Cloud services are now popular as well. We’ll discuss this nascent technology in a further blogs. Just know that it is a scale-able and more virtual version of hosting. Like anything else, it has its pros and cons. It is only as secure as the service provider, because it’s accessed through web protocols like https and ftps. That’s not to say that it cannot be extremely secure; but as we will discuss in security blogs (and we say all the time) if a human built it a human can break it.
Hosting is the place where you put your website, its data, and the pictures and media that feed the website to users. This consideration is usually based on cost for smaller enterprises and personal websites, but for any professional with real prospects for growth it actually can harm you to go with someone based just on cost.
The big box websites like GoDaddy offer cheap hosting. This is a good service to use to start out with, but realize if you want to go somewhere else, it might be a hassle if you haven’t planned for growth. Enterprise class providers like Liquid Web offer a wide range of hosting capabilities. And somewhere in between you will find what you are looking for.
If you are going to grow, have a lot of “rich” media (like videos or games or large documents); or if you plan on having more than 10,000 people a month on your website you need to have a service that can expand. There will be fluctuations in your traffic that you can’t count on and if you don’t have a scale-able hosting package you’ll end up paying the overage-or worse-your website is going down.
So a cost-only decision isn’t really pertinent. You have to take into considerations the different options available. Discussing this with your IT or web professional will allow for careful and strategic planning..