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The Cloud or A VPS? Which Should You Choose

When choosing a method of hosting for your website in this day and age it is imperative to consider all the options available to you. Two of the most popular options available today include cloud hosting or VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server). Understanding your needs is going to best help you make your decision on which solution you should choose.

cloud or vps

The first question you need to ask yourself is what will you be using this service for? Will you be developing a node application, or hosting a WordPress blog? Knowing what you will be using the hosting for is the first step in making the best decision when it comes to your hosting solution. Here going to go ahead and go over the pros and the cons of both Cloud hosting and a Virtual Private Server so you can better decide which is going to work best for your personal situation.

When Should I Use Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is a pretty awesome service. It can be used for almost any situation really. It’s the future of hosting if you ask me personally. Its ability to scale up depending on your needs not only saves you money but also makes sure you can change your hosting specifications easily and efficiently without having to take the time to move your website files and database files all over to a new hosting provider with a larger service or hosting plan. Sometimes this can result in loss of data and downtime on your website, so it is best to have a plan for expansion from the start!

What Level Of Technology Know How Do I Need To Effectively Utilize Cloud Hosting?
Another great benefit of using cloud hosting instead of VPS hosting is that it is in most cases fully managed so you merely need to login to your cPanel or similar hosting control panel and manage your websites with the provided graphical user interface. In most cases this is cPanel, which has been around since the dawn of hosting companies. Another option would be something like DirectAdmin or PerlDesk which are both used, but are much less prevalent than the breadwinner cPanel. This means you don’t need to worry about keeping your server up to date, choosing an operating system, installing Apache, or any of that jazz. You can just set your nameservers to your new hosting account and everything else can be done from within your control panel! This is perfect for someone just looking to run their website that doesn’t need to tweak the systems base software. Oftentimes this means better security, even if you’re knowledgeable enough to set up and get your server running, the system administrators that they have hired to run the cloud hosting service are most likely more knowledgeable and can keep the server running much smoother than you would of been able to.

The Benefits of Cloud Hosting
So let us take a step back and go over the benefits of using Cloud Hosting:

  • Easy To Setup Your Website
  • Usually Has A Built In Service For Performing Backups
  • Administrated By A Knowledgeable Server Admin
  • Easily Scalable to Fit Your Needs As Your Site Grows
  • Requires No Linux Server Administration On Your Part
  • Easy to Use Control Panel Such as cPanel or DirectAdmin

Okay, So When Should I Use A Virtual Private Server?
So now that we know when it is best to use Cloud Hosting, let’s take a look at when it may be applicable and desirable to buy a VPS instead. A VPS does have its benefits if you’re looking to take advantage of the Linux Shell, or you are programming some kind of application that lets you run applications from inside the Linux Shell. For example if you wrote a Bitcoin Trading bot in Python or Java, you may want to execute it from within the Linux shell and let it run in the background.

Another example of when using a VPS may be desirable, is for running a Virtual Desktop. You could install Ubuntu as the operating system and install a Virtual Desktop so you could login using a piece of software such as VMWare and you could have a remote desktop that you could use to privately browse the internet, or run Linux application that you couldn’t otherwise run on your Windows or Mac operating system.

What’s It Take To Run A Website On A VPS?
With Cloud Hosting it is very easy to get your website up and running. If you’re using a VPS you will first need to install Apache, PHP, MySQL, and Bind to map your domain to your server. This means you will need to be comfortable working with Linux software and configuration. You will need to know the ins and outs and be able to secure your server if you’re planning on running a production website on the server. This could be good if you’re just looking to learn a bit about Linux and aren’t planning on running an active and popular website on the server. If you’re looking to run a popular website on a VPS, in most cases you would need to hire a Server Administrator to setup and secure the server for you.

The Benefits of A VPS
So the benefits of using a VPS would be that you have full control over the server and hosting. Which could be what you need if you’re developing some kind of trading bot or a scraper that doesn’t need to deliver websites and be fully secure to host a production level website. Merely learning as you go isn’t advised because you won’t have the level of security that you need to run an effective and well performing website.

  • Full Control of Server
  • Remote Desktop
  • Application Development
  • Learning Linux

So Which Should I Choose?
In most cases if you’re just trying to run a website I would advise most people to just choose the Cloud Hosting. This will give you a control panel where you can setup and administrate your website, domains, and email. It is also scalable so you can easily scale up to fit your needs in the moment depending on how much traffic you’re receiving, and how many resources you need. It lets you scale up your specifications without needing to move all your files and databases, which is awesome and very accommodating when you’re looking at the big picture.

On the otherside of things, a Virtual Private Server is good if you’re looking to setup a Remote Desktop you can access from anywhere, or are developing a program that you need to run in the background but don’t need to install Apache, MySQL, or PHP for. A VPS is also a good way to learn Linux if you’re thinking of becoming more familiar with setting up and running Linux servers. Armed with this knowledge it’s easy to tell that in most cases you’re going to want to go with the Cloud Hosting, especially if you’re just trying to get your website online and accessible, with a reasonable amount of security and a well established systems administrator on your side that can take care of server problems that pop up as they arise. Cloud Hosting almost always takes care of backups for you as well, so you don’t lose any data in the case of an incident with server hardware or software malfunctions. Best of luck!