What is cloud hosting and how do you use it?

Image credit: Pixabay (Image credit: Pixabay)

With the continuous rise of technology and the need for businesses to establish an online presence, the best web hosting services have become an essential aspect of the digital world.

Among the many types of hosting services available, cloud hosting has proven to be a reliable option for millions of businesses worldwide. However, many people still do not fully understand what cloud hosting is and how it works.

Let's explore the basics of cloud hosting and its benefits, as well as provide steps on how to use it effectively.

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How does cloud hosting work?

Cloud hosting is a service where a website or application is hosted on a network of interconnected servers, known as the cloud, instead of being hosted on a single physical server. The hosting provider manages the cloud infrastructure, which enables you to have access to a range of computing resources, such as CPU, RAM, storage, and bandwidth.

When you sign up for cloud hosting, you can choose the amount of resources you need and pay for only what you use. The hosting provider then allocates the necessary resources from the cloud infrastructure and creates a virtual server instance for you. This virtual server instance can be easily scaled up or down as per your requirements, without the need for any physical hardware modifications.

You can then access your virtual server instance using remote login credentials and manage your website or application, install software, and perform other tasks. The hosting provider takes care of the server maintenance, security, backups, and updates, which helps you focus on your business goals rather than worrying about IT infrastructure.

Hostinger's cloud hosting plan pricing

Hostinger's cloud hosting plan pricing (Image credit: Hostinger)

The cost of cloud hosting 

The cost of the best cloud hosting services can vary depending on several factors such as the cloud provider, the type of hosting plan, the amount of resources required, and the location of the data center. Most cloud providers offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model where you only pay for the resources you use, such as storage, bandwidth, and computing power. This can be a more cost-effective option for businesses that have varying needs throughout the year.

The cost of cloud hosting can range from $10 per month for a basic plan with limited resources to $200 or even thousands of dollars per month for enterprise-level plans with advanced features and dedicated resources.

It's important to note that while cloud hosting can be a cost-effective solution, it's essential to carefully consider your needs and choose the right plan for your business to avoid overspending. Also, you should keep an eye out for any additional charges such as data transfer fees, storage fees, or add-on services that may increase the overall cost.

 Cloud hosting vs VPS hosting: Key differences

Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that utilizes a network of remote servers to store, manage, and process data, whereas VPS hosting is a type of hosting that uses virtualization technology to create a dedicated server environment on a shared server. 

With cloud hosting, resources like CPU, RAM, and storage are distributed across multiple servers, whereas with VPS hosting, a portion of the physical server's resources is allocated to each VPS instance. 

Cloud hosting is highly scalable and can easily accommodate sudden spikes in traffic by automatically adding resources as needed. On the other hand, VPS hosting is less scalable as the amount of resources allocated to each VPS instance is fixed.

Cloud hosting vs web hosting 

Web hosting is a type of hosting service where a website or web application is hosted on a physical server that is dedicated to serving that website or application. In web hosting, the website or application is hosted on a single server, and all the resources such as storage, memory, and processing power are shared among the websites hosted on that server. Web hosting is typically used for small to medium-sized websites that do not require a lot of resources.

Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is a type of hosting service where a website or web application is hosted on a network of servers that are interconnected and work together to provide hosting services. In cloud hosting, the website or application is hosted on a virtual server that is created by combining the resources of multiple physical servers. 

This allows cloud hosting providers to offer a high level of scalability, reliability, and performance to their customers. Cloud hosting is typically used for larger websites or web applications that require a lot of resources and high levels of availability.

Cloud computing concept represented by a server room, with a cloud representation hologram concept.

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Virgiliu Obada)

How to use cloud hosting 

There are many cloud hosting providers available in the market such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and many more. Choose a provider that offers the features and services that match your requirements.

Cloud hosting providers offer a variety of hosting plans to choose from. You can select the plan that suits your needs in terms of storage, bandwidth, and other resources. Once you have chosen your hosting plan, you can set up your cloud server by following the instructions provided by your hosting provider. You will need to create an account, choose your server location, and configure your server settings.

You can install your software or application on the cloud server using the control panel or command line interface provided by your hosting provider. Next, you will configure your server settings such as security, firewall, and backup options to ensure your website or application is secure and available at all times. 

It's important to monitor your cloud server regularly to ensure it's running smoothly and to identify any issues. You can use monitoring tools provided by your hosting provider or third-party tools to monitor your server performance, uptime, and other metrics.

Cloud hosting benefits and risks 

Here are some benefits and risks of cloud hosting:


Scalability: Cloud hosting services offer scalability, which means that resources can be easily scaled up or down as per the changing demands of the user.

Cost-effective: Cloud hosting services can be cost-effective as you only pay for the resources you use, and there is no need for upfront investment in hardware.

High availability: Cloud hosting services offer high availability, meaning that you can access your data and applications at any time and from any location with an internet connection.

Security: Cloud hosting providers usually have advanced security measures in place, including encryption and firewalls, to protect your data.

Flexibility: Cloud hosting services offer a high degree of flexibility as you can access your data and applications from any device with an internet connection.


Reliance on internet connection: Cloud hosting services rely on an internet connection, which means that if the internet connection goes down, you may not be able to access your data or applications.

Security risks: While cloud hosting providers have advanced security measures in place, there is always a risk of data breaches or cyber-attacks.

Limited control: Cloud hosting services limit the level of control you have over your data and applications.

Compliance concerns: Some industries have specific regulatory requirements that may be difficult to comply with when using cloud hosting services.

Vendor lock-in: It can be difficult to switch cloud hosting providers once data and applications have been migrated to a particular service, which can create a vendor lock-in situation.

Who should use cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting can benefit a wide range of users, including individuals, small businesses, large enterprises, and even government agencies. 

Here are some specific use cases where cloud hosting may be particularly beneficial:

Startups: Cloud hosting can be an ideal choice for startups that need to scale their operations quickly and efficiently without investing heavily in infrastructure.

Ecommerce websites: Online retailers can leverage cloud hosting to handle sudden surges in traffic during peak shopping seasons like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Mobile app developers: Developers can use cloud hosting to host their backend infrastructure and easily scale up or down as needed to handle fluctuations in user traffic.

Content creators: Bloggers, podcasters, and other content creators can use cloud hosting to store and distribute their content globally, ensuring high availability and fast delivery to their audience.

Enterprises: Large businesses with complex IT infrastructure needs can use cloud hosting to reduce costs, increase scalability, and improve their disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.

Is cloud hosting right for you?

Cloud hosting has revolutionized the way some businesses store and manage data. With its flexibility, scalability, and reliability, it provides a better alternative to traditional hosting. By choosing a cloud hosting provider and configuring your resources, you can take advantage of the benefits of cloud hosting and improve your business's web presence. 

Ruby has been a freelance technology writer for over four years and has a passion for information technology and the Internet in its entirety. She has a wide range of specialities including web hosting, streaming (Firestick, Kodi, and APKs), VPN, information technology, and affiliate marketing. Ruby is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of the Philippines, and regularly codes in her free time.