When you are looking to build a website for your business (or for your personal stuff) one of the first thing you need to find is a hosting service that best fits your needs.
A good hosting service is key to guarantee that your site is available 24/7 and that it loads fast. This is specially important if you are on building an eCommerce website. It can make the difference between a successful website and a floop.
Customers do not like to wait for a page to load. You need to make sure that you will not lose their business. In fact, a one-second delay in page load time has been shown to cause a 7 percent loss in conversion and 11 percent fewer page views.
Most hosting companies offers different plans based on different solutions:
- Shared Hosting
This is a type of web hosting where multiple sites share the same physical server and it’s resources. Although this is the most cost-effective solution it should only be taken into account if you are just starting and are on a tight budget.
Because you are sharing the same server with other users you often do not have full access to the server. This can be critical in some frameworks like Magento, which require SSH access to run cli commands.
- VPS Hosting
This is the next step for someone that want to scale out of a shared environment. With a VPS (Virtual Private Server) you get your own personal server with allocated number of resources you decided to buy. You have a dedicated amount of RAM, cores, disk space and bandwidth. VPS hosting is a good compromise between a shared solution and dedicated hosting.
- Dedicated Hosting
With a dedicated hosting you will have all the resource in a server just for your website. You have dedicated resources and you don’t have to compete with any other website for bandwidth, storage or speed. It is like owning your own machine on a datacenter and this is why it is the most expensive solution of all three.
- Cloud Hosting
With the advent of cloud computing come a new hosting solution: cloud hosting. You no longer need to host your site on a “physical machine”, you can host it on the cloud. Websites hosted on the cloud are accessible anytime, anywhere, which means that your website is replicated on every cloud server in the cluster. This play an important role in downtime because if, for example, one cloud server is at a given point reaching maximum traffic, the query for a website can be routed to an idle cloud server in the same cluster.
Because of its decentralized structure, this is the more stable and scalable solution, and can easily adapter to pikes in traffic.
Apart from the physical aspect of hosting you also have to consider if you want a managed or a self-managed solution. The former leaves the burden of system management to the hosting provider while the latter requires you to manage and maintain everything in the server, except for the physical hardware.
Unless you or someone on your team has a solid knowledge and experience in system administration, or you require full control over the server, I would recommend going for a managed solutions.
Which hosting company should I chose?
Over the years I came across all types of hosting solutions. I have customers running websites on all kinds of platforms and when someone asks me which hosting I recommend I tend to say Cloudways.
Cloudways offers a management and optimization layer on top of the most known cloud solutions in the market to ensure maximum performance, security and high-availability.
Why go with Cloudways?
- Fast Deployment
You can easily start you website application with a click of a button.
- Great Value
Very competitive prices compared to the other solution in the market and a monthly fix price to avoid any bad surprises that are typical in a cloud computing environment.
- Great Support
Whenever you have a problem you get immediate chat support with a cloud engineer. You do not have to wait forever to get a real person to help you out.
- Development/Staging environments
Every website is constantly in need for improvements and ways to make it better. Cloudways offers staging and development environment that are easily created (literally within minutes and with a click of a button) to test all the new features and bug fixes you need. This is probably the feature I like the most about cloudways!
You can start with an entry level and cheaper server and easily upgrade when your site takes off.
On top of the already optimized stack, cloudways offers some extra services that are extremely easy to setup and use, namely elasticsearch, varnish and redis. You can simply them and start to use them right off the bat.
Any cons? Yes, of course. There is always something missing and there is no exception here.
- I would like to have the possibility of running different php versions within the same server. You simply can’t. If you have 2 applications that run on different php version you will have to get 2 different servers and that really sucks 🙁
- Cloudways is a hosting service only. This means you can’t have your email inbox there. If you want to have everything in the same place then I’m afraid cloudways (as many other specialized hosting services) is not for you.