Can You Run a Website On a 128MB VPS?

A Virtual Private Server with only 128MB of RAM may seem useless to some people. Though they are offered by many low end VPS providers, some might ask what in the world they are good for. After all, 128 megabytes of RAM is tiny. You may be surprised to know that you can actually do a lot with a low end VPS. It all depends on how your optimize it and what you use to run things. Hosting a website on a 128MB VPS is certainly possible and will only cost you about $15 per year to do so.

An Iphone 6 has 1GB of RAM. If a smart phone has 8 times as much memory as a low end VPS you would think that a 128MB VPS would be useless. The fact is, you can do a lot with 128MB. I run a little website that get around 4,000 hits a day and the site lives on a small 128MB VPS. The site functions just fine and speed and performance has never been an issue.

Here is how you can run a website on a low end VPS. First and foremost make the site a static website. This means no WordPress or anything else that uses a database. You might be able to use a database for a website that is really not popular, but I would recommend against doing so. A database just eats up too much of your memory. So no WordPress.

Personally I never run WordPress on anything less than a VPS with a gigabyte of RAM. That way I know if one of the pages on the site suddenly gets a surge of traffic the VPS should be able to still run efficiently. And even then I use WordPress caching plug-ins to make sure the site uses the back-end as little as possible.

The easiest way to build a static website is to use a static website generator. There are a ton of these out there. Some of the most popular include Jekyll, Hexo and Pelican.

A static site generator will create take your source files and create a static website which uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It will not use PHP, MySQL or other back-end technologies. This means the webserver is only serving static webpages to the users and there is no need for the VPS to use up memory on the back-end.

Another thing I always do when using a less powerful hosting platform, such as a low end VPS is to use nginx rather than Apache. The simple reason is nginx is a newer and more lightweight way of serving websites.

Finally, get rid of all the stuff you will not be using. Once you decide on what Linux distribution you plan on running, make sure that you use a barebones minimal installation. The less programs running in the background taking up memory the better. For example, you probably wont be printing from your VPS, so get rid of any printer daemons.

Those simple steps right there should be enough to get you up and running with a nice stable webhosting VPS which only has 128MB or RAM. Check out our VPS comparison page to see how the Internet's most recommended VPS providers compare to one another.