Cloud web hosting uses a virtual network of cloud servers to host a single site. It is different from traditional hosting, which stores one or multiple sites on a single server.
The primary benefit of cloud hosting is reliability. When one cloud server is down, other servers can take its place to keep the website online. It is also less prone to hardware failure, and webmasters can scale their hosting resources as needed to anticipate traffic spikes.
As such, it is the go-to solution for large-scale projects like enterprise websites, eCommerce stores, online marketplaces, and search engines.
So, why has the hosting world moved away from dedicated server hosting to cloud technology? It's clearly a more complex (and more expensive) system to set up. There must be some major benefits, right?
Well yes, now you come to mention it there are some pretty fabulous benefits to using cloud technology instead of a traditional dedicated server.
If your website exists on a single machine and that machine goes offline, then your site vanishes. On the other hand, if your site is shared between an array of interconnected machines that all store the same information and one of them goes offline, the others can pick up the slack and the site remains online.
If you have any doubts about how much of impact downtime can have on your site – and by default your business – then consider this famous example from Amazon. Server issues knocked the site offline for just 13 minutes on Prime Day 2018, and this is said to have cost them almost $100 million in lost sales. That is over $120,000 every second.
Because of the underlying infrastructure of your cloud hosting set-up, you have access to more system resources than you could ever need. Even once these have been shared between all the different accounts on your public cloud set-up, there's a vast amount of processing power sitting in reserve for this very purpose. You can scale these resources easily: whether it's a quick phone call to your hosting company when you know you are expecting extra traffic or setting up the hosting architecture to automatically increase resources based on real-time requirements. Days like Cyber Monday shouldn't be a concern.
Unlike a dedicated server set-up where a sudden increase in visitor numbers can lead to the whole site going down, cloud hosting ensures your account can respond to demand. More importantly, you only pay for what you actually use.
Cloud hosting is also incredibly versatile. More than ever, you can choose a custom solution that's tailor-made to meet your specific needs. You don’t have to pick from a list of standard packages, none of which quite fit your requirements. You can select exactly the space, architecture, processing power, OS, and security you need with a cloud set-up.
Perhaps your site uses a relatively small front end but accesses a massive database? Perhaps you need to host large files for download from an otherwise small site? Whatever your individual needs, the cloud can accommodate them.
If you need more reasons to get onboard the cloud server bandwagon, also bear in mind that, should you choose to manage your own server, you can do so from your smartphone. With the cloud, you don't need access to the data centre itself – just an internet connection.
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