When working with small business, it can be tough to justify the cost of a VPS to the client.
For example. A $10 Digital Ocean droplet, with Plesk installed, automated backups and an SSL certificate has a cost price of approx £120 a year. That doesn't include time taken to spin the server up, deploy to it and run ongoing maintenance. Then there's you mark up to be considered on top of that.
Despite the higher cost, the use of a VPS is highly recommendable for any business. It is faster, more secure and more reliable. All things, that can have a great impact on SEO.
So how can we give the client some benefits of a VPS without the cost?
Solution?: Small Scale, Shared Hosting on a VPS
Spin up a Digital Ocean VPS and use it as a shared host. But only allow a maximum of five websites on it at any one time.
To prevent the server falling over, these websites should be vetted and serviced by you.
Benefit 1: Speed
A site on a small shared VPS, as described here, is likely to be substantially faster than a large scale shared host.
Benefit 2: Security
The risk of another site on your server getting hacked or attacked is significantly reduced (as there are only four other websites on the server), which means a boost in your security.
Benefit 3: Reduced Risk of Resource Hogging
With only five websites sharing server resources, it is less likely that any one of these websites will hog resources and slow down other websites on the server.
Benefit 4: Easier to scale
If one of the websites on the server does receive a larger than average quantity of traffic, the server can easily be scaled to this demand.
Benefit 5: More control for webmaster
Not a direct benefit to the client, but indirectly you as the webmaster have more control of a VPS then you would of a shared server. Allowing for things like SSH access, automated deployment, server configuration, etc.
Benefit 6: Good Cost to benefit ratio
In all instances, these benefits are not as substantial as if a client had a VPS which solely hosted their site on it. However, they would be paying 1/5 of the price, and receiving much more than 1/5 of the benefits.