This website uses cookies

Our website, platform and/or any sub domains use cookies to understand how you use our services, and to improve both your experience and our marketing relevance.

A Comparative Review of Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting vs Cloud Hosting (2021)

September 28, 2021

12 Min Read
shared vs dedicated vs cloud hosting

Imagine building a rocket to go to the moon, but you decide to power it with a car’s engine. You and I both know that’s not going to work. Now tone everything down a bit and turn your thoughts to your online business; you want to dominate the online space, be it an online store, service, or a brand you want to create, but you decide to back it up with a hosting that has no respect for your vision…

That’s where the difference between shared hosting vs. cloud hosting starts to make sense.

So before we dive deep into the difference between shared hosting vs. dedicated hosting vs. cloud hosting, keep in mind that your website is only as good as the hosting solution that powers it.

Many people look at the price tag but overlook critical areas like the performance of a website, the level of security and the level of support, etc., that are crucial for online success. More importantly, we’re in 2021 now, and there’s immense competition on the web, so you need to choose right, or it’ll be a lack of foresight.

So if you’re looking for a good WordPress hosting solution, which among the three hosting solutions stated above make the cut? Well, it depends on many factors, like:

  • Your monthly budget
  • The daily traffic on your website
  • Expected traffic spikes
  • Your technical support needs
  • Security requirements
  • Performance needs

So let’s dive in as I discuss the difference and compare the three popular types of WordPress hosting: Shared, Dedicated, and Cloud hosting.

What Is Shared Hosting?

wordpress shared hosting

As the name suggests, shared hosting is a hosting solution where multiple websites share the same server resources (bandwidth, disk space, and memory allocation). Being the most economical hosting solution out there, shared hosting is suitable for small blogging or showcase corporate websites with moderate traffic. In shared hosting, the host provides you with a complete administration system and takes care of all the features related to the hosting system like updates, security, maintenance, backups, software installation, etc.

If your company needs specific modules, special languages, or a different MySQL database, shared hosting is not the best solution.

Benefits of Shared Hosting

  • Pricing structure: The main advantage of shared hosting is its low price since multiple people use the same server, keeping the server costs low.
  • Ease of use: Since you don’t have complete control over your server, that translates to ease of use for beginners who don’t have much idea about hosting technicalities.

What Is Dedicated Hosting?

wordpress dedicated hosting

The name gives it away here as well; with dedicated hosting, you get a dedicated server to yourself (no sharing resources with other website owners). If your website generates a lot of traffic and requires a lot of resources (like online marketplaces, ecommerce stores, or social networks), dedicated hosting will serve you best. Although no server is 100 percent secure, a dedicated server comes pretty close and is a great choice if website security is your top priority. In addition, dedicated servers perform better since you’re not sharing the resources with anyone else, and your website can handle the max traffic allowed by the server.

Given the nature of dedicated hosting and its advantages, they tend to be more expensive than shared hosting. 

Benefits of Dedicated Hosting

  • Administrative autonomy: A dedicated server gives you a high level of autonomy, which means you can install your own applications and services and configure them as you wish.
  • Optimal performance: With a dedicated server, you have complete server resources at your disposal, which results in faster server performance.
  • Advanced security: Your file system and database are private, completely secure, and inaccessible to other clients, regardless of their rights on the server.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

wordpress cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is fairly similar to VPS hosting, but the main difference is that while VPS relies on physical servers, cloud hosting is based on several interconnected servers spread over a wide geographical area. This allows you to spread your data across these widely distributed virtual servers (thus the name cloud) and serve your customers more efficiently. 

Where the VPS has limitations on bandwidth and data transfers, cloud hosting usually does not. Cloud hosting is also considered the new, more modern solution to hosting web apps and online businesses, given the efficiencies and advantages. Therefore, it is suitable for most businesses.

Large companies like Google and Amazon host their servers on cloud systems, so there are necessarily advantages to that. 

Cloudways, of course, is one of the top cloud hosting providers out there. You can read these case studies and see how people migrated their online businesses and used the Cloudways platform to unlock exponential success. 

Benefits of Cloud Hosting

  • On-demand resources: With cloud servers, you’re free to request resources on the fly and, in general, pay on time.
  • High availability: Unlike on-premises physical servers, virtual machines transfer data to another machine without downtime in the event of a hardware failure. The stability of cloud servers is unmatched in the field of web hosting.
  • Scalability: With more resources and faster access to them, cloud hosts offer incredible scalability for customers. This is why these servers are used for other cloud-based services, collectively known as cloud hosting.

Shared Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting

WordPress Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting

As discussed, several websites, including yours, share the same server and its resources in shared hosting, which is ideal for projects with little to no traffic and does not require many resources.

The hosting space for individual websites is limited, and one server usually accommodates vastly different websites. In terms of prices, shared hosting is the most affordable because you are just renting a portion of the server space, but the opportunity cost is that you are severely limited in performance and security.

On top of that, if your website starts to see growth in traffic, shared hosting solutions do not scale to accommodate that.

  Shared Hosting Cloud Hosting
Server Deployment and Management No Yes
Server Sharing Model Shared Server Dedicated Cloud Server
Scalability (auto/manual) No Yes
Low Cost Yes Yes
Pay-As-You-Go No Yes
Flexibility No Yes
Customization Depends on the vendor Yes
Security Depends on the vendor Yes
Instant Provisioning No Yes (in managed hosting)
Performance Slow Fast
Reliability Somehow Yes
Multiple Data Centers No Yes

Cloud hosting servers, on the other hand, provide you a secure and scalable solution for your website(s), and you have total freedom in the choice of resources (RAM, processor, bandwidth, and storage) for your WordPress website(s).

Cloud hosting is perhaps the best choice for businesses with medium to high volumes of traffic (especially in holiday seasons). Even if you receive unexpected spikes in traffic due to some viral content or a trending product, your website’s performance won’t take a hit because of the availability of high resources.

Performance

Performance can easily take a hit in a shared hosting environment. If any website on the server consumes the entire available bandwidth, the other websites won’t work, and there’s a chance your site may crash. For this reason, performance may be affected by the number of websites on the server, the overall resources of the server, and how many resources each individual uses. In short, the performance can vary a lot and can depend on many things.

With cloud hosting, you always know what resources you have, and if needed, you can always scale (increase or decrease) your server depending on your budget and needs.

Security

Security on shared hosting may be lackluster because if a hacker gets access to a server, all websites on the server are vulnerable to the attack. So if you’re hosting a website on shared hosting, you have to be really careful with your security level and have to keep a constant check on your security measures.

With cloud hosting, security is less of a concern. While no website can be a hundred percent secure, cloud hosting does enjoy a level of security that shared hosting cannot afford. For example, if you’re hosted on Cloudways, your accounts are protected with firewalls, login security, bot protection, and SSL certificates, among other security measures, so that you’re always protected from malicious attacks.

Price

The price for shared hosting and cloud hosting differ depending on the web host, the bandwidth, memory, and options offered, but it is still possible to identify average prices. The price of shared hosting usually starts around $5 to $15 a month, although it can sometimes go up to $50 a month for some web hosts that offer more resources.

Cloud hosting tends to be more expensive, and there are different payment solutions based on the hosting provider. On average, you can expect to pay about $10 to $200 a month for a good cloud hosting service, but for website owners who need fewer resources, there are cheaper alternatives that cost less. Cloudways, for example, starts at just $10 for high-performing servers and has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which means that you’re not locked into a monthly or yearly contract, and only pay for the resources you use and not a penny more.

Dedicated Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting

WordPress Dedicated Hosting vs Cloud Hosting

To begin with, a major drawback of dedicated hosting is that it can underperform during sudden traffic spikes since the resources are fixed and do not scale up as the traffic increases. Once the resource consumption hits the upper limit, the visitors start to see severe degradation in their user experience and “404 Page Not Found” errors.

Although dedicated hosting is still seen as a much better solution than shared hosting, it is not ideal for high-traffic websites that need to offer a higher degree of user experience to the visitors. In many cases, experts suggest that websites using dedicated hosting should consider cloud-based hosting solutions.

  Dedicated Hosting Cloud Hosting
Server Deployment and Management Yes Yes
Server Sharing Model Dedicated Server Dedicated Cloud Server
Scalability (auto/manual) No Yes
Low Cost No Yes
Pay-As-You-Go No Yes
Flexibility No Yes
Customization Yes Yes
Security Depends on the user Yes
Instant Provisioning No Yes (in managed hosting)
Performance Better than shared Fast
Reliability Somehow Yes
Multiple Data Centers Depends on the vendor Yes

Cloud hosting is practical in terms of sudden traffic spikes and situations where the demands for the website resources could go up as the traffic increases. As your website grows, the cloud server adapts and provides the necessary resources to ensure quality service without interruption while guaranteeing the data’s security.

A cloud server is not limited by the physical capacity of a single server (dedicated server) or proximity to neighbors (shared hosting). In addition, cloud hosting allows you to adapt the resources within a few clicks without interrupting the service.

Performance

With cloud hosting, customers can benefit from the best of both types of hosting described above. Cloud hosting makes it possible to adjust resources up or down as needed, making it a much more flexible and, therefore, more financially attractive system. When servers are subject to higher demand, it is possible to automatically increase their capacity to meet the demand, without having to pay for this capacity permanently. It’s like a heating bill: you use what you need, when you need it, and pay only for what you used, after the fact.

Unlike dedicated servers, cloud servers can run on a hypervisor. The role of a hypervisor is to control the capacity and to allocate it where it is needed according to the use of the operating systems. With cloud hosting, there are many cloud servers available for each client. This makes it possible to dedicate computing resources to a specific customer if necessary and when necessary. For example, in the event of peak traffic activity, it is possible for a website to access more capacity until it no longer needs it. Cloud servers also offer more redundancy. If a server fails, the other servers replace it.

Security

The security of a dedicated hosting server is more vulnerable than any other type of hosting as it is solely dependent on the expertise of a user or a sysadmin. Therefore, a user has to monitor the server security, take frequent backups, and install security patches and firewalls. On the contrary, in cloud hosting, the hosting provider takes care of all these security-related aspects so the user can only focus on his website’s content.

Fault Protection

Dedicated hosting is a much more advanced form of hosting, where the customer acquires complete physical servers. This means that the entire server is totally dedicated to him, without having to share it with other clients. In some cases, the client can even use many servers that are all dedicated to him.

While dedicated servers provide full control over hosting, their disadvantage is that the required capabilities need to be planned in advance, with enough resources and processing power to handle the expected traffic levels. Underestimating these levels may lead to insufficient resources during busy periods of activity, while overestimating them may mean paying for unnecessary capacity. Their disadvantage is that the required capabilities must be planned in advance, with sufficient resources and processing power to handle the expected traffic levels.

Price

A dedicated server is more beneficial for customers who want to have their own server websites. With this kind of server, a user can manage his own server and administer it as he wants. Even though prices are much higher, this type of hosting is mainly recommended if you want excellent transfer quality and hyper-responsive customer support. The cost of a dedicated server obviously varies a lot depending on the performance of the machine. However, it can range from $50 to $1000 per month which is costly than shared hosting and cloud hosting.

Now Ask Yourself!

1. How many visits will my website receive per month?
If your website does not have many visitors, you can start with shared hosting. If this is not the case and you have no idea how many visits you can expect, managed cloud hosting is probably the best solution.

2. What is my budget?
If you are running a blog with low traffic and a tight budget, the shared hosting solution could save you a lot of money. However, you should also consider possible expansion and plan for either dedicated or cloud-based hosting.

3. Can I afford to go offline from time to time?
Sharing your server means that your website could go down any minute. If one of your neighbors on the server begins to receive a lot of traffic, your website might not be left with enough resources to remain operational. Similarly, dedicated hosting cannot tackle the sudden spikes in traffic since the resources are predetermined and preset and cannot be scaled up in real-time.

Summary!

The choice of WordPress hosting is not trivial. When deciding upon a hosting solution, make sure that your choice is able to handle the current and projected traffic without reducing the quality of user experience.

If you opt for the wrong type of hosting, you might have to migrate your WordPress website several times to discover the right solution. In short:

  • If you have a site with low or medium traffic, opt for shared hosting.
  • If you have a high-traffic website and that requires significant resources, choose cloud hosting, since it allows you to scale up the resources whenever required.

Of course, the budget is very important, the needs of the website must first be taken into account. If you still have doubts about the type of hosting you should choose, do not hesitate to post your queries in the comment section below. You can also get an idea from our alternative pages, including Wpengine, bluehost and kinsta. See kinsta alternative

Q. What is the difference between shared vs dedicated hosting?

Shared hosting means that your website is hosted on the same server and hard drive as other websites. You share resources here with other users. On the contrary, with dedicated hosting, you become an acquirer of an entire server and no other website is hosted on your server. Everything is under your control — from your server and machine configurations to your dashboard settings.

Q. What is the difference between cloud hosting and a dedicated server?

In dedicated hosting, a server is reserved for you, and all necessary files are stored on a single physical server only. Most dedicated servers are pre-equipped with certain hardware specifications, so be sure to choose a dedicated server that has the specifications that your website needs. On the other hand, cloud hosting is based on technologies that allow an unlimited number of machines to act effectively as a single system. Thus, instead of hosting a website on the current server, it is hosted on a virtual partition of the server, which draws its resources from a network of existing servers, most often a decentralized network.

Q. Is cloud hosting better?

Yes, it is better than the traditional hosting solutions. Here are the key benefits of the cloud server:

  • Flexibility and extensibility:

    additional resources can be accessed as needed and when needed.

  • Cost-effectiveness:

    since the Cloud Server is accessible when customers need it, they only pay for what they use at a specified time.

  • Ease of installation:

    a cloud server is easy to install.

  • Reliability:

    given the number of servers available, if one of them encounters a problem, the resources are moved to the others so that the clients are not affected.

Q. What is dedicated hosting?

A server is said to be dedicated when it is made available to a single client by a host and will be managed remotely via the Internet or administered by the host. The server is located in a secure data center to enable critical applications in your organization to be well protected by an ultra-secure environment.

Q. What is a shared web hosting service?

A server is said to be dedicated when it is made available to a single client by a host and will be managed remotely via the Internet or administered by the host. The server is located in a secure data center to enable critical applications in your organization to be well protected by an ultra-secure environment.

Q. What is cloud hosting and how does it work?

In simple terms, a “cloud” in this context is a group of computers that are connected to each other via a network and that work together to provide hosting services.

This means that the different services of a single hosted website can be derived from the computing power of a network of more than one server in the cloud. In fact, the cloud can be thought of as a cloud server made up of the computing power of multiple servers in a network.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Share This Article

Customer Review at

“Beautifully optimized hosting for WordPress and Magento”

Arda Burak [Agency Owner]

Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least.

×

Get Our Newsletter
Be the first to get the latest updates and tutorials.

Thankyou for Subscribing Us!

×

Webinar: How to Get 100% Scores on Core Web Vitals

Join Joe Williams & Aleksandar Savkovic on 29th of March, 2021.

Do you like what you read?

Get the Latest Updates

Share Your Feedback

Please insert Content

Thank you for your feedback!

Do you like what you read?

Get the Latest Updates

Share Your Feedback

Please insert Content

Thank you for your feedback!