Every website needs a web hosting service. It is simply impossible for a website to exist without the server that hosts it. However, as is the nature of technology, there will always be attempts to create better, more efficient ways of doing things. Do you remember when virtual machines were created to use computer hardware more efficiently? This kind of change happens all the time, and while each attempt doesn’t become disruptive enough to replace its predecessor, each attempt is a step in the right direction. Cloud Hosting is a good example of such an attempt. It may pave the way for more efficient use of physical servers, after all.
But before adopting any method, technology or tendency, you must first determine if it will be beneficial for your goals and objectives. And when there’s a significant amount of money at stake, you wouldn’t want to spend it just on a trial-and-error session.
So you resort to the next best thing – gathering information from other people who have already experienced cloud hosting. So what makes cloud hosting so special? In order to fully understand this new technology, we must first look at how traditional web hosting works.
What is Traditional Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and businesses to publish websites on the Internet. A web hosting service provider provides the resources needed to run a website. These websites are stored on physical servers, which contain the resources necessary for the operation of a website. When users visit your website, they first type your web address into their browser, which prompts their computer to connect to the server where your website is stored. This is when your website becomes visible to the user.
There are three types of web hosting:
Shared – multiple websites depend on a single server. As you can imagine, this limits website performance and the failure of a single server can cause downtime for all websites stored on that server. However, it’s still a valid option for websites that don’t require a lot of resources to handle traffic, since they’re not as expensive as other types of web hosting. There is also an innate security risk in shared web hosting.
Dedicated – Dedicated servers offer the best performance and highest degree of customization among all types of web hosting. This is where a single server is dedicated to a single website. It also means that the best support would be made available to the website. It is an ideal option for websites that require a lot of performance to handle massive amounts of web traffic.
VPS – one virtual private server is a virtual machine that caters to a user’s individual needs just like a separate physical computer dedicated to a particular user. This means that resources are pre-allocated to each website connected to the server to prevent websites from pulling resources from each other. Multiple virtual private servers can be maintained on a single physical server, which means that if that physical server goes down, all websites that depend on that server experience downtime.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting, a bit like many other cloud-based services, is a type of hosting service that uses portions of multiple servers to support the resource requirements of a single website and ensure maximum website uptime. Since a website is supported by multiple servers in a server cluster, it will have the resources to remain functional even if a single server in that cluster fails. So, in essence, the necessary resources can simply be pulled from a different server if one of the multiple servers fails.
Then yes. Cloud hosting is similar to a virtual private server, but there are a few differences that set them apart from each other.
How does cloud hosting differ from VPS?
The main difference between cloud hosting and VPS is their approach and scalability. Remember that cloud hosting servers use server clusters, where parts of multiple servers support a single website. This means that users have access to almost unlimited resources necessary to run their website and that these resources can easily be adapted to the needs of the website. This is especially useful for websites that regularly experience spikes in traffic.
On the other hand, VPS runs multiple server instances on a single physical server. This means that even though the websites hosted by the physical are not competing for resources, if that single physical server goes down, all websites linked to that server will experience downtime.
It is also much more difficult to scale with a VPS server because the resources allocated to each website are pre-determined, which means that even though these servers are going to be able to perform much better than shared servers, there is always a chance that the load of your website may exceed the amount of resources allocated to your website. Despite this, VPS hosting tends to cost less than cloud hosting.
Should You Use Cloud Hosting?
While hosting your website on the cloud looks like the future, it’s not as proven as traditional web hosting options. Whether or not you are willing to take a risk depends on what you are using your website for. If you are using your website as a means of making money, then betting on something that is not yet proven could prove to be catastrophic in case of failure.
Otherwise, by all means, opt for a cloud hosting service.
What really minimizes the risk here is the fact that traditional web hosting methods have been around for as long as anyone can remember. This means that there is a wealth of information that can help guide users to good service providers. A good source of this information can be found in web hosting review sites. For example, MangoMatter has great hosting comparisons which provide readers with an in-depth comparison between web hosting options available in the market.
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