Shared Hosting Vs. Cloud Hosting: Which Comes Out on Top?

Julia

Julia Raznik · 14th June 2021·Cloud Hosting

Shared Hosting Vs. Cloud Hosting: Which Comes Out on Top?

The world of web hosting can be a pretty confusing place for the uninitiated, and those looking to launch their first website might struggle to pick the package that’s best for them. We’re on hand to walk you through two of the most popular choices and what they have to offer; shared hosting and cloud hosting.

Before we pit them against each other, you can learn more about them on our cloud hosting and shared hosting pages.

Common Features


  • Customer service and uptime guarantees
    These features will be near identical

  • Shared data center space
    Both hosting types involve sharing space in a data center, albeit in slightly different ways

  • Both are good for small businesses
    The two hosting types are reasonably priced and well set up for small businesses

Differences


The primary difference comes in how data center resources are distributed.

In shared hosting, multiple websites all sit on one server together, sometimes causing competition for bandwidth.

Cloud hosting on the other hand spreads computing power across multiple servers, often the whole data center, and will assign resources to sites as and when needed. This makes it a more efficient way to balance the load during spikes in traffic.

Point By Point Comparison


Comparison between Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting

Resource Allocation

  • Shared Hosting Sites are restricted to the resources available on just one server. There could be dozens, or hundreds of sites all sharing limited space meaning your neighbors could be taking processing power away from you, causing slow-down.
  • Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting uses multiple servers to share the resource burden across all the sites hosted in that data center, leading to a much more efficient share of resources

Verdict
If a website on cloud hosting exceeds its data quota or experiences a spike in traffic, it can borrow resources from another server, making resource allocation much more efficient.

Performance

  • Shared Hosting Smaller websites should rarely notice any performance issues in a shared server. It’s only when a site starts to grow that you’ll start to see a significant increase in loading times and performance.
  • Cloud Hosting Since resources are so efficiently distributed, cloud hosting clients will often notice significantly improved speeds, often performing tasks twice as fast as in a shared hosting counterpart.

Verdict
It should be rare for you to experience performance issues on a cloud website, unless you significantly exceed your traffic allowance.

Traffic Volume

Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting traffic Comparison
  • Shared Hosting Shared hosting struggles to compete when it comes to traffic. Almost all plans will impose restrictions on the number of monthly site visitors and, if you receive more than this, you’ll see a significant slow-down and need to upgrade your package.
  • Cloud Hosting Dealing with high traffic is no issue at all for cloud-hosted sites. If one of the sites in the data center experiences a traffic spike, it can easily draw on additional resources to compensate.

Verdict
Cloud hosting easily takes this round with its near infinite scalability.

Security

Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting Security Comparison
  • Shared Hosting As shared hosting uses shared databases and servers, it makes websites on there more vulnerable to cyber attack. However, we should stress breaches are still very rare, and data hosts have impressive protections in place these days.
  • Cloud Hosting Cloud environments generally have multiple layers of security built into servers, although the kinds of firewalls and antivirus software deployed by the data center provider are similar across both types of hosting.

Verdict
Cloud environments offer just as much security as shared, with the added benefit of being able to install extra security measures on the server.

Control

  • Shared Hosting You’ll have very little control over the features you can add to your site. You’ll be limited to pre-approved software and plug-ins and won’t be able to install your own software onto the server.
  • Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting gives you a little more flexibility to install applications on your server and manipulate the source code to make changes to your site.

Verdict
Cloud hosting takes this round too with added control over your servers. However, you’ll still need to abide by certain terms and conditions.

Server Administration

  • Shared Hosting Shared hosting is designed around simplicity. You don’t have any responsibility over server administration at all, and all problems, issues, glitches and maintenance are catered for by your data host.
  • Cloud Hosting You’ll find many cloud hosts operate in a very similar way to shared hosting when it comes to server administration. Many prefer to sign up for a managed service and let the host deal with any maintenance and administration issues.

Verdict
This one is too close to call and operate with a lot of similarities.

Scalability

Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting scalability Comparison
  • Shared Hosting Shared hosting will assign your website a strict amount of bandwidth and processing power. If you go over this you’ll need to upgrade your plan. This can be done quite easily by contacting your hosting provider and you’ll be set new limits.
  • Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting can be scaled much more easily and quickly than shared plans since you’re sharing resources across the whole data center.

Verdict
Cloud hosting is perfectly made to handle spikes in traffic and is great for scalability.

Price

  • Shared Hosting Shared Hosting’s biggest advantage comes from its low price. There’s huge competition in the market these days and prices are at rock bottom at the moment. You should only need to pay a few dollars per month to set up a site using shared hosting.
  • Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting is a lot more expensive since you’re utilizing a lot more resources. Expect to pay anywhere between $10 - $80 per month depending on how much space and processing power you need.

Verdict
It’s unlikely shared hosting will eve3r be beaten on price. An easy choice for the winner.

User-friendliness

Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting user friendliness Comparison
  • Shared Hosting Shared hosting packages are incredibly user-friendly. Most provide you with a straightforward cPanel to administer your site which lets you make edits and install plug-ins easily.
  • Cloud Hosting A lot of cloud hosting options now utilize the same web-building tools as shared options so are quite user-friendly. However, those looking to install additional applications to their servers will need to have the technical knowledge to do so.

Verdict
Just about anyone can sign up for a shared hosting package and have a site up and running in no time. The best choice for newbies and those that lack technical knowledge.

Customer Support

  • Shared Hosting Any reputable host will provide support 24/7 as well as a comprehensive selection of guides and FAQs to help you manage your site. When using shared hosting you can expect everything to be taken care of for you.
  • Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting will generally utilize the same customer support resources as its shared hosting counterpart, and there’s little to differentiate between them.

Verdict
Both shared and cloud hosting plans will draw on the same knowledgeable team of customer service agents, making this one a draw.


When to Upgrade Your Hosting Plan


When your site is running slowly
This suggests that your site isn’t being allocated enough resources and an upgrade is due

When you get an increase in traffic
As your site grows and you start to notice significant increases in traffic, you’ll want to upgrade your plan to cope

You need multiple sites
Data hosts will often only let you run one site on basic packages. If you need more than one website you’ll need an upgrade

When your site is running slowly
This suggests that your site isn’t being allocated enough resources and an upgrade is due

When you get an increase in traffic
As your site grows and you start to notice significant increases in traffic, you’ll want to upgrade your plan to cope

You need multiple sites
Data hosts will often only let you run one site on basic packages. If you need more than one website you’ll need an upgrade

Additional Comparisons


Shared Hosting Vs. VPS

Virtual private server hosting (VPS) is a good middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. You’ll still be sharing servers, but will be assigned your own private space, meaning none of your neighbors can muscle in on your resources. You can check out the differences in detail here.

Summary


While it might look like cloud hosting has taken the prize in most of our categories, shared hosting still very much has its uses. The low cost, ease of use and fully managed service offered by shared hosting make it the perfect choice for anyone brand new to website development, or those that just need a simple, uncomplicated site.

Those that are a little more established, need to scale up operations or are simply looking for more storage and processing power, would be better off opting for a cloud hosting option.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I Need Technical Knowledge to Use Cloud Hosting?

Not necessarily. Under a fully managed hosting package Verpex will take care of all the technical aspects for you.

Will the Data Center Location Affect Speeds?

Yes. Generally, the closer you are to where your data is hosted, the faster your website will be.

Can I Customize My Shared Hosting Package?

No, our shared hosting packages come with set bandwidth and storage limits, and you can’t install software on the server. You can however easily upgrade or switch to VPS or cloud hosting if you prefer.

Are Trial Periods Available?

No, but Verpex offers you a 60-day money-back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied with your hosting package.

Julia
Julia Raznik