When it comes to hosting, you have a lot of options for the type of plan you purchase. There’s shared hosting, dedicated options, Virtual Private Servers (VPSs), and even cloud hosting. However, a lot of people aren’t quite sure what that last option is or how it works.
There’s been a lot of talk about ‘the cloud’ in recent years, and there’s a reason why a lot of your favorite services and websites are now hosted using this technology. It offers a high level of reliability, which other types of hosting often can’t match.
In this article, we’ll talk about what cloud hosting is and how it works. Then we’ll break down the types of cloud hosting plans you can opt for, and how they differ. Let’s talk about the cloud!
What Is Cloud Hosting?
With a traditional hosting plan, your website is located on a single server. That means its data and resources are stored on and delivered from one specific computer. In some cases, other people may share that server with you, or you might get your own virtual setup if you need the extra performance.
Cloud hosting, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on a single server. Instead, it stores your data and the resources your site needs on a network of computers. The main benefit of this approach is its ‘scalability’.
In other words, since you’re pulling resources from a network of machines, your website or app will adapt better to traffic spikes. Plus, a lot of cloud hosting providers use a pay-as-you-go system, which means that you only get charged for the computing power you actually use.
On top of that, cloud hosting setups tend to be incredibly reliable. Unlike with a regular hosting plan, if one server goes down, your website should still be okay. That’s because it’s spread throughout the cloud, so there’s no single point of failure.
How Does Cloud Hosting Work?
At this point, you already know the basics of how cloud hosting works. However, these hosting plans can also be divided into two categories: private and public. Each of these options works somewhat differently.
Private Cloud Hosting
If you have a network of servers located on-site, which you use to host your own website, then you’re using a private cloud hosting solution. The same applies if you rent hosting space from a provider that gives you access to your own network, using the host’s infrastructure.
To put it another way, a private cloud is made up of multiple dedicated servers. That means you get full control over the hardware that makes up the cloud, and you can modify it any way you want. As you might expect, of course, this type of hosting typically comes with a hefty price tag.
Public Cloud Hosting
In most cases, you’ll work with a cloud hosting provider that also provides services to other clients, all using the same servers. You’ll still get access to a hue amount of resources, and your data should be very secure. However, with this setup, you don’t get full control over your servers’ configuration, since someone else manages them.
Despite the reduced amount of control, public cloud hosting offers more than enough performance for most websites.
Benefits of Private Cloud Hosting
On paper, private cloud hosting is a much better option than the public version. Since you manage your own infrastructure, you can configure your cloud network any way you like.
Private networks also guarantee the maximum level of security (as long as you configure them properly). After all, you’re not sharing your cloud with anyone else, so your sensitive files should be extremely safe.
However, private cloud hosting is usually quite expensive. That means it’s not a viable option for small businesses or modest sites. Instead, it’s the preferred option for massive online applications, or sites that handle colossal amounts of traffic.
Benefits of Public Cloud Hosting
The word ‘public’ may not make this type of cloud plan sound appealing at first. However, as we’ve mentioned, you’ll find that public cloud hosting is more than enough for most websites.
Most importantly, since you’ll share a cloud with other websites and applications, the hosting provider is able to keep the costs down. In other words, cloud hosting can be an affordable option even if you’re starting a brand-new website. Public cloud hosting also offers a level of scalability and uptime that regular shared hosting plans and VPSs can’t often match.
Finally, with a public cloud hosting plan, you won’t need to manage your own servers. That means you don’t need to hire someone with network management experience, since your hosting provider will take care of all the necessary work for you.
Choosing the Best Cloud Hosting Provider
A lot of people think that cloud hosting is just for massive websites or online applications. However, even small to medium sites can benefit from cloud hosting plans, since in most cases you only pay for what you use. Plus, they’re very easy to scale, which is fantastic for a growing website.
With WP Engine, you get access to managed cloud hosting plans that offer amazing performance and scalability. We recommend that you check out how cloud hosting compares with traditional VPSs first, and then take a look at our available plans!