To have a well functioning and efficient website, you need to use a web hosting service. There are two basic ways of managing your hosting needs. These are traditional web hosting and cloud computing.
The type of web hosting solution that is suitable for your website depends on your individual needs and requirements for your website. In particular, when creating a website for the Chinese market, you need to keep in mind the particularities of the Middle Kingdom.
In this article by Tenba Group, your favorite Chinese digital marketing agency, we provide some insight. We review the concept of traditional web hosting and cloud computing. And we analyze what sets the two types apart. Finally, we recommend a great hosting company that provides excellent cloud computing services for your website.
In today’s digital world, a proper functioning website is vital to the success of your business. But if it is down, or runs inefficiently, your business suffers. So, make sure to host your website reliably and at lightning speed!
What is Web Hosting?
Basically, your web hosting company is where all your website files are stored. Every website basically consists of files that are stored on a server with a web host. The browser retrieves these files from the web host when a user makes a search query with your domain name.
Both hosting styles provide basic web hosting services and functions. However, this is achieved through drastically different ways. In this article, we will discuss these two common types of hosting.
To give you an idea about the size of the global web hosting services market, let us share this statistic with you: By 2023, this sector is estimated to grow up to 76.2 billion USD.
The top 3 Chinese web hosting companies with the most clients are Alibaba Cloud aka Aliyun (34%), HiChina (12%), and West.cn (2%). Alibaba Cloud is also the largest cloud computing company in China and was recently renamed to Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is a cloud service that offers basic computing infrastructure like servers, storage, and networking resources.
In 2019, the global infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market reached a volume of 38.9 billion USD. This growth is rapidly increasing. As of early 2020, Amazon AWS holds a global market share of 32%, Azure is at 18%, Google Cloud is at 6%, and Alibaba Cloud is at 5 %.
In the Asia Pacific region, Alibaba Cloud aka Aliyun leads the IaaS market with 28%. Aliyun actually is a beautiful composite word. It consists of Ali (from Alibaba) and Yun (meaning cloud). In 2019, Alibaba Cloud hit more than 1.5 billion USD in revenue, that’s plus 76% compared to 2018.
This also demonstrates the importance and relevance of cloud hosting. In the Middle Kingdom, this is particularly important as China’s number one search engine Baidu places a lot of emphasis on speed.
Many foreign websites that are hosted outside of mainland China have difficulties surpassing the strict “Great Firewall of China” due to insufficient setup. This is where cloud hosting with CDN and a good caching system is beneficial if you don’t want to host physically in mainland China.
What is Traditional Web Hosting?
There are two main types of traditional web hosting – shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
- Shared hosting: a website owner pays for a fixed amount of storage space on a single server. The resources there are typically shared by a number of other websites as well. This is the most affordable and widely used type of web hosting. It is also particularly popular amongst beginners on the World Wide Web.
- Dedicated hosting: the website owner pays for the total control of one or more servers so that they have access to the complete resources of the server(s). Thus the name dedicated, as the server’s resources are fully allocated to one client. Dedicated hosting is not as affordable as shared hosting. And it requires some technical knowledge to set up and properly maintain it.
Before you launch any website hosted in China, you must get an ICP license (Internet Content Provider). The ICP registration is administered by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. After receipt, you have to display the ICP registration in the footer of your website.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud hosting – and the underlying technology cloud computing – refer to hosting on “virtual” space, not on a physical server. With cloud hosting, you only have to pay for the storage space which you currently use. This is opposite to traditional web hosting where you pay upfront for a fixed data storage space and processing power.
Cloud computing is relatively new when compared to the more established traditional web hosting which has been around for ages.
With a market size of around 150 million USD in 2019, cloud computing may still be relatively small compared to the shared hosting market with a volume of around 20 billion USD worldwide. But cloud services are rapidly growing. For example, did you know that 90% of companies use some sort of cloud service to conduct their business?
Traditional Web Hosting vs. Cloud Computing
So, what are the critical differences between cloud computing and traditional web hosting? Below we describe the 6 main differences between cloud computing and traditional web hosting (dedicated and shared hosting).
With this information, you are able to choose the best hosting solution for your website:
- traditional hosting of your website directly in China, or
- cloud hosting with CDN and good caching – which has the advantage that you can reach Chinese outside of mainland China
So, let’s look at the differences in more detail.
In traditional web hosting, the servers owned by the hosting company are equipped with a finite amount of storage space. The processing power can either be fully allocated to a client (dedicated hosting) or shared between multiple clients (shared hosting). A lot of first-time website owners choose shared hosting. Because the hosting company usually handles the management and maintenance of the servers. This includes security services and operating system updates.
Cloud hosting, on the other hand, entails multiple virtualized servers consolidating their resources to host several sites. These servers are all synchronized to work as one entity so that multiple servicers handle the hosting of hundreds and thousands of websites.
Traditional web hosting companies may also provide their users with extra services. For example, free domain registration, automatic backups, email account setups, a security certificate, a website builder, and search engine marketing tools.
With cloud computing, users get to enjoy administrative access to their hosting environment. While shared hosting may be more convenient for beginners, if you have a fast-growing site, cloud hosting is the ideal hosting solution for you.
Cloud hosting also protects your website from malfunctioning servers. And thanks to the abundance of servers, you can easily switch among them in case one is not functioning.
In traditional web hosting, especially in shared hosting, each website is allocated a fixed amount of processing power and storage space. Thus, as a website owner, if you need to acquire more resources, you may either have to upgrade your shared hosting package to a higher level or switch to another web hosting company altogether.
Meanwhile, cloud computing has the scalability to be one of its biggest advantages. Here, you have access to a number of servers that allow easy and convenient adjustment of processing power and disk space according to your needs. Some cloud computing hosts also provide their customers with an intuitive management portal to monitor their resources usage and scale as necessary.
When it comes to performance, cloud hosting once again outshines shared and dedicated hosting. In shared hosting, the more the accounts hosted on a server, the longer it will take to process requests for information. This results in much slower performance. Also, in this case, the performance of one site largely depends on the speed and performance of other sites hosted on the same server.
On the other hand, cloud computing offers resources that enable super-fast page loads. Speed is of the essence to online businesses and at least 80% of users will not return to a site if the webpages take too long to load. Most cloud hosts also allow customized configurations. This enables website owners to configure their websites to their preferred specifications to optimize performance metrics and efficiencies.
Both shared and cloud hosting companies usually go to great lengths to safeguard their servers against data breaches. Especially considering the fact that their clients depend on them for security.
Security plans for traditional web hosting typically include automated malware scans, security plugins, SSL certificates, anti-spam, and anti-virus protection.
In terms of security, cloud computing is generally the more secure hosting solution. Just like traditional web-hosting providers, cloud hosting offers data encryption. In addition, cloud hosting packages also allow the installation of web application firewalls, intrusion detection systems and other monitoring tools to ensure top-notch security.
However, with cloud hosting, you normally have to manage all settings by yourself, unless you use a managed cloud service solution. Don’t worry, we’ll reveal our preferred service provider soon.
The price structure for traditional web hosting and cloud hosting are very different. While shared and dedicated hosting are typically offered on a per-month/annual billing model, cloud computing is based on a pay-as-you-go basis. Shared hosting is the cheapest of all hosting solutions. And a lot of users tend to be appreciative of the flat fee that comes with traditional web hosting.
Nevertheless, the pay-as-you-go model is also quite convenient. And customers can be certain that they are paying for just the computing resources they use over a given period of time. It can also help them better plan their spending on technology.
The Advantages of Hosting with Cloudways Computing
Aligning your website with an exceptional cloud computing service provider can help you to build a strong online presence to boost your business. In general, cloud hosting ensures a faster loading time on your Chinese website.
There are dozens of cloud hosting service providers. Among them, Cloudways is our preferred provider. We at Tenba Group have been using it for us and our clients for several years.
Cloudways is a superb platform where website owners and companies can build, develop, deploy, and manage web applications. Even though Cloudways does not host servers on its own, it works with amazing third-party providers, in particular, Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud, managing their servers and providing a full server management package.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you should host your website with Cloudways as a service provider.
With Cloudways services, customers can enjoy incredibly fast page loads. On average, a website hosted on a Cloudways partner takes 616 milliseconds on average to load. In less than 1 second, the browser can retrieve the required information from the web host and display it for the user to see. This is lightning speed – about twice as fast as most cloud computing services in the hosting world.
2. Resources and Features
The Cloudways package is full of features, easy to scale and manage. The company offers a bundle of resources for its users including unlimited website hosting (in terms of number), SSD-based hosting, built-in caches, PHP 7 servers, a free WordPress cache plugin, pre-configured PHP-FPM, HTTP/2 supported servers and free Magento full page cache.
The cloud host provider also offers a smart assistant called CloudwaysBot. This keeps users updated on the health insights relevant to the cloud server and their web applications. Users also get a 3-day free trial period to help them evaluate the cloud hosting service before they decide to join. Click here for your free Cloudways trial!
3. Automatic Backups
With Cloudways, you don’t have to worry about a website crash. When choosing managed cloud hosting, automatic site backups restore your website to its original configuration in the unlikely event of a crash. Users can also set the automatic backup to their preferred frequency (between 1 hour to every 7 days).
Keep in mind that on application level (e.g. WordPress) you have to manage the backups and security by yourself. WordPress has a large variety of plugins, for example, UpdraftPlus for backups and Ninja Firewall for security.
Cloudways is rich in features and very secure. It ensures that every website, which is hosted on the cloud servers, is well safe against security breaches. Some of its security measures include OS-level firewalls, two-factor authentication, and IP whitelisting. Clients also enjoy regular upgrades on the firmware and OS patches to avoid vulnerabilities that outdated configurations can cause.
Cloudways offers what is probably the best cloud hosting support you will find on the internet. The company has a community of experts along with an effective customer support team that is available 24/7. They help users resolve any issues they may be experiencing with their cloud servers. And best of all, this service is included in your hosting package. And your individual server problem will always be addressed with a great solution.
Traditional hosting (shared hosting, dedicated hosting) and cloud hosting both have advantages.
- If you are an individual developer or first-time site owner, traditional web hosting can be a convenient, cheap, and low-entry hosting solution.
- If your website receives a lot of traffic and you need a flexible hosting service, then you should consider moving your website to the cloud. Click here to read more about the advantages of cloud hosting over traditional web hosting.
It is up to you as a website owner to determine what is more of a priority to your business before choosing any hosting service.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. To support our blogging activities, we may receive compensation for our endorsement in this blog post. Please know that we only recommend products and services that we personally approve of and appreciate.