbukkit, Feed the Beast, Tekkit, Bungeecord Hub, etc.)
- What your budget is
- Where the server will need to be located
- What type of configuration you'd like to use to manage your server (Multicraft, McMyAdmin, Spacebukkit, Command Line, Windows Server)
- How experienced you are with troubleshooting server problems
There are several different options you have to choose from when picking a Minecraft hosting solution. Generally speaking, there are 3 different tiers of solutions your have to choose from: shared Minecraft hosting, VPS Minecraft hosting and dedicated server Minecraft hosting. Each tier is different and provides access to different features and resources. Let us start with shared hosting - if you're just starting out, shared hosting is probably going to be your most ideal option. Shared Minecraft hosting is generally cheaper and very easy to use. Shared Minecraft hosting services will provide you with some sort of control panel to manage your server, such as Multicraft or CraftSRV. You'll have limited but easily accessible access and control over your Minecraft server. For most people, this is great as it provides you with most everything you need without needing the technical know how of managing everything individually. There are varying qualities of shared Minecraft hosting.
There is premium Minecraft hosting and affordable Minecraft hosting. Premium Minecraft hosting will generally cost around $10/GB and will offer extra features such as a dedicated IP (25565 port), DDoS protection (attacks that take your server offline for extended periods of time) and 24/7 live chat support that is there to help you whenever you need it. Budget Minecraft servers will generally cost around $5-6/GB and will include limited features such as a shared IP address, lesser quality server hardware and network. Support is likely not going to be as active either on budget servers. There are even budget servers as low as GGServers, at $3/GB, though they seem to offer quality on the higher end of the affordable Minecraft hosting providers.
Another option for Minecraft hosting is hosting on a VPS. A VPS is basically a slice of a dedicated server, offering a certain amount of dedicated resources though still sharing some resources amongst other VPS containers on the node. A VPS basically guarantees you a certain amount of dedicated resources such as RAM, CPU priority and storage space. A VPS will also have its own operating system that you can fully customize and configure for your needs - in this case hosting a Minecraft server. Generally speaking, a VPS should only be used by those who are more experienced, as you will likely have to navigate a Linux operating system using command line to perform tasks. You can also have a desktop GUI set up to use much like your home PC might operate, but this will also take some know-how in order to set up. There is also the option for a Windows VPS, which will basically be like a remote Windows desktop that will be dedicated to running your Minecraft server with the familiar Windows GUI. This isn't a very popular option as a Windows license can be very expensive.
The most intermediate option you have is to host your Minecraft server on its own dedicated machine. This means that 100% of all of the network and hardware will be working towards running the functions of the operating system as well as your Minecraft server. This is definitely the go-to option for larger servers catering to 200+ players. A dedicated server becomes a necessity at some point in order to comfortably fit all of your players online. Some Minecraft servers even use multiple dedicated server to host giant Bungeecord hub servers which can fit thousands of people. If you're at the point where you need to purchase a dedicated server, chances are that you already have enough knowledge to successfully manage and configure it for the purposes of running a Minecraft server so we won't go too in to depth for that.
Overall, picking a Minecraft hosting solution is all about meeting your needs without excess. Be realistic with what kind of resources you need and choose accordingly, it doesn't make sense to buy a dedicated server if you don't have any players yet and it doesn't make sense to purchase shared Minecraft server hosting if you have 300+ players. Hopefully this article will help provide insight on what type of solution is best to meet your Minecraft hosting needs.