What is Cloud Hosting?
As opposed to storing your website on singular physical servers, cloud hosting provides virtual servers which function over a network. This means that your site is stored in multiple locations, making it more easily accessible by users worldwide, simple to expand based on need, and less expensive to operate. Similar to electricity or water, you only get charged for what you use.
Cloud hosting gained in popularity in recent years as more businesses began to accept the “as a service” model. Similar to Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud hosting is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This means that instead of purchasing your own server farm, you may choose to outsource it to an even larger network that can be more dynamic and easier to use.
Although security concerns were once an issue for cloud hosts, the maturation and advancement of cloud computing technology has offset the threat. Businesses can now opt to purchase access to private clouds where all of the resources are ‘fenced in’ and available exclusively to them.
Cloud Hosting Benefits
Cloud hosting comes with a whole host of advantages. Here are just five of the benefits that a typical cloud hosting service can deliver users:
Cloud hosting is one of the most reliable hosting options today because instead of being limited to a single server, your website will float over an entire server network. This means that even if one host server has an outage, the others will automatically pick up the slack and prevent your website from failing. Some cloud networks can even function if an entire data center goes down.
One of the most appealing features of a cloud host is that the service is incredibly simple to scale. With a model that allows you to pay for only what you use, you are neither responsible for purchasing what you won’t use, nor limited by the initial storage space you signed up for. If your site sees a spike in traffic volume, it will automatically adjust instead of crashing. This is great for everyone but especially important for online businesses that rely on uptime.
Because you are only charged for the resources you use, cloud hosting is extremely affordable. In fact, many cloud hosts charge on a per-hour basis, allowing you to retain full control over your monthly bill. You pay more when your site viewership spikes, but you also pay less during more modest periods.
Along with scalability, a cloud server is fully customizable. This means that you can specify the server’s processor speeds, location, operating system, and other settings that you would not be able to change on a shared hosting plan. This level of customizability allows you to present your content in the most effective way possible every time.
Above all, setting up a cloud server is simple to do. Most hosting providers should be able to launch your website on their clouds in under a minute. This enables you to focus on the content your host delivers, instead of the server itself. The best part is that adding additional servers is just as easy.
Who Needs a Cloud Host?
Everyone can benefit from using a cloud host. This is because, no matter what the purpose of your site, you should always want it to remain accessible, scalable, and affordable. This is especially true for enterprises and large businesses.
If you consider all of the most important sites you interact with on a daily basis, you may be struck by one simple truth: they never have downtime. One of the best examples of a company that is able to always serve their customers is Google. Think about it. When was the last time you couldn’t access their servers? This is because the popular search engine has resources spread around the globe on a server cloud. If one goes down, the others make up for it.
As more businesses adopt cloud hosting, it will become more prevalent, eventually replacing and redefining what a server is and how it functions. Until then, you may want to consider if cloud hosting is right for your site.