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TLDR Quick answer: No for most businesses. Yes for large, complex, high volume websites.
Note: this blog is not meant to be a technical guide, rather it is a brief lesson on the topic.
There are a million and one hosting companies that could host your website, all with various prices, features and services. If you do a quick Google you will find the big players in the industry. The question is, for your small business, medium business, or self employed business – which hosting is best for you?
As mentioned in a previous article, you need to examine the features that your business requires. So now let us assume you have done that. You have got your list ready, you know your budget, and then someone says,“have you thought about cloud hosting?” and just like that you are back to square one, but unsure what cloud hosting is.
We will look at some benefits of cloud hosting, but we need to understand the different types of hosting available
Most web hosting companies start their plans and packages on shared web hosting. A server is just like a computer with a hard drive that can store thousands of pieces of information.
Price: Cost effective and fixed.
Location: This is a physical server stored at 1 location either at their web hosting premises or somewhere else. It is managed by the hosting company.
Capacity: Limited - A shared web hosting server will be the home to tens, or even hundreds of websites on 1 physical drive. No way to increase storage or other features.
Upscaling: If your website consumes too much storage, you will be forced to upgrade your plan. This may be costly. If you have too many visitors your website may struggle to display to everyone as the shared server will have limitations in place to ensure that all websites have equal spread of bandwidth.
When one website gets compromised, then leaves all the others on the server vulnerable.
Suitable for: For most businesses, either small businesses or self employed - this type of hosting is ideal
For larger business, that have larger traffic, sell products and services online, or want to have intranets and complex systems, they may want to consider dedicated web hosting.
Dedicated web hosting is a server that is dedicated to hosting your website only.
Price: Mid-range and fixed.
Location: This is a physical server stored at 1 location either at their premises or somewhere else. Your hosting provider may have backups in place, or another RAID server for backups.
Capacity: Depends on what you want. Being dedicated, you can have 2GB to 250GB of storage.
Upscaling: If your website consumes too much storage, you will be forced to upgrade the hardware in the server. This may be very costly.
Suitable for: Larger business, that have larger traffic, sell products and services online, or want to have intranets and complex systems, they may want to consider dedicated web hosting.
Without going too technical - many websites and apps such as Netflix and Spotify use cloud computing and cloud hosting. This means that the data and systems they use are not stored on a single physical device. Rather itis made up of multiple services/devices spread across multiple networks across1 country, group of countries or even across the globe. This is an expensive decision to make, so why would anyone choose this?
Price: On the dearer side and Flexible. Some cloud hosting prices cost £15-30 per month.
Location: Anywhere and everywhere. If there is a downtime, your website will be fetched from the next server.
Capacity: Depends on what you want. Being dedicated, you can have 2GB to 250GB of storage, you can choose the specs.
Upscaling: It is breeze.
Suitable for: Larger business, worldwide companies, e-commerce websites, universities, schools, colleges, websites that require intranet systems or portals.
If your expecting your website to go viral and expect a large amount of traffic you do not have to upgrade your hosting plan. With cloud hosting you can just scale the resources up and down just using a calculator on your phone. Depending on what you adjust, your price will adjust as well. Some cloud servers provide an automated upscaling features leaving you to focus on your business
Cloud hosting has a high level of up time (meaning being always online). Why? It uses multiple servers, so if one goes offline it uses the next one available. Same goes with hardware failure or overloads that effect shared and dedicated hosting – this is not the case with cloud-based hosting.
Cloud hosting setup takes minutes to deploy as it all virtually done on a dashboard.
Cloud hosted websites are generally faster at loading websites due to the specs and the CDN infrastructures in place.
If you are university, college, school, have multiple branches, intranet systems, staff or student portals, then yes cloud hosting would be something to look at. For most small businesses, shared or dedicated web hosting will be sufficient – so the answer is it depends!
Thanks for reading!
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