Cloud Hosting Definition
One of the hottest trends in website hosting today is cloud hosting. To put it simply, a “cloud” in this context is a group of computers that are connected together through a network and work together to provide hosting services.
This means that the different services of a single hosted website can be implemented through the computing power of more than one server in the cloud. In fact, “the cloud” can be thought of as a virtual server composed of the computing power of multiple servers in a network.
Cloud Hosting Advantages
Cloud computing is a drastic change from more traditional hosting options such as shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It also has certain benefits that set it apart from these other hosting choices. For one, website owners tend to get what they pay for with cloud hosting. Due to how cloud hosting operates, webmasters often only have to pay for the storage they actually use.
This payment method is sometimes referred to as “pay as you go.” If a company only uses 200 gigabytes of storage with such a plan, that company will only pay for that 200GB. With more traditional hosting options, that company would probably have to pay for more space than that whether or not the extra space was actually used.
Cloud hosting also offers website owners scalability. The traffic of many websites may suddenly grow rapidly. If a website suddenly needs more space or bandwidth, cloud hosting allows that website to expand naturally by using more resources in the cloud. By comparison, performing such an expansion through traditional hosting methods can be a very expensive and labor intensive process.
Cloud Hosting Disadvantages
Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to cloud hosting that website owners should be aware of. The most important of these is probably the fact that cloud hosting involves certain security risks that do not affect websites that use shared or dedicated hosting.
This is due to the fact that information is not stored locally on a server in one location. Instead, that information may be routinely transmitted between multiple servers. This movement of data can create certain vulnerabilities. Cloud hosting companies use security and encryption methods to stave off the possibility of this information being compromised, but the risk still remains.
Cloud Hosting Important Features
If you do choose to go with cloud hosting, there are three things you should consider when looking for the best deal. First, you should consider whether what is charged for the scalability component of the package is actually a good deal.
You should only pay for what you expect your website to use at both peak and non-peak hours. Certain plans, however, may use some confusing math to calculate what you are actually charged. If you end up being charged more than you would be with a shared or dedicated hosting plan, you should look for a better deal.
Secondly, you should look for quality web tools. While scalability is important, if you are unable to do much with your account, it will still be a waste of money. Things you may want to check for are a wealth of quality control panel options, website builders, and ecommerce modules.
Lastly, you should only purchase a cloud hosting account that comes with quality technical support. While cloud hosting has many benefits, you can also run into some technical difficulties like any other kind of hosting account. Make sure you are able to contact technical support 24 hours a day to make sure your website can avoid significant downtimes.
If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable cloud hosting web host, we recommend GoDaddy.com.