Cloud web hosting
Whether you’re a blogger or a business owner, you should consider cloud hosting for your next website.
A relatively new innovation, cloud hosting has rapidly grown in popularity in Australia. If you’re looking to build a new website for your blog or business, you should consider what cloud hosting has to offer.
Want to know more? Read on to find out if cloud hosting is right for your website.
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that uses a chain or network of physical servers to act as a single virtual server. Because cloud hosting does not rely on a single physical server, there is less risk of data loss if one of the servers crashes as all data will be transferred to one of the other connected servers.
How cloud hosting works
All websites require a web hosting system. The web hosting type that is best suited to your website depends on the following:
- Your budget.
- Size of your site or business.
- The amount of traffic your site generates and how quickly you plan to expand.
No matter the website, cloud hosting can be adapted to suit your needs. Like shared hosting, cloud hosting will give you access to allocated space and resources.
But unlike shared hosting, these resources will be on a network of servers acting as a virtual server instead of a single physical server. This means your cloud server will not be affected by power outages or even natural disasters that could affect traditional servers because your information will be stored across the whole network. Unfortunately, as this network of servers uses the Internet to stay connected, a cloud server can be prone to the same security breaches as anything else on the Internet.
Cloud hosting can give you many of the resources of a single, dedicated server for a much lower cost and with easier maintenance. You can also have the flexibility to scale up your service to accommodate any website growth or traffic spikes.
Compare cloud web hosting plans for 2019
How much does cloud hosting cost?
It depends on your usage. For example, Basic cloud hosting plans from Crazy Domains start at $14 AUD per month for a minimum of 12 months with 500GB web space. Plans from another service, Bluehost, start at $10.95 USD per month for a minimum of 12 months with 100BG of storage space. Any additional features of resources outside of basic plans will incur added fees that can add up fast. Make sure you keep an eye out for frequent discounts that can cause prices to drop.
Additionally, a benefit of cloud hosting is that instead of having a set monthly cost, you can adjust your plan to accommodate spikes in traffic and scale up for growth. Keep in mind this also means you might end up with a larger bill than expected if you use more resources than you thought you would in any given month.
Benefits of cloud hosting
- Scalability. One of the biggest benefits of cloud hosting is that you can easily scale your plan up or down as your website grows and changes. This can be especially useful if your resources grow unexpectedly or you experience seasonal spikes in traffic. You can easily increase your memory, space and available CPUs to accommodate any growth, and cut back if the demand reduces.
- Data assurance. There is low risk of data loss with cloud hosting, because your data will be backed up on an entire network of servers, not just one physical server.
- Flexibility. Generally, you only pay for the amount of resources you use with cloud hosting. This means you can tailor your cloud hosting plan to perfectly suit your needs.
- Immediacy. If your website has an unexpected spike in traffic, you don’t have to wait to update your plan to allow for more resources as you would with more traditional hosting. Cloud hosting generally allows you to increase your resources immediately, saving your site from crashing or slowing down.
- Technology. As cloud hosting is a relatively new and constantly developing industry, providers usually make sure they stay up to date with the latest technological advances.
- Affordability. Cloud hosting can give you many of the benefits of dedicated hosting, without the exorbitant cost. Generally, you pay for the resources you use so you don’t have to waste money on unneeded features.
Who can benefit from cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is growing more and more popular in Australia, largely due to the ease of scalability of a cloud-hosted site. Cloud hosting can be especially useful for:
- Websites with seasonal traffic, such as music festivals or ski resorts.
- Any site that experiences large spikes in traffic.
- Websites and companies that plan to expand quickly.
- Small and large businesses.
- Individuals who want to be able to tailor their web hosting service to suit their needs.
Disadvantages of cloud hosting
- Security. The biggest downside to cloud hosting is the vulnerability of cloud servers to cyber attacks and security breaches. Anyone with an Internet connection can attempt to hack into a cloud server. This means even the biggest companies can be susceptible to security breaches.
- Technical experience. Depending on your web hosting provider, some degree of technical knowledge and experience will be required to maintain your website and server.
- Unexpected costs. Because you generally pay for what you use with cloud hosting, there is the possibility you’ll end up with a much larger bill than expected if your site uses more resources than you anticipated.
Possible downtime. Cloud hosting relies on the Internet to connect you to your server. If there are any interruptions in the Internet connection, your server and website can be affected.
Speed. Slow Internet can likewise affect your cloud server, causing your website to experience lags or difficulty loading.
- Comparative cost. Though cloud hosting is significantly cheaper than dedicated hosting, it is more expensive than shared hosting and VPS hosting.
How to set up cloud hosting
- Find the best web host for you. The first and most important part of setting up cloud web hosting is choosing the best web hosting provider for your website. Be sure to check whether it offers 24/7 customer support, the ability to scale up your resources instantly and what other web hosting types it has available.
- Choose a domain name. Your domain name will be where people will find your website. If you don’t already have a domain name registered, some web hosting providers allow you to do this for free when you sign up. You can also use a domain registration service. Consider which domain extension would be most appropriate for your site, eg “.com”, “.org”, “.au”, “.net” or “.edu”. Prices may differ for each extension.
- Build your website. You can design your website using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla, depending on what is offered by your web host. Some providers also offer website builders to help make creating your website as easy as possible.
- Manage content. Now that your website has been created, you can continue to upload content and grow your business.
- Scale up or down. With cloud hosting, you can easily scale up or down based on the growth and expansion of your site. Check with your web hosting provider for more details.