Whether you want to reach more people with your ideas or to ensure that your business has an online presence, creating and maintaining a website has become a commonplace.
Between your morning coffee and the first meeting of the day, you may very well manage plugins, post new content, or catch up with your web developer(s). Where there is demand, you can be certain that business-savvy people will try to get in on the action.
We now have so many hosting services that it’s become a full day’s work to simply distinguish between them and find one that best suits your needs. To make things easier, we’ve made a short list of the best hosting services of 2020.
Google is at the forefront of investing and developing new Internet technologies, so you can expect their services to only get better with time. In terms of value purchases, the Google Cloud Platform offers the best possible price on the market for the features you get.
Aside from top-performing infrastructure and state of the art security, your web architecture can scale based on your website’s demands with GCP. During periods of peak traffic, their algorithms increase your resource availability exactly when you need it the most and not a minute later.
Google Cloud’s minute-level billing system is also cost-effective. The live migration of virtual machines works both ways, so you can be sure resources will be scaled back when traffic subsides. In other words, you only pay for exactly as many resources as you use.
Digital Ocean may not have access to the same money that Amazon, Alphabet, or Microsoft funnel into their services, but they have outpaced many of the latter in terms of client growth. Their recipe for success? Low prices, reliable servers, and straightforward cloud architecture.
With an uptime of 99.99%, they’re one of the most reliable web hosting providers out there. Their Droplets (resizable, SSD-based virtual machines) ensure that your computing platform can scale easily alongside your business. For developers, this means that tedious installation processes are no longer a problem – you can skip right to project deployment.
As with Google, you only pay for the cloud resources that you use. Most professionals have taken a liking to Digital Ocean due to outstanding server response times, shared private networking, and floating IP addresses.
Alibaba Cloud is possibly one of the most underrated web hosting services currently on the market. It’s also the least known internationally, as their main demographic is comprised of Asian users. Unlike many companies that lure customers in with attractive offers and then pile on endless options for one-time costs, Alibaba has a straightforward payment plan.
If you’re looking for an affordable web host that can help you capitalize on the advantages of cloud hosting, this is it. There isn’t any downtime to speak of, while their data boasts a 99.99% readability rate.
Alibaba’s network performance holds its ground when compared to Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. In the future, we’re likely to hear a lot more from them.
Amazon is one of the titans of the cloud hosting industry. They achieved this status with an impeccable Infrastructure-as-a-Service offer, while sweeping many businesses off their feet with a plethora of features. In fact, there are so many proprietary and third-party options included in the offer that you’ll be hypnotized just browsing through them.
From data warehouses to devices that can help you easily migrate petabytes of storage in and out of AWS in record times (Snowball), machine learning, and artificial intelligence, chances are that AWS has everything you can think of, plus the things you haven’t begun to imagine just yet.
AWS is credited to be an industry leader of the pay-as-you-go computing model, which made it possible for many businesses to scale their services according to their needs and cut down on their overheads immensely.
If there’s one thing that Microsoft does well, it’s convincing other businesses to use Azure as their primary cloud computing solution. Statistics indicate that 95% of Fortune 500 companies currently use Azure and, to its credit, the service is good at certain things. For example, Microsoft’s cloud network spans over 54 regions and 140 countries, more than any other provider.
While there aren’t many beginner-friendly tools to rely on, Azure is pretty much a one-stop-shop for cloud computing. Like AWS, the service is geared towards companies that have an IT department and a team of system administrators on call.
The good news is that even non-technical users can ultimately learn to navigate Azure’s services with the help of the Microsoft Learn platform.
Hostgator is amazingly well suited if you have a particular set of needs. If you are not looking for further business functionality and only require a website to be hosted, the cloud platform that HostGator provides is an exceptional choice.
For just a bit more cost than shared hosting packages, Hostgator offers a service that is straightforward to use. It works by distributing the load of your website over a number of virtual servers, this allows for quick and easy scaling at times of high demand.
To look a little closer at the Hostgator Packages, the base level plan is called the Hatchling Cloud plan. For this, you will receive one domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, 2gm RAM, distributed Varnish caching, and access of up to two cores. This package costs different amounts depending on how much you are willing to commit. A three year commitment, will bring the cost down to $3.13 (£2.50) a month. However this does go up significantly at the time of renewal.
One of the issues lots of businesses looking for cloud hosting encounter is that there doesn’t seem to be a provider that matches their scale. This is particularly the case for mid level businesses. Within cloud hosting, there are clear paths for businesses on an enterprise level, who might go with AWS, Azure, or Google, for example. There is also a clear path for smaller businesses that might go with the simpler technology offering that Hostgator provides.
However, for businesses in between these two levels of scale the choice is not so clear. This is where Cloudways really comes into its own. It's a solid middle ground between both levels. If you took out a package with Cloudways, you would have cloud hosting that’s provided by either Amazon, Google, DigitalOcean, Kyup, Linode, or Vultr. Coupled with the access to these top providers is a web console that is streamlined and easy to use, much more in line with the offering some of the providers for smaller scale businesses offer.
With a free trial on offer, you can check out the service before fully committing. Within the service, the top level technology will be packaged simply and at a competitive rate. Prices begin at $10 a month (£7.15), this will give you 1GB RAM, 25GB storage and 1TB of bandwidth.
For UK users, Clook is a market leader web hosting provider. Cloud hosting is part of their service, which is tailored towards the less technical side of the market. If this is what you need and you’re based in the UK, Clook should be seriously considered.
What makes Clook’s offering so strong, is that they haven’t gone after lower prices at the cost of reducing the service. In fact, the customer support from Clook is up there amongst the best. Unfortunately, this does mean that you pay more than the very bottom of the market, but it comes with the reassurance that you can get help when you need it.
Clook are usually fast to reply to any queries, with genuine human relations, rather than a generic response you often get from frontline support. When you’re already stressed out by a broken function or something not operating correctly, having proper support from a team member that has knowledge of your server network is extremely valuable.
In general, there are both cheaper options, and more technically developed options to Clook. However, Clook offers a well rounded, reliable service that is well respected within the UK market.
For users that have the requirement for complete oversight of their cloud hosting, Kamatera is a good option. This means that you will have to have a good technical knowledge to make best use of all the customisation options available, but for those with the right experience, Kamatera is a great choice.
If you want to choose your IP allocation, or limit root access to different servers, that’s entirely possible. These are just two examples of the customisation available. There is also a lot of flexibility around the amount of resources allocated to your site, which can be scaled both up and down with ease. In a short amount of time, server capacity can also be adjusted, and with simply one click, CPU, RAM, storage space, and firewalls can be included onto a site.
If looking for areas to improve, Kamatera doesn’t have the highest uptime available, it guarantees 99.95%. For many, this is not a dealbreaker, but if uptime is a top priority you should consider your choices carefully.
A2 hosting is well known for great customer support and tight security. If your criteria has both of these factors at the top of your list, then you should consider A2 Hosting closely.
A2 hosting will give you a money back guarantee for the full amount, if requested within the first 30 days that you signed up for an account. This lets you try out the service with the knowledge that you haven’t locked yourself in for a long period of time with a provider you are not happy with.
Within your package, you’ll have access to the “Guru Crew” . These people are part of the customer support team. They are well respected, knowledgeable, and always available to help with your needs. The security of the A2 Hosting servers is also very tight. The company takes further precautions to keep their servers secure. This means your website is extra protected as well.
In terms of uptime, A2 will be able to satisfy all but the most discerning of user requirements. There are some faster providers out there, but for most people A2 Hosting will be more than adequate.
The cloud hosting offer from Siteground is very well rounded. If you chose to use their service, you’d receive a 99.98% uptime guarantee, customer service available on multiple channels such as phone, live chat and email, as well as some fantastic features.
Depending on your requirements, Siteground will suit some better than others. For instance, there is no free domain name included within its plans. Alongside this, there is an $80 beginning price, which comparably is at the more expensive end of the scale within the lower part of the market.
For this price, you’ll receive backups every day, and Wordpress users will have automatic updates. The company boasts a 99.99% uptime on its servers and the knowledge base pages provides a wealth of information to help you run your website effectively. For those unsure about committing to a service, there is a money back guarantee offered for up to 15 days of purchasing the package.
As with so many things in life, if you can’t afford a service, it’s not a good choice. This is particularly the case in the business world, where overstretching yourself can be unsustainable and a drain on resources.
DreamHost is one of the cheapest providers on the market and means that a lot of people can have access to cloud hosting that otherwise would not be able to use it. Their cheapest plan is $4.50 a month, with access to an unmetered amount of bandwidth, up to 16GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, alongside a SSL security certificate.
Of course, there are some limitations to having some of the lowest prices. These include a limited support system that doesn’t include live chat and phone calls, no money-back guarantee, and a free domain is not included. There is also a limit to the amount of storage you can have, which is 100GB. This means for businesses looking to grow rapidly, or already require a large amount of storage, DreamHost would not fit their needs.
InMotion has a strong offering in both the shared and VPS hosting markets. The company brings the strong points from its service in those areas over to its Cloud Hosting offering. The main strength from InMotion is its customer service, which provides 24/7 live chat, help tickets, and phone support. There is also an extensive knowledge center for you to research within to keep your site running optimally.
Alongside the great customer service, InMotion has a strong offering of features. This includes unlimited email accounts and websites, free domains, backups, root access, and unmetered CPU cores.
Some areas that could be improved on are the amount of RAM offered, which is limited to 8GB. This is as well as bandwidth, which might leave your site underperforming if there is a drastic sudden increase in traffic.
Hostinger offers a well balanced package that is adaptable and can be trusted. If you are looking for a slightly hands off service, Hostinger’s service is fully managed and operates on some of the most contemporary technology. If you are looking to concentrate more on your business than the technical side of keeping a website online, then Hostinger should certainly be considered.
The cost of Hostinger is not just for the hardware, but the service the customer support provides. However, this does not include a contact option to call the support team. Some of the features included in the packages are up to 300 websites with unlimited bandwidth, free domain registration, a dedicated IP, free SSL certificate, as well as CloudFlare integration.
In terms of pricing, the Hostinger Cloud offers three levels, Startup, Professional, and Global. These cost $7.45, $14.95, and $37 a month respectively.
Like many other providers on this list, Bluehost caters for people and businesses that are at the entry level of cloud hosting. Some of the strongest aspects of the service includes amazing speed and some of the best uptime on offer. The combination of top level performance within a reliable package and at one of the most accessible prices available makes BlueHost a favourite amongst many.
For users who are just entering into cloud hosting, there is one main downside to the BlueHost service. This is that accounts are billed in terms of 12, 24, and 36 months. For people just entering into this field, those commitments can be slightly daunting. Another aspect of the service which is slightly negative is that you have to pay for additional add ons, such as a dedicated IP. This does allow the cost to be kept to a minimum and lets businesses only pay for what they need though.
If you know exactly what you need, and find a BlueHost package to cover that, then BlueHost is a great option for cloud hosting.