What is the Difference Between Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting?

Posted at July 30, 2021 at 11:20 am by Michael Lavrik


When shopping around for web hosting, it can be easy to get confused since there are so many options. Understanding what the various types of hosting are and how they work will help you to make a decision regarding which one is the best option for your site or sites.
For people who are running relatively small websites, the two main options are shared hosting and cloud hosting. Both of these are excellent options and the one that is right for you will depend largely on your specific needs. Take a few minutes to read more about each of these hosting technologies so you can make an informed decision.

What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is a service where a hosting company, such as InterServer, sets up multiple different customers on a physical server. Each of those customers will set up one or more websites to run and all of the traffic will be directed to this one server.

The biggest benefit of this type of hosting is that a large number of websites can be loaded up on a single server. This makes it economical for even extremely small sites to be able to run on a powerful web server. Since the expenses of the server are able to be split up between many customers, it is possible to offer this server for very little money. Here at InterServer, for example, we offer high-quality shared hosting for as low as $2.50 per month.

The drawback of shared hosting is that all the sites that are hosted on the server will be sharing all of the system resources. Most of the time this is not an issue at all since the server is configured to use all the resources efficiently. If one site has a major spike in traffic, however, it is possible that it could cause issues on the other sites hosted on the server. Here at InterServer, we take measures to minimize this risk, but it is always something to keep in mind when opting for shared hosting.

What is Cloud Hosting?
The term cloud hosting is often a little misleading. There is no one set technology that is cloud hosting like there is with shared hosting. Instead, it is any hosting service that is on a cloud service rather than on an individual server. Some hosting companies offer ‘cloud hosting’ that is at the same basic level as shared hosting. Here at InterServer, we offer cloud VPS hosting. Simply put, any web hosting that is in a cloud environment can be considered cloud hosting.

When considering any type of cloud hosting, it is important to understand what makes it a good option. The biggest benefit is the fact that rather than having a website hosted on one physical server (with other websites) it is hosted on a virtual server. This virtual server will be spared across multiple physical systems in the cloud infrastructure. This adds additional levels of redundancy since even if one device fails, it will not bring the whole system down.

The downside of cloud hosting for smaller sites is that it is generally going to be a little more expensive than shared options. That being said, it is often possible to get a great cloud hosting package at an affordable price.

Which Hosting Option is Right for You?

As mentioned above, there is no right or wrong answer here. The right hosting will depend on a number of factors including what type of website you are running, how much traffic you are anticipating, your budget, and more. In general, most websites will at least start off with a shared hosting package and can upgrade to something more advanced when necessary. If your site starts getting a lot of traffic, for example, you can simply notify our support team and we can help to migrate you to a cloud VPS server, or whatever you need. In the end, the important thing is to ensure your site always has the hosting it needs to serve all the visitors to your pages.

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One Response to “What is the Difference Between Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting?”

  1. Rita Nnamani says:

    Awesome article. I was confused about this “CLOUD” things for a very long time. Thanks for the clarification. Can mail.baby be added to a VPS environment?

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