The 9 Best Cloud Hosting Providers

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Cloud hosting is like a more flexible, resource-rich version of shared hosting. The best cloud hosting providers offer powerful features, quality support, and affordable pricing. This page compares the top nine cloud hosting providers on the market, starting with our quick comparison chart and then delving into the strengths and weaknesses of each provider.

Compare the Top 9 Cloud Hosts of 2020

Compare all nine cloud hosts and their key features below:

Editor's choice
A2 hosting
A2 Hosting

4.1out of 5

Starting from
$4.99
99.95%
250GB
9TB
32GB
12
Yes
Best value
cloudways logo
Cloudways

4out of 5

Starting from
$10
99.99%
3840GB
20TB
384GB
96
No
kamatera logo
Kamatera

3.8out of 5

Starting from
$4
99.95%
1000GB
40GB
524GB
104
Yes
a2-hosting 4.1 / 5
cloudways 4 / 5
kamatera 3.8 / 5
siteground 3.7 / 5
hostwinds 3.6 / 5
11491 3.2 / 5
hostgator 3 / 5
dreamhost 3 / 5
hostinger 2.9 / 5
a2-hosting 99.95%
cloudways 99.99%
kamatera 99.95%
siteground 99.98%
hostwinds 99.97%
11491 99.97%
hostgator 99.99%
dreamhost 99.95%
hostinger 99.97%
a2-hosting 250GB
cloudways 3840GB
kamatera 1000GB
siteground 120GB
hostwinds 750GB
11491 260GB
hostgator Unmetered
dreamhost 100GB
hostinger 200GB
a2-hosting 9TB
cloudways 20TB
kamatera 40GB
siteground 5TB
hostwinds 9TB
11491 86TB
hostgator Unmetered
dreamhost Unmetered
hostinger Unmetered
a2-hosting 32GB
cloudways 384GB
kamatera 524GB
siteground 10GB
hostwinds 96GB
11491 8GB
hostgator 6GB
dreamhost 16GB
hostinger 16GB
a2-hosting 12
cloudways 96
kamatera 104
siteground 8
hostwinds 16
11491 Unmetered
hostgator 6
dreamhost 8
hostinger 8
a2-hosting
cloudways
kamatera
siteground
hostwinds
11491
hostgator
dreamhost
hostinger

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.

Want to know more about cloud hosting and read reviews on the best providers? You’ve come to the right place.

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. Cloud hosting gives you an excellent balance between affordability and power.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is where your site is stored on multiple servers, which lets you pull resources from a variety of different places. This makes cloud hosting a very scalable, reliable, and flexible type of hosting, perfect for sites that experience hikes and dips in things like traffic.

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.

Best Cloud Hosting Providers and Services

  1. A2 Hosting Best Overall for Cloud Hosting.
  2. Cloudways A Close Runner-Up.
  3. Kamatera Best for Customization.
  4. SiteGround Best features.
  5. Hostwinds Best for Those on a Budget.
  6. InMotion Best Help & Support.
  7. HostGator Unmetered Storage.
  8. DreamHost Cheapest Cloud Hosting.
  9. Hostinger Best Control Panel.

Let’s have a quick look at the top three from our list. A2 Hosting takes first place, with impressive features and an anytime money-back guarantee. Cloudways earns the second spot for its flexible data center options, while Kamatera takes third place with excellent customization options.

And we didn’t just pluck this list out of thin air; we’ve carefully cross-referenced features, compared uptime and reliability, checked prices and tested help and support channels to ensure we’re bringing you the best of the best.

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!

Also check out:

#1. A2 Hosting

Best Overall for Cloud Hosting

Editor's Choice

A2 Hosting

Best overall for cloud hosting

Excellent

4.1out of 5

  • Highly secure servers
  • Top customer service
  • Excellent value for money

Paid Plans: $4.99 - $69.99 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited websites allowed on one plan
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Free HackScan malware protection

Cons

  • 99.95% uptime is mediocre
  • No free domain or SSL certificate
  • Slightly clunky sign-up process
Read Review
Pricing $4.99-$69.99
Bandwidth 2TB - 9TB
Storage 20GB - 250GB
Free backups? Yes
Free domain name? No
Root access? Yes
Money-back guarantee? Yes – anytime

What we like about A2 Hosting

When it comes to cloud hosting, A2 Hosting can’t be beaten. It came top of our research for features, and it also has an anytime money-back guarantee – something not offered by any other provider.

It’s not too expensive either, with cloud plans starting at $4.99 per month; while the uptime isn’t the best at 99.95%, you do get a wealth of excellent features.

These features include up to 250GB of storage, 12 CPU cores, and 32GB of RAM. Oh, and you can host an unlimited number of websites – something you which other cloud hosting providers don’t offer.

What could be improved

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 $4.99, you can’t go wrong.

a2 hosting logo

A2 Hosting came out top in our research

And with an anytime money-back guarantee, you can try it out risk-free.

Find out more:

  • A2 Hosting Review – For the full lowdown on the good and the bad of our top-performing cloud hosting provider.

#2. Cloudways

A Close Runner-Up

Best Value For Money

Cloudways

A close runner up

Excellent

4out of 5

  • Extremely flexible plans
  • Prioritizes site speed
  • Global data centers

Paid Plans: $10 - $1290.04 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 25+ data centers worldwide
  • Choose your own data center location
  • Monthly and hourly price plans available

Cons

  • 24/7 phone support will cost extra
  • No money-back guarantee
  • No free domain name or backups
Pricing $10 - $1290.04
Bandwidth 1TB - 10TB
Storage 25GB - 3840GB
Free backups? No
Free domain name? No
Root access? No
Money-back guarantee? No

What we like about Cloudways

Cloudays is a strong second-place option, and it could be number one depending on what you’re looking for. This platform lets you deploy your cloud servers from one of over 25 global locations, and you can choose the region and city yourself.

This means that you’ll never be too far from your servers, which is great for site speed. It also means that Cloudways’ plans are more flexible than those of its competitors. Prices depend on your chosen data center, but you also get to choose between monthly or hourly pricing packages, depending on what best suits your website.

For example, you can pay $10/month for the basic plan with a Digital Ocean data center in New York, San Francisco, London, and a few other cities. Or, if you value a lot of flexibility, you can get the same plan and data center for a pay-as-you-go rate of $0.0139/hour.

What could be improved

Cloudways offers very impressive customer support on all of its plans, including 24/7 live chat and an easy ticketing system. However, you’ll have to sign up to one of two paid support plans if you’d like more than those basic features. For $100/month, the Advanced support plan includes proactive site monitoring and investigations, plus help with customization. If you want 24/7 phone support, though, you’ll have to scale up to the Premium support plan, which is $500/month.

cloudways logo

Interested in Cloudways?

Cloudways is a powerful and flexible hosting solution. Could it be right for you?

Find out more:

#3. Kamatera

Best for Customization

Kamatera

Best for customization

Very Good

3.8out of 5

  • Offers lots of control
  • Very flexible servers
  • Excellent value for money

Paid Plans: $4 - $3700 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Customize your storage space and RAM
  • Easily scale server capacity up or down
  • Control root access permissions

Cons

  • No free backups or domain name
  • 99.95% uptime is mediocre
  • Doesn't provide SSL certificates
Pricing $4 - $3700
Bandwidth 1GB - 40GB
Storage 20GB - 1000GB
Free backups? No
Free domain name? No
Root access? Yes
Money-back guarantee? No

What we like about Kamatera

Kamatera is the only hosting solution that gives you complete control over your cloud hosting, whether the task be deciding who gets root access to your servers, or choosing your IP allocation.

Kamatera also offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to scaling resources up or down. Server capacity can be increased or decreased in minutes, and elements like CPU, RAM, storage space, and even firewalls can be added or taken away with one click on your end.

In short, Kamatera is great if you want a fully personalized hosting plan.

What could be improved

If you value uptime over customization, be aware that Kamatera can only guarantee 99.95% uptime. In general, this is still a strong percentage, and only amounts to about 4.5 hours of downtime a year. But compared to the 99.99% guarantees of HostGator and Cloudways, Kamatera’s uptime does fall a little short.

kamatera logo

Want full control over your cloud site?

Kamatera is the bespoke solution that allows for complete customization.

Find out more:

#4. SiteGround

Best Features

People's Choice

SiteGround

Best features

Very Good

3.7out of 5

  • Feature-rich cloud plans
  • Great customer support
  • High starting prices

Paid Plans: $80 - $240 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 99.98% uptime guarantee
  • Free backups
  • Quality support knowledge base

Cons

  • $80/month starting price
  • No free domain name
  • Not the most customizable
Read Review
Pricing $80 - $240
Bandwidth 5TB
Storage 40GB - 120GB
Free backups? Yes
Free domain name? No
Root access? No
Money-back guarantee? Yes – offered for 15 days

What we like about SiteGround

With excellent help and support on offer (via phone, live chat and email), as well as a very strong uptime guarantee of 99.98%, and great features, you can’t go too far wrong with SiteGround. Our hosting research found this to be a hugely reliable provider, with an overall score of 3.7/5.

What could be improved

There are a couple of places where SiteGround lost points. First, it doesn’t offer a free domain name with its plans. If you don’t yet have a domain name, getting one for free is a handy bonus, and is something many other providers offer. Second, the $80 starting price is a lot higher than with other providers – if you’re coming from a shared plan, this will feel like quite a step up.

That said, SiteGround generally scores well across the board, and its combination of great uptime, great support, and 5TB bandwidth make it a standout for features.

siteground logo

Siteground offers excellent customer service

If a helping hand’s important to you, it doesn’t get better than Siteground. With 24/7 support via live chat and phone, help is never far away.

Find out more:

#5. Hostwinds

Best for Those on a Budget

Hostwinds

Best for those on a budget

Very Good

3.6out of 5

  • Convenient hourly pricing
  • Decently priced plans
  • Not a ton of features

Paid Plans: $4.99 - $328.99 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 60 day money-back guarantee
  • One-click app installs
  • Root access available

Cons

  • Not much server customization available
  • No free backups
  • No free domain name
Pricing $4.99 - $328.99
Bandwidth 1TB - 9TB
Storage 30GB - 750GB
Free backups? No
Free domain name? No
Root access? Yes
Money-back guarantee? Yes – 60 days

What we like about Hostwinds

Hostwinds offers a decent amount of storage, bandwidth, and RAM on its cloud plans, plus one-click install options for most applications.

The best part of a Hostwinds plan is the hourly pricing breakdown. For example, its most basic cloud hosting plan comes out to $0.006931/hour, while its most advanced cloud plan costs $0.456931/hour. That amounts to $4.99 and $328.99/month, respectively, and every Hostwind plan in between is cheap in comparison to competitors (although you’ll save more money with DreamHost). Best of all, this provider’s 60 day money-back guarantee lasts longer than most.

What could be improved

Hostwinds is cheap, and you’ll get decent value for your money. That said, you won’t have access to the same depth and breadth of features that you’d get with a more expensive provider. Free backups, free domains, and server customization aren’t included with this provider.

hostwinds logo

Want an affordable hosting provider?

With hourly rates and lots of plans to choose from, Hostwinds is a great choice for any cost-conscious website owner.

Find out more:

#6. InMotion

Best Help & Support

InMotion

Best help and support

Good

3.2out of 5

  • Wide variety of features
  • Lots of support options
  • Limited RAM and bandwidth

Paid Plans: $17.99 - $114.99 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Support team with 160+ hours of training
  • Free backups and domain name
  • Root access available

Cons

  • RAM is capped at 8GB
  • Not the cheapest cloud plans
  • Not equipped for large spikes in traffic
Read Review
Pricing $17.99 - $114.99
Bandwidth 4TB - 86TB
Storage 75GB - 260GB
Free backups? Yes
Free domain name? Yes – for all 6 and 12 month plans
Root access? Yes
Money-back guarantee? Yes – 30 days (but only for 6+ month plans)

What we like about InMotion

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 its customer service – offering 24/7 live chat and phone support, help tickets, and a comprehensive knowledge center should you have any issues.

It scores well for features, too. Free domains and backups, unlimited email accounts and websites, unmetered CPU cores, and root access are just some of the features you can expect. The help on offer is also pretty strong in our experience, which always helps.

What could be improved

Compared to other providers on this list, InMotion’s RAM is fairly low, capped at 8GB. Bandwidth is also a bit limited, which could leave you short if your site experiences sudden surges of traffic.

inmotion logo

InMotion offers excellent customer service

If a helping hand’s important to you, it doesn’t get better than InMotion. With 24/7 support via live chat and phone, help is never far away.

Find out more:

  • InMotion Review – An in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of setting up your site with InMotion.

#7. HostGator

Unmetered Storage

HostGator

Unmetered storage

Okay

3out of 5

  • Can handle traffic surges
  • Outdated interface
  • Offers limited control

Paid Plans: $4.95 - $9.95 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 99.99% uptime guarantee
  • Generous storage and bandwidth
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No free domain or backups
  • No root access
  • Slightly clunky control panel
Read Review
Pricing $4.95 - $9.95
Bandwidth Unmetered
Storage Unmetered
Free backups? Yes
Free domain name? No
Root access? No
Money-back guarantee? Yes – 45 days

What we like about HostGator

HostGator topped our research rankings as the best web hosting provider. Although better known for its dedicated hosting packages, HostGator’s 99.99% uptime carries across every type of hosting it offers. 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 stand you in good stead. Unmetered bandwidth will also help you serve fluctuating traffic.

HostGator has three cloud hosting plans, all of which sit between a very reasonable price bracket of $4.95 and $9.95/month. You’ll also get unlimited email accounts and a generous 45 day money-back guarantee.

What could be improved

Because of the low costs, your resources are somewhat limited. There’s no free domain, no free backups, and no root access, so have a think about whether these features will be a deal-breaker for you.

hostgator logo

HostGator is perfect for fast-growing sites

With unmetered storage and bandwidth, HostGator gives your site plenty of room to grow.

Find out more:

  • HostGator Review – Take a closer look at this top provider.
  • HostGator Pricing Review – Why are HostGator’s cloud hosting prices so cheap, and how does HostGator’s pricing compare to other providers?

#8. DreamHost

Cheapest Cloud Hosting

DreamHost

Cheapest cloud hosting

Okay

3out of 5

  • Very affordable plans
  • Limited support options
  • Limited storage space

Paid Plans: $4.5 - $96 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Root access available
  • Custom, simple control panel

Cons

  • 99.95% uptime is mediocre
  • No direct phone support
  • No money-back guarantee
Read Review
Pricing $4.50 - $96
Bandwidth Unmetered
Storage 100GB
Free backups? Yes (for WordPress sites)
Free domain name? No
Root access? Yes
Money-back guarantee? No

What we like about DreamHost

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. There’s also unmetered bandwidth, up to 16GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, and a free SSL security certificate.

What could be improved

But there are some fairly significant downsides: no free domain, no live chat and phone support, and no money-back guarantee (fine if you’re on the cheapest plan, but worrying if you sign up to its $96/month plan!). You’re also capped at 100GB of storage, limiting your potential to really grow your website on a DreamHost cloud hosting plan.

DreamHost hosting

Dreamhost's plans are very affordable

Dreamhost is perfect for those on a strict budget, but you will have to compromise a little on features and service.

Find out more:

#9. Hostinger

Best Control Panel

Hostinger

Best control panel

Okay

2.9out of 5

  • Generous bandwidth
  • Limited storage
  • Limited server control

Paid Plans: $9.99 - $56.99 / month

See Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Modern, intuitive control panel
  • Free domain name
  • Multilingual customer support

Cons

  • 99.97% uptime is okay
  • No phone support
  • No root access
Read Review
Pricing $9.99 - $56.99
Bandwidth Unmetered
Storage 100 - 200GB
Free backups? Yes
Free domain name? Yes
Root access? No
Money-back guarantee? Yes – 30 days

What we like about Hostinger

Hostinger offers three reasonably priced cloud plans with excellent features, including unmetered bandwidth, speed boosts from its custom-built infrastructure, and one free domain name. Hostinger’s security features are also impressive – in addition to a free SSL certificate with each plan, you also have the option to integrate with CloudFlare for heightened protection against hackers and attacks.

Hostinger also stands out for its unique control panel, which was created in-house (as opposed to the popular cPanel software that most of the providers on this list use). Hostinger’s control panel is simple to use, and easy for beginners to get comfortable with.

What could be improved

Hostinger’s uptime guarantee of 99.97% is good, but it’s not the highest you’ll find on this list – if uptime is your top priority, you’ll want to consider providers like HostGator or Cloudways, both of which offer 99.99% uptime guarantees. Hostinger also doesn’t offer over-the-phone support – its 24/7 live chat is great, but if you’d rather speak to the support team via phone, then you may want to look elsewhere.

hostinger logo

Interested in Hostinger?

This provider offers a good selection of features, and its custom control panel sets it apart from the crowd.

Find out more:

  • Hostinger Review – Our overall look at Hostinger’s plans, features, and prices.

How Do You Choose the Right Cloud Hosting Provider?

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.

The Best Cloud Hosting Providers: Conclusion

Cloud hosting is a modern, reliable form of hosting – it’s no wonder you’re interested in it!

From our research, there are nine 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 providers and what they specialize in.

Best Cloud Hosting Providers and Services

  1. A2 Hosting Best Overall for Cloud Hosting.
  2. Cloudways A Close Runner-Up.
  3. Kamatera Best for Customization.
  4. SiteGround Best features.
  5. Hostwinds Best for Those on a Budget.
  6. InMotion Best Help & Support.
  7. HostGator Unmetered Storage.
  8. DreamHost Cheapest Cloud Hosting.
  9. Hostinger Best Control Panel.

If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of cloud hosting, A2 Hosting 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 cash, the hosting provider we’d recommend is DreamHost. It offers the best value for money, with cloud hosting costing from just $4.50 per month.

Beyond price, 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.

The Best Cloud Hosting Providers: FAQs

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.

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.

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 – like HostGator – even offer to make the move for you.

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.

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