There has been a lot of buzz recently about “Cloud Hosting”. But how does that really relate to how websites are hosted, with the great majority of hosting accounts hosted in a manner known as ‘shared hosting’. Cloud offers distributed scale-out storage as well as virtualized infrastructure.
However, more than 9 of 10 websites out there are small business, personal or hobbyist websites – which see no visible benefit to the site administrators or the site visitor when served from a conventional standalone shared server compared to from a virtualized and distributed cluster of servers.
The benefits of a cloud or hosting based on a clustered arrangement of servers are recognized with larger scale websites, deploying enterprise level applications, or websites is expected to suddenly serve enormous spike in traffic at times – such as hosting a video conference with hundreds or thousands of participants.
At 4GoodHosting, we have been serving out thousands of long-term (and happy) hosting customers for well over a decade. Our servers today are state-of-the-art and powerful. About every two years, we upgrade our shared hosting server with new faster equipment, RAID hard-drive data redundancy, plus disaster recover servers, and also solid-state SSD storage for SSD-hosting customers.
Our up-time for the past year has been better than 99.9%; and besides infrequent server restarts, our shared hosting servers have been 100% reliable. Whenever a hard-drive, in one of our dozens of shared hosting servers, starts showing a sign of wear-and-tear (and we have special monitoring software for that), we replace it immediately with no downtime for our clients – due to our redundant RAID storage architecture. So, in order to keep our hosting consistently low, we plan to continue hosting our customer’s website on state-of-the-art stand-alone shared hosting servers.
We don’t see shared hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting going away, we see it continuing strong into the future.
Also, we believe in standard monthly pricing to give our customer’s more peace of mind; as we strive to keep our prices as low as possible across the board. Shared hosting and virtual private servers have traditionally offered standardized pricing which is not variable. In contrast, the cloud offers “elastic-pricing” or scalable buckets of compute and storage. However, our clients enjoy better peace of mind knowing exactly that their bill will the same each month, or year; so simple or proper budgeting can be made. It is simply better to know that one will be charged say $4.95/month for personal website hosting, instead of some variable between $2 and perhaps $20.
4GoodHosting isn’t a company that tries hard to upsell customers on new services and products. We only suggest a hosting upgrade when it becomes critically needed. We will open a support ticket showing our customers if and when their website is using resources beyond their current hosting plan, and that actually quite infrequently.
If your website is a start-up with applications or other services that might rapidly grow with demand, then our specialized server monitoring software will alert us if a particular domain account is approaching its resource allocation. In that case, it is a quick and seamless process for us to upgrade a customer to another hosting plan, a VPS, or perhaps even a dedicated server for high resource demand scenarios. From a pricing perspective, our goal has been to have a model that is easily understandable, easily fits into our client’s monthly or yearly accounting and doesn’t expose individual customer to unexpected variability in monthly costs.
Also, what we like to focus on is security, from various types of attacks on our customer’s account of servers. Cloud security is relatively a new frontier in server (and website) security. Shared hosting has been around for about 2 decades and has become very reliable and robust. We have protected our servers with hardware and software firewalls and we have tuned all settings to guard against all known attacks, hacking, spoof attempts, etc. This has made 4GoodHosting one of the top-most hosting customers in terms of reliability. Also our 24/7 support is excellent, as reflected in our long-time A+ BBB rating. We have become masters of support and website security.
Although we firmly believe shared and VPS hosting is here to stay for the long-run. Our next generation servers will also be running “OpenStack” which is a reliable comprehensive cloud platform that has all of the necessary elements needed to be able to run a private and public clouds.
When we do add a cloud cluster to our data room, we will notify all our clients of the new option, and for the great majority, the only difference that they will notice would be variable pricing based on resource usage. Again for those who like to know and trust what their hosting bill will be each month of year, we will recommend that their website just stay put on our super-fast and rock-solid reliable shared hosting servers. If you happen to be into cloud based-application development, we would like to hear from you – so we can better gauge and understand our customers’ needs into the future, and plan likewise.
More general information on 4GoodHosting Shared Hosting:
In shared hosting, we are generally responsible for managing your server, installing server software upgrades, security updates, technical support, and other aspects of the service. Most of servers are based on the Linux operating system, which is driven by the reliability and security of open-source software such as Linux and Apache webserver technology. VPS hosting is similar to shared, except that you are the full master of your own virtual server. Similarly,we also offer Microsoft Windows shared hosting and also Windows VPS solutions. CPanel (control panel) is available is available for Linux – and Plesk is available for Windows servers. Server-side facilities for either OS have similar functionality, for example: MySQL (database) and many server-side programming languages such as PHP web programming language (widely used) work under both Linux and Windows, or the proprietary SQL Server (windows server database) and ASP.net programming language under Windows.
Almost all applications intended to be on a standard web server work fine with a shared web hosting service. But on the other hand, shared hosting is cheaper than other types of hosting such as dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting usually has usage limits and 4GoodHosting has extensive reliability features in place. Our shared hosting services offer basic web statistics support, email and web mail services, auto script installations, updated PHP and MySQL, and expert technical support.
Thank you for considering 4GoodHosting as your web hosting solution.