There is a bit of a buzz surrounding cloud web hosting these days and if you are researching various hosting options, you will certainly run across this term. But, there are only a handful of web hosts currently offering this solution, thus although it is a rather popular option it is also fairly new so your choices in web host are a tad limited.
As this solution gains in popularity, though, it is likely more and more hosts will start offering this as an option. This will benefit the customer by giving them more choices in companies to utilize, but it will also reduce the price for it with the increased competition in the market.
What is Cloud Web Hosting?
Cloud webhosting is hosting that uses the resources of several clustered servers. Basically, this means that your website uses the virtual resources of several servers to accommodate all the aspects of hosting your site. The load is balanced, security is taken care of and hardware resources are available virtually so they can be used when needed. The cluster of servers is the cloud.
Who can Benefit From Cloud Web Hosting?
Cloud hosting is often a solution for web sites that have outgrown the resources of their existing shared hosting provider. If a web site is extremely popular and causes a strain on the resources supplied by a shared server, you may need to find another solution. Often this solution is dedicated hosting where your site resides on its own server. The problem with dedicated hosting, though, is that it is both significantly more expensive and requires a certain level of IT know-how. With cloud hosting, you can have many of the advantages to dedicated hosting without most of the challenges.
Scalability: With Cloud Web Hosting you can Access Resources you Need as you Grow
One of the primary advantages to cloud web hosting is its scalability. Visualize a group of clouds. Your website is being run in these clouds but it suddenly gets busy. You can gather more clouds around your site to help support it so your users see no degradation of services. However, if you no longer need the additional clouds you can let them float away. Sites that have spikes in resource use can benefit from this option.
Example: Joe owns a website that specializes in downloadable Christmas projects for children. Coloring templates, origami tree ornaments, story ideas and craft projects are all available for use during the Christmas season. Of course, his website is open all year round but he only has a busy season starting in late November, falling off in January. Once the holiday season starts Joe sees an increase in traffic. Near the second week in December his site is visited so often and items are downloaded continuously causing a strain on his shared host’s server. His account is suspended and he has to scramble to get his site back up and running on a dedicated machine.
Joe now experiences downtime affecting his customers all for one small portion of the year where he experiences heavy traffic. With cloud hosting, though, he can increase his site’s available resources and use what he needs. When his traffic decreases again in January, he can release those resources and run his site efficiently on only what he needs.
Immediacy: On Demand use for Additional Services Helps you When you need it
When you need additional resources you do not have time to wait for customer service to assist you by increasing your bandwidth allotment if needed. If you really have a spike in resources then you risk having your site suspended for causing degradation in services to other sites on your shared server. You may experience down time or slowness on your site caused by the increased traffic. But with cloud web hosting you can increase your available resources immediately, when you need it. This can save you a lot of stress and may even save some customers because the process is seamless. Customers or users on your site will not see any change.
Savings: With Cloud Web Hosting you Only pay for what you use, Saving you a lot of Money
It used to be that when you outgrew your shared hosting environment that your only other option was to move to dedicated hosting. However, this cost a lot of money. For the web site that did not need all the resources available on a dedicated server or did not need them all the time such as in the example of Joe above, the money spent was wasted on unused services. However, with cloud hosting what you pay for is the resources you use. When you no longer need them you release them and you are no longer charged for them.
Scalability, immediacy and savings allow you to efficiently run your website. You can grow and shrink the available resources per your needs. You can get what you need when you need it and you only pay for what you use. This allows you to concentrate on what you know best – running your website. You won’t have to worry about your hosting solution.
Want to learn more? Check out all of our great web hosting guides!