Shared hosting is the best option when starting a new blog. However, over period the website will grow in size and get large number of visitors. In this case, you can’t continue with shared hosting servers and need to migrate to servers with higher resources. You have multiple options like VPS, Cloud and dedicated servers. In this article, we will explain the advantages of cloud hosting and why you should try cloud hosting for WordPress sites.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Shared hosting services store your website content on a physical server which is also shared among thousands of other websites. Due to this setup, hosting companies will apply restrictions in traffic limit of individual sites to protect all other sites hosted on the same server. Unlike this situation, cloud hosting uses network of server (both virtual and physical) to host your website. This will help to be more flexible when traffic is spiking and allow scaling of resources on demand.
You have managed cloud hosting providers like SiteGround. They offer completely managed servers with a packaged price similar to shared hosting plans. On other hand, you can also purchase on demand services like Cloudways or DigitalOcean and pay only for actual usage.
Our Experience from Shared to Cloud Servers
We started this website on blogger then moved to Weebly and then finally settled with WordPress.org. When we moved to self-hosted WordPress platform, we started the journey with basic Bluehost plan. After a while, this plan was not sufficient and we are forced to upgrade to plus plan. Later we moved the entire site to SiteGround’s GoGeek plan which was also not sufficient for the traffic level we received.
Until this point, we spend less than $20 per month for hosting. There were many downtime and service outage emails due to the shared hosting plans could not accommodate the traffic level. On other hand, things were different for further upscaling both from price and quality perspective. Finally, we settled with SiteGround Cloud and currently using Google Cloud Platform on SiteGround. During these past few years, we have never received downtime emails due to traffic spike. With that experience, we strongly recommend moving to Cloud if you are looking for migrating from shared servers.
Why Cloud Hosting for WordPress?
WordPress works with PHP and highly depends on the database queries. In addition, plugins like WooCommerce needs high server resources when large number of customers are buying items on your store. Sites hosted on single physical server may not withstand during sudden traffic increase. You also can’t upgrade the pricing plan only for particular period. Therefore, cloud hosting is the best choice to have peace of mind without any downtime. Based on our experience, here are some of the reasons for you to try cloud hosting for WordPress sites.
1. Configure Own Cloud Plan
Unlike fixed shared hosting plans, many companies offer customizable cloud hosting plans. This means you can choose the number of CPUs, RAM and SSD storage space needed for your sites. SiteGround is the best example for this case. The advantage is that you can either choose one of the fixed plans or customize the plan as per your requirements.
If you do not want to pay fixed pricing then check out options like Cloudways or DigitalOcean. You can choose to pay for hourly usage based on the chosen resources.
2. No Contractual Requirements
The big difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting is that you do not need to lockdown in a contract. Many shared hosting plans are offered with a special price like $2.95 in Bluehost. However, this price is valid only when you select 36 months contract with them. At the end of contract, you need to renew at much higher price ($8.99 for Bluehost). You will loose the money if you want to break the contract in-between period.
With cloud hosting plans, you can use as long as you are happy and quit the moment you face any difficulties. Similarly, there are no special offers at the starting and you will be renewing at the same price every time.
3. Autoscale Resources
As mentioned above about in our hosting journey, not all websites need cloud hosting. Your site should get at least 100K visitors or get unexpected traffic spike. Sometimes the traffic spike can also be seasonal, that you run advertising campaign for special offer to drive traffic. In these scenarios, you can use the autoscale function to automatically upgrade the CPU and RAM needed to handle the spike. After that, you can release the resources to reduce your hosting cost.
In our opinion, this is highly optimal model that you choose what you need and pay only for that.
4. Use Multiple Providers within Same Hosting Company
There are some cloud hosting companies offer multiple infrastructure facility. For example, Cloudways offer the following options with different pricing model.
- Google Cloud Platform
You can host multiple websites on different providers using the same single cloud account. On other hand, providers like SiteGround allows you to assign cloud or shared hosting for each site on your account.
5. Host Client Sites
It is possible to host your client websites on single cloud hosting account. You can give customized access to each client so that they will see only their sites in the hosting account. This is very useful when you run an agency to host your client’s sites in single platform.
Cloud hosting will help your site loading faster with higher server resources and autoscaling function. You can anytime increase or reduce CPU / RAM to manage traffic spike and price. In addition, the redundancy of data available on distributed network of servers will eliminate the downtime. If you are looking for upgrading your shared hosting plan, then cloud hosting option is the one you should try.