It’s not easy to shop for hosting because the quality is not always evident upfront. It’s not as obvious as the below scenario.
Beyond quality, it’s also unclear how much power and scope a site will require in memory, storage capacity, CPU, and bandwidth. Of course, it’s possible – and particularly speedy in scalability-friendly cloud hosting situations – to change parameters after the fact, but it’s easier to set up your infrastructure with enough room to serve visitors sufficiently and grow.
When looking at bandwidth specifically, web hosts sometimes have packages that offer a terabyte of bandwidth. A terabyte sure sounds like a lot, but calculating how closely a terabyte comes to meeting your needs will give you a sense whether to initially select that option.
Cloud hosting is a topic that is not easy to evaluate as a consumer. When you attempt to look into how to compare one cloud hosting provider to another, it’s challenging to determine what parameters you should be reviewing.
All in all, finding the right cloud hosting provider is about knowing the right questions to ask. A solid hosting company that specializes in the cloud will not hesitate to provide you with the answers. The cloud, like any vague business concept, can be a dangerous terrain to explore without a reasonable amount of knowledge. With a firm understanding of how the cloud operates, though, you can find the correct solution for your company.
One of the key factors to determine when reviewing hosting options is the amount of monthly allowable data transfer. Typically you won’t just be “cut off” at that amount. A host will charge a certain amount per megabyte (MB) of additional transfer. However, the amount that comes standard with the package will give you a sense of what you’re paying for each month, assuming no overages.
The parameters of Cloud Hosting, like any form of cloud computing, can be foggy and unsure. The below comic expresses the dangers that can be found in a cloud’s gray areas.
Regardless of misunderstandings and a range of quality provided by various cloud service providers (CSPs), there is a legitimate reason why so many enterprises are shifting their attention and resources to the cloud. Beyond its general positive aspects (and we will discuss little-mentioned ones below), cloud technology has different implications for different types of businesses. Industries such as investing, marketing (both covered previously in this blog), and mobile applications can all benefit in different ways.
Cloud hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting are increasingly popular ways to deliver a website. These two options appear similar at first glance because they both represent a complete physical dedicated server while being something different. Cloud hosting is woven into a network, a structure that divides work between servers. A VPS is much closer to being that physical piece of equipment, but it’s actually a piece of one.
Cloud Hosting is a field that is, well, a bit nebulous, as expressed in the below comic.
The cloud can be instrumental, though, for web prominence. Whether a company is doing its own SEO and marketing or using an outside service for those purposes, cloud computing can play an important role in the success of campaigns.
What is cloud hosting?
Of course, we understand that the Internet is not a physical object. However, we have gotten used to the idea that websites are stored on individual servers. Get dedicated hosting, and you have your own server. Get shared hosting, and you share a server with lots of people. Get VPS hosting, and you share, but your section functions as its own server.
Cloud hosting, however, removes storage of your website from a specific physical space. Instead, your site is stored throughout a server cluster designed by the hosting company. Rather than talking about one server or a piece of a server or multiple dedicated servers, you have a group of computers all storing and delivering your website. It’s efficient, affordable, and scalable.
Cloud’s relationship to SEO
A major advantage of the cloud, for delivery of content, is that you are not tied to one location. Understanding the way that search engine rankings and geographical location relate to a sense of why this gets complex for SEO.
The reason location of the server is important to your ranking on the search engines is that services like Google use a person’s physical location in the world to determine results. That’s one way that the search engine’s try to make results more relevant to the user. Forgetting servers and just considering content, it’s the reason why you can enter “order sushi” into search in Albuquerque, and many of the top results will be from your local area.
Search engines don’t just look at where the user is located, though. Google and Bing also check the IP address of the server delivering the site to determine physical hosting location. Regardless of the top level domain (TLD) – such as .com or.uk – your site will show up in searches for that country.
TLD’s are by no means irrelevant to SEO. The location of the server is not as crucial for a site with a local TLD (such as .com.au in Australia) as it is for generic top-level domains (such as .org). However, it’s also possible within Webmaster Tools to specify a site’s location, at least for Google.
It has made sense in the past to have your server located in the nation where you most want to do business; this practice lowers latency for you and your users (the interval between sending a request to a server and receiving a response), and the search engines like that.
With cloud hosting, though, your website is served internationally. The search engines have yet to completely catch up with the cloud, in two core ways:
Regarding the first of those two issues, when your site competes, over time, the version with the most authority will get better positioning on the SERPs (search engine result pages) than the local site. For example, a site that has both a UK and an AU version competes against itself. Even if the AU version is intended for Australians, the UK one could get better rankings based on the confusion created by cloud hosting.
Regardless of these two ways in which the search engines need to improve, significant emphasis is placed by Google and Bing on page load speed. It first became a recognized optimizer in Google Caffeine, which also created a much more sophisticated site indexing system.
That’s good news for those using the cloud. The nature of cloud infrastructure makes it much easier to deliver a webpage quickly. A faster site means better search rankings.
Google’s general stance toward cloud computing
More than anything, it’s illuminating to get a sense of Google’s perspective toward the cloud. It’s certainly not dismissive. Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, wrote a post on his site in 2008 entitled, “Why cloud services rock.” The following year, he spoke in a video about how cloud storage is positive for search.
Again – as seen in the above comic – cloud hosting can be all over the place. Much of the reason why the quality of a given cloud system is difficult to determine is because of the strengths of the cloud: its diversification and lack of physical specificity are exactly what makes it more flexible, scalable, reliable, and affordable.
By Kent Roberts
Some of us are experts at moving sites from one web host or server to another. For those of us who are not in that category, it’s often a task that gets procrastinated.
For good reason, too. Once everything gets set up and is functioning correctly on our site, it’s natural to be concerned that switching over to the servers of a different hosting service could cause downtime, glitches, and other headaches. The advice on WordPress itself, furthermore, is comprehensive but complicated.
Firewalls come in essentially three varieties: hardware firewalls, software firewalls, and web application firewalls (WAFs). Typically a cloud hosting company or datacenter infrastructure will take advantage of both of the first two types of firewalls for general use. The third type – the focus of this article – started gaining prominence about a half-decade ago (though there is an overlap of these categories, as discussed below).
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