If you have been following developments in the Web Hosting industry over the past year or so, you will have noticed that the sector’s major players have begun talking about Cloud Hosting. This is supposedly faster than traditional web hosting and, in most instances, costs only a little more.
The inclusion of the “new” product on web hosting catalogues only adds to the potential confusion that confronts beginners who are on the hunt for homes for their sites. There are so many products out there being offered under different names that one is often hard pressed to decide the one that is most suitable. So, what really is Cloud Hosting and how does it differ from traditional web hosting?
Traditional Web Hosting
Before talking about the cloud hosting, it is important for us to first understand how traditional web hosting works. Under the traditional model of web hosting, companies such as Bluehost, InterServer, DreamHost, iPage and many more, host your website on a server that you either share with hundreds, if not thousands of other people (Shared Hosting,) or that has been reserved for your particular use (VPS and Dedicated Hosting).
In order to better understand what Cloud Hosting is, it is important for us to first define Cloud Computing. This is another of the terms that has been thrown around a lot within the technology world over the past few years.
Definition of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing refers to computing that is internet based. This is opposed to, using the above examples, programs that have to be installed on a computer’s local (primary) storage device, such as the traditional Microsoft Office suite, and an Operation System such as Windows 10.
The thing that complicates matters for beginners with regards to Cloud Hosting, is that it would appear from the onset that web hosting has always been based on the cloud.So, is cloud hosting a simple matter of semantics and a marketing gimmick on the part of Web Hosting Companies?
Cloud Hosting can be defined as hosting that is done on multiple servers, as opposed to on a single server as is the case with traditional shared hosting. With Cloud Hosting, you are still sharing resources with others, albeit on interconnected servers. All the data that is on the cloud is mirrored across the multiple servers and resources are provided to customers on a per need basis.
In other words, Cloud hosting companies provide you with all the resources that you need at any given point in time, and you get to pay only for what you use.If your website needs more resources, these are allocated to you, and you get to pay for the additional usage. When your demands go down, these resources are scaled back.This Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) approach does have major advantages and disadvantages, as you shall see in the following discussion.
Advantages of Cloud Hosting
The one major advantage of cloud hosting is scalability. Where, under traditional hosting, if one website hogs resources, that translates into slower loading speeds for everyone else, cloud hosting does not suffer from this malaise.
That is because cloud hosting is scalable, which means that web hosting companies simply allocate more server space to any website that needs more resources. What this means is that there is never demand driven performance degradation when it comes to cloud computing.
What this redundancy means is that if, as an example, you suddenly hit the blogging jackpot and you begin to receive over a hundred thousand visitors every day, the company with which your site is hosted will simply allocate more resources to your site.
Reliability: 100% Uptime
The fact that your website is hosted on the cloud means that you will experience virtually no downtime. This is of importance, considering the fact that any time that your site spends off air translates into lost opportunities, both in terms of traffic and revenue.
We mentioned that with Dedicated Hosting, under Traditional Hosting, there is a very high possibility that you will end up purchasing server space that, in a short while, will become redundant. A major advantage with Cloud Hosting is that you save money because you are only paying for the resources that you are using, rather than spending money on infrastructure that you do not need.
Should I Move To Cloud Hosting?
If you anticipate growth for your site (don’t we all?) you should seriously think about signing up for a Cloud Hosting Service. You don’t want a situation where you will begin losing traffic simply because the hosting service that you have chosen is no longer able to keep up with demand. The savings which you are bound to make, as mentioned above, are also another incentive for moving your site onto the cloud.
The good thing, in any case, is that most of the major web hosting companies that are out there are able to move you onto the cloud, should that ever become the best option, without any interruptions to your website. (Check out our list of the best web hosting companies in the world). Most of these offer Cloud Hosting as an option. If you are looking for cheap cloud hosting, you should check out HostGator by clicking on the link that is below. This company offers some of the cheapest cloud hosting options that can be found anywhere in the world.