When to choose cloud hosting?

I mentioned elsewhere that I don’t know much about cloud hosting. I understand it isn’t suitable for small, static sites but when would it be a good option?

One of my sites is small but growing slowly, both in terms of content and visitor numbers. Some times of year are busier than others. What are the criteria which would make it worth moving to cloud hosting?


Hi, Ted…

My thought is - when you have an application where you want to be in control. Like, designing your server stack for performance. That is the case in which you would want cloud server. With server system, youre able to draw maximum performance at minimum cost, if you know what you’re doing.

The case in which you would want the flexibility of resizing your cloud instance on demand, is when you expect spikes in traffic, or in user engagement. Particularly temporary spikes.

Once you know what you’re doing - and you are at least acquainted with the server stack, you will naturally look toward cloud & toward server instances


I would use cloud hosting if I wanted the following:

  • More control of the server and resources
  • Wanted to be able to scale my site up and down a certain times to save me spending more money.
  • Control my stack using code and an API (not sure if all providers offer this)
  • If I want to have my site running from a specific region to make it faster for my targeted market.
  • If I want to setup a site with load balancing and multiple servers again to get better performance.

It can be a lot more complicated and you have to be across updates and keeping things secure so it is only something I would do if you are able to handle this. Not something I would do for a small business website.

I hope this helps a little.


So, are you saying cloud hosting gives more control over the server than a VPS?

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I was putting cloud hosting - as in ECS or SAS in Alibaba’s case - against managed / shared hosting.
And these are - elastic - VPS instances in essence.

You can read more here

Another reason for considering cloud hosting is to be able to develop, run, and manage application functionalities without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Function as a service, kind of thing… Do Alibaba offer this?

I’m not sure how much sense this makes for a small business, but you could even go as far as hooking up your contact form to a cloud provider.


IMHO, moving to cloud is always beneficial provided you have knowledge/resources who can do that.
If I understand correctly you should already operating in Cloud. but on a share server.

If you are looking for web hosting in Alibaba Cloud, You should really look at https://www.alibabacloud.com/product/hosting (Perfect for SME)
If believe this helps you based on the scenario you have provided .

If you are looking to explore and know what Dedicated instance can do, you should look at ECS/SAS they provide with great integration with all other products like Alibaba Cloud Domains & DNS.

Thanks for the response. As I said elsewhere, I had looked at that page and found it confusing. It also seems to be more restrictive than the hosting I already have, but the main issue I see is that it only offers a choice between Hong Kong or US West, and most of my traffic is European.

What I was trying to establish here was some kind of general guidelines to help me (and anyone else who might be interested) judge when a move to cloud hosting would be appropriate. I don’t seem to be the only one confused by the whole issue.

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Really cool option is Alibaba’s ECS (or SAS) with free version of Plesk - that should give you a range of options, from user friendly web interface to full access. And there is WordPress management options.

But your website should justify the effort & cost over the basic shared options out there

Am i completely off in my thinking that Cloud hosting is just hosting that is spread across multiple servers?
If that is the case wouldn’t the advantages just be things like more uptime as if one server goes down the others take over, or if one maxs out the other load share? Also if there is a closer server it would just us that one so if you are a multinational company it would be useful to maintain download speeds across the globe.

If you are a company just selling to the UK for example, then cloud hosting is probably far more than you’d need unless you are getting a ‘lot’ of traffic to your site, vs just having a dedicated server somewhere in the uk.

Is that correct?

One of the points of the cloud is that you don’t pay for resources you don’t need - while they are just couple of clicks away when you do.

That’s just one feature.

There are many scenarios where cloud gives you a lot more.

So you’re saying there is no “minimum charge”?

eg. If I were to use Alibaba only to store a few KB worth of image files and they didn’t get called for a given month (no bandwidth used), I would be charged only for the few KB of storage?

I can understand being charged for the “more” when it’s used, but I was unaware of there being lower charges for the “less”.

Basically, it means that Alibaba Cloud service offers more flexibility when it comes to scaling up and down and only paying for the resources that you use.

Alibaba Cloud offers two kind of payment models e.g. with their Elastic Compute Service. You can either be billed monthly(subscription based) or pay-as-you-go(hourly).

If you are just starting out with cloud hosting, you can customize the ECS instance when creating it so that you only pay for minimal resources depending on your hosting needs. For instance, you can choose an Alibaba Cloud server with a 1GB Memory, 20GB HDD and 1vCPU

As your business grows, you can scale up depending on your current needs. For instance, if you have a lot of data on your server and you are experiencing memory and performance issues, you can upgrade to an ECS instance with 2GB RAM, 80GB HDD and may be 2vCPUs.

So in real sense, Alibaba cloud will grow with you depending on your needs and you will only pay for the resources that match your current business scenario.

Also, in regards to the importance of cloud hosting, here is my contribution;

Control: You can install any application that you require on the server
Customization: You can tweak your server according to your needs e.g. change the time zone to run your application smoothly.
Security: You can add any security layer to your server and you are not limited to what the shared hosting providers used to offer.
Also, you can reboot, shutdown and even upgrade the operating system on your server depending on your needs.
Flexibility: You can scale up/down resources and only pay for what you require.