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What is: Cloud Hosting

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Cloud hosting is a type of website hosting that uses a network of virtual servers around the world. The number of servers available to your site can be increased or decreased according to how many resources are needed at a particular time.

When you create a WordPress website, you need to choose a web hosting plan and a domain name. Web hosting is where your site’s content, images, and other files are stored.

Most websites use a shared hosting plan. Cloud hosting is more expensive and more technical than shared hosting.

However, because it can quickly scale the resources available to your site, it is suitable for websites that regularly experience large fluctuations in traffic.

Glossary: Cloud Hosting

What Is the Difference Between Shared, Dedicated & Cloud Hosting?

If you are about to set up your first WordPress website, then you may be wondering what type of hosting you need. You’ve probably seen the terms ‘shared hosting’, ‘dedicated hosting’, and’ cloud hosting’, and are wondering which one you should choose.

Let’s take a quick look at these three types of hosting.

Shared Hosting

Most users who are setting up their first website choose a shared hosting plan. These are very affordable because multiple websites share the resources of a large web server.

Shared hosting plans offer enough resources for typical small business websites, blogs, and portfolio websites. They allow users to save money by not paying for resources they don’t need.

Shared Hosting

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is when a single web server is used to host a single website. That website can use all of the resources of the server 24/7, so it can handle much more traffic, stream more information, and host more complex websites.

Because the server costs are not being shared with other websites, dedicated hosting is expensive. However, if you are running a website with consistent traffic, regular large spikes in traffic, or streaming huge amounts of information, then dedicated hosting is ideal.

This includes large eCommerce stores, popular social networks, busy news outlets, financial services sites, and streaming services.

A dedicated web hosting server

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting tries to find a balance between shared and dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting plan prices fall in between.

Instead of using a physical server (computer) that is used by multiple websites (shared hosting) or a single website (dedicated hosting), cloud hosting uses a network of virtual servers.

When your website isn’t receiving many visitors, the resources of only a few virtual servers are used. You save money because you are not paying for resources that you’re not using.

When your site has a spike in traffic, then more virtual servers can be used to provide the additional resources that are needed. Cloud hosting lets you easily handle all of those extra visitors where shared hosting would have become sluggish or failed.

SiteGround dedicated cloud hosting

What Is the Difference Between Cloud Hosting & VPS Hosting?

Cloud hosting and VPS hosting are similar because they both use virtual servers to combine the best of both shared and dedicated hosting. However, they do this in different ways.

A virtual server is a software-created emulation of a physical server. It has its own operating system, resources, and applications. However, it is simply software running on a physical server that may be hosting multiple virtual servers.

With VPS hosting, the virtual servers are running on a single physical server and have fixed resources. Each one is given a predetermined amount of CPU, memory, and storage that cannot be exceeded. If your website experiences a surge in traffic, then performance issues can occur.

With cloud hosting, the virtual servers are running on different physical servers located in different data centers around the world. These resources can be pooled together when needed so that your website will continue to run smoothly during traffic spikes.

You can learn more about the benefits of VPS hosting and whether you need it by reading our expert comparison of the best VPS hosting for developers.

Popular Cloud Hosting Providers

Here are a few popular providers that offer cloud hosting solutions for WordPress:

  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers managed WordPress hosting with automatic scaling, security updates, and built-in tools for optimizing performance. Third-party services like SiteGround’s managed hosting use Google Cloud Platform infrastructure.
  • Microsoft Azure offers cloud hosting plans optimized for WordPress with automatic scaling and integration with other Azure services.

These were the top cloud hosting providers in 2024. Amazon Web Services was in first place with a 33% market share. Microsoft Azure was second with a 23% share, and Google Cloud Platform was third with 11%.

Each of these cloud services also offers a free hosting tier.

We hope this article helped you learn more about cloud hosting in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

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Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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