If you want to know our recommendation for cloud hosting right away, it’s Liquid Web. Top of the line servers, 100% network uptime & excellent support. Prices start from $149/month. Click here to explore Liquid Web’s Cloud hosting plans, or read their review below.
Here are the best cloud hosting companies based on our expert analysis
#1: Liquid Web Cloud Hosting
Liquid Web Hosting stands out as the king of hosting across all of the premium hosting platforms, and when you combine the world’s best host with the world’s best hosting platform, cloud hosting, you truly end up with something special.
Liquid Web offers both cloud dedicated servers and a private cloud service. Cloud dedicated servers are like dedicated servers that are virtualized in a network of servers, and the private service gets you your own network of these for sites huge enough to need this ultimate in power and security.
Cloud dedicated server plans run from $149 to $699 a month, and if you need more, they will customize one to meet your needs. The comparatively pricey entry price point speaks loudly about this being serious business, for those who are looking to move up from some pretty powerful hosting platforms, but this is where they end up if they need and want the best.
LiquidWeb Dedicated Cloud Hosting Vs Other Popular Hosts
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All of Liquid Web’s cloud plans are 100% scalable and 0% shared, as well a 100% reliable. Both their bare-metal servers and their cloud software stand out from the competition, and when you combine both along with everything else this hosting company distinguishes themselves with, they are simply in a class by themselves in the high end hosting business.
Liquid Web Hosting offers three levels of management, where you either manage things yourself, have them provide core management, or enjoy their doing it everything for you with their fully managed option.
For those who want even more, Liquid Web’s VMware managed private cloud service is the ultimate in web hosting period, which starts for as little as $375 per month. If your site can benefit from justifying the cost, the cloud is definitely the way to go, and Liquid Web is the place to get it.
Features of LiquidWeb Managed Private Cloud Hosting Powered By VMware
- Cloud Hosting Without the Complexity
- Predictable Resource-Based Pricing
- Highly Available Infrastructure
- High Performance Networking & Storage
- Protection for Critical Workloads & Data
- Horizontal Web Scaling
- Preferred Choice for SaaS, ERP & Application Hosting
- VMware Private Cloud is Ideal for Consolidation of Hosted & On-Prem Infrastructure
#2: DreamHost Cloud Hosting
While Liquid Web is by far and away the best cloud hosting service there is, they gear this toward the more serious sites, the ones that have at least $150 a month to spend on their hosting and want the best hosting out there.
A lot of sites can’t afford or make sense of spending this much, but still may wish to enjoy all the advantage that cloud hosting provides, having your site hosted on a network of powerful servers rather than just one.
DreamHost is our choice for second best hosting company in the world overall, and also happen to offer much more modestly priced cloud hosting plans, which offer webmasters access to the cloud at a truly amazing price.
DreamHost offers this through it’s DreamComplete platform, where you can get started for as little as $4.95 per month, giving you the benefits of cloud hosting with dedicated resources at a shared hosting price. You don’t even necessarily pay $4.95 a month, as this is the maximum and you may pay less based upon your usage.
DreamComplete also comes in two larger sizes, a medium one with considerably more robust hardware for a max of $12 a month, and the large sized plan for bigger sites that goes up to $48 a month. The entry level is really only for smaller sites, but the medium sized one are geared toward some pretty serious sites, with the large one suitable for sites that have larger databases to serve.
DreamHost claims that their cloud hosting offers speed like no one else, and while it’s nothing like you get with spending hundreds of dollars a month on cloud hosting with the best In class in that price range, they surely stand out for speed among the more modestly priced offerings. If it makes sense to spend a lot more, you should at least consider it, but if not, this is where the value really lies for you.
When you can get the top echelon of cloud hosting at such a reasonable price, and you need a reasonable price, there’s nothing else to think about actually.
What is a Cloud Hosting Server?
To understand what cloud hosting is and how it compares to other forms of web hosting, we have to start at the most basic, which is shared hosting. Shared hosting hosts many sites on a single server, with no resources dedicated to your site, leaving you to compete with the other sites on the server for its limited resources.
The next level up, virtual private server hosting, not only has less sites per server, they all get their own virtual server, a space of their own on the server basically, with dedicated resources that are yours and only yours. This is a huge upgrade from shared hosting and you can go from a plan that only costs a little more than shared hosting to ones costing hundreds of dollars a month, depending on your needs.
Dedicated server hosting takes this a step further, where you don’t just get a virtual server within a physical server, you get the whole physical server to yourself. Like other premium hosting plans, dedicated hosting comes in a variety of strengths, all geared toward the busier sites.
The pinnacle of hosting types is cloud hosting, and the fact that the biggest and busiest sites in the world use cloud hosting exclusively tells you everything you need to know about this being the case. Of course, Google or Amazon or Twitter or Facebook is going have a much bigger cloud than you do, but the principle is the same, a network of servers that host and serve your site.
What we refer to as the “cloud” is simply a set of servers networked together, and having storage on the cloud like some providers offer means that your data is stored on such a network, not just on a computer somewhere like we would save things to our own hard drive.
While this offers some real advantages over single server storage, such as not losing your data if your server goes down or is corrupted, the advantage of using a cloud is a lot bigger when it comes to hosting your site on the cloud. You not only get more reliability, you can leverage all those servers to provide a lot more flexibility and speed.
For instance, if you compare peak demand with a single server versus the cloud, this can overwhelm a single server. With cloud hosting, you have access to the network of servers, and you can leverage this to maintain the fast speed you need under any conditions.
Cloud hosting really is the upper level of web hosting, and now even pretty modest sized sites can enjoy all the additional benefits it offers.
Who Needs Cloud Hosting?
There are a few things that you need to consider when looking to move up from shared hosting that is really only suitable for personal sites or small retail operations, perhaps a site telling people you offer haircuts or something that does not involve any e-commerce.
This is not just a matter of having one or the other options being best, as there are a number of considerations that need to be accounted for, mostly about finding the right fit for your particular hosting needs.
While one of the main benefits of cloud hosting is that by running on a network, this provides the ultimate in reliability. The top hosting companies still rely on cloud solutions to boost their reliability, and you can get very close to 100% uptime or even get the 100% guarantee with other hosting solutions with their other types, cloud hosting is better but not remarkably so in this category compared to the best of the other types. The advantage of cloud hosting goes well beyond this though, and it’s all about flexibility and performance actually.
The most difficult decision in choosing the right hosting plan is figuring out how much capacity your site needs, and this is generally more a matter of trial and error than anything, You need to look at both your current and peak needs as well as how this may change over time.
One of the nicest things about cloud hosting is that you don’t really need about making the error part of this trial and error process, underestimating or overestimating your needs and missing the mark, as cloud hosting adapts to your needs. They provide you all you want and you only pay for what you use.
Once you have reached the top of the hosting types, cloud hosting, you need not worry about having to change your type of hosting if you outgrow it, but no one outgrows cloud hosting, you just increase the size and power of your cloud, as much as you want and need, and all the while enjoying all the benefits of this network-based type of hosting.
While the larger sites will benefit from cloud hosting the most, the sites that can profit from all the plusses of using a cloud, this is at least worth considering if your site is more modest and you are comparing it with VPS or a dedicated server. These can all be great options but given that cloud hosting can be such a great one, they are at least worthy of a side by side comparison so you can make a more informed choice about what is right for you.
How to Choose a Cloud Hosting Server
Cloud hosting is at the pinnacle of hosting services and is the one where hosting companies really get to shine with, showing us the best they have in various sizes and configurations. This is where the best in the hosting business really get to stand out, and even though we may be nowhere near their top end, seeing how fabulous their very best is does tell us a lot about how good their cloud hosting service really is.
You don’t just want someone to have a good looking cloud hosting service, as when deciding between companies, you also want to look at how good of a hosting company they are overall, to give us a broader base to compare competing companies. You want your hosting company to do everything very well, otherwise you’ll be going with one that has faults, and given that there are ones that do not have any, those are the ones you really want to go with.
So applying this high standard ends up excluding quite a few candidates, and then among these, we need to look at who does everything better overall. Especially with cloud hosting, you want to put a lot of weight on speed, and this will factor heavily into your decision. At Betterhost.com, we only like the really fast ones ourselves.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential candidates to just a very few of the truly worthy ones overall, which we have already done for you with our top recommendations for cloud hosting, it’s time to consider what these top picks offer in terms of fit with what you are looking for. A hosting solution won’t work for you if it doesn’t fit right, and for instance, cloud hosting would not fit the smaller sites at all, as this would involve spending a lot more money on your hosting service than it would make sense to.
You have to both be a candidate for cloud hosting and be able to find a cloud hosting plan that fits your needs well enough, otherwise you may want to consider other options that fit your needs more closely like VPS and dedicated server hosting, which we also provide top recommendations for.
An example would be seeing a gap between two cloud hosting options, with a larger cost between the two stops, where your needs would lie in between and something else is close to what you need. At the cloud hosting level, we are making business decisions and need to make the right ones for the sake of our business.
Cloud hosting is simply fabulous, and if this seems like something your site may be worth considering, simply check our top recommendations and have a look at the very best the cloud hosting world has to offer, including some surprisingly affordable plans at this level.
How We Rank Cloud Hosting Companies
Ultimately, when we look to rank the top companies within a certain type of hosting, it really comes down to delivering both a top quality product at a great value. Some services are pretty much alike, and to some extent shared hosting is a little like that as they aren’t that different in ways that would really matter much to users, but once you get beyond that level you see some big difference between a great and poor choice.
So you are in the market for the power and flexibility that cloud hosting offers, and our job is to direct you toward the best options out there for your money. We start by looking at the best hosting companies to see who really stands out overall, and the quality of a hosting company overall does also speak to what we may expect from their cloud hosting plans.
With cloud hosting, it isn’t just about speed, even though looking to go faster is a big appeal of cloud hosting. When you’re hooked up to not just one server but a network of them, you have the power to leverage this network to really ramp up the speed of your sites.
Speed is therefore a prime consideration with cloud hosting, and it really comes down to needing to upgrade your hosting when you start getting bogged down, so speeding things up is basically what we do when we move to a more robust hosting plan.
Our top recommended sites just have to be fast, very fast in fact, and if not, they aren’t even worth looking at. We place high priority on speed with cloud hosting as well as with our top recommendations for other types of hosting because it is a top priority.
There a number of other things we need to see from a hosting company, and this especially includes the quality of the way they manage your sites, as you only get the best when you both have the service and the management of it top notch.
We also need to see great customer support, which becomes more important the bigger your needs are and the higher you move up the ladder of options, and it becomes very important with as much on the line as sites that fit with cloud hosting have.
Everything has to be right for us to want to recommend a cloud hosting service, and you can rest easy that we have put all the work into our picks in order to recommend the very best.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Hosting
All things being equal, cloud hosting enjoys the best setup of any type of web hosting, by far actually. This comes down to the fact that it is simply better to have your site hosted on a network of servers than on a single one, and this is exactly what cloud hosting delivers for you.
As long as your site is big enough to benefit from cloud hosting packages, and this does come down to whether or not you need or should be paying for the ultimate in web hosting platforms, you can rest assured that you have reached the top level of hosting and from here you can scale your sites all the way up to the biggest in the world as needed, and even in real time.
Cloud hosting is in a way the opposite or shared hosting, which provides a minimal amount of resources that you share with other sites. During peaks, not just yours but peaks in demand with all the other sites as well, you can see your performance really suffer. Single server hosting provides more resources, and they are all yours, but your own peak demand can see performance reduced.
With cloud hosting, you don’t just get your own resources, but you can also leverage more resources as needed. You only pay for what you use, but when you need more, you get more, due to being able to leverage the power of the cloud.
This also eliminates the downtime that people whose sites are hosted on a single server suffer when their server goes down. With cloud hosting, if one goes down, you can leverage all of the other ones and not even have this affect you. This is the ultimate in reliability.
As far as the cons go, you do get less physical resources per dollar spent, as in less RAM or storage space, but it is never just about physical resources as they are simply instruments to increase performance, and when you factor in the benefits in performance that being hooked to a cloud offers, there’s a reason why the big sites love cloud hosting and it is because the overall performance is superior.
The other potential con is the same one that applies to any hosting service, to make sure that they fit your needs the best compared to other options. You have to have a site or sites that are big enough to merit the best in hosting, although with such a modest entry price point, not as big as you may have thought.
The pinnacle in web site hosting platforms
Used by all the busiest sites on the internet
Unlimited scalability and flexibility
Unparalleled reliability and performance
Employs the most cutting edge software
Available in fully managed solutions
Can be a little pricey for sites that are not big enough to justify the cost
Summary of Cloud Hosting
Just about everyone has heard of cloud storage, although not everyone may know why it’s better than having it just stored on a single server, or maybe not even know what a cloud is in the world of computers.
A cloud is a network of servers which host data across the network, where you can leverage the advantages of using multiple servers, improving both performance and reliability, as well as having whatever more space you need instantly available.
When it comes to hosting, you wouldn’t expect that a site like Twitter would be able to run their social media site on one server, and they in fact need a huge number of them, all connected to handle among the total number of them the site’s traffic. It’s not only necessary for big sites to host their sites on a network, on a cloud, it also offers significant advantages in performance, reliability, responsiveness, flexibility, and scalability.
Hosting companies eventually decided to roll out the benefits of cloud hosting to more modestly sized sites, and given that the entry price point has now dropped to as little as only $4.95 a month, a lot of sites can afford to pay this amount or more and get in on the top echelon of web hosting types.
Cloud hosting is truly at the leading edge of web hosting types, and the best also gets the best attention as far as a hosting company improving the way that they host sites in general. You do get more for paying more, and the task then becomes to find the cloud hosting package that best suits your particular needs.
While doing this, you’ll also need to know who the best cloud hosting companies are so you can hone down the ones you are considering, so you pick from only the best. Betterhost.com has done all the work for you, and all you have to do now is check out our top recommendations for cloud hosting and choose what fits you the best.
FAQ About Cloud Hosting
What is the cloud?
What we refer to as the cloud is a configuration of servers on a network where users can leverage not just a single server but the entire network as needed. Having access to a network of servers is simply a lot better.
How is cloud hosting different from other hosting methods?
All other types of hosting plans host your sites on a single server, whether they give you a minimal amount of resources or a lot. Cloud hosting adds the advantage of being able to use an array of servers all connected together to deliver superior results.
Who can benefit from cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting only really matters if you need the extra power, and the smallest sites that don’t get much traffic can work just fine on the cheapest hosting plans. You don’t need a big site to benefit from the ultimate in web hosting power though.
What makes a great cloud hosting plan?
It is not enough to just offer web hosting on the cloud, as the quality of the offerings with cloud hosting differs considerably. The more you spend on your hosting or need to spend, the more important your choices become, and the bigger the mistake you make with the wrong one.
What is the main consideration in choosing a cloud hosting plan?
Aside from the need to ensure that your chosen plan fits your needs, which is always the case regardless of which type you go with, you want to make sure that you are paying for the highest performance and overall quality you can get for your money.
How do you choose from among all the cloud hosting providers?
Selecting from among the best cloud hosting companies requires that you be familiar enough with the competition, as well as having enough expertise and knowledge to know the difference between the merely good and the great. At BetterHost.com, we’ve done all the work for you.