What is Cloud Hosting?
As technologies improve, hosting solutions do as well. One of the most powerful hosting solutions is cloud hosting. It reaps the benefits of what impressive amounts of computing power is capable of and it’s a lot more reliable and scalable than any other hosting solution before it.
Cloud hosting service pulls its resources from a whole network of virtual servers instead of a single server, like in the case of VPS and dedicated hosting. Cloud hosting can be perfectly tuned to a website’s requirements at any stage. The user can freely add resources to their services or take them away whenever they need to. This is the reason why cloud hosting can be much more efficient, saving a lot of time and money in the long term.
Also, if you have allocated a set amount of resources to your service but there is a sudden spike in your website’s traffic, which demands more resources, there won’t be a problem. The cloud network will temporarily allocate more resources to your service, without having your website slow down or be offline for a second. This makes cloud hosting infinitely more trustworthy and reliable.
The website you upload will have its data (HTML, CSS and content) stored on a cluster of hard drives that are connected together.
Many big businesses have already invested into moving their websites to cloud hosting and they have been enjoying the benefits of their decision ever since.
Cloud hosting didn’t get the popularity it deserves, yet. But it has been spreading like wildfire over the past years, since services have become cheaper and cheaper. Although enterprise level cloud hosting services still demand you to reach deep down into your pocket, but they also ensure a lot more to a large business that other hosting services could not. You can also find a lot of entry level services too that are a great place to try and start using cloud hosting.
A good example of cloud hosting is no one else than Google, the search engine giant itself. There is one good reason why you have never seen Google failing or being offline ever for a second. It’s because it uses a network of thousands of servers. If any of them happen to fail or shut down, the task just gets done by another one in the network, without any noticeable delay.
Now, the rest of the world can enjoy the benefits of cloud hosting, as more and more hosting companies adopt it.
In short, cloud hosting is a flexible way of configuring servers and using the most affordable, reliable and scalable network.
The Benefits of Cloud Hosting
Here are the core features and benefits of cloud hosting services that make it a worthwhile investment.
The amount of money you have to pay for cloud hosting is the amount you use. Hosting costs can be measured per hour and other ways that encourage a much more dynamic approach. Most hosting packages ensure that a few traffic spikes won’t drive your bill sky high, even though they might use more resources temporarily.
Easily Scalable and Customizable
Cloud hosting services are one of the fastest ones to scale. You can expand the amount of resources you use within a matter of seconds. Your hosting service will always keep up with the demands of your website, without wasting any of your time and money. Adding new resources or upgrading your current plan can be done within a minute or less.
You can also customize your server and how you use it. You can tune your server’s processing power, how much memory it uses, the bandwidth it uses and the amount of storage space it has. Most cPanels provide you with the possibility to configure the server to best support your website.
It’s Safe and Reliable
No other hosting type beats cloud hosting in reliability. It’s more reliable than shared hosting and your website’s data won’t be affected by any other website on the same physical server. Such problems are eliminated by cloud hosting.
It also keeps your content safe and sound all the time. No matter how large it is or how much traffic your website has, it will be able to handle the load, because it will be distributed across redundant servers. Thus, your website is always protected against hardware failure.
To top it off, automated backups will always ensure that your content and your settings are safe.
How Cloud Hosting Works?
There are two cloud hosting models, public cloud and private cloud.
It is more wide spread, since most companies use the public cloud model, where data is stored on virtual servers that pull their resources from a large pool of different, publicly available virtual servers. The exact public network is used to transmit the rest of their data.
It is a simple, sustainable model and while private cloud is much safer, public cloud is safe enough.
If you’re working with sensitive data, while it’s security and your privacy is a major concern, private cloud is the best way to go. It operates with almost the same architecture as other cloud hosting solutions, but its resources are safe and access to it is very restricted.
The Difference Between Cloud and The Internet
It’s only logical to put these terms side by side, because the concept they cover is very similar. We say “internet” when we think about a network of interconnected computers and their resources. There is a distinction between the two terms, but the difference isn’t too big.
Cloud is simply a small piece of the internet, that’s resources you can freely use.
Best Affordable Cloud Hosting Services
Cloud hosting isn’t for big companies only. Thankfully, a lot of companies have taken the responsibility of creating cloud hosting services that small businesses and budget oriented individuals can afford as well. Here the three best and most cost effective cloud hosting solutions!
HostGator Cloud Hosting
HostGator is a titan in the web hosting business, because it has been around since 2006 and has been steadily providing users with quality web hosting services. They have plenty of experience in any web hosting related area and strive to provide people with the most up to date technology and a solid customer support. Their long years have taught them to move along with the times, adopt new technologies and make them available to the general public as soon as possible. It has worked well for them and it works even better, now that they have cloud hosting.
HostGator’s cloud hosting services are one the most cost effective ones out there and incorporate all the benefits of the technology. It’s 2x faster and more reliable than regular shared hosting, while still keeping the price tag in check.
Server uptime is 100% and plenty of other websites have also reported that their website was always accessible throughout the year, without it being down for a second. Most websites load within a 500ms timeframe, which is more than enough to run a really smooth website that always complies to today’s internet standards. The speed of your website correlates to your conversion rates, so it’s your job to make sure your website is fast and reliable all the time. HostGator definitely helps you with that.
Their services use SSD drives, which adds a lot of speed to their services and they also store your data a lot more safely. Thanks to their user friendly approach, you won’t need more than their initial guide to start using their cloud hosting services. An intuitive dashboard helps you take control of the server you use. You can freely set your plan to a higher or lower one, according to your resource requirements.
To make this service even friendlier, you won’t ever have to worry about your bandwidth or disk space, because both of them are unlimited. There are also quite a few added free bonuses as well, such as Free Migrations, Automated Daily backups, Automatic Malware Removal, Global CDN and WordPress Pro Developer Help.
Their customer support is quite fast and won’t take long to reply to your queries and get down to solving your problems. HostGator’s customer support is a lot better than that of EIG brands’ in the industry. You can trust them to help you out when you need it.
Their website is easy to navigate and each of their services are described with clear, simple terms, such as “monthly traffic”, “Unlimited Domains”, “Memory” and so on. So you will always know exactly what you’re looking at.
While some cloud hosting plans cost 150$ and more, HostGator keeps their Hatchling Cloud plan’s price at $4.95 / month. If you find a website that offers a discount (and it’s easy if you use Google), you can get your hands on the same plan for $3 / month! This plan will give you access to a single domain name, 2GB of memory and 2 CPU cores, which is an outstanding start for any fresh user.
You can always upgrade or start with a bigger package, like the Baby Cloud for example. It provides an unlimited number of domains, 4GB memory and 4 CPU cores. It will make your website fly like a rocket and costs only $7.95 / month.
Finally, if beastly performance is what you need for your business, you can go for the Business Cloud. It provides unlimited domains, 6 GB of RAM, 6 CPU cores and a Free Private SSL and IP as an added bonus, for $9.95 / month.
BlueHost Cloud Hosting
The crowd favorite, BlueHost has been hustling hard too, and doesn’t let itself fall behind its competitors. The favorite of many WordPress users, also offers cloud hosting services and they are very decent!
These cloud hosting services have proven to be quite firm, offering an average yearly uptime of 99.80%. That means your website will be down for less than 24 hours during the year. This is by no means a deal breaker, because the industry standard is 99.79%. But it’s important to mention, since every second of our online presence can prove to be of great importance.
So the uptime is good enough, how about the speed? Well, BlueHost has outrun its previous competitor in terms of speed and that’s good news. Did you know that ecommerce websites lose about $500 billion, due to their lack of speed? Slow websites are known to cause a 30% decrease in conversion rates, so you should always aim for the fastest and most reliable option when it comes to hosting. BlueHost has this department handled, with website loading speeds of 250-500 milliseconds. A website uploaded to their servers takes less than a second to load.
To make it even faster, you’ll also have caching. Your website will take a bit longer to load the first time you load it up, but once you did it, it will load pages in a blink of an eye.
BlueHost’s support teams do a pretty good job. This statement has received plenty of positive affirmations all around the internet. People get a quick response if they open up a live chat window with them, and the solution to their problem is immediately on its way.
This company doesn’t mess around with their clients and respects them with a good service and transparent pricing too. You will pay only as much as they ask in their plan list. Although, it would be smart to look after how much your renewal costs will be, once your first contract expires.
Their first cloud hosting service costs $6.95 / month, which incorporates all the benefits of cloud hosting, along with 100 GB of storage space, unlimited bandwidth, 1 free domain, 2 GB of RAM, 2 CPU cores and 100 email accounts with 500MB of email storage. That’s quite a sweet deal, but they make it even sweeter with a couple of extras. For starters, you get a 50$ marketing offer, that helps you kickstart your website with Google AdSense or other types of online advertisement. But you also have plenty of other useful features, such as automated migrations (for free) Local Caching, and the great cloud hosting feature 1 – Click Resource Scaling.
Other features, such as Search Engine Jumpstart, SiteLock Security, Site Backup Pro and Domain Privacy Protection cost an extra 1$ or 2$.
BlueHost’s higher plans add more resources. With the Performance plan, you can have an unlimited number of websites, unmetered storage space and bandwidth, 1 free domain, 4 GB of memory and 4 CPU cores. Also, support for an unlimited number of email accounts and email storage also sounds pretty good. As an extra, you receive $200 that you can spend to market your website on an ad network and 1 Spam Expert. It costs only 2$ more than the previous package, offering you a really compelling deal for $8.95 / month.
Finally, the Business Pro package offers all the hosting goodies a man could want. You get unlimited bandwidth, websites, storage space, email accounts and email storage, along with 6 GB of RAM, 6 CPU cores, 1 free domain and again, 200$ in marketing offers. To take this deal to the top, they also provide 2 Spam Experts, a Dedicated IP, an SSL certificate, Domain Privacy and a Site Backup + Restore service. So, if you want to ensure that your online business has the best technical resources, it’s smart to go for this one. The Business Pro package costs $15.95 / month.
If you are not satisfied with their service, you can always request your money back within the next 30 days!
Signing up is very easy and you’ll have your account activated within 24-48 hours. The user interface (cPanel) is extremely easy to use and you can install most apps and CMSs in a single click!
Check out BlueHost’s official site for more information!
InMotion VPS Cloud
InMotion Hosting is my favorite of them all for various reasons.
It is the most reliable Cloud Hosting provider out there, without any exaggeration. They have been around since 2001 and they currently serve 300,000 active domains. They are a very successful web hosting company that didn’t flunk to the dark side. By that, I mean that they have stayed true to what made them successful in the first place. An outstanding web hosting service, their customer service and that they have been very consistent in both of these areas.
InMotion also performs well in the key areas of web hosting, which are uptime and speed. They also provide plenty of additional features for free, which make website management a more blissful experience.
Overall, their servers are 60% faster than all of their competitor’s. This measures some amazing loading speeds, that won’t go above 500 milliseconds, letting your websites be as fast as they’re supposed to. You won’t lose any conversions and traffic due to lack of speed, that’s for sure. This speed will also be in favor of your SEO, not to mention that it will be much better for visitors to use a speedy website.
So, you got high speed on one hand and a 99.98% uptime on the other. You got both speed and reliability, but what about their support? Well, I have to say that it’s just as outstanding. There really is a reason why they advertise their „award winning“ customer support. Their support teams are fast, friendly and available 24/7/365. Not to mention that they get the job done pretty quickly when you need them to. You can reach them through live chat or phone and have them respond within a few minutes. Fast and efficient, just the way I like it!
InMotion has a very user friendly approach to web hosting, which is why they intend to make their services a lot better with plenty of additional features and bonuses.
- You get a free site transfer with zero downtime, so if you have an already existing website, you can have it moved smoothly, without any of your users noticing much.
- Free Data backups are rare to come by, because hosting providers seek to make as much money of their customers as possible. But not InMotion, they offer backups for free.
- Outstanding support for ecommerce. Running an online store is much better with this company, because they payment processors and easy integrations.
- Google App Integrations make it a walk in the park to connect any of the Google apps you use, such as Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Drive and so on.
- The Sucuri WordPress plugin is a paid plugin, but InMotion offers it for free to anyone who installs WordPress on their server. It scans your website on a regular basis and reports any security risks and provides spam and virus protection as well.
- One Free Domain!
Although, InMotion is outstanding from every angle, it does have a couple of limitations. For example, verifying your account takes a long time. You have to verify yourself as well and if you live outside of the US, it takes even longer. This is for security reasons of course, but waiting for so long to start using their hosting service can be a turn off for many. Also, there is a limit of 50,000 files per account. You probably won’t reach that limit, but it’s there.
InMotion’s plans aren’t cheap since they know they’re offering a great service, but they are still reasonably priced.
The first plan the VPS-1000HA-S (Cloud VPS), costs 29.99$ / month and offers 4GB of RAM, 75GB of storage space, 3 IP addresses and a bandwidth of 4TB. InMotion’s most attractive plan, the VPS-2000HA-S costs $49.99 / month and provides 6GB of RAM, 150 GB disk space, 5TB of bandwidth and 4 IP addresses. Finally, their most powerful plan is the VPS-3000HA-S and it costs $74.99 / month, providing 8 GB of RAM, 260 GB disk space, a bandwidth 6 TB and 5 IP Addresses.
InMotion offers the longest money-back period of all of them, with 90 days of money-back guarantee! So if you’re unsatisfied with what you got within the first three month, you’ll get your money back. This proves that InMotion is truly confident is in its hosting services!
There you, have it, a simple and straightforward explanation of cloud hosting services and how they can benefit you. You don’t have to break the bank to start using them and if you have an online business that’s already generating income, you can move to cloud hosting quickly and easily. There’s a chance that it will turn out to be a more cost effective solution, even though it’s much better.
You have these three amazing companies offering great services at a great price. Which company you choose to take care of your website depends solely on your personal, your website’s and business’ requirements, but we can whole heartedly recommend these three any time!
I hope you’ve learnt something new from this article and that we’ll see you again soon!