If you are starting a website or looking to respond to growing traffic on an already established site, choosing a…
Cloud technology may still be new and or confusing to some of us. However, the world is adapting very quickly to it. In fact, you are more likely to encounter this technology in some way than ever before. You don’t need to have a clear understanding of what cloud technology is, and how cloud hosting works but it will prove beneficial. That’s why we’re here, we have all the info you need to know about cloud hosting.
So if you have not yet gained clarity on what cloud hosting is, this article will definitely help you.
Let’s start with the older way of doing things since most of us understand how that works. Hosting providers would grant you access to a server that would host your website. Whether it was the entire server, as is the case with dedicated servers, or a part, which is the case with shared hosting, that was the only space you had.
That sometimes meant website downtimes, slow load times, and inability to scale up or down. These very concerns, and more, are eliminated with cloud hosting.
All websites must be hosted on physical servers, so cloud hosting has that in common with traditional web hosting. However, unlike its predecessor, cloud hosting spreads your website hosting duties across multiple servers creating an intangible web of servers. It is this intangible or virtual structure that led to the term ‘cloud hosting’.
There are several benefits that this set up provides you with, such as no downtime, scalability, and cost efficiency. Let’s look at each of them individually.
Because your site is split across multiple servers, the chances of your website going down or slowing down are slim to nil. Should one or more of these servers be removed from the equation, you are still guaranteed a high level of service without any noticeable change to website performance. In fact, it would take a catastrophe to truly impact the quality of service given the set-up of cloud technology.
The average website experiences peaks and troughs in visits. If you are a caterer or butcher, your peak season may be Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays where food features a prominent role. Perhaps you are in the fashion industry, so Halloween, Mardi Gras and other festivities where people dress up may be your peak times. Your website will see an increase in traffic around these times annually.
Cloud hosting allows you to draw more resources from the virtual pool of servers at these times. There is no long-term commitment and your website’s performance won’t be affected at such a critical time. This is not the case with traditional web hosting which would require a more permanent upgrade, which means paying for resources you use only occasionally. This is not very efficient.
Believe it or not, reliable cloud hosting packages start at just £9.95/mo. Another way cloud hosting can save you is through opportunity costs. For example, since efficiently operating a website using cloud hosting requires less physical resources than traditional web hosting, you can redeploy those resources elsewhere.
In addition to the two previously mentioned benefits, you also get the peace of mind that your website will load within acceptable timeframes and that access to your website’s backend is never more than an electronic device away.
Did you know that just as with traditional web hosting, you have options when deciding to adopt cloud hosting? There are three types:
Public clouds: in most cases, the hosting provider takes care of almost every aspect of cloud hosting. This includes security and equipment maintenance. This allows you even greater peace of mind because all you focus on is creating the best customer experience for your website visitors. For the average website owner/developer, this is the option of choice.
Private clouds: like dedicated servers, private clouds are the sole domain of an entity who does not wish to share any of the cloud hosting infrastructure with external users. This can be a costly option and is usually reserved for larger companies.
Hybrid cloud: allows for the smooth interplay of both systems, and is proving a very popular option for larger organisations trying to avoid the drawbacks of private cloud.
Whether you have already begun using cloud technology to host your website, or you are planning on making the switch soon, take steps to protect your investment. Whereas your host has some responsibility to play, the burden is on you to secure your information in the event the worst should happen.
First, you want to make sure that you secure your cloud hosting plan against vulnerabilities open to cloud hosting. This means safeguarding your website from remote attacks, such as data breaches, and malware injections, two of the more common challenges for cloud hosted websites.
Second, regularly perform cloud backups. This will help restore your information should something happen and your website goes offline. Third and finally, choose a reliable and reputable cloud-hosting provider for your needs.
Cloud hosting comes with many advantages such as reliability, scalability, and affordability, but there are also drawbacks. To lessen the chances of them affecting you, or limiting their impact on you: