Your business website is everything – if it doesn’t work, your brand and bottom line can be hit hard. There are several web hosting companies that can offer different types of hosting for your website. These options range from virtual private servers (VPS) to standard shared hosting.
One of the main distinctions in these services is between shared and cloud web hosting. Both services are tiered at a similar level, providing basic web hosting functions, but through completely different processes. While some may argue that one is better than the other, the type of hosting that works for your business largely depends on your individual needs.
Holly Rollins, president of digital marketing firm 10x Digital, said there are advantages to both shared and cloud hosting for business owners. 10x Digital also offers web hosting services. Rollins said that while sharing can be more profitable, cloud hosting is more secure and easier to scale.
The right hosting “depends on the type of traffic your website receives and the type of money you are willing to spend,” she said. “Business owners must decide what is the highest priority. You can always change or upgrade later if you find that shared hosting doesn’t provide the resources or speed you need.”
What is the difference?
The difference between shared and cloud hosting lies in how each is organized. Shared hosting servers are servers with multiple websites on them. Web hosting companies create and maintain these servers, and they put a ton of websites on them. This means that if your website is hosted on a shared server, you are competing for the same resources as many other websites. Some companies pack a ton of websites on each server, which can speed up the speed and performance of your website. It may also have some security limitations.
“Once a hacker has access to a website, they also leave other websites vulnerable on the server,” Rollins said.
Cloud hosting is a service that exists on multiple servers. Instead of on a shared server, your site is hosted in the cloud. This means that the business can bounce its website hosting between servers as it adjusts to performance spikes and other stresses. Cloud hosting is more dynamic than shared hosting, and this means that it can perform better and be more secure than some shared hosting services.
Which is better?
As always, the short answer to this question is that it depends. The service that works best for your business will depend on your needs. If you are looking for an inexpensive hosting option that has strong features and can handle your current traffic levels, shared web hosting can be a great option for your business.
“Shared hosting is the traditional method of hosting and can be a good cost-effective option for many smaller businesses,” said Rollins. “It can also be easier to use when it comes to features.”
Cloud hosting is ideal if you experience high traffic or peak visits, or need in-depth security features. Rollins recommended cloud hosting services for e-commerce businesses and businesses with high traffic demands.
“Because it doesn’t depend on a single dedicated server, should a problem arise, your site can be easily and quickly migrated to another server,” he said. “If you have a very large site with a lot of resources on the back end and you have speed problems, hosting in the cloud is a good option.”
Cloud hosting is more expensive
One thing to consider with cloud hosting is that given its performance and scalability advantages, it is significantly more expensive than shared hosting services. Some shared hosting plans can be purchased for just a few dollars a month, while cloud hosting plans will cost you between $ 15 and $ 20 a month.
As with any service, you get what you pay for, and Rollins said business owners should consider their priorities before looking for web hosting services. Cloud hosting services come with more security and performance features, while shared hosting services can provide the deal a small business needs for a basic website.