Is your website or application receiving random traffic spikes on the regular? Are you ready to move on from the constraints of shared and VPS hosting but aren’t ready to commit to a dedicated server quite yet?
Cloud hosting is the happy medium between these two dilemmas.
In this post, we’re breaking down the best cloud hosting providers and services for you to choose from.
We’ll start off with our top picks, then cover our full list in detail.
Ready? Let’s get started:
The best cloud hosting providers compared
Here are our top recommendations:
- Cloudways – Affordable and scalable cloud hosting. Cloudways offer a managed layer for external cloud providers. Choose from Vultr, Linode, Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud.
- DreamHost – Robust and reliable cloud hosting with solid support.
- Liquid Web – Leaders in the dedicated and cloud hosting space. A popular choice for SaaS apps.
Now, let’s a take a look at our full list.
Cloudways is an invaluable tool for developers or anyone in need of powerful yet affordable cloud hosting on the fly. You can use it to spin up websites fast via popular cloud hosting providers.
Cloudways offers a managed layer for external cloud hosting providers. For example, if you were to sign up to Digital Ocean directly, you’d have to configure everything yourself. Cloudways means you can get the same great performance without having to be a web developer. Or, if you are a developer, it’ll save you a huge amount of time.
Some of the applications it supports include WordPress, Magento, Joomla and Drupal. The cloud hosting platforms it supports are Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Server, Google Cloud Platform, Linode and Vultr.
Cloudways is designed for versatility. When you build your server to create your first application, you can customize the specs it has based on the application and cloud platform you choose.
For instance, when you use Digital Ocean, you’ll choose your server size based on the amount of RAM you want (1 to 192GB). Additional specs, such as storage and bandwidth, are adjusted accordingly. Choosing Google Cloud Platform, on the other hand, allows you to adjust specs for RAM, bandwidth, storage and database.
Once your server is set up, you can change the amount of storage it has without changing specs for other resources.
Every server you create uses dedicated resources, so you won’t need to worry about sharing resources with other sites. These servers are also optimized with SSDs and optimized stacks built with Nginx, Varnish, Memcached and Redis. The latest versions of PHP are supported as are MySQL and MariaDB.
You can also purchase Cloudways’ proprietary CDN service as an add-on, the pricing of which starts at $1 per 25GB for each application you use it with.
Cloudways protects its servers with firewalls designed to protect your applications from malicious traffic and threats at the operating-system level. DDoS protection is implemented as well, and free SSL certificates are provided via Let’s Encrypt.
Cloudways also has a large selection of data centers to choose from featuring over 60 locations.
Developers and advanced users have numerous tools that give them more control over their applications. They include staging areas, application and server cloning, SSH and SFTP access, Git integration, WP-CLI, cron jobs, and more.
The Cloudways dashboard has a Projects section to help you manage all of the servers and applications/sites you create. You can add multiple applications to a server and multiple servers to a project. Collaboration is also a key feature of this platform as you have the ability to add multiple team members to your account.
- Unlimited sites and applications.
- 60+ data center locations.
- Multiple content management systems and PHP-based applications supported.
- Support for cloud hosting platforms Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Server, Digital Ocean, Linode and Vultr.
- Free SSL certificates.
- Operating system-level malware detection and removal plus DDoS protection.
- Wide assortment of specs based on the platform you choose.
- Proprietary CDN.
- Developer tools included.
Cloudways is designed to operate as a pay-as-you-go service. The monthly price you pay is based on the amount of resources you need and the cloud platform you choose. With that said, you can get started for free, but pricing goes as low as $10/month for the cheapest platform (Digital Ocean).
Want to learn more? Check out our Cloudways review.
DreamHost is a well-known shared host, especially for WordPress, that offers one of the most flexible, unmanaged cloud hosting services available. It’s similar to Cloudways in how it allows you to deploy cloud servers on the fly without paying a lot upfront. However, it uses its own server technology rather than acting as a portal for others.
Overall, DreamHost’s cloud hosting service is one of the most flexible options on this list and a fantastic choice for developers in need of more control over their server during the development process. You can choose your choice of Linux distro, BSD, Windows or your own operating system. You also have full root and SSH access.
These servers also support MongoDB, Redis, Python, Ruby and Node.js. They’ve also built the servers with OpenStack and Ceph to ensure they’re compatible with standard APIs and developer tools.
Unfortunately, these features make this a poor choice for bloggers and site admins with little technical knowledge. You’re in charge of taking backups and keeping your server secure. You’ll also need to install WordPress on your own.
DreamHost offers three plans that differ in the amount of resources they offer, up to 16GB of RAM and eight virtual CPUs. All plans offer 80GB of SSD storage, free bandwidth (for a limited time) and 100GB of block storage.
- Unlimited websites, applications and other projects.
- 1 data center in Virginia, US.
- 80GB of SSD storage + 100GB of block storage.
- 512MB to 16GB of RAM.
- 1 to 8 vCPUs.
- Free bandwidth for now (DreamHost this may change at a later point).
- Unmanaged server with full root access.
You can launch a server with DreamHost’s DreamCompute service for free. You’ll only be charged for what you use based on hourly and maximum monthly rates. These rates are based on the “flavor” you use, each one representing the amount of RAM and vCPUs you need.
With that said, pricing starts at $0.0075/hour or $4.50/month.
3. Liquid Web
Liquid Web is a high-end web host that offers powerful forms of hosting, as in VPS, cloud and dedicated hosting. They offer three cloud hosting services: managed cloud, dedicated cloud and managed private cloud.
The dedicated cloud server is the cheapest and most accessible cloud service. Each plan you purchase has its own dedicated server but with the speed and scalability of cloud technology. You can choose between Linux and Windows-based servers with several Linux distributions to choose from.
These servers can have up to 1.7TB of SSD storage, 62GB of RAM and 16 CPU cores. Daily backups are available, but you’ll pay $0.13/month per GB for them. You can store them for up to 90 days.
cPanel, Plesk and InterWorx are available as control panel applications to make it easier for you to manage your own server. You’re also given root access for even more control.
Liquid Web even handles security and DDoS protection. A CDN network is provided via Cloudflare.
The managed cloud service has less flexibility, but it’s fully managed with cPanel available. You simply choose the plan you want based on the amount of resources you need.
The private cloud service is a sophisticated form of hosting designed for enterprise-level websites. Its specs go as high as 10TB of storage, 960GB of RAM and 160 CPU cores.
- 3 data centers located in central US, west coast US and central Europe.
- 211GB to 1.7TB of SSD storage in dedicated cloud service.
- 7.7GB to 62.8GB of RAM in dedicated cloud.
- 4 to 16 CPU cores in a dedicated cloud.
- 5 to 40TB of bandwidth available in dedicated cloud.
- More resources and sophisticated cloud server technology available in managed cloud and managed private cloud services.
- Windows and Linux servers available in dedicated cloud. Linux distros include CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian.
- Unmanaged, core managed and fully managed available in dedicated cloud. Root access available as well.
Pricing for Liquid Web’s dedicated cloud hosting service starts at $119/month. The managed cloud service starts at $115/month while pricing for managed private cloud starts at $1,599/month, though you’ll need to get a quote from Liquid Web themselves.
4. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is a shared host that offers a wide range of hosting services, one of which is VPS cloud hosting. With this type of service, you get the power and scalability of cloud hosting combined with the shared-yet-exclusive technology and cheap rates a virtual private server has to offer.
There are three cloud hosting plans to choose from, each one differing in the amount of resources they offer. However, these plans are merely a starting point. When you configure your plan before completing your purchase, you’ll have the ability to choose maximums of 250GB of SSD storage, 12 CPU cores, 32GB of RAM and 9TB of bandwidth.
Of course, selecting these options increases the cost of hosting, but it’s great to see versatility in a cheaper form of hosting.
Plus, similar to A2 Hosting’s regular VPS hosting plans, you can choose to use your server in a completely unmanaged form or add cPanel to your plan. Using your server in an unmanaged state will allow you to add custom applications and install your own scripts, especially since you’re also given root access.
You can also choose from a number of different Linux distributions.
Because this service is designed to be unmanaged even with a cPanel license, it doesn’t come with security solutions. You’ll be in charge of keeping the operating system up to date, implementing a firewall, keeping track of log files, adding an SSL certificate, setting up DDoS protection, etc.
Fortunately, this gives power users or your developer complete control over the way your site or application handles security.
- 4 data centers in the US, Europe and Asia.
- 20 to 250GB of SSD storage.
- 512MB to 32GB of RAM.
- 1 to 12 CPU cores.
- 2 to 9TB of bandwidth.
- cPanel available with a Softaculous option for 1-click installations of WordPress, Magento and more.
- Choose from CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo and Slackware.
- Root access.
- Optional Turbo Boost feature available with caching options for WordPress and Magento.
Pricing for A2 Hosting’s cloud VPS service starts at $5/month, but this price will likely increase as you configure your server. You can also pay upfront in increments of three months, six months, one year, two years and three years. Doing so does not unlock discounts, however.
Hostinger is a versatile host that offers a number of different hosting services, even going as far as to offer hosting for Minecraft servers. It should then come as no surprise to learn that they also offer cloud hosting for large-scale websites and applications.
This service is available in three pre-configured plans that offer no customization. With that said, this hosting service gives you access to a maximum of 200GB of SSD storage, 16GB of RAM and 8 CPU cores. The top-tier plan is powered by Google Cloud Platform for an added boost in performance.
This service comes with a Cloudflare integration for DDoS protection and enhanced site speed. The LiteSpeed Cache WordPress plugin is also integrated with your account as a way to provide advanced caching, lossless image optimization and minification for CSS, JS and HTML files.
Hostinger’s cloud hosting service offers a lot of bang for your buck in terms of speed and uptime performance, and you can include security under this umbrella as well. All plans come with free SSL certificates and daily backups.
Plus, Hostinger’s entire infrastructure includes DDoS protection alongside a firewall and malware scanning provided through a partnership with Imunify360.
Developers and advanced users will enjoy the ability to use multiple versions of PHP, Git integration and an access management tool. Bloggers and admins with little technical knowledge will love the fully-managed aspect of this hosting service alongside the one-click installations for applications like WordPress and Magento as well as the intuitive control panel Hostinger has created.
- Unlimited websites.
- Data centers in the US, Europe, South America and Asia.
- 100 to 200GB of SSD storage.
- 3 to 16GB of RAM.
- 2 to 8 CPU cores.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Free SSL certificates.
- Daily backups.
- Built-in security.
- LiteSpeed Cache integration.
- Cloudflare integration.
- Free email hosting.
Pricing for Hostinger’s cheapest cloud hosting plan starts at $29/month or $155.88 for your first year. Subsequent years cost $239.76/year. Discounts are also available on two-year and four-year plans.
SiteGround is a popular shared host powered by Google Cloud Platform. They even have a spot on WordPress’ official hosting recommendation page, one of only three available.
Most importantly, as far as the topic of this article is concerned, they offer a separate cloud hosting service that resembles other cloud hosting services on this list by offering plans based on specs with the ability to customize your server.
Each server has dedicated resources, so you won’t need to worry about sharing storage and hardware with other sites and applications. These servers can have up to 33 CPU cores, 130GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. SiteGround has one of the most expensive cloud hosting services on this list, but as you can see, it has the most potential in terms of the amount of resources it can offer. This makes it a great option for high-traffic sites and applications.
SiteGround’s cloud hosting service is especially a fantastic option for high-traffic WordPress projects. Automatic updates are available for WordPress and the WooCommerce ecommerce plugin. Dynamic caching and page optimization is even included via the host’s own SG Optimizer plugin.
Developers have SSH and SFTP access, staging, WP-CLI, and Git integration.
All sites come with free SSL certificates and a free CDN through Cloudflare. The host also performs backups on a daily basis and stores seven offsite copies at a time.
- 6 data centers in four continents.
- 40GB to 1TB of SSD storage.
- 6GB to 130GB of RAM.
- 3 to 33 CPU cores.
- 5TB of bandwidth on all plans.
- Servers are fully managed with SSH and SFTP access available.
- Optimized for WordPress.
- Automatic daily backups.
- Free SSL certificates.
- Cloudflare CDN integration.
SiteGround’s cloud hosting service starts at $80/month. You can configure the amount of storage, RAM and CPU cores you want before signup. You can also add more resources to your server on the fly after you sign up. Discounts are available on three-month, six-month and annual plans.
7. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is a multipurpose host that offers two cloud VPS plans: one for any content management system and one optimized for WordPress. Pricing and base specs are the same for both.
This service supports unlimited websites with up to 260GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM. The amount of resources your server has is determined by the plan you choose, and you cannot configure them further.
InMotion Hosting optimizes your site for speed and performance with an in-house technology called “UltraStack,” a high-performance, custom-built infrastructure that prevents slow speeds and downtime.
Server maintenance and management is handled by InMotion Hosting themselves, but you’re still given root and SSH access along with cPanel as a way for you to maintain some control.
For security, InMotion Hosting offers DDoS protection powered by Codero. They also keep “snapshots” of your server state so you can revert back to a previous state when need be. Free SSL certificates are included as well. You also have access to a customizable firewall, which accepts advanced policies as a way to mitigate new threats.
- Unlimited websites.
- 2 data centers in the US.
- 75 to 260GB of SSD storage.
- 4 to 8GB of RAM.
- Unlocked CPU cores.
- 4 to 6TB of bandwidth.
- Free SSL certificates.
- Automatic backups.
- Built-in security.
- cPanel included with different versions available at different prices.
- WordPress-optimized version available.
- Free email hosting.
Both of InMotion Hosting’s cloud VPS services have three plans, which start at $51.99 for your first month and $64.99 for subsequent months. Annual plans start at $467.88 for your first year and $659.88/year after that.
Choosing a cloud hosting provider is tough given that you’re more than likely interested in this form of hosting for its performance and ability to scale during traffic spikes. You’re not simply looking for the best performance at a cheap price as you would with shared and VPS hosting.
It’s best to consider what you need cloud hosting for because of this. Whether you need cheap yet reliable cloud hosting on the fly to test new projects or a powerful server to sustain a website or app that receives millions of visitors, this should all come into play as you make your decision.
- What Is Cloud Hosting? Cloud Hosting Vs Traditional Hosting
- The Best Managed WordPress Hosting Companies Compared
- How To Choose A Web Host: 23 Factors To Consider
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