The Internet is one of the best platforms you can use to boost your business to the next level. Despite the fact that there are millions of websites in the world today, you can still make a significant impact and achieve your business goals by not only investing in a quality website, but also having it hosted on a reliable and sturdy server.

In order to give you a clear perspective about this topic, we will compare cloud hosting and server hosting and look at the pros and cons that are associated with each option.

To start, companies that offer cloud hosting services host their clients’ websites on virtual servers that rely on underlying networks. These networks are supported by physical website servers. More often than not, it is compared with traditional utilities such as gas and electricity, as it is a service rather than a physical product.

On the other hand, server hosting is basically an offsite website management product and upkeep of hardware resources is also done offsite. That is, the website is hosted on physical servers that are owned by the hosting company. Clients are required to pay an annual or monthly fee to have their website hosted on theses servers. One of the main benefits of choosing these options is that you will get full IT infrastructure. In addition, the cost of purchasing and maintaining servers is unachievable to most businesses that are on a tight budget.

Here are some of the main differences between cloud hosting and server hosting to help you make an informed decision when deciding where to host your website:

Initial Capital and Maintenance Cost

One of the main reasons most companies prefer using cloud hosting is because it is more affordable and convenient when compared to server hosting. This is based on the fact that with the latter, you will need to purchase servers and hire IT experts to maintain them (1). Alternatively, you can hire a hosting company that offers dedicated or shared hosting service packages. No matter which angle you look at it, cloud hosting is more affordable and a better idea for start-ups and existing businesses that are on a tight budget.

However, the cloud software could be missing a few essential features that are needed to host your business website. Take time to check all the features provided before you choose the right software. If you do not, you might end up spending money on extra unnecessarily features.


As your business grows, you will need to move to a more advanced hosting package to accommodate the increase in the number of visitors or traffic that you get from the various search engines. Cloud hosting is easily more scalable than server hosting (2). Companies that offer cloud-hosting packages have an extensive network of servers that they use to offer the service. Once you request additional features, such as more disk space, their team will act fast to meet your needs. It is also important to note that solutions are usually on-demand, that is, you will only pay for the options or features that you want. The only downside is that third party cloud services can get direct access to your data. Make sure that you read the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line to know if the company has the required measures to protect their clients’ data from unauthorized access.

On the other hand, server hosting is not easily scalable. You might have to purchase a new server that can accommodate the increase in traffic or upgrade the current one. Both options are expensive and time consuming, and so you might incur loses or even lose your credibility if your website goes offline during the update session.


With cloud computing, you can connect to your cloud and access information from anywhere in the world, as long as you are connected to the Internet. This means that you will have total control of your website at any time of the day no matter your location. In fact, there are companies that have implemented a BYOD policy to allow their employees to access information using their own devices. The only downside is that if the Internet connection is interrupted on either the cloud provider side or your side, access to your information will be hampered.

If you have servers in your premises, you will have to access them to make changes to your website. However, if you use a hosting company, you can still access the information, but you will have to do so by liaising with the support team. Most of the reputable companies have a customer care team that works around the clock; so accessing the information will not be a major problem.

Security, Speed, and Reliability

In a bid to safeguard data, companies that offer cloud-hosting packages have put in place systems that keep data stored secure by encrypting it. Nonetheless, it is recommended to hire an IT consulting firm to help you manage your data and to keep hackers and viruses at bay.

The speed and reliability is dependent on the type of package you decide to use. It is also important to note that a low bandwidth can affect your website functionalism negatively. Sometimes, even the best high bandwidth satellite connection can result in poor website performance due to high latency. In addition, the quality of the cloud connection can be compromised when several people are using the Internet at the same time making your wi-fi stronger.

Server hosting companies have also put measures into place to protect their clients’ data. However, the quality of servers used determines the level of security. For instance, the dedicated servers are an ideal choice for e-commerce websites that handle or provide sensitive services such as financial services, as it is more secure than the shared servers. In addition, some of the modern dedicated servers will enhance your website’s speed and reliability when compared to cloud hosting. This is based on the fact that the functionalism of the servers is not really dependent on Internet connection, but the hardware. Hence, if you are looking for WordPress hosting, choose a company that has strong data security systems.


Obviously, you will need to sign an agreement with your preferred cloud hosting company. However, most of the companies that provide this service have non-negotiable contracts that limit businesses (3). Hence, it is important to read the fine print in the agreement before making your final decision to know if the cloud-hosting package offered by the company resonates with your business needs and expectations.

Server hosting companies have more flexible package plans, and this makes them an ideal choice for most companies. Nevertheless, you still need to go through the agreement document before finalizing the deal to avert any inconveniences down the road.

Insights on Network

This is one of the main factors that you need to put into consideration when making a decision on whether to use cloud hosting or server hosting packages. Cloud hosting companies provide clients with access to the RAM, CPU, and disk utilization, but they do not provide more insights or information about the network. This means that, if there is a bug in your code or a hardware problem, it is almost impossible to fix it without contacting the support team.

Luckily, server hosting companies have cPanels that clients can access from anywhere in the world to manage data and fix issues in a few clicks. The best cPanels have an intuitive interface that is clearly demarcated to guide all level of users. This means that you do not have to contact the support team if you know how to fix the issue. In addition, the companies offer instructional videos and other resources that one can always refer to when making changes to the website through the cPanel.

Access to Customer Support

Despite the fact that most cloud-hosting providers have customer support personnel; they are not always available on email or phone, especially during the holidays or after normal working hours. This means that if your website develops issues, you will incur losses as you wait.

On the other hand, the server hosting companies have a cPanel, which means that if the support team is not available, you can always login to the cPanel and make the changes yourself. Doing so greatly helps to prevent losses and safeguard credibility of your business.

Both options, cloud hosting and server hosting, have their pros and cons. It is wise to compare each of them in-depth before making your next move to get the expected results. For server hosting this site has a good comparison on the speed index and TTFB of several popular hosting companies.


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The Most Hotly Contested Web Design Concepts of 2016

If there’s one topic that gets people fired up it’s web design. To succeed online, a smartly designed website is crucial. Something that brings in visitors and keeps them on your page, absorbing content.

Unfortunately, what constitutes a great site isn’t always agreed upon, and there’s constant debate of best practices, what’s hot, what’s not, and what is the cancer that is killing the industry. The argument still rages on, and recently it’s moved on to these commonly used web design elements:

The Carousel

“We’re not at the park, so why are we going around and around? Because people keep designing their sites with these blasted carousels” is just one of the commonly heard gripes about this supposedly interesting design choice.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clicking left or right to get another little morsel of information that the designers have deemed us worthy to handle. Are they afraid we can’t read full paragraphs? This one isn’t just a matter being annoyed personal preference, however, Carousel designs actually harm your websites performance.

They kill local SEO efforts by starving your site of actual content, the slow your site down with huge image files and JavaScript, and they are so confoundingly bad that nobody clicks through them all the way. The naysayers might have a point on this one, Carousels are way more trouble than they are worth.

Parallax Scrolling

You’ve seen this technique on graphics heavy sites in which the foreground and background scroll at different speeds. It creates a feeling of depth, helps tell a story through visuals, and looks pretty cool when properly implemented.

Unfortunately, it comes with some (resolvable) issues that may make it a waste of time. Like the Carousel, use of Parallax Scrolling is damaging to SEO. Since there’s usually just one page and a bunch of images, there’s no text content for search engines to crawl through and rank.

The abundance of images reduces performance (and completely kills performance on mobile devices). Most damaging of all though, is that the technique can just make it confusing to absorb any useful information, which will cut your number of repeat visitors down tremendously.

Think about it, would you stick around on a website where your only navigation option was to scroll downwards through hard-to read image/text combos? Of course, there are examples of Parallax Scrolling done right, so the argument is there that it’s all about how you choose to use it.

The Hamburger Menu

That three lined symbol in the corner on most websites that you click to access navigation options is commonly known as the hamburger menu.

While it does look cool, and you can see why one might be tempted to clean up their navigation by having it sleekly displayed in a drop-down menu, many say it kills a websites discoverability.

When your navigation options are out of sight, they are also out of mind, the thinking goes. There’s also the argument that it’s less efficient, since you’re forced to go to a separate menu just to see your options, but that’s more a matter of personal taste, it would seem.

We may never get definitive answers on whether these trends are good or bad, but it seems pretty clear that if you are going to try to incorporate any of these ideas into your design, you have to do it with care.

We’ve given you an overview of the tons of free web design options out there for building a pretty good site. When you have to move up to the big leagues though, it’d be prudent to hire some big league talent.

Professional web developers like Big Drop (out of New York), or Brown Box Branding (Dallas TX) offer great designs coupled with high level marketing strategies proven to keep the visitors coming back to your site for more.

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