5 Best Cloud Hosting Providers
If you’re looking for a hosting option which is truly flexible and scalable by nature, and its resources are not limited to that of a single physical server, a cloud hosting plan will certainly live up to that expectation. While cloud hosting may seem intimidating and complex at first, hosting providers have made it effortless, so you can enjoy more computing power, more reliability, faster load times than with your run-of-the-mill hosting plans.
Making use of cloud computing environment and virtual machines, cloud hosting means that your hosting needs are met not by one, but by a network of connected servers that offer on-demand resources, high availability and unmatched scaling potential. Sudden spikes in website traffic are seamlessly handled by the network’s resources and cloud hosting is not as vulnerable to issues caused by datacenter outages as the network is configured to load balance, so in case of an outage, other servers in the network will take up the slack and ensure that your website is up and running through the network. Your website’s files, once you upload them to your account, are stored throughout multiple datacenters and will be delivered to your visitors from the datacenter that is nearest to their location, an aspect which translates into significant increase in speed and performance.
Thanks to its many benefits, cloud hosting has become an appealing hosting type that is featured in the hosting plans of many web hosting companies, allowing you to choose from an abundant number of cloud hosting providers.
How to Choose a Good Cloud Hosting?
The cloud hosting market has gone through a tremendous expansion, and it has grown into a highly competitive field. In this competitive landscape, it’s not immediately easy to decide which cloud hosting provider to go with. While cloud hosting is hailed as a very reliable hosting platform, its actual reliability is largely influenced by the hosting provider you choose. It’s important to choose a hosting provider that has the necessary infrastructure and expertise in offering you a reliable cloud hosting experience.
In our experience, here are the main attributes of cloud hosting that you should find at any good hosting provider:
- Multiple plans with possibility to scale up and down your package;
- Dedicated CPU, memory, bandwidth, disk space, data transfer, etc.;
- Free 24×7 support and 99.99% uptime guarantee;
- User-friendly control with cPanel, root access, SSH access.
- Instant provisioning/deployment;
- Free backups.
To truly help you capitalize on the advantages of cloud hosting, a good hosting provider will offer all these features at a reasonable price. In terms of pricing, you will see a lot of promotional rates, especially in this time of the year, so you can find basic cloud hosting plans for as low as $5/month. Depending on the dedicated and guaranteed resources as well as additional features you may need, cloud hosting and cloud VPS plans can cost as much as $150/month.
Let’s see which are the best hosting providers whose cloud hosting plans live up to the requirements set out in our list.
Best Cloud Hosting Providers
We’ve chosen the next 5 hosting companies by taking into account their hosting infrastructure, expertise, variety of their cloud hosting/VPS hosting plans, and the attributes that we’ve discussed in the previous section of our article.
BlueHost’s Cloud Site service simplified cloud hosting for many existing users with shared hosting plans by adding automated migration to cloud hosting. Whether you migrate from an existing BlueHost shared hosting plan or you’re just signing up with BlueHost for the first time, the cloud hosting infrastructure is devised in such a way that once you upload your website, three mirrored copies of your data will be automatically distributed to multiple devices. This ensures ultimate safety and redundancy.
BlueHost has three cloud hosting plans, all currently on sale. Plans are fully managed, resources are scalable on the fly, they come with 1 free domain, integrated caching for accelerated web content, resource monitoring, site performance tracking dashboard, automated failover protection, 24/7 chat and phone support.
The entry-level cloud hosting plan, the Starter, costs $4.45/month, it includes hosting for 1 website, 100 GB storage space, unmetered bandwidth, 2 GB RAM, 2 core CPU, 100 email accounts with 500 MB email storage, $50 worth of marketing offers, local caching, and 1-click resource scaling. The most popular BlueHost Cloud Sites plan is the Performance plan, which costs $5.95/month, and it’s an unlimited websites hosting with unmetered storage space and bandwidth, 4 GB RAM, 4 core CPU, $200 worth of marketing offers, unlimited email accounts and email storage, 1 SpamExperts included, local caching, 1-click resource scaling. The third and last plan is the Business Pro plan, which has all the unlimited advantages of the Performance plan, however, it comes with 6 GB RAM, 6 core CPU, 2 SpamExperts, dedicated IP, SSL certificate, Domain Privacy, Site Backup + Restore, local caching, and 1-click resource scaling.
HostGator also has three cloud hosting plans with data mirroring, integrated caching, resource monitoring and allocation tools, automated failover, intuitive dashboard, cPanel control panel, unmetered bandwidth and unmetered storage. In terms of RAM and CPU, HostGator’s plans have the same configuration as BlueHost’s plans.
The Hatchling Cloud plan costs $6.95/month, and it includes hosting for 1 domain, 2 GB RAM, 2 cores CPU, local caching, shared SSL, unlimited subdomains and parked domains. The Baby Cloud plan costs $8.95/month and comes with hosting for unlimited websites, 4 cores CPU, 4 GB RAM, shared SSL, unlimited subdomains and parked domains. The last plan is the Business Cloud plan, which costs $12.95/month, allows you to host unlimited domains, has 6 GB RAM and 6 cores CPU, dedicated IP and private SSL included. 24×7 support is available with all plans.
If you compare the cloud hosting plans of BlueHost and HostGator, you’ll see that they are very similar in terms of resources, scalability, prices (regular prices), however, BlueHost includes 1 free domain with each of their plans, while HostGator has the industry-leading control panel, cPanel, included with its plans.
InMotion’s Linux SSD VPS hosting plans are powered by the cloud, offering free server management, free cPanel, real time redundancy, live-state snapshots, and an arsenal of other features like dedicated IP addresses, unlocked CPU cores, CentOS with LAMP stack, free domain with all 6 and 12 month plans, resource monitoring dashboard, SSH access, root access, 90-day money-back guarantee, eCommerce optimized cloud VPS plans, 24/7 email and telephone support.
The three SSD cloud VPS hosting plans available at InMotion cost $29.99/month, $49.99/month, and $74.99/month, respectively. The VPS-1000HA-S is the first plan, which features 4GB RAM, 2 TB monthly transfer, 60 GB disk space, unlimited email accounts, unlimited domains allowed on one account, and 2 dedicated IP addresses. The next plan, the VPS-2000HA-S, is InMotion’s best value VPS cloud hosting plan and features 6 GB RAM, 3 TB transfer, 130 GB disk space, unlimited email accounts, unlimited domains, 2 dedicated IPs, and free Launch Assist with the 12-month plan. The most powerful cloud hosting plan is the VPS-3000HA-S, which includes the following features: 8 GB RAM, 4 TB monthly transfer, 200 GB disk space, 3 dedicated IP addresses, unlimited email accounts, unlimited domains, and free Launch Assist with all terms.
iPage offers VPS cloud hosting plans in customizable configuration with fully managed support, optional root access, instant deployment, free cPanel, free domain name registration, free marketing credits, several pre-installed scripts, and CentOS 6.4 included with all plans.
The Basic plan is created for those who are just starting out with their online presence and aren’t sure about the resources they’ll be needing, however, they want to have the option to add resources as their business develops. This plan costs $19.99/month, it includes 1-core CPU, 1 GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, 1 IP address. The Business plan is created for those who have already outgrown their shared hosting plan, have a steady amount of traffic, but don’t need a dedicated server just yet. This plan costs $47.99/month, it includes 2-core CPU, 4 GB RAM, 90 GB storage, 3 TB bandwidth, and 2 IP addresses. The Optimum plan costs $79.99/month, and it’s aimed for businesses that have seasonal variations in traffic, and need the server resources to manage 5,000 visits daily during peak season, but want to be able to downscale in low seasons. This plan features 4-core CPU, 8 GB RAM, 120 GB storage, 4 TB bandwidth, and 2 IP addresses.
ASmallOrange has the biggest variety of cloud-based hosting plans offering 8 different cloud-VPS hosting plans to meet different storage, RAM, and bandwidth requirements. These plans come with redundant data protection across multiple hard drives, daily off-cloud backups, near 100% uptime and availability due to integrated automatic failover and hot migration tools, free cPanel and WHM with level II or higher cloud VPS plans, full root access, multiple bandwidth providers, 24/7 network monitoring, SSD caching technology, free migration assistance, Kernel Virtual Machine technology, state-of-the-art firewalls with the possibility to block specific locations and IPs. ASO also provides free, on-demand and weekly scheduled backups.
ASO’s plans range from plans with more simple configurations such as 1 core CPU, 30GB storage, 1024 MB RAM, 500 GB bandwidth for $20/month to plans with 8 cores CPU, 250 GB storage, 10240 MB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth for $150/month. Apart from these two plans, there are 6 other plans with different configurations in terms of CPU, storage, RAM, and bandwidth.
ASO allows you to dynamically increase and decrease your server resources, and configure your hosting environment to your exact requirements, thus, providing you the tools necessary for an irreproachable cloud hosting experience.
Although not marketed as such and each hosting provider has different hosting plan configurations for different needs, based on pricing and allocated resource considerations, we can conclude that BlueHost’s, HostGator’s, and perhaps even iPage’s cloud hosting plans are more suited for individual users and small businesses, while plans offered by ASmallOrange and InMotion better respond to medium and enterprise level cloud hosting needs.