When looking for the right web hosting service for your website, there are a number of things to consider. Shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting are all popular hosting services, however, there is another option that is growing in popularity: cloud hosting. In short, cloud hosting is a lot like VPS hosting, with a few minor differences—of which we’ll cover below.
Given that StatCounter focuses on helping our members monitor their websites and make improvements accordingly, we feel it only necessary to explain the types of web hosting available for your website. With this, let us fill you in on cloud hosting and why it may be a viable choice for your hosting services.
Of course, if you know cloud hosting isn’t right for your business, or you’d like to explore other options, check out the articles we’ve provided below:
Cloud Hosting Explained
As mentioned above, cloud hosting is similar to VPS hosting in that multiple users are hosting their website using the same server that has been divided up equally by RAM and hard drive space. While VPS hosting allows for more customization than a shared server, there is still a limit for what can be done. Cloud hosting, on the other hand, can be scaled much further than simply a VPS server, which can be immensely beneficial for developers.
Additionally, cloud hosting gives websites added protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks. While these attacks are not a security risk, they can cause your site to crash by overwhelming it with server requests. This, as you can imagine, is bothersome and annoying, so the ability to better avoid such is beneficial.
Furthermore, cloud hosting services can be divided into three major categories that offer different solutions for businesses: SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. Depending on what the business wants to accomplish through the cloud, they can choose the perfect cloud solution that fits their needs. Whether it’s accessing software from a remote location to hosting websites or applications, the cloud creates an environment businesses can access on-site or on the go. Further detail for the above-mentioned solutions are provided below:
Infrastructure is the collection of physical and virtual components that are used to build, operate, and manage information technology services. The components consist of hardware, software, data centers, networks, facilities, and related equipment.
This type of cloud hosting service is used to offer software solutions over the internet. The software can be accessed through a web browser and users typically use the software on a subscription basis. It is often referred to as “on-demand software” because it is easily accessible through any internet enabled device. SaaS has quickly become a popular delivery model for a huge range of business applications such as Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Accounting software, Content Management software, web hosting and much more. There are a number of benefits to utilizing SaaS that streamlines business processes and reduces costs.
SaaS is a cost-effective way for businesses to use software that can perform business functions efficiently. Many software solutions offered over the cloud can be used for free or for a small monthly cost. Also, there is virtually no turnaround time to using cloud hosted software because it doesn’t require the user to install the software onto their computer. The user can login immediately and get access to the tools the software provides. The user doesn’t have to update their hardware to use the software because it works directly through a web browser.
This is the most dedicated form of cloud hosting because it equips businesses with their own virtualized hardware or computing infrastructure that can be customized to fit their needs. Instead of purchasing servers, datacenter space, software or network equipment, businesses have access to these resources as a service. The service is incredibly scalable and changes are available on demand. IaaS providers are able to quickly upscale or downscale infrastructure solutions to fit the needs of the business.
There is no limit to what companies can accomplish with IaaS because the goal is to provide infrastructure that can handle any computing process. Common uses for IaaS are as follow:
- Website Hosting
- Web Apps
- Big Data Analysis
- Backup and Recovery
- Test and Development
- High-performance Computing
Most companies do not have the resources to build their own infrastructure and trying to do so can put a huge strain on the company’s budget and time. IaaS providers give businesses a cost-effective and quick solution to their infrastructure that won’t deplete or strain their resources.
1&1 is the trusted domain and web hosting provider of StatCounter. With high-quality hosting solutions at affordable prices. Better yet, 1&1 offers a variety of additional features to help improve your website, like a free SSL certificate. Learn more about 1&1 cloud hosting here.
Advantages of Cloud Hosting
Without cloud hosting, many companies would find it nearly impossible to do the work they do. Cloud computing, as a whole, has improved the basic computing services available to businesses on a daily basis. From quick tasks such as email and word processing to more labor intensive projects like developing applications and websites, cloud hosting eliminates the roadblocks that once existed for businesses trying to find their home on the Internet. Here are some advantages businesses gain from utilizing the cloud:
- Flexibility: A cloud solution is easily scalable and can be changed at any time to fit a business’s current needs.
- Mobility: The cloud is accessible from any location with an Internet connection. Data hosted on the cloud can be accessed at any time and makes it easy for businesses to see work when out of office.
- Security: Cloud providers manage security and keep server environments up-to-date with the latest security standards.
- Disaster Recovery: Most cloud hosting providers keep backups of data hosted on their servers. They can quickly revert to past instances to recover lost data.
- Capital-Expenditure Free: No need to invest in equipment or storage space to build infrastructure. Businesses can pay as they go instead of investing heavily in equipment from the beginning.
- Environmentally Friendly: Servers used for cloud computing tend to be top-of-the-line and energy efficient. Businesses also scale their needs and, in turn, don’t use more energy than necessary.
Before cloud hosted software, many businesses had to manually install software and run updates to ensure their programs were up to date. This was often a slow process that required up-to-date hardware that could run desired software. Now, businesses can quickly find a solution, subscribe, and use it within seconds. Businesses also get a lot of freedom over their software and grow or shrink their plan to fit their current needs.
The cloud also eliminated the need to build infrastructure to handle computing processes. Developers can easily take advantage of PaaS to focus their efforts toward building their applications. They no longer have to worry about the infrastructure involved in launching their applications. Businesses can utilize IaaS to save on the time and money needed to invest in building infrastructure. With the cloud, infrastructure is available to businesses immediately and requires no expenditure on the actual hardware.
Is Cloud Hosting Right for Your Site?
Many websites can get by just fine using shared hosting, however, if you are looking for more customization ability, cloud hosting may be right for you. For example, if your site is gaining more traffic every month, you are likely looking for some extra features to add to your site. With cloud hosting, this can be done easily without disrupting other websites on your server.
If you are looking into a VPS server to add more features and applications to your website, consider looking into cloud hosting as an alternative. For some websites, this may be a better hosting solution. Be sure to do thorough research into each hosting option before you make your decision.
Track Your Progress with StatCounter
While cloud hosting presents a range of advantages for businesses and their websites, it’s not to say this type of hosting will suit every business. Having said that, be sure to do your research and read through the resources StatCounter offers with regards to choosing a hosting provider. No matter the type of web hosting solution you choose, however, it’s always advised you track your web traffic to see how users are interacting with your site. You can use our web tracker to monitor this and much more, and you can use your findings from such to improve your site and acquire more traffic.
Of course, if you are in need of assistance, you can contact StatCounter member support by completing the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Share this article
Understand your visitors with Statcounter
See why over 2,000,000 bloggers, web designers, marketing and SEO professionals and small business owners around the world use Statcounter to grow their business.Learn More