Can’t decide whether web hosting or cloud hosting is the best solution for your business?
You’ve come to the right place.
I created this web hosting vs. cloud hosting guide to make your decision easier. I’ll discuss the differences between web hosting and cloud hosting and provide tips on picking the right one for your business.
Table of Contents
Web Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
Web hosting vs. cloud hosting—which one is better?
There are many differences between web hosting and cloud hosting—neither is necessarily the better option.
The ideal one for you depends on your business needs.
You avail of the free trials most service providers offer to see the difference between services.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows you to store your website, files, and data on a server. Web hosting makes your website accessible at all times.
Some hosting solutions include additional perks, including free domain registration, server security, and other resources.
There are three main types of web hosting.
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private server hosting
- Dedicated hosting
Shared hosting lets you rent a server with other websites from the web hosting provider.
This option is a money-saver because you’re not the sole customer of the web host and its server resources.
You will share a single server with other sites, meaning you’ll have limited control compared to other hosting solution options.
Unlike traditional hosting, shared hosting has flexible plans to help you save more money on running your website.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
This web hosting solution divides a single physical server into multiple servers, giving you more control over your own server.
Since you no longer share server resources, you can enjoy better CPU, RAM, and storage.
You’ll get more powerful specs at higher prices.
Unlike a shared hosting environment where you share server space, VPS hosting gives you control of your own virtual space.
Dedicated web hosting used to be traditional web hosting where you get a dedicated hosting provider.
You’ll have one dedicated hosting provider no one else can use. You don’t share the physical server, giving you lone access to different service provider resources.
Unlike a shared web hosting service, a dedicated server protects you from the problems of other sites.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is a different ballpark.
A cloud is a series of computers with one purpose.
Cloud hosting is like traditional web hosting, but instead of a singular server, you have an entire cloud hosting server.
The cloud hosting server consists of multiple computers. When you use a cloud hosting server, you access cloud storage scattered through many data centers.
Unlike traditional web hosting, cloud hosting companies provide a safer server environment.
Many cloud computing resources handle managed cloud hosting.
Your site performance with cloud hosting depends on the cloud servers. Although cloud hosting isn’t the most affordable solution, it does allow you to pay for only what you use.
Why Do You Need Hosting?
Creating a website is essential for your business, but you need web hosting to upload it online. Making a website and uploading it are two different things.
When you design a website, you must give it a “home” on the internet through web hosting.
Hosting services let you put your website online for free, like rent. You rent the hosting provider’s resources to keep your website online 24/7.
Web Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting: Fundamental Differences
Knowing the differences between web hosting and cloud hosting will help you identify which is better for your business.
Website speed depends on the server’s performance.
The key is determining which hosting best suits your website, depending on its monthly traffic.
Cloud hosting offers better solutions if you get high monthly traffic. On the other hand, shared hosting is the more economical option if you only get a few clicks per month.
VPS hosting and dedicated (or managed) hosting lie somewhere in between. You can choose a hosting option to customize the processing power based on your business requirements.
The better the website experience, the higher it ranks on search engines.
Security breaches have become increasingly common. You must apply automatic backups no matter your hosting choice.
The hosting provider’s data center protects the site’s files. However, the level of protection depends on the type of hosting you use.
Shared hosting is the riskiest because you share one server with multiple websites. If a website falls victim to malicious attacks, it can compromise the entire server.
Virtual private server hosting is safer than shared hosting since you operate one of many servers. You have complete control over your server and can employ sophisticated cybersecurity tools.
Dedicated hosting is much safer because you own one whole physical server. The downside is it can be expensive.
Choose cloud hosting if you handle sensitive data. It uses advanced monitoring systems across the cloud to ensure server safety, preventing you from falling victim to hardware failure.
Web hosting and cloud hosting are both scalable. Most plans let you choose the network bandwidth, CPU, and RAM you want to use.
The most scalable hosting is cloud hosting and virtual private server hosting because you can easily adjust how many resources to use.
You can also pay for fixed resources but must adjust when your website grows.
Scalability relies on how fast you can upgrade your hosting resources.
Determining the resources you need for a new website can be challenging. The good news is you can adjust your hosting subscription accordingly, which is easier with cloud hosting and virtual private server hosting.
Downtime is a website killer. You can avoid malfunctioning servers by choosing the right hosting provider.
Most providers claim to have a 99.9% uptime. Determine the truthfulness of this claim by reading reviews from actual users.
Another thing to watch out for is backup. Not all sites download backups automatically.
You should have easy access to your files in case of a server failure.
Some cloud hosting providers save automatic backups daily. You can quickly recover if you did something that day and wanted to recover data.
Your web hosting has to fit your budget. Choose a hosting provider according to your budget.
Watch out for hosting providers that don’t support cross-migration or upgrades.
Business owners often choose affordable hosting packages initially. You can start with shared hosting on one or more servers before scaling to cloud hosting.
Scale up to dedicated hosting if you’re concerned about security.
Going big from the start is usually impractical because you still need to learn a lot about your website.
Sometimes, business owners go overboard on specs. Although having RAM, CPU, or bandwidth is good, you’re just wasting these resources if you don’t use them.
You can start with the most affordable—but safe—shared hosting and upgrade down the line.
Shared hosting is often the most affordable type of hosting. Next is virtual private server hosting.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive.
Depending on your specs, cloud hosting can sometimes be more affordable than dedicated hosting.
How To Pick the Right Hosting
Each hosting provider has its advantages. There are situations when using one hosting is more practical than using another.
When To Use Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is suitable for websites with low to moderate traffic and simple websites that don’t require much performance.
Shared hosting is a perfect place to start because it’s often affordable, helping you acquaint yourself with your website’s requirements.
When I started my business, I began with Shared hosting, and had a great experience with Hostgator.
When To Use Virtual Private Server Hosting
Virtual private server hosting is best for websites that have outgrown shared hosting limitations, including architectural and customization limits.
If your website needs root access to the server, you must upgrade to a virtual private server hosting that lets you install custom modules or applications as a host.
If you’re looking for a reliable VPS solution, I recommend A2 Hosting.
When To Use Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is suitable if you need a private dedicated server but can’t manage or set it up yourself.
Handling a server takes time, resources, skill, and money. Use dedicated hosting if you want your own server without the hassle of managing it.
Dedicated hosting is an excellent way to isolate and safeguard your server, helping you monitor what’s happening inside.
A dedicated server also gives you complete control. You can decide who has temporary, permanent, and no access.
When To Use Cloud Hosting
You can use cloud hosting to manage your website purely online.
Cloud hosting is suitable if you want near-perfect uptime and zero delays.
The good thing about cloud hosting is it is also very customizable. You can choose how many resources you want to use.
You can easily upgrade your website if you need to scale.
The Bottom Line
I’ve shared everything you need on web hosting vs. cloud hosting.
Hopefully, I’ve helped make it easier for you to decide the ideal type of hosting for your business website.
However, a website and hosting aren’t the only things you need—social media is vital to your business too.