3 Questions to Help You Choose between Shared Hosting and Cloud Infrastructure
A common question I get as the product manager for XMission’s Web Hosting business is, “Should I choose Shared Web Hosting or Cloud Infrastructure?” The two products have some similar features, yet provide different hosting experiences. Here are the three questions that I ask customers to help them decide on which product to select.
1. What are you planning on hosting?
Understanding what you need begins with knowing your goals. If you are hosting a simple website, with a small intended audience, the decision is easy: Shared Hosting fits perfectly for this situation. A WordPress blog, which can be installed easily through our Shared Hosting control panel, provides blogging and website functionality quickly and comfortably for anyone. Additional features, such as web based management of databases, FTP accounts, and DNS, allow you to take advantage of Shared Hosting, without the need to understand complex server commands and configuration. The nature of Shared Hosting provides you with cost savings as well: by sharing resources on the server with other hosted websites, your monthly bill is less than Cloud Infrastructure.
Cloud Infrastructure is a better option for individuals and companies that need room to grow their website or application. Flexibility is the key feature of Cloud Infrastructure—the server can handle complex applications and scale resources based on what you need. Hosting e-commerce websites, content management systems (e.g. Drupal or Joomla), or even database servers are better suited to Cloud Infrastructure.
Cloud Infrastructure’s flexibility lets you use the same server for seasonal shifts in your business too. Using our Server Control Panel, you can scale your resources up and down without having to modify your website or restarting the server. The resources that you set are dedicated to your server, so you know that you will get the performance that you need, when you need it.
2. What kind of customization to your hosting architecture do you need?
One of the features of Shared Hosting is that you are given a web hosting environment with the most common tools already installed and ready to use. You can quickly get started uploading or creating your site and adding content without worrying about the server setup. You even have the ability to tweak some settings to better suit what you need to do.
With Cloud Infrastructure, you have total control over what software is on the server. If you need the latest version of a Python library, you can install it and configure it to your exact needs. You can tune a MySQL server to perform better for your particular application. Cloud means flexibility, which is vital to certain websites and web applications.
3. Do you want to manage your own server?
Shared Hosting allows you to get straight to hosting your website, without having to worry about managing the ins-and-outs of a Linux server. Our administrators watch the server carefully, update server software for security purposes, and ensure that it is optimized for hosting websites.
Cloud Infrastructure allows you to take control—you have full root access to your server. You can customize the server for your own best practices, have your logging setup exactly how you need, and manage server software exactly how you want. All of this benefits you without the need to make the steep capital expense of buying hardware.
So, Shared Hosting or Cloud Infrastructure?
Do you need a simple website, with easy to use tools, commonly used software, and managed for you? Shared Hosting is the way to go. Do you have a complex website, with room to grow, a need to customize server software, and the need to manage your server? Cloud Infrastructure is the right product for you.