What is Cloud Hosting?
In a world where services like Amazon AWS and Rackspace are becoming common place, if you are reading this article, then it is safe to assume that you have heard the ‘cloud‘ buzz word ample times before. But what is cloud and what is cloud hosting? In cloud hosting there is no physical object which you can point to and label as the cloud. It’s more of an electronic structure where data is stored over many different computers and served up via a network connection, typically the Internet. If some hardware dies, the hosting company assigns some new hardware to it and the whole swapping process is handled for you. Cloud hosting also brings API goodies along with it, which means you can start and stop services as you need them and that means you can script it. And a typical cloud hosting often comes cheaper than shared or dedicated server hosting and has a pay-as-you-go option.
So in essence, cloud hosting takes advantage of the features of the cloud so it can scale, be redundant and change its configuration as the app’s requirements change. It can’t just be virtual or on-demand hosting. However, right now, there’s more hype around cloud hosting than there is adoption, so why should you adopt it now? Very briefly: because it gives you everything that dedicated hosting does and elements of the cloud hosting ecosystem, because there’s more to it than just virtual machines.
Shared Vs. Cloud Hosting: Advantages of Hosting WordPress on Cloud
WordPress hosting is usually pretty easy: you don’t need much, and most WordPress sites won’t ever get more than a 1,000 visitors a day, so you can host dozens if not hundreds of them on one server. The only difference WordPress hosting companies can make is in speed and in customer support. However, both shared and cloud hosting share many things in common, but before you pick one over the other, it is important to become aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each WordPress hosting methods:
1. WordPress Webpage Loading Speed
If you are like me, then you probably give importance the page load speed of your WordPress blog than anything else. And why shouldn’t you? After all, it is official fact that Google and all other major search engines have started considering the webpage speed of websites and blogs while ranking them in search engine results. The foremost advantage of hosting WordPress on Cloud is that it helps to speed up the downloading and uploading time of your webpages. So if the speed of your webpages is important to you then you might consider giving could hosting a try over shared hosting.
2. Economy of WordPress Hosting
Cloud hosting and shared hosting plans both are economic. But with cloud hosting, you are not dependent on one server, but on a cluster of servers called “clouds.” On the other hand, shared hosting means a variety of websites sit on one server together. In both cases, you, the consumer have the power to pay for only the amount of resources that you need. While shared hosting is generally cheaper, cloud hosting provides you with more options like ‘pay-as-you-go’ etc.
3. Ability to Handle Digg Effect (Traffic Spikes)
Cloud hosting and shared hosting handle traffic differently. With shared hosting you may not be able to handle surges in traffic and web activity. The upside of this is that it can keep your costs under control. The downside is that it may mean your site temporarily loses its functionality. With cloud hosting, spikes in traffic are easy to handle, because you have a network of servers working for the stability of your site and others within the cloud.
4. Scalability and Uptime
Though most shared hosting providers boast about 99.99% server up-times, cloud hosting has more advantage over shared hosting because of the easier scalability that is possible with the former. With hosting managed cloud services scalability becomes possible and with scalability comes improved Uptime. Managed cloud services ensure your WordPress uptime stays intact at actual 99.99%.
5. Unlimited Storage
Like everything else that you host on the cloud, your WordPress installation on the cloud also comes with unlimited storage space, as opposed to restricted storage space that most shared hosting offers. As an added advantage, you need not worry about the data crash, as most managed cloud providers have some sort of disaster recovery and data backup plan already in store for WordPress implementations.
Depending on the size, domain age, number of visitors, social media traffic and many other factors of your WordPress blog, either cloud hosting or shared hosting might be suitable for you. Before you determine which of these best hosting options is suitable for you, you should take a decisive look at your goals and motivations. And if you’re still unsure, you may check out tons of Cloud hosting reviews that can be found online.