These days when people look for faster and cheaper web hosting options then they come across the two most popular hosting types – Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting. But, they find it difficult to understand the key differences of these hosting two types and which one is best for them.
So, for easing the things for you i have created this shared hosting vs cloud hosting comparison. In this post i have compared these two hosting types in details. So, you can read this post till the end to get all the pros and cons of these hosting types.
However, if you don’t have much time to go through all the stuff then you can read the shorter version of shared hosting vs cloud hosting comparison by clicking here.
Apart from comparing them, i have also suggested you some of the best hosting providers for both the hosting types. In addition to that i have also created a section that suggests you which hosting type is best for you.
So, without making any more delays let’s start our shared hosting vs cloud hosting comparison.
Let’s first start with shared hosting.
A shared hosting is a kind of hosting where multiple websites are hosted on a single physical sever. All of these websites share the server resources and therefore, it is called as shared hosting.
In such hosting, usually hundreds or thousands of websites are hosted on a single server. The number of websites depend upon the server resources, that is, availability of RAM, storage, processing speed etc.
Hosting providers offer shared hosting to reduce the cost for users. As resources are shared among users so the cost too.
Each user on shared server is allocated some amount of bandwidth, CPU power and memory. This means that they get the limited resources to use.
If you overuse the resources then your hosting provider may ask you to upgrade your plan or hosting type. Alternatively, it can put a cap on your traffic to keep your website within its allocated limits.
As the cost of hosting is divided among the users so you get shared hosting at much cheaper prices than any other kind of hosting. Most starters, new bloggers and low traffic website owners use shared hosting for hosting their websites.
How Does it Work ?
On a shared server you get some allocated space to host your website files. Whenever a person tries to access your website by typing the your domain name in the browser then your server responds to the request by delivering your website files to his/her browser, which are then presented in the form of your website.
As a single server host your website files so in case of the server failure your website visitors may not be able to access your website until the server if fixed.
Also, as resources are shared among users, so, it may be possible that other websites may put the load on the server which result in slow loading or downtime for your website.
Though, thousands of users share the same server but the data of a website is not shared with any other website. This means that other users on the server will not be able to access your website files. They even don’t know about your website.
There are lots of benefits of Shared Hosting, some of which are as follows:
Shared hosting is the most inexpensive hosting among all the hosting types. As multiple users share the server so the cost of hosting is divided among them. You can get a high quality hosting for as low as $3.95 per month.
SiteGround is one of the best shared hosting providers in the industry at the moment. Also, its hosting is optimized for WordPress.
Some providers may offer even lower prices for their shared hosting. You can check the list of 15 cheapest hosting providers for WordPress by clicking here.
Setting up a website on a shared server is easy. Most hosting providers offer a cPanel to users, which is easy to use. They even offer various apps including all popular CMSs (Content Management Systems) like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc.
In addition to that they also offer one click installers that let you install apps like WordPress in few clicks. So, setting up a website on a shared server is very easy.
No Technical Maintenance Required:
On a shared server you are not required to do any technical maintenance of the server. All of the maintenance on the server side is performed by your host, so, you are not required to worry about anything. You just need to maintain your website.
Website side maintenance is usually not included in your hosting package. However, if you don’t like maintaining your website by yourself then you can opt for managed hosting.
If you only want to start a WordPress website and don’t want to do the maintenance by yourself then you can go for managed WordPress hosting. However, managed WordPress hosting is expensive as compared to normal shared hosting.
Though, users share the resources on the server but they are not allowed to access the data of other users. Thus, your data remains secure on a shared server. In addition to that your host takes all the security measures to keep your website safe from any kind of security threats. These measures include installing a firewall, anti-virus on the server etc.
Shared hosting plans are flexible. This means that if you want more resources for your website then you can upgrade your plan directly from your user dashboard. Most providers offer a hassle free upgrade option in their user’s dashboard. So, you can simply start with a basic shared hosting plan to keep the cost low and upgrade it to a higher plan when you need it.
Host Dynamic Websites:
Shared servers are usually not optimized for any specific software. They are configured in a way that they can support many apps. So, whether you want to start a WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or any custom made website then you can do it on shared servers. They support multiple kinds of websites which is not possible in case of managed hosting.
With the benefits there are some drawbacks too.
This is the biggest drawback of shared hosting. As you share the server resources so you get limited resources to use. This means your website may face slower loading times or downtime if your website starts receiving heavy amount of traffic.
Unlike cloud hosting where you can scale your resources up or down anytime, shared hosting doesn’t offer such feature. So, if you need more resources then you have to upgrade your plan.
As resources are shared on the server so it may be possible that other websites on the server may start receiving heavy amounts of traffic. This may put the load on the server and your website may start experience slower loading times or downtime.
Cloud hosting can provide better speed as compared to shared hosting as there load is distributed among multiple servers. Also, there you can easily scale up or down your resources anytime.
Not Optimized For A Specific Software:
As multiple kinds of websites are hosted on the shared server so it is not possible to optimize it for any specific software. So, if you want a software specific optimized hosting then you can consider using managed hosting.
In shared hosting users are not allowed to make changes on the server. This means that you are limited to what your host offers to you. So, if you have specific requirements like having your own operating system or installing a specific software then you are not allowed to do it.
However, if you just want to start a WordPress, Joomla or Drupal website then it is a great option for you.
As on a shared server multiple websites run in a close proximity so there’s a chance that malicious activities or malwares may leak from one website to another.
Not For High Traffic Websites:
Shared hosting may be a good option for low or medium traffic websites but it is not a good option for high traffic websites. So, if you have a high traffic website then you can consider upgrading to cloud, VPS or dedicated hosting.
Below is a list of some best shared hosting providers:
SiteGround is one of the best shared hosting providers in the market. It supports many applications like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla etc. WordPress also recommends it for hosting WordPress websites.
At the moment it is one of the best hosting providers for WordPress. So, if you have a plan to launch your WordPress website then i would strongly recommend you to start with SiteGround.
Its basic shared hosting plans start for as low as $3.95 per month. You can consider purchasing a three year plan for getting the best discounts from it.
SiteGround offers various great features with its basic hosting plan. These features include 1 website, 10GB space, free SSL, free email accounts, 24/7 support, free daily backups, unmetered traffic etc.
However, its basic hosting plan is optimum for up to 10000 monthly visits. But, the kind of speed and quality of support you get from SiteGround, you may not get anywhere else.
So, if you are looking for purchasing a shared hosting plan then i will highly recommend you to go for SiteGround.
Bluehost is another one of best shared hosting providers in the market. Like SiteGround, it is also in the official recommendations list of WordPress. So, if you want to start your WordPress website then Bluehost could be a best option for you.
Many of the professional bloggers have started their blogging journey with Bluehost. That is the reason why they recommend it to every starter. Their platform offers a very simple user interface. So, even the person who doesn’t have any technical knowledge can start a website easily.
Like SiteGround, a basic shared hosting plan on Bluehost also starts for as low as $3.95 per month. However, with its hosting plan you get a free domain name that you won’t get on SiteGround. So, if you want to save some additional bucks then you can go for Bluehost.
Its basic plan offers features like 1 website, 50GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL, dedicated 24/7 support etc.
If you want a little cheaper yet powerful hosting option for your website then you can start with Bluehost.
HostGator is another big name in the industry. This hosting provider has started its hosting business in 2002 and now it has become one of the leading hosting providers in the market. It offers almost all kinds of hosting from shared to dedicated. So, whatever kind of requirements you have they have a plan for you.
On HostGator, you can purchase a basic hosting plan for just $2.75 per month.
Like the above two, it also offers WordPress hosting. So, if you want to build only WordPress websites then you can opt for their WordPress hosting. However, its prices are little expensive as compared to normal shared hosting plans.
With a basic plan you get some great features. These features include 1 website, free domain, unmetered bandwidth, free email addresses, unmetered storage, free website migration, 24/7 dedicated support etc.
HostGator’s hosting is perfect for running applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, phpBB and Wiki hosting.
So, if you want the cheapest but one of the best hosting options then HostGator is for you.
If you want a powerful shared hosting at cheaper prices then you can opt for A2 Hosting. It is also one of the biggest names in the hosting industry. Many of the popular WordPress blogs are hosted on A2 Hosting. Also, it is one of the most recommended hosts by many professional bloggers. So, you can go for it confidently.
A2 Hosting has a huge experience in the hosting industry. It was launched in 2001 and now it has become one of the most popular hosting providers in the market. It offers almost all kinds of hosting. And, like all the above providers it also offers normal shared hosting and WordPress hosting for users.
A2 Hosting offers a low cost hosting where its basic plan starts for just $2.96 per month.
With its basic plan you get features like 1 website, unlimited SSD storage and transfer, free website migration, free SSL, 25 email accounts, 24/7 dedicated support and much more.
Its best shared hosting plan comes with turbo servers which generate up to 20X faster speeds. So, overall it is also one of the best options to host your website.
DreamHost is also one of the most popular hosting providers. It is also known for providing high quality hosting for WordPress websites. That is the reason why WordPress also recommends it for hosting WordPress websites. However, DreamHost is not limited to WordPress only.
It can host multiple types of websites and it offers almost all kinds of hosting. From shared, WordPress to dedicated hosting, DremHost provides you all the options to host your website.
On DreamHost, a basic shared hosting plan starts for as low as $2.59 per month. Like BlueHost, it also offers you a free domain name with its hosting plan, so, you can save some additional bucks by purchasing a hosting plan from it.
With its basic plan, Dreamhost offers you various great features. These features include 1 website, 50GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL, automatic daily backups, 24/7 dedicated support and much more.
DreamHost doesn’t offer free email accounts with its basic plan so you have to purchase it for $1.67 per month. Otherwise, DreamHost is one of the best options for hosting your website.
What is Cloud Hosting ?
As compared to shared hosting where a single physical server runs your website, in cloud hosting your website runs on multiple virtual servers. This is done to share the load of the server and provide maximum uptime to your website.
When we speak of a cloud then there’s no physical thing that you can point to and label as cloud. A cloud is typically a network of virtual servers that stores your data and serves it when it is requested. While in shared hosting you get some space on the server whereas in cloud hosting you get a part of the cloud cluster.
As your website runs on multiple virtual servers so it doesn’t face any downtime. If one of the virtual server experiences heavy load or it fails then another server of the cloud takes its place and keeps your website running.
Also, because your website runs on multiple servers so the load is distributed among the servers. This improves the overall performance of your website.
In cloud hosting your data is stored on multiple servers so in case of a server failure you have the other servers as your backup. You can retrieve your data from other servers of the cloud.
How does it Work ?
Cloud hosting also works like any other hosting type where a person requests for your website and your server sends your website files to the person’s browser. However, here your files are sent through the virtual servers.
In case of a server failure another server kicks-in its place and serves your website files to the person. This means you get the maximized uptime for your website. Also, as multiple servers distribute the load among themseleves so you get the improved performance.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting:
There are lots of benefits of cloud hosting. Some of which are as follows:
As your website runs on multiple servers so no single servers alone bears the load of uploading and downloading of files. The load is distributed among all the servers of the cloud. This results in overall improved performance and faster speeds for your website.
In shared hosting if a server goes down then your website also goes down. But, this is not the case with cloud hosting. In cloud hosting if a server goes down then another server of the cloud takes its place and keeps your website running. So, in cloud hosting you may rarely face any downtime for your website.
If your website receives uneven traffic then cloud hosting could be a perfect option for you. It provides you more scalability than any other type of hosting. You can scale up or down your resources anytime from your hosting dashboard.
As your website files are stored on multiple servers so if a server fails then you have the other servers as your backup.
More Customization Options:
Most reputable hosting providers offer more customization options. This means that you can choose how much RAM, storage space or CPU cores you want to use for your website.
Cloud hosting is little expensive as compared to shared hosting but it is quite cheap as compared to dedicated hosting. You can purchase a cloud hosting for as low as $10 per month. However, its price highly depends on the resources you use.
Drawbacks of Cloud Hosting:
Like the benefits it also has some drawbacks:
As compared to shared hosting, Cloud hosting is little expensive. But, the kind of benefits it offers compensate its higher price.
Major differences in cloud platform may restrict you from migrating from one cloud platform to another. However, you can counter this problem by understanding what your provider is offering to you. Since, most providers use same open source components these days so migration also becomes easy.
Some Best Cloud Hosting Providers:
Below is a list of some of the best cloud hosting providers that you choose for hosting your website.
Cloudways is a popular managed cloud hosting provider. This means you not only get cloud hosting but you also get lots of facilities to optimize your website for best performance. Cloudways connects you to 5 different cloud providers – DigitalOcean, Linode, VULTR, AWS and Google cloud. From these 5 providers you can choose anyone of your choice to host your website.
All of these providers have different prices. The cheapest option among them is DigitalOcean. You can host your website with DigitalOcean’s cloud for just $10 per month. With their basic hosting plan they offer some great features.
These features include 1GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, free SSL, built-in CDN, automated backups, dedicated support, free migration for one website, staging environment and much more.
If you want a cheap cloud hosting for your website with lots of features then cloudways could be a best option for you.
If you want to leverage the features of both cloud and VPS hosting then you can go for inmotion hosting’s cloud VPS hosting. They offer managed VPS hosting which is built on a cloud powered infrastructure. Thus, you get the benefits of both the hosting types.
With its Cloud VPS Hosting, you get the privacy and control of VPS hosting and at the same time you get the reliability of Cloud hosting.
However, this all comes at a higher cost. A basic plan on Inmotion Hosting starts for $29.19 per month. With its basic plan you get features like 4GB RAM, 75GB storage, 4TB bandwidth, free SSL, free domain, 3 dedicated IP addresses, optional root access, dedicated support and much more.
So, if you want to leverage the benefits of two popular hosting types then you can opt for inmotion hosting.
If the above two options are expensive for you then you can go for HostGator’s cloud hosting. Its hosting is way cheaper than the above two. A basic plan on HostGator starts for as low as $4.95 per month only. So, even you can start your new website with it.
With its basic plan you get features like 2GB RAM, 2 Core CPU, free SSL, free domain, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, dedicated support and much more. However, with its basic plan you can host only one website. To host more than one website you have to upgrade you plan to baby or business cloud.
Overall HostGator is one of the best hosting providers in the market so you can go for it confidently.
A2 Hosting is another great option if you want to leverage the benefits of both cloud and VPS hosting at the same time. Similar to Inmotion Hosting, A2 Hosting also offers a cloud VPS hosting where a basic plan starts for just $5 per month.
With its basic entry level plan you get features like 20GB storage, 1 Core CPU, 2TB bandwidth, 512MB RAM, free SSD, root access and much more.
Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider whose entire platform is build on Google cloud platform. So, if you want to host only WordPress website and you want your host to manage everything for you then you can go for Kinsta. It is one of the best managed hosting providers other than WP Engine and a few more.
A basic hosting plan on Kinsta starts for $30, where you can host your one website. Its hosting plan comes with various great features like 10GB SSD storage, free CDN upto 50GB, one free migration, automated daily backups, in-depth support, free SSL, white-labeled cache plugin and much more.
So, if you only want to start your WordPress website with a powerful managed hosting provider then Kinsta could be your best option.
Also Read: What is Managed WordPress Hosting ? And, Do you really need it ? (Recommended)
*If you are reading this post on a smartphone then please swipe right to see the full table.
|Parameter||Shared Hosting||Cloud Hosting|
|Performance||In terms of performance shared hosting is not as fast as cloud hosting as here website runs on a single server. Also, if your server goes down then your website also goes down.||Cloud hosting is a bit faster as compared to shared hosting. The simple reason is, it uses multiple servers for running a website. In addition to that with cloud hosting you get more resources and you can scale them up anytime.|
It also provides higher uptime as here if a server goes down then another server takes its place and keeps your website running.
|Scaling||On shared servers you get limited resources. You can’t scale your resources anytime like in case of cloud hosting. To scale your resources up you have to upgrade your plan. But, there too you get limited resources.||Cloud hosting is an alternative of shared hosting. It offers better scalability. You can scale your resources up or down anytime directly from your hosting dashboard. So, you don’t need to upgrade your plan.|
By scaling up your resources you can deal heavy traffic on your website, which is not possible in case of shared hosting.
|Traffic||Shared hosting is meant for low or medium traffic websites. So, when your website starts receiving high traffic then you have to upgrade your hosting.||Cloud hosting is meant for dealing high traffic. It reduces the server load by distributing it to all the servers of the cloud cluster. Also, it provides you more resources and scaling option to deal with heavy traffic.|
It is best for websites that receive uneven traffic.
|Security||Though, providers offer enough security to shared servers but it is possible that malicious activities can leak from one website to other due to shared nature of resources.||Cloud hosting offers more security by storing your website files on multiple servers. So, in case of a server failure, you will have the other servers as your back up. Other security measures are also taken by the hosting provider.|
|Customization||Shared hosting doesn’t offer much customization. You must rely on what your host offers to you with its plans.||In cloud hosting you get more customization option. You can choose how much RAM, storage, CPU cores etc you want.|
|Pricing||Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting type. Anyone on a tight budget can start his/her website with shared hosting due to its affordable prices.|
It is best for starters and low traffic website owners.
|As compared to shared hosting, cloud hosting is a bit expensive. However, there are some providers like HostGator, Cloudways etc that offer low cost cloud hosting.|
It is good for medium or high traffic websites.
|Some Best Providers:|
If you compare all the features of shared hosting and cloud hosting then you will find cloud hosting a better option for hosting a website. However, both of the hosting types have their own pros and cons. Also, choosing a hosting type mainly depends on your website’s requirements.
So, on the basis of your requirements let’s understand which hosting type is best for you.
Which one is best for you ?
If you are just starting your first website then shared hosting is more than enough for you. Most people start their websites with shared hosting and when their websites grow then they switch to higher level hosting. It will be cost effective for you.
Also, low or medium traffic website owners can use shared hosting for their websites. You can upgrade to higher level hosting when your website start receiving high amount of traffic. Most providers offer a hassle free upgrade option in their hosting dashboard.
If your website receives high amount of traffic or it receives uneven traffic then cloud hosting could be one of the best options for you. It offers better scaling so anytime you need more resources then you can add them directly through your dashboard.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this shared hosting vs cloud hosting comparison. If you have liked it then please share it with your friends or anybody who needs this info. It would be a great help for us !
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