The best cloud hosting providers make it simple and easy to host your website in the cloud for extra redundancy and stability.
Signing up for the best web hosting package would usually buy you a defined block of resources on a single server. The trouble is if that server suffers a hardware problem, hard drive failure, or is hacked, your website will go offline along with the server,
Cloud hosting provides increased reliability and resilience because while you'll pay for a set amount of web space, RAM, CPU time and bandwidth - as with a normal webhosting package - these resources are spread across multiple devices instead of just one. This means your website is not tied to the fate of a single server. Additionally, it makes it much easier to upgrade resources if required, as this requires a few clicks from the hosting provider, as opposed to shutting down a single server to install new hardware.
It's no wonder then that cloud hosting plans have become the leading service in the web hosting industry.
Cloud hosting still won't be for everyone, and small, simple websites are likely to be better off with regular packages. But the technology has a lot to offer anyone with larger or more ambitious projects, and many hosts run free trials which make it easy to explore their abilities for yourself. We've tested and compared these cloud hosting providers across various aspects, from how well the servers host websites to their scalability. We also test how easy it is to use their free migration, free domain name registration, and rate the overall performance.
We've listed the best email hosting providers.
The best cloud hosting providers of 2023 in full:
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We've put Hostinger in the number spot because it has well over 30 million users, and some of the lowest prices thanks to low running costs and overheads. When we signed up to Hostinger's cloud hosting service, we were given the option to choose from cPanel or hPanel, its own customized control panel. We picked hPanel and experienced a more intuitive feature that allows a better and more comfortable control of performance and features.
There are three plans available, Cloud Startup, Cloud Professional, and Cloud Enterprise, all of which offer 300 websites and unlimited bandwidth for your account.
In our test, we picked the Cloud Startup plan that comes with 200GB of SSD storage, 3GB of RAM, and 2 CPU cores. The Cloud Professional plan increases these to 250GB storage, 6GB RAM, and 4 CPU cores, the Cloud Enterprise plan extends these further to 300GB storage, 12GB RAM, and 6CPU cores. All plans come with a free SSL certificate and domain name.
Exclusive to TechRadar, Hostinger's Cloud Lite hosting package costs $2.59 per month for the first three months, which increases to $12.99 per month after. This plan lets you host up to ten websites and comes with 50 GB SSD storage.
We found that the pricing depends on how long you commit to the service. For the Cloud Startup plan, it costs $29.00 on a month to month basis. However, if you commit for a year the monthly cost falls to $12.99 a month. For a two-year contract, it drops to $10.99 per month, and for a four-year contract, it falls to $9.99 a month.
A disadvantage we came across while testing was the lack of telephone support (which we find is usually helpful for getting really detailed one-on-one support from an expert).
Read our full Hostinger review.
If you only need to host a website rather than additional business data, then HostGator's cloud platform could be a more ideal choice. Unlike normal web hosting, Hostgator's cloud hosting platform spreads your website load across multiple virtual server instances for more reliable and scalable hosting, but it's as easy to use as standard shared hosting (in our opinion), and only costs a little more.
For example, the baseline Hatchling Cloud plan gets you support for one domain, unmetered bandwidth and storage, a share of up to two cores and 2GB RAM, and distributed Varnish caching to speed up the loading of static content. You can get started for as little as $3.13 (£2.26) per month if you buy three years upfront, although the price leaps to $8.95 (£6.40) on renewal.
We tested out its more powerful package, the Business Cloud plan, which supports unlimited domains, provides up to six cores and 6GB RAM, and includes private SSL and a dedicated IP. Another chunky introductory discount means you can pay as little as $6.28 (£4.54) per month over three years, but after that, you'll pay $17.95 (£12.80) per month.
We found some benefits of the cloud plans include up to twice as fast load times, along with more site statistics, and because websites are mirrored across multiple devices, HostGator enables the ability to switch a website to another server in the event of a hardware failure. During our test, we did encounter some downtime (which was an isolated incident).
But the key advantage of all cloud hosting schemes is scalability. If your site can't cope with demand, you can scale up to eight cores and 8GB RAM with a click. There's no waiting around for someone to process your order and no downtime while your web space is reallocated – you get the extra resources right away.
Also, while prices go up after the initial discount promotion (similar to Hostinger) they still remain extremely competitive.
Read our full HostGator review.
At first glance, cloud hosting products seem to be divided into two clear groups: enterprise-level technology from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and more, or simpler and more user-friendly products from hosts such as HostGator.
Cloudways represents an interesting middle path. The company offers managed cloud hosting which is powered by your choice of the top providers – Amazon, Google, DigitalOcean, Linode or Vultr are supported – and comes packed with features, yet is configured from a simple web console which is just as easy to use as the more basic competition.
We think it's an impressive platform (although we would not recommend for cloud hosting beginners because it's not the easiest service to use for the first time if you have no prior knowledge to cloud hosting). Cloudways' ThunderStack covers all your core performance needs: Nginx, Apache, Memcached, MySQL/MariaDB, Varnish Cache, PHP 7, PHP-FM and Redis. There's one-click cloning, backup and restore, integrated Git and team collaboration tools for developers, and no less than 60 data centers strategically placed around the world (over 25 locations).
Despite all this high-end functionality, Cloudways products are generally simple to operate, and prices start at a beginner-friendly $10 (£7.15) per month for one core, 1GB RAM, 25GB storage and 1TB of bandwidth. It's all supremely configurable, and a free trial allows you to check out the product, with no credit card details required. Furthermore, a referral system is available, where both you and your friends can receive free hosting credits.
Read our full Cloudways cloud hosting review.
There's no way that Bluehost would have not made our best cloud hosting service list based on its exceptional cloud web hosting solution.
It offers basic shared hosting from $2.75 monthly (on a three-year contract), with managed WordPress plans starting at $9.95 per month (although that’s also a discounted introductory rate). With no monthly billing option, you'll have to commit to a longer period of time which could be problematic if you no longer want to use Bluehost after a month.
When we signed up, we received automated setup for WordPress, not to mention other popular apps via a Mojo Marketplace-powered system. Similar to Hostinger, we were also offered a cPanel-based area to allow our experts to tweak things.
Furthermore, Bluehost provides a Weebly-based website builder. This is a basic browser-based affair that lets you create a website of up to six pages, and there are no extras like site templates included. But still, it’s better than nothing, and more functionality is in the pipeline – plus you get this builder with the basic account.
There’s also good customer support on offer, and the end result is a mix of user-friendly aspects alongside a good amount of power, and potential tweaking for more advanced users.
While Bluehost doesn't offer cloud hosting as a separate service, we dug deeper and found that it does offer free access to CloudFlare cloud hosting with all of its plans. This automatically increases the performance of your website without having to code or program for any changes.
Read our full Bluehost review.
DreamHost offers cloud server hosting, taking it a step up from the other plans offered here. However, by running their unmanaged cloud servers the expectation is that users will be comfortable with a command line environment for managing their cloud hosting service.
Dreamhost's cloud hosting services cover two main areas: cloud computing and cloud object storage.
DreamCompute is the cloud computing service, and offers an easy way to develop and grow your own cloud services. You can run it based on Linux, BSD, or Windows, in a serverless environment based on the latest SSD storage and next-gen processors.
Built around the free and open-source OpenStack platform, there is no lock-in to proprietary software, and you can use Dreamhost as a place to grow until you're ready to manage your own OpenStack.
DreamObjects is DreamHost's secure cloud storage hosting storage service, which can be use as a web development environment to augment or replace AWS E3 services. DreamObjects can also be used for backup storage.
While cloud services and storage can seem over-whelming for new users, DreamHost provides the ideal place to start to experiment, explore, and grow your cloud services at a very cost-effective rate. While DreamHost's cloud hosting option is worthwhile and worthy of being on our list, after testing, it doesn't come with as many add-ons as its competitors.
Read our full DreamHost review.
Best cloud hosting FAQs
How to choose the best cloud hosting providers for you?
We choose the best cloud hosting providers based on features, pricing, quality and uptime - and we think you should too.
As not every cloud hosting plan is the same, we recommend writing a list of the features you are looking for in a cloud host provider and a semi-flexible monthly budget figure.
This will help you narrow down your search a lot, which will lead you to picking the best cloud hosting provider for your needs.
Some features to look out for when picking the best cloud hosting service for you include: daily backup, maximum storage and bandwidth at an affordable price, dedicated resources and IP address, plus money-back guarantee and at least a 99.9% uptime promise.
How we test the best cloud hosting services
What is cloud hosting?
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.
Is cloud hosting secured?
Cloud hosting security layers usually include firewalls, identity management and access control, Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) for transmitting data, and more.
A security advantage that cloud hosting has is segmentation from user workstations. Cloud hosting is virtual and scalable because it's based on usage.
If a physical server goes down, web hosting servers do not perform well or may be down, but because cloud hosting is virtual, it won't encounter that same problem.
Server and infrastructure protection include:
- 24/7 server monitoring
- Server and infrastructure security configuration consistently applied across all servers
- Firewall protection
- Advanced security modules that assure the best possible protection, such as mod_security, Suhosin PHP hardening, PHP open_basedir protection, and others
- Anti-malware protection on endpoints and servers
Who is cloud hosting for?
Cloud hosting caters to individuals, small businesses, and even larger enterprises that require a scalable and reliable hosting solution.
It's a solution for those that need a stable website performance but don’t have the necessary budget or knowledge to maintain a personal server.
If your site regularly experiences high traffic spikes then cloud hosting may be the right option for you.
What are the benefits 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.
Reliability: With cloud hosting, your website is hosted on a network of interconnected servers.
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.
Enhanced performance: The distributed nature of cloud hosting ensures faster load times and improved performance. Your website's data is stored across multiple servers, enabling faster retrieval and reducing latency for visitors accessing your site from different locations.
User-Friendly Control Panel: You have full control over your plan, domains, databases, and other settings, empowering you to customize and manage your website effectively.
Cloud hosting vs shared hosting
The main difference between the two hosting types is that a cloud hosting provider grants you dedicated resources and a dedicated IPv6 address. Meanwhile, shared hosting requires the user to share resources with others on a single server.
Arnas Donauskas started his career working at Hostinger as a Customer Success Specialist. This position gave him a lot of experience which involves - technical help with web hosting issues, communication with various clients, and delivering the quality results with Hostinger services.