Signing up for a simple web hosting package will usually buy you a defined block of resources on a single server: this much web space, that much bandwidth, maybe a set amount of RAM or CPU cores.
While this works well for many websites, having fixed resources can be a problem for larger projects. There's generally no way to temporarily allocate extra RAM or bandwidth if you experience an increase in traffic, and even a simple plan upgrade might require your website to go offline for a while.
Cloud hosting plans look much like virtual private server (VPS) products, where you'll initially pay for a set amount of web space, RAM, CPU time and bandwidth. But these resources are spread across multiple devices instead of just one, and changing your plan later adding another gig of RAM, for instance is generally as easy as dragging a slider, with the extra power coming online within moments.
This flexibility is great for delivering extra power when you need it most, and starting prices can be similar to regular VPS hosting (from 10 or $14 a month). Costs will rise as you add resources, but typically you'll only pay for the time in which you use these resources.
DigitalOcean's monster 192GB RAM, 32 vCPU and 3,840GB SSD product costs $960 (685) a month, for instance, but this pay-as-you-go approach allows you to try it out for $1.429 or 1.02 an hour.
Cloud hosting still won't be for everyone, and small, simple websites are likely to be better off with regular packages. But the technology has a lot to offer anyone with larger or more ambitious projects, and many hosts run free trials which make it easy to explore their abilities for yourself.
A great option for smaller operations
Simple to use
Solid range of plans
Temptingly priced with initial discounts
Cloud hosting isn't just for big business. HostGator's cloud platform spreads your website load across multiple virtual server instances for more reliable and scalable hosting, but it's as easy to use as standard shared hosting, and only costs a little more.
For example, the baseline Hatchling Cloud plan gets you support for one domain, unmetered bandwidth and storage, a share of up to two cores and 2GB RAM, and distributed Varnish caching to speed up the loading of static content. You can get started for as little as $4.95 (3.50) a month if you buy three years upfront, although the price leaps to $8.95 (6.40) on renewal.
If you need something more powerful, the top-of-the-range Business Cloud plan supports unlimited domains, gives you up to six cores and 6GB RAM, and includes private SSL and a dedicated IP. Another chunky introductory discount means you can pay as little as $9.95 (7.10) a month over three years, but after that you'll pay $17.95 (12.80) per month.
Benefits of the cloud plans include (up to) twice as fast load times, along with more site statistics, and because your site is mirrored across multiple devices, the ability to switch your site to another server in the event of a hardware failure.
But the key advantage of all cloud hosting schemes is scalability. If your site can't cope with demand, you can scale up to eight cores and 8GB RAM with a click. There's no waiting around for someone to process your order and no downtime while your web space is reallocated you get the extra resources right away.
Offers a wide range of plans catering for all users
Powerful Flex plan
Extras like DDoS protection
Can try before you buy
1&1 Cloud Server Hosting is a powerful range of products which combine dedicated server resources with the performance, flexibility and scalability of the best cloud hosting technologies.
Seven standard root access (self-managed) configurations aim to cover everyone from the individual user (9.99 or $14 a month for a single CPU core, 1GB RAM and 50GB storage) to big businesses (16 cores, 48GB RAM and 500GB storage for a monster 349 or $488 a month).
All plans have decent specifications, giving you unlimited traffic and email accounts, a bundled SSL certificate, DDoS protection and a choice of US and European data centers.
A wide range of options includes Windows hosting, or managed hosting with your choice of stack: Apache + MySQL + PHP 7.2, Nginx + MariaDB + PHP 7.2, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and more.
The highlight of the range is probably 1&1's Cloud Hosting Flex package. Not only does this allow for adjusting cores, RAM and storage on demand, and adding up to 99 servers to the same contract, but billing is by the minute and you're only charged for what you use.
Prices start at 22.28 ($31.20) a month including the management fee. There's no long-term contract and the first 30 days is free, giving you the chance to try before you buy.
A neat compromise between power and ease-of-use
User-friendly yet powerful
At first glance, cloud hosting products seem to be divided into two clear groups: user-friendly but basic products from hosts like 1&1, and enterprise-level technology from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and more, which is so complex that even experts might struggle to set it up.
Cloudways represents an interesting middle path. The company offers managed cloud hosting which is powered by your choice of the top providers Amazon, Google, DigitalOcean, Kyup, Linode or Vultr are supported and comes packed with features, yet is configured from a simple web console which is just as easy to use as the more basic competition.
It's an impressive platform. Cloudways' ThunderStack covers all your core performance needs: Nginx, Apache, Memcached, MySQL/MariaDB, Varnish Cache, PHP 7, PHP-FM and Redis. There's one-click cloning, backup and restore, integrated Git and team collaboration tools for developers, and no less than 25 data centers strategically placed around the world.
Despite all this high-end functionality, Cloudways products are generally simple to operate, and prices start at a beginner-friendly $10 (7.15) a month for one core, 1GB RAM, 25GB storage and 1TB of bandwidth. It's all supremely configurable, and a free trial allows you to check out the product, with no credit card details required.
A UK-based outfit which offers some unusual perks
Lots of flexibility
In-house platform using open source
Help to configure firewall, backups and more
Founded in 2002, Bytemark is a UK-based cloud hosting company which has designed its own public platform using open source software.
This in-house experience brings some unusual advantages. Bytemark has developed its own hosting environment to set up a server, email and more. It covers everything from installing and managing PHP, MySQL, Perl and Ruby on Rails to helping you configure your firewall, spam rules and backups.
Experienced users can manage their account with a command line client, or even automate common tasks by integrating with Bytemark's API.
Pricing seems fair. The baseline specification costs 10 ($14) for one core, 1GB RAM, 25GB storage, 1TB bandwidth and one IPv4, plus unusually one IPv6 address. If you need more, everything is available via a simple flat rate: 10 ($14) per 1GB RAM, 2 ($2.80) per 10GB storage, 20 ($28) per extra 1TB of traffic. Unusually, you can even get a Windows licence for only 1 ($1.40) per GB of memory.
As ever with cloud hosting, there's plenty of flexibility. You can configure your servers with anything from 1 to 180GB RAM, 1 to 16 CPU cores, and 1 to 8 individual disks with either fast SSD or cheaper archive storage.
If you're interested, Bytemark's free trial gives you seven days or a 50 ($70) spend (whichever comes first) to find out more.
Hosting for the more demanding user
While cloud hosting schemes always involve pooling resources from multiple devices, most do their best to keep you away from the low-level details. You may be able to scale your plan by adding CPU cores, RAM or storage, for instance, but the console will present this to you as a single system.
DigitalOcean's Droplets are based around similar resizable and customizable virtual machines, but that's just the start the technology has much more to offer.
For starters, the system supports Droplets of different types. If the standard plans aren't enough priced from $5 (3.55) a month for one core, 1GB RAM and 25GB storage Optimized Droplets aim to ramp up your performance by using the best Broadwell and Skylake CPUs, and providing more RAM and storage space.
Individual Droplets have more features than you might expect, including performance monitoring and alerts, snapshots and automatic system-level backups.
There are various interesting ways to work with your Droplets as a group, including setting up a cloud firewall, and using a load balancer to distribute incoming traffic across your infrastructure.
DigitalOcean's transparent pricing is a highlight. You're billed hourly, with monthly caps, ensuring you only pay for the resources you use. Many of the features come for free monitoring, cloud firewall while others follow very simple pricing rules. Snapshots cost $0.05 per gigabyte per month, for instance, while backups are priced at 20% of the cost of the virtual machine easy.
If all you want to do is host a scalable WordPress site, this will probably be overkill, but developers, sysadmins and other more demanding users will appreciate the power and flexibility DigitalOcean offers. Browse the lengthy list of tutorials (which numbers 1,809 at the time of writing) on the DigitalOcean site to find out more.
You might also want to check out our other hosting guides:
See the original post:
Best cloud hosting providers in 2018 | TechRadar
- WPMU DEV Hosting Review Managed WordPress Cloud Hosting - October 15th, 2019
- Cloud Hosting | Unlimited Cloud Hosting UK with SSD and ... - October 3rd, 2019
- The 5 Best Cloud Hosting Providers: Service On Cloud Nine ... - October 3rd, 2019
- VMware Cloud Hosting Services Provider | TrueNorth ITG - April 28th, 2019
- What is cloud hosting? | IBM Cloud - April 18th, 2019
- What is cloud hosting? - Definition from WhatIs.com - April 18th, 2019
- What is Cloud Hosting and What Are the Benefits - April 18th, 2019
- How will cloud hosting affect your SEO campaign? | The Drum - April 18th, 2019
- Cloud Hosting Services | Steadfast - April 18th, 2019
- The Best Cloud Web Hosting Services for 2019 | PCMag.com - April 12th, 2019
- Web Hosting - Hosting Ireland Provides Web Hosting ... - March 23rd, 2019
- ZOOM Web Hosting and Domain Registration Philippines is a ... - March 13th, 2019
- Hostway and HOSTING Merge, Creating One of the Largest ... - March 8th, 2019
- 7 Best Managed Cloud Hosting Providers of 2018 - WPMyWeb - March 2nd, 2019
- Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting Comparison | HostGator - March 2nd, 2019
- Shared Web Hosting Plans - Fast & Secure Shared Hosting ... - February 15th, 2019
- Cloud Hosting Services | Cloud and Hosting | Sungard AS - February 8th, 2019
- 10 Best Cloud Hosting Service in 2019 - AppModo - January 21st, 2019
- Best Cloud hosting January 2019 | WebHostingGeeks - January 21st, 2019
- Cloud Products & Services | HOSTING - January 11th, 2019
- Cloud Hosting - Super Powerful and Fully Redundant | TMDHosting - January 11th, 2019
- Cloud Hosting Services - Secure Managed Cloud Hosting - Bluehost - October 26th, 2018
- Indias Best Cloud Hosting | Cloud Servers | Cloud Service ... - October 16th, 2018
- QuickBooks Hosting Fast, Secure Cloud Hosting | Ace Cloud ... - October 2nd, 2018
- Cloud Services - Deploy web apps & APIs | Microsoft Azure - October 2nd, 2018
- HIPAA Compliant Cloud Hosting Services - atlantic.net - September 15th, 2018
- 2018's Best "Cloud Hosting" Providers | 100% Real Reviews - September 15th, 2018
- Best Cloud Hosting Providers of 2018 | HostAdvice - August 27th, 2018
- Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting - How To Start A Blog - August 27th, 2018
- 10 Best Cloud Server Hosting Providers (2018): Top Cloud ... - August 21st, 2018
- Google Cloud IoT Reviews and Pricing - 2018 - July 12th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting Plans - Secure & Scalable Services | HostGator - May 18th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting - Cloud - Windows - March 2nd, 2018
- Cloud Servers | Cloud Hosting | Web Hosting - Cirrus Hosting - February 20th, 2018
- Managed Dedicated, Cloud and Hosting Services - February 20th, 2018
- What is Cloud Hosting? | Web Hosting Sun - February 12th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting - Managed Cloud Services - January 9th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting by Perry Hosting - December 11th, 2017
- What Is Cloud Hosting? | GoDaddy - YouTube - December 11th, 2017
- Linux VPS | Best Managed Linux Cloud Hosting - RoseHosting - November 24th, 2017
- Cloud hosting platforms. Part one: Pantheon | ADCI Solutions - November 24th, 2017
- Get to know Linode, the new (big) kid in town - Technical.ly - September 7th, 2017
- 500 Cloud Operators, Managed Service Companies and Hosters to Gather at the 13th Annual Hosting & Cloud ... - Benzinga - September 7th, 2017
- Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own - Networks Asia - September 7th, 2017
- Melbourne Server Hosting Renamed to iomart - Web Host Industry Review - September 6th, 2017
- Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own - CIO Australia - September 6th, 2017
- Dean Dorton Technology named to Sage Intacct President's Club, Rookie of the Year and New Partner of the Second ... - The Lane Report - September 6th, 2017
- Microsoft Signs Deal to Put More Apps on Huawei's Cloud in China - eWeek - September 6th, 2017
- Cloud Hosting Providers CommsTrader's UK Channel Guide 2017 - CommsTrader - September 5th, 2017
- Huawei announces Microsoft cloud apps partnership - ZDNet - September 5th, 2017
- Trump Effect Could Cost US Cloud Providers Over $10 Billion: Report - Web Host Industry Review - September 2nd, 2017
- Cost Reduction Strategies on Java Cloud Hosting Services - InfoQ.com - August 30th, 2017
- Cloud Native The Perfect Storm for Managed SD-WAN Services - Network World - August 30th, 2017
- Why 2017 is the Year to Understand Cloud Computing - Business 2 Community - August 28th, 2017
- President Trump Could Cost US Cloud Computing Providers More Than $10 billion by 2020 - The Data Center Journal - August 28th, 2017
- What You NEED To Look For In A Cloud Hosting SLA - TG Daily (blog) - August 27th, 2017
- President Trump Could Cost US Cloud Computing Providers More ... - The Data Center Journal - August 27th, 2017
- State of Cloud - 2017 - Read IT Quik - August 22nd, 2017
- President Trump could cost US cloud computing providers more than $10 billion by 2020 - Bdaily - August 22nd, 2017
- Microsoft No Longer a PC Company with Deals Like Halliburton, Says Credit Suisse - Barron's - August 22nd, 2017
- Did Snap Make a Mistake With Its $3 Billion in Cloud Contracts? - Madison.com - August 21st, 2017
- Right Networks continues focus on tech improvement with new CIO - Accounting Today - August 21st, 2017
- Altinity Provides Cloud Version of ClickHouse on Kodiak Data MemCloud - Markets Insider - August 21st, 2017
- NASA calls on cloud for online eclipse streaming - GCN.com - August 21st, 2017
- Cloud Hosting Reviews and Comparisons | Cloud Hosting Directory - August 19th, 2017
- Free cloud hosting: comparing the top providers offer - August 19th, 2017
- Microsoft Expands HPC Cloud Portfolio With Cycle Computing Acquisition - eWeek - August 19th, 2017
- UC San Diego Health: Moving Its EHR to the Cloud, Strategically - Healthcare Informatics - August 19th, 2017
- Rackspace's first in-house attorney for international moves on - San Antonio Business Journal - August 19th, 2017
- Microsoft Acquires Cycle Computing to Bulk Up its HPC Cloud Services - eWeek - August 18th, 2017
- Massive Potential Attracts International Players to Iran's Cloud Computing Market, Despite Challenges - PR Newswire (press release) - August 18th, 2017
- These Inventors Need To Conquer Cryptocurrency To Change Cloud Computing - Celebrity Net Worth - August 18th, 2017
- 360 Cloud Solutions now offers Adaptive Insights - Accounting Today - August 18th, 2017
- Hackers breach third party cloud vendor TekLinks - Healthcare IT News - August 18th, 2017
- Stronger security and disaster planning fuel healthcare's migration to the cloud - Healthcare IT News - August 16th, 2017
- Hackers hit dermatology practice through cloud vendor - Information Management - August 16th, 2017
- Hackers hit dermatology practice through cloud vendor - Health Data Management - August 15th, 2017
- Unisecure Hybrid Cloud Hosting Introduces New Integration And Collaboration Support. - HostReview.com (press release) - August 14th, 2017
- CenterGrid Names Kevin Westendorf As Chief Technology Officer - Markets Insider - August 14th, 2017
- Earth911.com - Earth911.com - August 14th, 2017