Bitcatcha's content is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

What Is Cloud Hosting? (And How Does It Work)

WRITTEN BY
Timothy Shim
UPDATED
February 26, 2024

 

From Google Cloud to Amazon Web Services, everyone seems to be talking about Cloud computer hosting today. Yet despite all these conversations, the average consumer is often left with many questions.

 

We know that Cloud hosting is powerful. Or at least that’s what everyone says. But what is it, exactly, and why should we consider Cloud web hosting when we’re looking at a way to launch our website? If you’ve ever had questions like this, it’s time to find out!

 

Let’s demystify the Cloud.

 

 

What Is Cloud Hosting?

 

how cloud hosting works

Cloud hosting brings together the power of multiple servers. (Source: Cloudflare)

 

Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that uses the resources of multiple connected servers. You can use it for anything other web hosting plans can do. That includes hosting a blog, running web applications, forums, and more.

 

Web hosting first began on individual servers. These servers have resources that are necessary to host websites or web applications. Cloud hosting takes this further by combining the resources of multiple servers.

 

Cloud Hosting is widely available today, and most of the best web hosts will offer a range of Cloud Hosting options.

 

 

How Does Cloud Hosting Differ From Other Types of Hosting?

 

Cloud Hosting offers the performance and reliability of dedicated-server technology at an affordable price. However, understanding the differences between the various types of web hosting is essential when making your choice.

 

Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting

 

kinsta shared hosting

Shared Hosting powers multiple hosting plans using a single server. (Source: Kinsta)

 

The most significant difference between Cloud and Shared Hosting plans is that the latter are on a single server. Comparatively, Cloud Hosting plans rely on a cluster of networked servers that work together to form a unified entity.

 

Thanks to the multiple servers involved, Cloud Hosting plans are often much more reliable than Shared Hosting plans. If an equipment fault occurs in Cloud Hosting, operations can temporarily shift to alternative servers.

 

If a shared hosting server suffers from equipment failure, all the websites hosting on it will temporarily be inaccessible.

 

Cloud Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting

 

dreamhost wordpress hosting

DreamHost offers WordPress Hosting plans based on Shared and VPS Hosting.

 

WordPress Hosting is technically not an actual web hosting category. It simply refers to web hosting plans that are WordPress-centric. The term emerged due to the popularity of the WordPress Content Management System (CMS).

 

Web hosts can market WordPress Hosting plans built on Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), or Cloud Hosting. Some web hosts provide WordPress-specific features on these plans, while others rebrand regular web hosting plans as “WordPress Hosting Plans.”

 

Note

Explore more on the best self-hosted WordPress web hosts through our in-depth review.

 

Cloud Hosting vs. VPS Hosting

 

Cloud Hosting and VPS Hosting are similar. They both offer isolated virtual environments. However, like Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting plans are powered by single servers. They, therefore, don’t provide the same degree of reliability as Cloud Hosting plans.

 

Performance-wise, both plans are robust and offer dedicated resources to each web hosting account. Yet, because of the finite resources of a single server, VPS plans are only scalable to certain limits.

 

Performance-wise, both plans are robust and offer dedicated resources to each web hosting account. Yet, because of the finite resources of a single server, VPS plans are only scalable to certain limits.

 

 

The Pros And Cons of Cloud Hosting

 

Like most technology, Cloud Hosting has advantages and disadvantages. The pros are very distinct; scalability and flexibility, cost efficiency, and reliability.

 

Pro #1: Improved scalability & flexibility

 

Cloud hosting is highly scalable, meaning you can grow your website without worrying about upper limits. You can add virtually infinite resources to your Cloud Hosting plan as necessary. Resources can also be scaled up (or down) at any time.

 

Pro #2: Better cost efficiency

 

Another advantage of Cloud Hosting is its cost efficiency. The virtualized environment of Cloud Hosting plans mimics entire servers, offering all the advantages of having a dedicated server. At the same time, it allows you microscopic control over cost.

 

Pro #3: It tends to be more reliable

 

Due to the networking of multiple servers, there is a high level of redundancy in Cloud Hosting. These redundancies cover not just the servers but elements like data communication lines and power supplies. Because of these elements, hosting uptime will typically be high in Cloud Hosting environments.

 

The Con: Cloud Hosting management is more complex

 

The most significant potential downside of Cloud Hosting is that these plans are not always easy to manage. Most Cloud Hosting providers offer customers a choice of Managed or Unmanaged plans. The former will increase costs significantly.

 

Unmanaged plans require users to have intermediate to advanced knowledge of servers and networking to deploy and maintain effectively.

 

 

How to Choose a Good Cloud Hosting Provider

 

what is cloud hosting featured image

 

When choosing a Cloud Hosting provider, you need to consider performance, customer support, Cloud compliance, security, and manageability.

 

1. Speed and performance

 

There are many Cloud Hosting providers in the market. The problem is that all will differ in performance. While a website speed test can show results, it can be challenging to achieve this before signing up for one of the plans. However, reputation can be a helpful benchmark.

 

DreamHost, for example, offers a good range of powerful Cloud Hosting plans and is often spoken of highly by happy customers. They’ve received accolades for everything from the quality of service to excellent customer support (read our guide on DreamHost’s customer support for more info).

 

2. Cloud Compliance

 

A good cloud hosting provider will ensure their servers are 100% compliant with all applicable laws and regulations regarding data privacy and security. It’s imperative to know since we can’t always tell the placement of all the servers in a Cloud.

 

3. Security

 

Web host security is one of the most important factors when looking for a cloud host. A good host will have multiple layers of protection, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other preventative measures.

 

The best hosts also offer 24/7 monitoring services to detect any issues before they become serious problems.

 

4. Manageability

 

Manageability is one of the most critical issues regarding Cloud Hosting. In their simplest forms, Cloud Hosting plans come to users as barebones servers. You’ll need to know how to deploy the Operating System (OS), web server engine, database, and more.

 

The crux of the matter is where the host offers additional tools or services to help you manage your Cloud Hosting plan. Some will offer Cloud Management services for an additional fee.

 

5. Cost

 

Cost is a highly adaptable factor in Cloud Hosting. Some hosts like Hostinger try to help customers by simplifying their Cloud Hosting plans. By somewhat limiting options, it can offer more controllable prices to customers.

 

Other Cloud providers like Google Cloud offer highly complex Cloud services at premium prices. While these plans have some advantages, it takes a lot of skill to build and deploy effectively on a Google Cloud plan adequately.

 

6. Customer support

 

When choosing a cloud hosting provider, they must offer excellent customer support. This support can help you get the help you need when you need it most. If something goes wrong with your website, you won’t have time to wait for someone to respond to an email or phone call requesting assistance before trying to fix the issue yourself.

 

 

Who is Cloud Hosting Best For?

 

Thanks to controllable costs and high reliability, Cloud Hosting is an excellent option open to many users.

 

1. Mission-critical applications

 

The high reliability of Cloud Hosting makes it an excellent choice for those running mission-critical web applications like online stores, eCommerce sites, or other business-related entities.

 

2. Business websites

 

While business websites may not always need the performance that Cloud Hosting offers, the high reliability is a vital factor of consideration. Customers who can’t visit a company website due to a service outage can experience a negative brand impact.

 

Want to set up a business site?

Check out this article of our top e-commerce web hosting and start your business journey now!

 

3. Web development

 

The agile nature of Cloud environments also means they can be a good cost-effective sandbox for web developers. These can easily configure low-resource Cloud plans into a test environment that’s still able to mimic server environments.

 

4. Affiliate marketers

 

Affiliate marketers can also take advantage of the power and performance of Cloud Hosting to build a high-performance website that can scale up as their traffic grows. For the non-tech-savvy, Platform-as-a-Service options can be a viable choice.

 

 

Final Thoughts On Cloud Hosting

 

Cloud Hosting isn’t just a fancy term that the tech geeks are throwing around. As you can see, it offers multiple tangible benefits to anyone who needs reliable web hosting. Speed, reliability, and scalability make this option a prime choice for the future.

 

The only main limitation is that the technical skills required to handle these plans can be prohibitive. Because of that, it can be hard to justify the expense of a Managed Cloud Hosting solution for non-commercial use.

 

 

 

Web Hosting Guides & Best Web Host Services

Learn about web hosting and make informed decision while shopping for quality web hosting services.