What is Cloud Hosting and Why Use It?

Juliana | globalgoodgroup

Cloud hosting is a relatively new type of shared hosting which offers a number of benefits over ‘traditional’ shared hosting. Website owners are increasingly turning to the cloud for low-cost website hosting.

What does the term ‘cloud hosting’ really mean?

When you set up a new shared hosting plan, you’re allocated a chunk of server space on a single physical server. This physical server is shared with hundreds of other clients, and that introduces a certain amount of vulnerability.

With cloud hosting, your website is replicated across multiple virtual servers. That means that it’s less likely your website will go offline due to hardware or software failures. In addition, virtualised technology makes the cloud very affordable, and it’s easy to scale your cloud hosting up and down over time.

Let’s look into the benefits in more detail.

1. Reliability and Uptime

Many shared web hosting providers promise 99.9% uptime; this sounds good, but it could result in several hours of downtime per year. With cloud hosting services, it’s fairly common to see 100% uptime guarantees, simply because the whole setup is designed to be more resistant to failure.

Cloud technology is designed to eliminate outages and downtime. All the servers hosting your website are virtual: they’re not as prone to hardware failure. Web hosts build in redundancy and use ‘self-healing’ software to help avoid any significant problems. Should one piece of hardware fail, the hosting provider has an instant backup ready to take over.

Note that you should still take backups of your site on a regular basis, even if your website is hosted in the cloud. Some web hosting companies will take backups for you on cloud or shared hosting plans, but there may be a charge to access them.

2. Speed

In the past, customers who wanted better response times would have to upgrade from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server. Thanks to cloud hosting, you can achieve better response times without paying for your own virtual or dedicated box.

Cloud hosting is a very efficient form of web hosting. Because sites are hosted on farms rather than single servers, customers generally benefit from better performance at a comparable price point to shared web hosting. They also do not need to worry about who is hosting this particular website as they are not sharing the server with any other third parties.

Reliability and redundancy also play a part. With your website hosted on multiple servers, there’s no bottleneck to worry about, and you won’t be dragged down by another customer’s site on the same server.

3. Resource guarantees

If you have a particularly busy website, you might want to ensure that you have the resources to handle heavy traffic. You could upgrade to a VPS to achieve this – but the other option is to choose a cloud hosting plan.

Cloud hosting is generally sold according to the resources your site needs. Once your site is set up, that resource is yours to use as you wish.

If you need to upgrade or downgrade your hosting plan over time, your website host simply has to change your resource allocation; there are no files to move around. That makes cloud hosting a really convenient option for any business, large or small.

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