Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting

To have a site live on the Internet you’re going to need web hosting. But, how do you choose the right kind of hosting for your business? And what is the difference between cloud hosting vs. shared hosting?

Web hosting can be complex and there are a lot of options. It’s easy to get lost, so don’t feel bad if you’re confused at the starting point.

Below we dive into the differences between cloud hosting and shared hosting. These are two of the most common hosting choices. Remember, there is no right choice for everyone; the right type for you depends upon the needs of your website.

Let’s jump in!

types of web hosting explained

What is shared hosting?

Shared web hosting is the cheapest, most popular and most widely available type of hosting solution. You’ll usually see it advertised for $9.99 or less a month.

With shared hosting a single server is divided up between multiple users. Each user will get a shared amount of bandwidth. However, each user can also put an unlimited amount of sites on their account. So the server that’s being split up between multiple accounts can sometimes end up hosting thousands of sites!

shared hosting infographic

This means that your site could perform poorly if another site on the server is taking up too many resources. However, web hosts usually do their best to mitigate these effects.

Cloud hosting is better for larger sites, while shared hosting can be a great choice for those with a very tight budget or for people who are planning on keeping their sites very small.

What is cloud hosting?

Curious about cloud hosting? Cloud hosting, or cloud VPS hosting, allows you to use the resources of multiple servers, rather than having your site confined to a single server location. This makes cloud services highly sought after.

The main benefit of cloud hosting is that it allows for unlimited expansion and is a must-have for heavy traffic sites. Cloud hosting also allows for greater protection from an overwhelmed server. If one server is overwhelmed, you’ll simply be switched to another cloud server. 

Cloud Hosting vs. Web Hosting: Which one should you choose?

Cloud hosting is widely seen as a better option to shared hosting because of its ability to handle large amounts of traffic, its improved security protection, and its reliability.

However, these extras do come at a cost, and most cloud hosting options are more expensive than shared hosting plans. But if you’re planning on growing your site and you need a site with a high performance rate, the advantages then cloud hosting will probably be the best option for your needs.

That being said, if you’re just getting started and have a very small or nonexistent budget, a shared hosting plan may be a good option for you then you until you have the cash to upgrade.

What hosting plan do you have? Let us know in the comments below.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

22 thoughts on “Cloud vs. Shared Hosting

    1. Hi Rick,

      Thanks for reading. Upgrades to cloud hosting require a server migration, so you will need to first order the new Cloud Site package, then migrate your content to the new server. After you’ve pointed your content and domain to the new server, you will need to cancel the previous server.

      You can learn more here or by contacting our support team anytime!

    1. Hi Supriya,

      Yes, our cloud hosting platform includes a fully integrated content caching solution that gives your sites better speed from the start with no optimization required. It also frees up your CPU and memory resources to focus on any dynamic requests. Thanks!

  1. I was pretty confused which hosting service to choose. After reading your blog I’ve decided to go for shared hosting as budget is my greatest concern in the entire decision making process.

  2. Does the cloud come with a cpanel that allows you to easily create accounts, domains, sub-domains etc that you have on shared.


    1. Hi Manuel,

      Yes, all HostGator hosting plans include cPanel. When you upgrade to cloud hosting, all of your accounts, domains, and sub-domains you previously created with your HostGator shared account will stay intact. If you have more questions, please contact us via LiveChat. Thanks!

  3. Is there an easy way to migrate my content to the new server? If it is all manually done it sounds like it could be days of work to get everything working smoothly.

  4. Hi,

    Currently, im subscribe VPS Snappy 2000 package. It is advisable i upgrade to dedicated server or cloud hosting package? Which one better? If let say trafific more heavy.

    1. Hi Farhan!

      Thanks for the question. If there is a reason you purchased a VPS such as custom software, or root access, we would need to recommend a dedicated server. If you do not have any special configurations, it is possible that the Cloud Hosting would be sufficient for your traffic, but a dedicated server is always the safest bet. More information on choosing the right package can be found here.

  5. Great post Kevin. Nicely explained. As a non-profit with relatively low traffic, this post was spot on answering some of the questions I’ve been pondering on. We have a shared hosting plan and I was never sure if cloud hosting would be a better alternative. Looks like we are right where we should be at this time. THANKS!

  6. Hello, Can i use my SSL certificate that i use on my vps in cloud hosting after migration

  7. Hi,

    I use HostGator’s shared server for my WordPress site. I use it with Cloudflare as a CDN. The combinations works okay, but google’s PageSpeed results report that my biggest problem is “server response time”, timed at 1.2 seconds.

    If I switched to HostGator’s WordPress Cloud Hosting, would that eliminate the need for CloudFlare, I mean, is it the same thing? And would switching to WordPress Cloud Hosting improve the server responce time of 1.2 seconds over the shared servers?


    1. Hello,

      That’s generally a low response time, but your site may benefit from moving to our cloud hosting or optimized WP platform. While we see better results on these services, we would recommend continuing to use a CDN as they not only offer additional help with load times, but also site security.

      Thanks for reading!

  8. Nice Information… :) after purchasing hostgator cloud hosting im searcing here to know whish is best… before this i was using godaddy……

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