If you’re just starting to work on your first website, one thing’s certain – web hosting services may look like something of a mystery. Understanding the intricacies of different hosting offers, and stuff like the technical differences between VPS and shared hosting; all of this is enough for your eyes to start glazing over.
However, once you settle on the hosting plan that’s actually right for you; that’s the feeling that will make everything worth the effort. It’s something akin to finding the perfect tailored suit; one that’s comfortable, but also gives you room to grow. However, finding the deal that’s not too good to be true, and one that you should take advantage of – that’s not always easy.
On the one hand, a hosting plan that’s not big enough will negatively impact the growth and performance of your website; while one that’s too large will adversely affect your budget quite a lot. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of shared and cloud hosting services.
Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting
When most website owners start out, they’re likely to do so by getting a shared hosting plan. With this kind of service, you’ve got thousands of users sharing the same computing resources and storage space of one physical server. As you might imagine, this is the cheapest hosting option out there; it’s ultra-popular because it allows small businesses and individuals to have an online presence without a huge initial investment. Plus, depending on what kind of hosting package you opt for, you may get a lot of intuitive tools and decent amounts of customer support.
Benefits and Drawbacks
In most cases, shared hosting providers are there to handle most of the technical aspects related to the website infrastructure; like updates, security, and similar maintenance. Customers are there to solely focus on making a significant online presence that’s representative of their business goals and brand. Now, while some managed hosting services require a great deal of money – you can also find affordable options. In fact, we’ve come across a few such services right here.
With many of these, you’ll get unlimited email accounts, easy-to-use website builders, quick installation of CMS modules, and free domain registration. On the other hand, as you might imagine; sharing one physical server with so many other websites somewhat limits your control over the performance of the server. If other websites experience a traffic surge, you may encounter issues like downtime or connectivity delays.
- Easy for laymen to grasp
- A lot of free addons
- Limited control over performance and security
- Less available resources
While shared hosting has its share (pun intended) of drawbacks, it’s still a good introduction into the world of website management and design. In fact, there are all kinds of experienced bloggers and developers who still thrive in shared hosting space. If we’re talking about personal blogs, small business websites, portfolio websites, or online stores; shared hosting may be good enough.
When you’re choosing one among many shared hosting providers out there, take care to select the one which has all of the perks you need. And we’re not just talking about bandwidth limits and storage space – you should think about stuff like SSL certificates, or having free access to a network for content delivery.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting
As you slowly gain a larger online audience, you will see your traffic starting to ramp up. Once that happens, don’t be that shared hosting person whose heavily visited websites takes up resources from other customers. Instead, start looking for a different kind of hosting service; one that will allow your website to spread its proverbial wings. Luckily, most contemporary providers offer other, high-tier plans. So you’ll probably be able to switch to more bandwidth and storage without a big shift or switching providers. And if you believe that a dedicated server is still not something you’re prepared for; consider cloud hosting as an option.
Cloud hosting is still a type of shared hosting; however, in this case you’re not sharing a single physical server with other websites. Instead, the data from your website will be spread across a huge network of servers, probably all over the world. And when so many different physical servers share the workload, you won’t have to worry about stuff like delays and downtime. Plus, you can easily adapt to the change in scale, as you gain or lose website visitors.
On the other hand, as you move from shared hosting to cloud hosting; you’ll find that more is expected out of you in terms of website management. And while you can hire someone to handle security maintenance and other related tasks; that will still be an additional expense compared to shared hosting, where website owners have lesser duties.
- Scalable and automatic resource allocation
- Improved reliability and performance
- Progressive price structure
- Costs aren’t as easy to predict
- More hand-on management
When it comes to choosing a cloud hosting provider, there are plenty of different services you can choose from. While there are smaller cloud hosting providers that are dependable, you may want to take a look at household names like the Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, or Amazon Web Services. The one you’ll choose largely depends on the budget you’re dealing with, as well as your goals and traffic estimates.
As your website becomes even more popular, you may even have to switch to dedicated server hosting. However, until that happens – web hosting deals that involve shared or cloud hosting will be more than adequate for your everyday needs.