What Is WordPress Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is a cluster of servers designed to work together to serve a single WordPress website. This differs from other hosting solutions by enabling customers to take advantage of multiple server resources, which comes with many benefits over single server options. However, to leverage cloud hosting, servers should be optimized for the exact type of software (in this case WordPress) being hosted. WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting solutions for instance are constantly refining our server code even on cloud server environments.
In this article, you’ll learn about WordPress cloud hosting, and how it stacks up against other hosting options.
Why Use Cloud Hosting? (Benefits)
When configured well, cloud hosting is an ideal solution for many businesses due to its flexibility, stability, security, and affordability. Since it’s a cluster of servers designed to expand and share the same data, it has a high stability to cost ratio – all without the usual server hardware risks.
Meanwhile, its inherent design makes cloud hosting highly scalable and cost-effective.
How Reliable is Cloud Hosting?
Before we get into reliability, it’s important to outline the four primary types of hosting that currently exists:
- Shared hosting: Shared space between multiple customers on one server.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS): Partitioned, dedicated space for each customer on one server.
- Dedicated: An entire server dedicated to one customer.
- Cloud: Multiple VPS slices designed to work in tandem.
Server reliability is measured by ’mean time between failures’. For other hosting solutions, reliability counts on a single server never failing. With cloud hosting, you get to spread these failure rates across multiple servers working together to offer better overall uptime.
For the price, cloud hosting is the most reliable of these options. Given its nature, shared hosting could make you susceptible security-wise. On the other hand, a VPS is similar to cloud hosting, though you’re still relying only on a single machine. Finally, while a dedicated machine is fairly reliable, it is also expensive.
Cloud Hosting for Site Speed
Cloud hosting is not necessarily faster or slower than other options when looking at identical server computing power. However, every site calls for a different configuration to allow for optimum performance. For example, a server optimized to serve Ruby on Rails applications will differ to one serving WordPress.
Cloud hosting is no exception and can be optimized to deliver blazingly fast sites. What makes cloud hosting feel faster is its ability to keep sites running quickly under lots of pressure. Thanks to the multiple server approach, cloud hosting can handle more traffic than other options at comparable prices.
It is not always easy to directly compare cloud hosting prices to normal hosting plans. This is because cloud hosting is often shown as a cost per hour, based on the amount of data you’re using. This structure is a way to offer you maximum flexibility for configuring your site.
However, it can make it difficult to directly compare and contrast the costs of using cloud hosting. In short, cloud hosting enables you to rent servers only as necessary, but at the expense of an increase in complexity.
If you’re just getting started, the ‘á la carte’ options cloud hosting provides can be much cheaper than normal hosting for the same computing power. You can pay for exactly what you need, although other solutions (such as a dedicated or VPS solution), will be sold at a flat monthly fee and require a much bigger management commitment over time.
Cloud hosting is incredibly scalable, especially compared to other hosting solutions. By design, it is able to grow and shrink to meet your needs on demand as your traffic changes.
Since cloud hosting relies on clusters of servers at a base level, adding more capacity is simply a matter of increasing the cluster size. Other hosting options are much more static, as they are based on one or two specific, partitioned servers.
While other companies may have a small provision, WP Engine uses cloud hosting to offer plans that are tailored to the needs of many different users. Thanks to cloud hosting, it’s a cinch to switch from one plan to the other seamlessly as your site grows.
On the whole, cloud hosting can be more secure than other hosting options (with regard to vulnerability). However, the configuration of each server will depend on the knowledge and expertise of the server administrator. For a self-managed cloud hosting account, that puts the responsibility on the customer. In the case of a managed cloud hosting account, the hosting company takes up the slack.
Of course, cloud hosting spans multiple servers. This means you’ll have higher flexibility for segmenting data, which reduces the chance that an exploited area will impact the rest of your site. With a knowledgeable server administrator and the right configuration, cloud hosting can be incredibly secure.
In the world of cloud hosting, ‘redundancy’ essentially means duplicates of data and files. As we’ve mentioned, cloud hosting is served in clusters. What makes cloud hosting so unique is this redundancy, where data is duplicated between multiple servers.
The major benefit of this is your ability to recover data from one server when it’s lost on another. This accounts for moments where a server physically fails, data gets corrupted, or the power goes out in one server bank. In these situations, another server in the cluster can pick up the slack and continue serving your website.
What Is Managed Cloud Hosting?
Managed cloud hosting is when a company offers to be in charge of server administration on behalf of their customers, usually for a monthly fee. In contrast, non-managed cloud hosting puts the onus on the customer to manage their own servers.
If you don’t have a dedicated server administrator on your development team, managed cloud hosting can offer you peace of mind. By having an experienced server administrator handle your cloud hosting provision, they can easily leverage its functionality to get your site running optimally, and will also have the security knowledge to keep your data safe.
A managed platform enables you to focus on your business rather than complex server management, while still taking advantage of all of the benefits that come with using cloud hosting.
Migrating to WP Engine’s WordPress Cloud Hosting Services
WP Engine offers managed cloud hosting for WordPress, with many unique plans to suit your needs. Moving your site is easy, especially when using our free automatic migration tool that makes switching your site to WP Engine a snap.
If you’re interested in letting WP Engine handle your cloud hosting requirements, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to assist you further!