What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a more general term that refers to where and how you’ll host your website’s files. Essentially, your web host is where all of your website’s files will be stored. At the core, your website is a bundle of files that are sitting on a host somewhere. When a user types in your domain name the browser downloads those files from your web host and displays them.
With standard web hosting, you’ll be storing your site’s files on a single server. The type of server environment you choose will depend upon the size of your website, how much traffic you receive, and your level of technical expertise.
The most common types of hosting you’ll come across are:
- Shared: This is the most popular style of hosting and also the cheapest. With shared hosting, a single server is partitioned and you’re renting a slice of that server along with dozens or hundreds of other sites. Shared hosting is best suited for beginners who want to get their first sites online as fast as possible.
- Dedicated: With this style of hosting you have an entire server allotted to your website. This gives you complete control over your server environment along with great performance. However, dedicated hosting is much more expensive and will require some technical knowledge to setup and maintain properly.
- VPS: With a VPS server, you’re still utilizing a shared server environment, but you’re running a virtualized server on top of it. You’ll have an allotted amount of space, CPU usage, memory and more, which can lead to improved loading times and site performance. VPS is a great step up from a shared hosting environment.
- Managed: With managed hosting, you get access to a higher performing server that’s managed and optimized for you. Typically, it’ll be optimized for a certain type of website, like WordPress managed hosting. Managed hosting can be more expensive, but you’re essentially letting a team of experts to run and manage your server for you.
The final type of hosting you’ll come across in your search is cloud hosting, which we’ll get into below. As you’ll soon learn cloud hosting is an entirely different type of hosting that blends both shared and dedicated hosting together.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
With cloud hosting, you aren’t renting space on a single physical server. Essentially, all of your server hardware is virtual. It’s a fairly new style of hosting that’s been growing in popularity in recent years.
Cloud hosting offers you unlimited resource expansion, which is great to have if you have a fast-growing site. Your site will also be shielded from malfunctioning servers, as your site can be switched to another server if it’s underperforming.
Cloud hosting rocks for a few different reasons:
- The pricing is flexible and you only pay for what you use. So, if you’re having a very high traffic month you can quickly scale up your resources. Then, if traffic drops again you just scale your needs down again. With cloud hosting, you’re never stuck paying for server resources you don’t use.
- It’s super scalable. If your site’s traffic is up and down, then you need a host that can work with you. If a shared host won’t cut it, but a dedicated or managed host provides too high of server resources, then cloud hosting can be the right fit for your needs.
- It has incredible uptime and performance. If you’re experiencing issues causing sluggish performance and loading speeds, then your site will just be switched to a higher performing server.
Cloud Hosting vs Web Hosting – Which Is Best?
In order to have a functioning website, you’re going to need some kind of web hosting. The hosting you choose will depend on your unique needs as a website owner. You’re probably wondering what style of hosting is right for you and have been considering cloud hosting vs. web hosting.
The goal of this post is to clear up the confusion between these two types of hosting. Below we look at the differences between cloud hosting and web hosting, so you can decide what style of hosting is going to be best for your website.
How to Choose the Best Hosting Option for Your Needs
With all of the hosting types available it can be difficult to make the right decision. When you’re trying to decide between cloud vs. web hosting, think about what kind of things you’ll want from your host.
For example, if you’re a complete beginner who wants their site online as fast as possible, then shared hosting could work for you. But, if you have a very high traffic website and you don’t want to think twice about managing your own server, then consider a managed host.
But, if you want something more flexible that’s cost-effective and can grow with your site, then cloud hosting is an option worth considering.
Hopefully, the breakdown above will help you decide if going with traditional web hosting or cloud hosting is going to be the best fit for your website.