The Key Differences of Shared and Cloud Hosting for Business

In an increasingly remote workforce, it’s more essential than ever to have remote access to business resources. And the best way to unify your business’s technology is through hosting.

So then comes the question of cloud hosting vs shared hosting. What is the difference between the two, and which one is right for your business?

The decision can feel daunting, but with an understanding of the benefits and downfalls of each, you’ll feel confident in the type of hosting you choose. Read on to discover which type of hosting is right for your business needs.

Cloud Hosting vs Shared Hosting: An Overview

Businesses use hosting for several different needs. One of the most common is website hosting, which is when you pay a hosting provider to store your site’s data. But hosting is also good for several other business needs. 

Hosting is particularly useful for your IT department. For example, you can use desktop hosting to allow access to important business data, applications, and email from any device. This allows your IT department to work from anywhere and have all the information they need at their fingertips.

When you choose a hosting provider, you are essentially renting out space on the company’s hardware. This is where you store your data. The difference between cloud hosting and shared hosting is where your files are stored. 

What Is Shared Hosting?

With shared hosting, you share space on a single server with other businesses. This is the most common hosting type and is often the most affordable option. 

Unfortunately, this type of hosting comes with a major downside: when you opt for shared hosting, you are sharing your server with several other customers. There can be hundreds or even thousands of businesses on a single server, which limits the amount of data and computing power available for your needs.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

With cloud hosting, a network of multiple servers shares your data. Cloud hosting virtually connects several servers to share storage and processing resources. This avoids the competition for computing resources as they can be redistributed as needed.

The main benefits of cloud hosting are its reliability, scalability, and performance.

  1. Reliability: If one server goes down, there are others available to pick up the slack
  2. Scalability: Unlike shared hosting, there is plenty of space and computing power available
  3. Performance: Often with cloud hosting, hardware components are optimized for particular tasks, meaning they perform better at what they need to do

We will discuss the differences between the two hosting types in more detail to give you a better understanding of what this means.

Server Resources

With shared hosting, your data is on a single piece of hardware that is shared among many customers. This means there is a limited amount of resources to go around. This also means you are competing for data space and processing power.

A major complaint with shared hosting is the impact of one customer’s usage on another’s performance. If there are spikes in hosting usage on your shared server, this will boggle down the resources and slow the transfer of data.

With cloud hosting, there are plenty of resources to go around. Due to the shared network of servers, different sites are bounced between different servers to account for spikes in traffic or other stresses. Because of this dynamic setup, the server performs better consistently. 


As you may have guessed, shared hosting doesn’t offer unlimited scalability. Shared hosting platforms have to place limits on the amount of storage and computing resources available. Going over this limit can result in fees or decreased performance.

Cloud hosting offers a huge advantage here: when more data and processing is needed, it is readily available. The hosting packages are flexible. Most cloud hosts offer a portal for you to scale up and down as needed based on your server usage.


Of course, with any comparison, you have to discuss the cost. Here is where shared hosting beats cloud hosting. With shared hosting, you generally pay a flat fee and can save money by paying for years at a time.

This makes shared hosting the cheapest option. Plus, due to competition among hosts, they will add extra services for a competitive edge. 

With cloud hosting, you pay based on the services used. This can make it difficult to predict costs since your services may scale up or down based on your company’s needs at a given time.


As you’ve probably guessed, cloud hosting outperforms shared hosting by a landslide. While shared hosting is adequate for some business’ needs, cloud hosting offers more servers and more computing power to draw from.

Shared hosting performance can be hit or miss. Since your data shares space with others, performance and speed will often depend on how boggled down the server is with other requests.


Shared hosting offers the advantage of a much more hands-off approach to hosting, especially when it comes to security. Shared hosting providers work hard to protect users’ security. Many encrypt data that is sent to web users, among other precautions.

You also have the option to increase security depending on the host you choose. With cloud hosting, you have more control over how things are configured — security included. This can be good or bad: you may have to install your own firewalls and monitoring tools

Luckily, most cloud providers take on major anti-virus and data encryption measures. But if you aren’t confident in your ability to secure data, you may want to opt for shared hosting or managed cloud hosting services.

Shared vs Cloud Hosting: The Choice Is Yours

There is no clear-cut answer in the cloud hosting vs shared hosting debate. Cloud hosting wins out for its server resources, scalability, and performance. But you can’t beat the cost of shared hosting, and depending on your comfort with technology the fully managed security that comes with shared hosting may be tempting.

Choosing a hosting type is really a matter of what makes sense for your business. If you’re still having trouble deciding between the two, we can help you figure out if cloud services are the right fit for your company. Learn more about our cloud services and contact us today! 

Written by Sami Malik

Marketing Campaigns Manager