With the growing importance of the virtual presence, websites play the most role for businesses today. After all, the website is the sole identity that a business owns in the digital world. When it comes to e-commerce platforms, the website is everything – without a functional website, no e-commerce business can thrive, let alone flourish. So, this clearly underlines how important it is to find a reliable platform for hosting the website.
Numerous agencies offer website hosting platforms today, so it is very easy to find yourself confused when you need to choose from the available ones. But based on the services that are offered, there are two very popular choices of website hosting services today – cloud hosting and shared hosting.
But which one should you choose? Let us find out step by step.
What is meant by shared hosting?
Shared website hosting functions by sharing a single server between several users. Each user with an account on that server is allotted shared bandwidth, and are allowed to put any number of websites in their individual accounts. So a particular shared server can be used to run hundreds and thousands of websites.
Now, shared web hosting is extremely popular. It is, in fact, the most sought after website hosting service that you will come across at present. And the greatest advantage is that it is also very affordable.
However, the drawback of shared hosting is its shared bandwidth. Even if a single website utilizes most of the shared resources on that server, then your website will be at risk of underperforming. This is a very likely event in case huge websites are being hosted on the same server. And it demands that the hosting service provider takes prompt and proper measures to solve the problem. Else a poorly performing website can bring devastating consequences to businesses.
So if you feel that you have to host your website in a tight budget, or if you have a light and compact website, then shared hosting should be good for you. Otherwise, you can go for cloud hosting services.
What is meant by cloud hosting?
The constraint of having to share a single server’s resources is effectively shattered by cloud hosting services. In cloud hosting, your website resides and uses storage on a cluster of servers. Your website is thus allowed to use resources belonging to multiple cloud servers which allow adequate bandwidth for any number of websites to function seamlessly.
In case one cloud server’s resources are occupied or unavailable, your website will be simply switched over to another cloud server’s resources. This is automatically done by the service provider to keep up the performance of the cloud hosting platform. It completely eliminates any scope of an underlying competition among the hosted websites to grab the fixed set of resources, before they are taken up by another.
Cloud hosting is also gaining a lot of popularity very rapidly because it offers the perfect hosting platform to websites that experience a high volume of traffic. The cloud hosting servers allow unlimited expansion of bandwidth, which helps large websites to perform well.
So the cloud infrastructure is more dynamic compared to shared hosting platforms.
Which one is more suitable for you?
To be very clear and practical, which hosting platform you choose will ultimately depend on your specific requirements. There is no rule that one type is the best since each platform comes with its own unique features.
So ideally, you need to make a decision based on certain important considerations.
- The budget - The first point that you need to bear in mind is your budget, i.e. how much funds you have allocated for hosting your business website. This is quite an important consideration since it can impact your business funding significantly, if not taken into account at the very start.
For shared web hosting, you can easily find agencies that will charge you barely $10 per month and you can host all your websites on a single server. This high affordability is one of the prime factors that make shared hosting so immensely popular all over the world.
Cloud hosting is more expensive compared to shared hosting. But the best thing is that you only need to pay as per your use – if you leave one or more resources unutilized, you do not need to pay for them. This allows a great deal of flexibility, which in turn helps you save more money.
- Size of your website – If your business website is of considerable size, and it also experiences high traffic volumes, then going for shared hosting might not a wise decision. If resource availability becomes a challenge, it can throttle your website’s performance and make it slow or even unavailable to users. Needless to say, this will certainly have an undesirable impact on your business too, and can potentially harm your brand value.
Choosing a cloud hosting platform will offer your website the required freedom and computing resources to function flawlessly. Owing to its excellent scalability, it can easily accommodate your website and applications even if you plan to go for an upgrade and expand it in future. Your website will be able to cater to hundreds of user requests seamlessly without slowing down or impacting the end-user experience negatively.
- Website security – A very crucial aspect of website hosting platforms is the protection that they offer to the hosted websites.
In case of shared hosting, if one website becomes a target of hackers, then the other websites hosted on the same server become equally vulnerable to hacking. Although the service providers ensure security from such potential attacks, there is not much guarantee.
Website security is much stronger when it comes to cloud-based platforms because it offers an additional layer of protection for your virtual network and keeps your environment guarded against others. Moreover, it offers amazing website mirroring features, which increases your website's reliability and safety.
So after carefully weighing out your options, you might think about starting with shared hosting and then upgrading to cloud hosting to avail its futuristic benefits.