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      If you have a small business, you must ensure your website operates smoothly at all times. It is also important to keep your expenses related to your website as low as possible. For most businesses, that means choosing between either cloud or virtual private server (VPS) hosting solutions.

      Both options provide fast and reliable, inexpensive hosting, but which one is right for your business? Learn more about cloud and VPS hosting differences to see which is best for your small business.

      Key takeaways:

      • Cloud hosting involves several servers, while VPS hosting entails only one. Each hosting type has its advantages and disadvantages.
      • Opt for cloud for reliability and flexible costs and VPS hosting for maximum control over your servers or if you need to decide quickly.
      • Read about the three great companies we recommend for these types of hosting and a bit about each.
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      What Is Cloud Hosting?

      Cloud hosting is a technology that combines multiple physical servers into one logical server. Customers are then given access to specific resources on that logical server. The processing, data storage, memory, and other system resources are shared across the physical servers, so there are no single points of failure, which is great.

      Cloud hosting can be set up in many different ways as well. Some companies offer cloud hosting similar to shared hosting — all the customers on one cloud server share all the resources as needed. Other companies set it up more like a VPS where each customer is assigned exclusive use of specific system resources. Both options can be useful depending on the needs of the customers.

      Advantages of cloud hosting

      There are many important advantages to using cloud hosting, so it’s growing in popularity so quickly. The following are some of the biggest benefits you enjoy when you sign up for cloud hosting:

      • Scalable: The hosting company can use additional servers or system resources whenever needed, so the cloud hosting environment can grow to support all your hosting needs.
      • Redundancy: The virtual environment spreads all the load across multiple physical devices, so there’s no single point of failure within the server.
      • Reliability: When set up properly, cloud hosting is one of the most reliable hosting options.
      • Flexible pricing: Cloud hosting can be set up similarly to shared hosting, VPS hosting, or even dedicated servers, which means the price range you pay can vary greatly based on your needs.

      Disadvantages of cloud hosting

      There are some downsides to cloud hosting as well:

      • Lack of clarity: Since cloud hosting can be set up similarly to any other type of hosting, it can be confusing when shopping for this service. You need to ensure you’re getting the exact services you need.
      • Learning curve: If you want an unmanaged hosting environment, ensure you know how this system works, or you may run into trouble. Managing a cloud hosting environment is more challenging than a standard hosting solution.

      What Is VPS Hosting?

      With VPS, one physical server has installed software that creates multiple virtual environments; each customer is then assigned exclusive access to one of these. The resources on the server are assigned to specific virtual environments.

      Advantages of VPS hosting

      VPS hosting has been one of the most popular options for a long time. Look at the key benefits that make it so attractive:

      • Exclusive access to resources: Your website is assigned a set amount of disk space, central processing unit (CPU) utilization, memory, and other resources so that other accounts won’t impact it on the same server.
      • Ability to customize: Since you’re given full access to your virtual server, you can configure it in any way you want, which is generally impossible with shared hosting.
      • Affordable: You get many of the same benefits associated with dedicated servers but at a fraction of the cost.

      Disadvantages of VPS hosting

      VPS hosting isn’t for everyone, so make sure you factor in these potential disadvantages to this type of hosting technology as well:

      • Limited scalability: While you can add extra resources to your account when needed, there are limitations based on the capacity of the physical server your virtual environment is on.
      • Single points of failure: VPS servers are quite robust, but if there’s a problem with the hardware, it can take your site offline until the hosting company can replace it. This single point of failure can be a concern for some companies.
      • Still sharing a server: While a VPS has many advantages over shared hosting, using one physical server along with other sites can have a limited impact on your site’s performance.

      How To Choose the Best Hosting for Your Business

      Both VPS and cloud hosting servers offer exceptional hosting that can likely meet your needs. You can’t go wrong with either of these technologies if you select a reputable hosting company.

      If you want to make a simple decision without spending a long time analyzing the details of each hosting package, a VPS is likely the best option. To customize your server and ensure you have almost unlimited growth potential, go with cloud hosting.

      Read our full analysis of the best cloud hosting providers.

      FAQS About Cloud vs. VPS Hosting

      Is cloud hosting or VPS more secure?

      Cloud providers usually have security controls reducing the overall risk. Basic VPS security isn’t as strong, but those with technical skills can manage advanced security to keep your sites safer. Also, if physical hardware is hacked with the cloud, your site can quickly be moved to other resources. But all sites are at risk if there is an issue with VPS hardware.

      Is VPS cloud-based?

      A VPS acts as an individual virtual environment on a physical server owned and operated by a cloud or web hosting provider. This type of hosting divides one physical machine into multiple private server environments that share the resources.

      Are cloud hosting or VPS solutions more expensive?

      The costs of VPS and cloud hosting solutions are often similar though VPS may be less expensive.