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  • What is Public Cloud Hosting?

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by
    What is Public Cloud Hosting?

    What is Public Cloud Hosting?

    If you’ve been deciding which kind of cloud hosting is best for your business, then you’ve probably come across public cloud hosting and private cloud hosting. Public cloud hosting is the most recognizable model of cloud hosting and will probably be the best fit for most website owners. However, private cloud hosting still has its place. Below we dive into what public cloud hosting actually is, along with its advantages and disadvantages, so you can make the best decision for your business.  

    What is Public Cloud Hosting?

    Public cloud hosting utilizes the resources of a network of physical servers to provide a virtualized hosting environment that’s fast, flexible, and scalable. The main way that public cloud hosting differs from private cloud hosting is that a public cloud provides hosting to multiple clients within the same shared physical server infrastructure. The only overlap you’ll have with other sites are the physical servers themselves. Each virtual network will still be isolated from one another. Although this seems similar to traditional shared hosting it differs in its approach to utilizing the physical server space. Public cloud hosting draws from so many different physical servers that the space and resources you have access to are theoretically infinite and you won’t suffer any lags in performance from other sites who happen to be using the same physical server resources.  

    Advantages of Public Cloud Hosting

    Utilizing public cloud hosting offers your website a ton of benefits that are hard to find in other kinds of hosting. Below we look at a few of the biggest reasons you’ll want to consider using public cloud hosting:
    • Scalability. Public clouds offer near infinite scalability. Resources can be increased on demand to meet growing site or traffic requirements.
    • Flexible pricing. With public cloud hosting you share the cost of the physical server environment. Plus, you generally have a flexible pricing structure that’s only based on the resources you consume. The pricing model is similar to that of paying for your monthly utilities.
    • Extremely reliable. Due to the high number of servers and networks involved in creating a cloud hosting environment, when a single server fails or becomes overloaded your site can simply draw resources from another server. This will greatly help to prevent any downtime or lapses in service.
    • High performance. Public cloud hosts are naturally high performing, as you’ll have access to a nearly unlimited amount of server resources.

    Disadvantages of Public Cloud Hosting

    Of course, as with any style of hosting there will be certain drawbacks. For example, with a public cloud host, your data will be quite secure, but not as secure as a private cloud host. Also, since your data is spread widely across multiple different virtual server environments the chances of this data being compromised also increase. Although scaling with public cloud hosting is quite easy you may want to eventually upgrade to a dedicated or managed server if your traffic levels are high enough. A public cloud can handle large amounts of traffic, but you may get improved performance and control with a dedicated server. Finally, with public cloud hosting, you’ll get less control over the specifications of your server environment. If you require a unique hosting hardware and software configuration, then this may not be able to be supported by public cloud hosting.  

    Who Should Use Public Cloud Hosting?

    Overall, a public cloud hosting setup is ideal for business and websites that receive a high volume of unpredictable traffic. By their nature, public clouds aren’t as secure as private clouds, so those who deal with sensitive information and are looking for the highest levels of security might want to opt for private cloud hosting. Still, public cloud hosting is a perfect fit for high traffic sites that want flexibility and performance in the same host. With public cloud hosting you’ll spread out the cost of service (along with flexible pricing) amongst multiple users, so you won’t have an astronomically high hosting bill every single month. If you satisfy the following conditions, then public cloud hosting is something you should consider:
    • You have a high-traffic website that experiences unexpected surges in traffic.
    • You want a host that has a transparent pricing model.
    • Your site doesn’t collect sensitive information like bank account numbers, and social security information.
    • You have a fast-growing website and your traffic levels are growing quickly.
    • You’ve outgrown your shared hosting plan, but aren’t quite ready for a dedicated server.
    • You value security, performance, and flexibility all from a single hosting package.
    For most website owners the standard public cloud hosting will probably be enough. You’ll get access to a high performing host, that’s scalable, secure, and flexible in its pricing. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner  
  • Understanding Cloud Hosting Security

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by
    cloud hosting security

    Understanding Cloud Hosting Security

    Cloud hosting is just as secure as any other style of hosting. However, it’s gotten a bad rap due to the criticism of virtualized technologies in the past. When things started moving towards the cloud there was a lot of fear related to this new technology, as businesses couldn’t part with the idea of not having their data and storage in-house. However, now that the cloud has gone mainstream those critiques have become nothing but a thing of the past. Today we rely on several different technologies that live in the cloud, and our hosting is no different. Below we explore the main issues surrounding cloud hosting security and highlight the security advantages of hosting your website in the cloud. So you can finally answer the question: is cloud hosting safe and secure?  

    Understanding Cloud Hosting Security

    Much of the concern related to the security of cloud hosting and other cloud platforms had to do with the initial skepticism over changing technology and not the technology itself. Time has shown us that the cloud has matured and with that technology, maturation has come improved levels of security. When looking at a traditional server environment your website’s files are stored in a specified physical server location. With cloud hosting your site’s files are distributed and take up multiple virtual server locations that are associated with physical servers. In terms of overall security, cloud hosting actually has an additional layer of security. You have your physical security measures to protect the physical datacenter from being hacked, or harmed. Next, you have a layer of security on the physical server itself. Finally, with cloud hosting you have an additional layer of security that protects the virtual network and isolates your cloud hosting environment. However, not all cloud hosts are created equal in their security measures. The overall security of any cloud platform has to do with how certain security protocols are implemented. For example, you can have a very insecure cloud server in the same way you could have an insecure dedicated server. It’s not the underlying technology, but how it’s implemented.  

    Is Cloud Hosting Secure?

    There are a few different objections to the overall security of cloud hosting. We examine those below and illustrate how cloud hosting actually overcomes these security hurdles.  

    1. The Bad Neighbor Effect

    One common security issue revolves around the issue of multi-tenant cloud hosting. This is when multiple different virtual machines are using the same dedicated physical server space. These virtual machine networks are what make up your cloud hosting environment. The idea is that a single insecure or overloaded site on the network, could compromise the other sites. However, there are numerous enhanced security protocols in place like VM isolation, which completely isolates your virtual network from others on the same machine. This means that your data is safe, protected, and can’t be accessed by anyone except you.  

    2. Overall Loss of Data Control

    The seeming loss of control over the location of your data seems to be a big objection to cloud hosting. The outsourcing of your information storage to a third-party cloud system can seem a little scary. However, most of today’s cloud hosting providers operate with this understanding and have built their system around providing transparency and security around the user data. This allows you to maintain responsibility over your data, while not having to manage everything yourself.  

    3. Main Cloud Hosting Security Vulnerabilities

    Just like other forms of hosting there are certain vulnerabilities you’ll need to be aware of. Security is never going to be perfect. When compared to traditional hosting the cloud offers a universal access point, which means that security protocols need to be even stricter. Still, vulnerabilities do exist. Below you’ll find the main types of security issues that threaten cloud hosting environments. You’ll notice they’re very similar to traditional hosting environments as well:
    • DDoS attacks. It’s difficult to stop DDoS attacks, but you can do your best to protect your site with a solution like SiteLock, or other security add-ons.
    • Data breaches. Data breaches can occur due to the lack of two-factor authentication. By improving passwords and improving your user authentication process, this can be avoided.
    • Malware. Malware scripts can be injected into your cloud hosting and can be quite destructive in regards to sensitive data. However, using software like SiteLock will help protect you against this as well.
    • Data loss. Since data is stored across long distances you can run into the risk of a datacenter being taken out, or going offline, due to natural causes. Typically, this risk can be mitigated through regular backups stored in different locations.

    Security Benefits of Cloud Servers

    Using cloud hosting can actually end up offering you flexibility, security, and other cloud hosting benefits. By taking your website’s hosting up into the cloud you may be protecting your website even more than using a standard host.
    • Hardware problems are a non-issue. With cloud hosting, if there’s an issue with the physical server, or you need to add more memory or make improvements, you can do this without any downtime by running your site from a different virtual server.
    • An infected server won’t bring down your site. On the same line of thinking if a physical server becomes compromised this won’t bring down your site. Your site will simply be loaded from a different source and isolated from the issue.
    • Instant website data mirroring. Website mirroring will have simultaneous versions of your site present on different servers. This helps to improve the overall safety of your site and its redundancy.
    Hopefully, this post has given you a better picture of the main issues surrounding cloud hosting security. Today’s cloud hosts are very different from the insecure cloud environments of the past, and instead offer you a flexible and highly secure hosting solution. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner
  • How Cloud Hosting Pricing Works

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by
    how cloud hosting pricing works

    Breaking Down How Cloud Hosting Pricing Works

    Cloud hosting is a relatively new style of hosting that’s starting to pop up everywhere. It stands as an alternative to standard hosting environments and is well suited towards sites that are looking to scale, or demand flexibility in their hosting setup. However, a lot of people decide to use cloud hosting due to its flexible style of pricing alone. But, what actually makes the cloud server hosting price model unique? That’s what we’re going to answer in this post. Below we’ll dive into the benefits of cloud hosting and illuminate the pricing differences between traditional hosting and a cloud hosting environment.  

    Why Use Cloud Hosting?

    Cloud hosting is a unique hosting solution that allows for scalable resource use, and flexible pricing, all while getting very high levels of server performance. Essentially cloud hosting is the equivalent of having a very large dedicated server at your disposal. Users who are just starting their first websites probably won’t get that much value out of cloud hosting, something like a simple and cheap shared hosting package will be enough. But, if you’ve been looking to upgrade your hosting to a VPS, or dedicated host, then cloud hosting is definitely worth thinking about. Cloud hosting will give you near unlimited access to server resources that you can scale up or down on demand. Since you aren’t tied to a specific physical server you can scale your resources as your traffic levels rise. Plus, you’ll have access to a very high-performance server environment that rivals VPS and dedicated servers.  

    The Traditional Hosting Pricing Model

    With traditional hosting, whether that’s shared, VPS, dedicated, or managed, you’re paying for a set amount of server resources on a monthly, or yearly basis. Now, a lot of hosting packages will give you unlimited resources to an extent, but you’re mostly paying for that physical server space. How much you’re paying will depend upon the quality of the host, the total amount of space, memory, CPU, and other resources you need, plus additional things like support and bundled hosting features. One thing you'll certainly be paying for a limited amount of server resources. If you’re a mid-range site you have the option of choosing between a VPS, dedicated, or managed solution, but even these might be too pricey for the value you’re getting. Think of traditional hosting like a cell phone contract without rollover minutes. You’re paying a set fee every single month whether you end up using all those minutes or not. For some website owners the added cost might not mean much, but if you want the most value out of your dollar, then take a look at cloud hosting’s pricing model.  

    Breaking Down How Cloud Hosting Pricing Works

    In the past, if you wanted a high-performance server environment you’d have to pay a lot for it. This left a lot of website owners in the dust. Especially, if they only needed access to higher level server resources every once in a while. Cloud hosting seeks to fill this gap in the market and offer website owners a flexible solution with flexible pricing. With cloud hosting costs, you only pay for what you use. You’ll have a standard level pricing rate that’s incredibly cheap (think shared hosting pricing), but you’ll have the ability to scale these server resources up and down and only pay for what you use. This is done through strict resource usage monitoring. Through an intuitive user dashboard, you’ll be able to monitor and allocate additional server resources very quickly. Plus, you’ll be able to see your site’s overall usage at a moment’s notice. This means you won’t have any surprises when it comes to billing. Think of cloud hosting pricing as being similar to your electricity bill, depending upon your provider of course. Typically you’re paying based on how much electricity you consumed. You can even see the detailed wattage breakdown, so you can see how much you consumed and it’s relationship to your total bill. By now you should have a better grasp of how the cloud hosting price model works and how it compares to more traditional hosting pricing arrangements. If you need a flexible host that’ll only cost you what you use, then cloud hosting is an option worth considering. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner
  • Cloud Hosting vs Web Hosting

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by
    cloud hosting vs web hosting

    Cloud Hosting vs Web Hosting - Which Is Best?

    In order to have a functioning website, you’re going to need some kind of hosting. The hosting you choose will depend on your unique needs as a website owner. You’re probably wondering what style of hosting is right for you and have been considering cloud hosting vs. web hosting. The goal of this post is to clear up the confusion between these two types of hosting. Below we look at the differences between cloud hosting and web hosting, so you can decide what style of hosting is going to be best for your website.  

    What Is Web Hosting?

    Web hosting is a more general term that refers to where and how you’ll host your website’s files. Essentially, your web host is where all of your website’s files will be stored. At the core, your website is a bundle of files that are sitting on a host somewhere. When a user types in your domain name the browser downloads those files from your web host and displays them. With standard web hosting, you’ll be storing your site's files on a single server. The type of server environment you choose will depend upon the size of your website, how much traffic you receive, and your level of technical expertise. The most common types of hosting you’ll come across are:
    • Shared: This is the most popular style of hosting and also the cheapest. With shared hosting, a single server is partitioned and you’re renting a slice of that server along with dozens or hundreds of other sites. Shared hosting is best suited for beginners who want to get their first sites online as fast as possible.
    • Dedicated: With this style of hosting you have an entire server allotted to your website. This gives you complete control over your server environment along with great performance. However, dedicated hosting is much more expensive and will require some technical knowledge to setup and maintain properly.
    • VPS: With a VPS server, you’re still utilizing a shared server environment, but you’re running a virtualized server on top of it. You’ll have an allotted amount of space, CPU usage, memory and more, which can lead to improved loading times and site performance. VPS is a great step up from a shared hosting environment.
    • Managed: With managed hosting, you get access to a higher performing server that’s managed and optimized for you. Typically, it’ll be optimized for a certain type of website, like WordPress managed hosting. Managed hosting can be more expensive, but you’re essentially letting a team of experts to run and manage your server for you.
    The final type of hosting you’ll come across in your search is cloud hosting, which we’ll get into below.  As you’ll soon learn cloud hosting is an entirely different type of hosting that blends both shared and dedicated hosting together.  

    What Is Cloud Hosting?

    With cloud hosting, you aren’t renting space on a single physical server. Essentially, all of your server hardware is virtual. It’s a fairly new style of hosting that’s been growing in popularity in recent years. Cloud hosting offers you unlimited resource expansion, which is great to have if you have a fast-growing site. Your site will also be shielded from malfunctioning servers, as your site can be switched to another server if it’s underperforming. Cloud hosting rocks for a few different reasons:
    1. The pricing is flexible and you only pay for what you use. So, if you’re having a very high traffic month you can quickly scale up your resources. Then, if traffic drops again you just scale your needs down again. With cloud hosting, you’re never stuck paying for server resources you don’t use.
    2. It’s super scalable. If your site’s traffic is up and down, then you need a host that can work with you. If a shared host won’t cut it, but a dedicated or managed host provides too high of server resources, then cloud hosting can be the right fit for your needs.
    3. It has incredible uptime and performance. If you’re experiencing issues causing sluggish performance and loading speeds, then your site will just be switched to a higher performing server.

    How to Choose the Best Hosting Option for Your Needs

    With all of the hosting types available it can be difficult to make the right decision. When you’re trying to decide between cloud vs. web hosting, think about what kind of things you’ll want from your host. For example, if you’re a complete beginner who wants their site online as fast as possible, then shared hosting could work for you. But, if you have a very high traffic website and you don’t want to think twice about managing your own server, then consider a managed host. But, if you want something more flexible that’s cost-effective and can grow with your site, then cloud hosting is an option worth considering. Hopefully, the breakdown above will help you decide if going with traditional web hosting or cloud hosting is going to be the best fit for your website. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner
  • What Is The Best Cloud Hosting For Small Business?

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by
    cloud hosting for small business

    What Is The Best Cloud Hosting For Small Business?

    If you’re a small business owner then you’ll have a variety of different hosting options that’ll support your business. Choosing the right host isn’t something you’ll want to rush into, especially if you rely on your website for any portion of your existing revenue, or use it for lead generation. No doubt you’ve come across cloud hosting in your search. Cloud hosting can offer you a unique blend of both shared and dedicated hosting that can be very valuable for your business. If you’re trying to choose the best cloud hosting for your small business, then there are certain features you should be on the lookout for. Below we explore exactly what these features are, so you can make the best hosting decision for your small business.  

    Features to Look for in Business Cloud Hosting

    Not every cloud host will offer your business the same set of features. When choosing the perfect cloud hosting environment for your business you need to be on the lookout for certain features that’ll help you get the best performance, scalability, and security.  

    1. A Solid Network of Servers

    The foundation of your cloud hosting setup is the underlying network of physical servers. You need to choose a host that has a robust network of servers that run on efficient and high performing server hardware and software. With cloud hosting, whenever there’s a server issue your site will simply be swapped to another server. However, if you want the best performance and reliability, then you’ll want a hosting company with a solid track record and upgraded physical server hardware.  

    2. Quick Resource Scaling

    One of the main benefits of cloud hosting is the ability to scale your server resources at a moment's notice. When a traffic surge happens due to an article going viral, or being featured in a large media outlet, the last thing you want is your site to go offline. Make sure you choose a cloud host that allows you to scale server resources yourself, without the need for an approval process.  

    3. Easy Site Management Dashboard

    In alignment with quickly scaling your site’s resources, you’ll also want an easy and intuitive site management dashboard. This enables business owners who aren’t tech savvy to monitor and manage their site’s server resources. Your cloud host should offer a user-friendly dashboard that lets you track your site’s usage at a glance.  

    4. Stellar Security Features

    In the past cloud hosting had a bad wrap for being insecure. However, today’s cloud hosts offer one of the more secure hosting environments available. Whether or not your cloud hosting is secure depends more upon the host you choose, rather than the nature of cloud hosting as a whole. To ensure high levels of security look for things like datacenter protection, DDoS protection, regular server monitoring, and virtual network isolation. Also, look for mirrored website distribution, which will simultaneously submit multiple versions of your site across the server network.  

    5. Integrated Caching

    If you demand high performance, it simply isn’t enough to have a website caching plugin. You need both server and hardware caching as well to ensure your entire hosting environment is optimized for performance. Having a server with static content and database caching built-in will ensure your server is well optimized for speed.  

    6. Fast Site Performance

    By using cloud hosting your website is essentially safeguarded from any physical server malfunctions, which could bring your site offline or hamper your performance. Cloud hosting will also help to reduce any performance bottlenecks that could occur from running your site from a single physical server.  

    7. Scalable and Transparent Pricing

    With cloud hosting, you only pay for the server resources you actually use. Typically, you’ll have a set monthly rate that’s based on the bare minimum, then you’ll pay for the additional server resources as you use them. You’ll be able to track your resources usage on your own, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re consuming and what your monthly bill will be. Make sure you choose a cloud host that offers transparent pricing you can easily understand. This can be much more advantageous than choosing a dedicated host that charges you a high monthly rate, regardless of whether or not you utilize all of your server resources.  

    Choosing the Best Cloud Hosting for Your Small Business

    When choosing the best cloud host for your small business you need to first evaluate your own needs. If you receive a high volume of traffic and you demand high performance and uptime, then a cloud host can be very advantageous. Any downtime your site experiences will also reflect poorly on your business. You’ll lose leads, sales, and reflect poorly on your user's experience with your business. Having your business always be online is something your business requires. When choosing between various hosting providers make sure they offer and support the features highlighted above. Without those features, you run the risk of choosing a cloud hosting provider that’ll end up being more of a hassle than an asset. HostGator Cloud Sites Banner