Want to know more about cloud hosting and read reviews on the best providers? You’ve come to the right place.
Web hosting is the unseen foundation of the internet.
Every site you visit is hosted somewhere. Your site will need hosting too, and one of the best options available to you is cloud hosting.
Rather than being tied to one server, cloud hosting pulls its resources from a variety of sources to create a virtual server instead.
With shared hosting, if your server goes down, your site goes down. If a cloud server goes down, other servers in the network pick up the slack. (If any of that went over your head, it may be worth reading our guide to web hosting). Cloud hosting gives you an excellent balance between affordability and power.
Cloud hosting is great for anyone who needs flexibility. Think of your plan like a pay-as-you-go mobile: you decide your own resource limits each month, and pay accordingly.
If you have a big marketing campaign coming up, for example, cloud hosting allows you to prepare for a one-off busy month.
There are dozens – if not hundreds – of hosting providers to choose from, and finding the right one can be a daunting prospect. That’s why we’ve undertaken hours of research to find the best cloud hosts in the business.
We’ve analysed everything, from features and reliability to support and value for money. So, without any delay, here are the top six providers for cloud hosting:
Read on for a complete breakdown of our ratings. We’ll cover which providers are suited to which needs, look at pricing, and throw in a few honorable mentions as well. Now let’s get going!
When choosing a hosting provider, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. First, take a look at your own website. How many pages does it have? How many visitors are you expecting to get? Will you need lots of hosting help?
Answering these questions will help you decide which hosting provider is right for you. To help you out, here’s a little snippet of each of our top six cloud hosts, looking at the areas where they excel.
When it comes to cloud hosting, 1&1 IONOS can’t be beaten. It came top of our research for features and value for money, and offers a brilliant uptime of 99.98%. Features are the most important part of any provider’s service, and with eight different tiers of pricing, you’re sure to find a plan that works for you.
A2 Hosting is known for its customer-friendly approach. You can get help and support from a variety of sources, while it also has an anytime money-back guarantee – something not offered by any other provider. A2 is a smart choice for those new to hosting who want a blend of great features, affordable prices, and amazing support.
SiteGround is a bit of a steady Eddie when it comes to web hosting. You know what you’re getting with this provider: reasonable features, reasonable support, and a sturdy uptime of 99.98%. Its plans are pretty pricey compared to its competitors, but if you’re already with SiteGround and want to switch to cloud hosting, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.
InMotion is better known for its shared and VPS hosting, but that doesn’t mean it’s got nothing to offer here. Its main selling point is unmetered CPU cores – these can be thought of like the brains of a server, helping you process information more efficiently. InMotion is the only provider on this list that doesn’t put restrictions on how many CPUs you can have.
HostGator topped our research rankings as the best overall hosting provider, and when looking at cloud hosting specifically, it still stands up. If you have a large website – either in terms of amount of web pages, or high-quality content like imagery – HostGator’s unmetered storage will come in rather handy.
A provider can have the best hosting features in the world, but if its pricing is outside your budget, it won’t be able to help you. Thankfully, Dreamhost makes cloud hosting accessible to anyone. Plans start from as little as $4.50, and even its most expensive one comes in at under $100. You’ll also be on an hourly rate, rather than a fixed one.
Now you know a little more about each cloud hosting provider, it’s time to dig a little deeper and really review what each one is all about.
|Hosting Provider||Max RAM||Max CPUs||Max Bandwidth||Root Access||Max Storage Space||Uptime||Cheapest Price||WBE Rating (/5)|
If some of these terms sound like a load of techie jargon to you, don’t worry. Below, we’ll run through what they mean, and why they’re important:
Random-access Memory (RAM) is a kind of digital brainpower. It provides the data storage necessary for computers to complete tasks. The more RAM your site has, the more work it can handle. For most websites, a gigabyte (GB) or two ought to have you covered.
Computer Processing Units (CPUs) are the cores of your server. They act as the brain, processing information. Naturally, the more you have, the more efficient your site becomes.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can flow between servers (i.e. your site), the internet, and users. Bandwidth dictates how much information can travel along its connections, as well as how quickly. Hosting with good bandwidth allows your site to cope with high traffic.
Root Access gives you the ability to customize your server’s environment. You can install specialist software, such as extra security, and make changes to hardware settings. This adds an extra layer of flexibility to your hosting and gives you greater control.
Uptime literally refers to the amount of time your website is up online. It’s impossible to achieve 100% uptime, but the aim is to get as near to that as possible. After all, if your site goes down, no one can access it.
Best Overall For Cloud Hosting
|1&1 IONOS Pros||1&1 IONOS Cons|
Taking everything into account, there’s no better cloud hosting service on the market today than 1&1 IONOS. It’s not too expensive, with plans starting at $10; the uptime is great at 99.98%, and you get a wealth of excellent features.
These features include the option of Linux or Windows server hosting, between 1GB and 128GB of RAM (plan dependent), up to 16 CPU cores, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL security certificate, and root access.
Its only real negatives are that it doesn’t offer live chat support, and you can only host one website per plan. That said, most people aren’t looking to host multiple sites, and you can still get help via a 24/7 phone line, ticketing system and 1&1 IONOS’ help center.
Best For Customer Service
|A2 Hosting Pros||A2 Hosting Cons|
A2 Hosting is all about you, the customer. It offers brilliant phone support as well as 24/7 live chat, a ticket system, and an incredibly intuitive help center. And if you’re not happy with the service you receive, you can get a full refund, anytime!
A2’s features don’t quite stack up against 1&1 IONOS’, but you’ll still be getting a very respectable service – this includes up to 250GB of storage, 12 CPU cores, and 32GB of RAM. Oh, and you can host an unlimited number of websites – something you can’t do with 1&1 IONOS.
Having to pay for an SSL certificate as an add-on is a little annoying – as is not getting a free domain – but for a starting price of $5, you could do a lot worse.
Best For Reliability
|SiteGround Pros||SiteGround Cons|
Ah, ol’ reliable SiteGround. It’s straight up, to the point, and you know what you’re getting – great uptime, free SSL security, and helpful support. Its features are also more than capable of doing the job for 99% of people.
You’re looking at up to 10GB of RAM, 8 CPU cores, 5TB of bandwidth, 120GB of storage space, and free backups. One major hiccup is the eye-watering cost, though – with no plan coming cheaper than $80, it’s not the platform for websites on a tight budget.
Unmetered CPU Cores
|InMotion Pros||InMotion Cons|
InMotion is renowned for its shared and VPS hosting plans, which are widely regarded as the best around. But when it comes to cloud hosting, InMotion also holds its own with the very best.
Free domains and backups, unlimited email accounts and websites, unmetered CPU cores, and root access are just some of the features you can expect. Crunching the numbers, you get up to 8GB of RAM, 86TB of bandwidth, and 260GB of storage. The help on offer is also pretty, well, helpful.
Unmetered Storage Space
|HostGator Pros||HostGator Cons|
HostGator came top of our overall hosting rankings with a massive score of 92%. Although better known for its dedicated hosting packages, HostGator’s 99.99% uptime carries across every type of hosting it offers.
It only has three cloud hosting plans, all of which sit between $12.95 and $19.95/month. Because of the low costs, though, your resources are somewhat limited. There’s no free domain, no backups, and no root access. You do get unmetered storage space, though, as well as unlimited email accounts.
Cheapest Cloud Hosting
|DreamHost Pros||DreamHost Cons|
DreamHost is certainly a good choice for anyone who loves a bargain. Not only that, the features you’re getting are great too.
But first, the bad stuff; no free domain, no live chat and phone support, and no money-back guarantee (although you won’t have lost much if you decide to cancel anyway!). If you can look past that, you do get access to unmetered bandwidth, up to 16GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, and a free SSL security certificate.
There are several key factors to consider when choosing a cloud hosting provider. We’ve tried to cater to them here. Only you can know exactly what you need; all we can do is point you in the right direction.
A few key things we recommend prioritizing are:
Your budget is a big one. How much are you willing to spend on hosting?
Customer support can be a godsend if you’re new to this whole web hosting malarkey. Not only will it support you through any hosting hiccups, but you’ll learn about how it works.
Money back guarantees ensure you don’t get trapped in an 18-month contract for a service you don’t want or need. It gives you time to see a provider in action.
Uptime is one of the most important features to consider. If your website goes down regularly it becomes a nightmare for everyone involved, so finding a provider that offers near-perfect uptime is a major plus.
Root access can also be useful to the more techie folk out there. Having more control over your server’s environment means you can install extra software that will benefit your site specifically.
Cloud hosting is a modern, reliable form of hosting – it’s no wonder you’re interested in it!
From our research, there are six standout cloud hosting providers. Each brings something slightly different to the table, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
To recap, let’s run through the top six and what they specialize in.
The 6 Best Cloud Hosting Providers: The Roundup
- 1&1 IONOS: Best For Overall Cloud Hosting
- A2 Hosting: Best For Customer Service
- SiteGround: Best For Reliability
- InMotion: Unmetered CPU Cores
- HostGator: Unmetered Storage Space
- DreamHost: Cheapest Cloud Hosting
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of cloud hosting, 1&1 IONOS is the way to go. It has better features than any of its competitors, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
If you’re short on hosting knowledge and/or cash, the two cloud hosting providers we’d recommend are A2 Hosting and DreamHost. A2 Hosting has brilliant customer service, so you can be sure you won’t get stuck. Meanwhile, DreamHost offers cloud hosting as cheap as it comes.
Beyond price and support, features are the main thing you should look at. Identify what’s most important to you – storage, RAM, uptime etc. – and work from there. If you need a more detailed, side-by-side comparison, have a look at our web hosting providers comparison chart here.
What’s the difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting?
Shared hosting involves multiple sites sharing the same server. Cloud hosting involve multiple sites sharing the resources of multiple servers. Cloud hosting isn’t bound to one location, and is therefore less prone to outages – if one server goes down, another can pick up the slack.
How much does cloud hosting cost?
Cloud hosting is very flexible, so the price you pay depends on the amount of resource you use. Generally speaking, cloud hosting starts at around $5, and can go up into the hundreds (or sometimes even thousands). Most sites will only need to pay between $5 and $50, though.
Can I change between hosting providers?
Yes. It’s like moving house online – you sign up to a new provider, move your digital belongings to your new home, then cancel your agreement with the old provider. This may sound finicky, but you’d be surprised how simple it is. Some providers even offer to make the move for you.
Can I host a website myself?
It’s possible, but we don’t recommend it. At its heart, good hosting is about accessibility – anyone, anywhere should be able to access a website at any time. Setting up your own server requires a lot of technical knowhow, and chances are you’ll end up spending more for a less reliable server.