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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.