Shared web hosting is seen as the cheapest form of web hosting available and is designed to provide beginners with a stepping stone into web hosting through the provisioning of a hosting environment that is ideal for testing purposes and is pretty much fool-proof. Shared cloud hosting is designed to build upon the success of this by providing you with shared web hosting within a cloud environment, guaranteeing you up to 100% uptime, but without the disadvantages that often accompany shared web hosting products. Several comparisons can be drawn between cloud hosting and shared hosting and it is important to be aware of these differences so that you know what you are paying extra for with a cloud hosting service; the differences between the two aren’t massive, but the idea of cloud hosting is to provide you with an enhanced shared hosting experience that will allow you to build a successful website without the worry of having to upgrade your web hosting plan as your website grows. With the uptake of cloud hosting services ever-increasing, the cost of your average shared cloud hosting plan is always falling and eventually a majority of hosting services will be cloud-based meaning that there will come a point when businesses of all sizes will be able to afford reliable hosting plans. The shared cloud will also be able to improve the image of shared hosting as this for a long time has been tarnished by unreliable hosting services, unsecure servers and poor support; with the shared cloud, hosting companies are aiming to provide a reliable and efficient service that is coupled with effective and helpful support.
The reliability of a cloud hosting plan will far outweigh the uptime offered by a shared web hosting service as the cloud is designed to provide up to 100% guaranteed uptime and this is evident in the architecture of the cloud, whereas your average shared web hosting plan will be using a single server configuration meaning that unless the server is managed properly, it is highly unlikely that you will ever be provided with anything beyond 99% uptime monthly. The base of any cloud environment is a cluster of servers used in conjunction with network attached storage (NAS) devices to ensure that data is fairly distributed between each machine in the cloud; this architecture allows hosting companies to ensure that if one of the servers does fail, the performance of the entire cloud isn’t compromised in any way. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) often accompany a majority of cloud hosting services, but not shared hosting plans; an SLA will detail what you are entitled to if your web hosting company fails to meet the uptime guarantee that they promise – compensation is usually an option for businesses that are able to declare lost earnings.
Shared cloud hosting plans and standard shared hosting plans also use different pricing structures. For the most part you will be able to design your own cloud hosting plan that features the resources that you require from a web hosting plan, allowing you to put together something that utilizes the resources that only you need – this guarantees that you will never be paying what you aren’t going to use and probably won’t need. Although beneficial for some, standard cloud web hosting services usually follow a pre-set pricing structure of several different web hosting plans for you to choose from, with there being little room for maneuver on the price that you pay or the resources that accompany the hosting plan in question; in some cases this could mean that you end up paying for resources that you don’t need and therefore means that you are going to be wasting money.
Shared cloud hosting services will provide you with a more secure hosting solution as the servers in the cloud usually communicate privately over vLANs, with there being very few public facing servers. The issue with a single server configuration for shared hosting is that the data is stored in one place meaning that if a hacker manages to gain access to the hosting server, that hacker will be able to steal all the data easily; in the cloud, your data is likely to be distributed across multiple servers meaning that even if one server is compromised, hackers won’t be able to steal anything of an value. With emphasis being increasingly put on security, web hosting providers are going to put as much focus as possible on securing their servers to provide a secure hosting environment to their customers.
With most standard shared web hosting services you are often limited with your upgrade options because when you are only able to choose from a set of pre-defined web hosting plans, there will come a point when you are no longer able to upgrade any further and have to begin considering another form of web hosting for your needs. This is different with the shared cloud however, as you can add additional resources to your web hosting account as and when you wish to without the need to upgrade the entire hosting plan; if you simply require additional disk space or want a bit more bandwidth then these resources plus others associated with your web hosting account can be increased incrementally as you wish with you only having to pay what for what you wish to add – this will save you money over having to upgrade your entire web hosting plan to end up with additional resources that you probably won’t use to their full effect.
In conclusion, if you are after shared hosting plan that can offer you additional reliability whilst allowing you to configure a hosting plan based around your own needs then shared cloud hosting is the best option for you. Web hosting providers are increasingly phasing out their shared web hosting product lines in order to promote their cloud hosting products more clearly. In either case, the shared cloud is the way to go and will even provide beginners with a suitable and easy-to-use solution.