Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting: Cloudways Hosting Review

by | May 17, 2023

For the past several years, we have been using shared hosting like many other small businesses. Until two years ago, we decided to make the switch over to cloud hosting because of the following benefits:

  1. Faster website loading speed
  2. Higher search engine ranking
  3. Better server security

Faster Website Loading Speed

The biggest advantage of using cloud hosting as compared to shared hosting is speed.

If you are currently using shared hosting, it means your website is hosted together with hundreds of other websites on a single server.

Since the server’s limited resources is shared across so many websites, the speed of your website will tend to be inconsistent or unstable, as it is dependent on how much server resources are being consumed by other client sites that are sharing the same server as yours.

If other websites are consuming more server resources at any point in time, your website speed will suffer as a result.

The easiest way to find out whether your website is slow due to your server is to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Simply enter your website URL in the tool and check if the results contain a suggested opportunity that says ‘Reduce initial server response time‘ (as seen in the screenshot example below). 

Pagespeed Insights Opportunity Reduce initial server response time

If Google displays this opportunity as one of the top few results for your website, it means that your website speed can be significantly improved just by changing to a faster server.

This is also one of the main reasons why we made the decision to upgrade our site to cloud hosting instead of sticking to standard shared hosting.

With cloud hosting, you get to have your own cloud server (unlike shared hosting where hundreds of websites share the same server), so your website will load a lot faster!

Higher Search Engine Ranking

Having a faster website yields even more benefits, and one of them is improved search engine ranking.

It’s a widely known fact that Google uses page loading speed as one of their key ranking factors. The faster your website is, the better your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.

Thus when it comes to search engine ranking, hosting your website on a cloud hosting environment will give you an advantage over your competitors who are using normal shared hosting setup.

Here’s another noteworthy point – it is easier for your website to get negatively impacted by other websites when you use shared hosting because your website shares the same server and IP address as hundreds of other sites.

If another website on your server gets blacklisted by Google, your site’s ranking may get penalised as well!

Hence, it is always a better idea to isolate your website from other websites’ hosting and this is where cloud hosting proves to be invaluable.

Better Server Security

If you compare a website that is using shared hosting with another site that uses cloud hosting, the one that is hosted on cloud hosting is typically more secured (assuming both websites are running on the same version of WordPress).

That is because in a shared hosting environment, multiple websites are sharing the same server. If a hacker gets access to the server, all the websites on that server will be compromised.

However, cloud hosting is different. Each website (application) is hosted on a separate server from other clients, which means you can have the assurance that your website will not be affected in the event that another client website is hacked.

Current Top Cloud Hosting Providers

Here are some of the most popular cloud hosting services out there provided by big companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft:

  1. Digital Ocean (the most affordable option)
  2. Amazon Web Services
  3. Google Cloud
  4. Microsoft Azure

Surprisingly, it is not expensive to host your website on cloud hosting given all the benefits that are mentioned above.

You can get cloud hosting services starting from as low as $10 per month! But there is a reason why cloud hosting is so affordably priced…

Cloud Hosting Drawbacks That Stop Most People

The main reason why cloud hosting is inexpensive is that cloud hosting companies only provide you with the server itself, and nothing more.

Meaning, if you run into issues with your website, the cloud hosting company will not provide any support (unless it is a server-related issue).

Managing your server also requires technical know-how as there is no user-friendly interface such as cPanel (like in the shared hosting) that you can easily navigate to install WordPress or transfer files to your website.

You need to know (or learn) how to code in command prompt in order to communicate with your cloud hosting server.

The following image shows the screen where you need to enter some commands in order to retrieve your WordPress password for the first time after installation. 

Cloud hosting command retrieve password

To be honest, all these work might be too technical for most people. But wait, there is good news!

Cloudways – Best Of Both Worlds!

We were so pleased when we found a company called Cloudways that helps business owners like us to bridge the gap!

In a nutshell, Cloudways functions like a middleman between you, the client and the cloud hosting company itself.

Cloudways will manage the server on your behalf as well as provide technical support when you need it.

Whenever you encounter problems about your website, you can simply submit a ticket to Cloudways and they will help you to look into it!

Installation of WordPress is also much easier when you use Cloudways as compared to signing up for cloud hosting with a cloud hosting company directly. With the steps illustrated in the following video, we managed to set up our WordPress website in just minutes!

Thanks to Cloudways, we gained the confidence to make a transition over to cloud hosting without the hassle of managing the server ourselves, and we’re really happy that their service plans are very reasonably priced.

When signing up for Cloudways, you can choose which cloud hosting provider you want to go with.

Our personal recommendation is Digital Ocean for its high performance and affordable pricing (the pricing plans for other cloud hosting providers like AWS and Google Cloud are about two to three times higher than Digital Ocean).

For a normal WordPress website, the Digital Ocean US$14/month plan will be more than sufficient.

If you are running an eCommerce website, you can go for the Digital Ocean US$28/month plan.

Important Thing to Note When Moving to Cloud Hosting

Do take note that when your website has been moved to cloud hosting, you will need to install a SMTP plugin on your WordPress website in order for your website to be able to continue sending emails (for example, automated emails sent to you when there are new contact form submissions from your website).

This can be easily done by subscribing to a Sendinblue free plan and following the steps here to set things up.

Cloudways Discount Coupon

To thank our readers, we’re delighted to share a special discount code with you! Simply enter WEBBUDDY when you sign up for Cloudways to enjoy your first two months’ subscription at 20% off!

Let Us Know If You Need Our Assistance!

If you have any questions about Cloudways, please feel free to contact us using this form and we’ll be happy to help!

KC Tan (WebBuddy)
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WebBuddy is all about supporting local business owners to remove the ongoing frustrations that you face in your website maintenance matters. Let us help you to take care of your website so that you can free up time and energy to focus on your business. We believe in running WebBuddy with a human touch and to be the partner that all our clients deeply trust over the long term.

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