Cloud hosting is a relatively new invention that is changing the web hosting industry. Instead of a specific server like traditional dedicated or VPS hosting, cloud hosting involves a pool of resources that you can draw on as required.
Because of this, cloud hosting allows you to allocate extra RAM, storage, or bandwidth to your hosting plan as required. For example, you could add extra resources for a short period if you’re expecting a temporary spike in traffic and/or sales.
In the rest of this guide, we analyze ten of the best cloud hosting services available in 2020. These include a range of popular options, with something for everyone from small businesses and personal users to enterprise-level eCommerce stores—and everyone in between.
Powerful pay as you go cloud hosting services
Bandwidth: Variable | Free SSL: Yes | Management: Flexible
Only pay for the resources you use
No lock-in contracts
No domain registration portal
No email hosting options
Cloudways is a powerful cloud hosting provider offering extremely flexible solutions. It has a selection of pay-as-you-go plans based on different cloud infrastructure networks, and all subscriptions are billed hourly.
This means that you can change your plan and the amount of server resources you’re using at any time, and you will only be billed for what you need. This is a pleasant change from more traditional hosting, which is usually charged monthly.
Prices start from as low as $10 per month ($0.0139 per hour) for 1GB RAM, a one core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB of bandwidth. All plans come with free website migrations, 24/7/365 comprehensive support, automatic backups, a free SSL certificate, and much, much more.
What’s more, there are no lock-in contracts, which means that you can cancel your subscription at any time. There’s even a nifty free trial so you can test the waters. Overall, Cloudways is a great option for those looking for flexible, high-quality cloud hosting.
Cheap, flexible cloud hosting
Bandwidth: Unlimited | Free SSL: Yes | Management: Unmanaged
Full DDoS protection
High renewal prices
Limited high-end plans
Hostinger is one of the world’s most popular hosting providers, and for good reason. It’s known for very low shared hosting prices, and its cloud solutions follow in the same vein.
There are three base plans available, with prices ranging from $7.45 to $37 per month for an initial subscription. However, you will have to pay for four years in advance to access these prices, and you will pay more than double on renewal.
The cheapest Cloud Startup plan ($7.45 per month) includes 100GB of SSD storage, 3GB of RAM, and two CPU cores. Upgrading to a Cloud Professional subscription ($14.95 per month) will give you 140GB of SSD storage, 6GB of RAM, and four CPU cores. And finally, the Cloud Global plan starts at $37 per month and includes 200GB of SSD storage, 16GB of RAM, and eight CPU cores.
All three plans come with a free domain, a free SSL certificate, a dedicated IP address, and unlimited bandwidth, among other features. And what’s more, Hostinger has data centers in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, increasing reliability and server speed.
The bottom line: If you’re looking for a cheap, hassle-free option, Hostinger could be the perfect choice.
3. A2 Hosting
Highly configurable unmanaged cloud hosting
Bandwidth: From 2TB | Free SSL: Yes | Management: Unmanaged & Managed
Extremely easy to get started
Full root access on all plans
No managed cloud options
Optional add-ons can get expensive
A2 Hosting is a very popular web host offering a great selection of cloud VPS hosting options. Prices start from just $5 per month for an unmanaged plan with 20GB of storage, one CPU core, 512MB of RAM, and 2TB of bandwidth.
Extra resources can be added at an extra cost. Prices include $1 per 10GB of storage, $1 per CPU core, $8 per GB of memory, and $20 per TB of bandwidth. You can also specify your server location, operating system, and whether or not you need a cPanel license.
On top of this, all of A2 Hosting’s cloud VPS solutions come with full root access, allowing you to configure your server exactly as required. There is also an anytime money-back guarantee, which means you can request a refund if you’re ever unhappy with the service you’re getting.
Powerful cloud hosting with hourly billing
Bandwidth: From 1TB | Free SSL: No | Management: Managed & Unmanaged
Great customer support
Add or remove resources as required
High-end plans are expensive
Limited data center locations
Hostwinds has a selection of highly-affordable cloud hosting solutions featuring full management and the ability to add and remove resources as required. Prices start from just $0.006931 per hour (approximately $5 per month) for the most basic plan, which includes one CPU core, 1GB of RAM, 30GB of storage, and 1TB of bandwidth.
On top of this, you will be able to configure your server when you sign up. Select from data centers in Amsterdam, Dallas, or Seattle, add extra IP addresses if required, and specify whether you need a cPanel or Softaculous license.
If you’re on a tight budget, Hostwinds is a great option. However, its higher-end cloud solutions are slightly expensive, and the limited data center locations may be a concern for some.
Flexible cloud hosting with hourly billing
Bandwidth: Unlimited | Free SSL: No | Management: Unmanaged
Pay hourly for exactly what you use
Full root access and control
Lack of management options
Add-ons can get expensive
DreamHost offers a selection of cloud hosting solutions designed for those who need a highly configurable server that they can customize. You can use any Linux operating system you want, and all servers come with full root access and configurability.
On top of this, DreamHost’s cloud servers are very affordable. Prices start from just $4.50 per month ($0.0075 per hour) for a server with 512MB of RAM, 1vCPU, and 100GB of storage. A more powerful server with 2GB of RAM costs $12 per month ($0.02 per hour) and is perfect for small to medium-sized websites. And what’s more, all billing is hourly, so you will only ever pay for exactly what you use.
6. Scala Hosting
High-quality cloud hosting at a very competitive price
Bandwidth: From 1000GB | Free SSL: With managed plans | Management: Managed & Self-managed
Highly configurable cloud VPS hosting
Extremely competitive prices
Limited server locations
Prices increase slightly on renewal
Scala Hosting certainly isn’t the most popular web hosting company, but it offers some of the best cloud VPS hosting solutions we’ve seen. There are both managed and self-managed options available, and all servers come with access to the company’s native SPanel and SShield Cybersecurity tools.
Prices start from just $9.95 per month for a managed server with one CPU core, 2GB of RAM, and 20GB of SSD storage. Alternatively, self-managed plans cost from $10 per month with one CPU core, 2GB of RAM, 50GB of SSD storage, and 1000GB of bandwidth. All plans are fully configurable, allowing you to add more resources as required.
7. InMotion Hosting
Fully-managed cloud VPS hosting with generous resources
Bandwidth: From 4TB | Free SSL: Yes | Management: Fully managed
Very generous server resources
Fully technical management includes
Prices are quite high
No Windows operating systems available
InMotion Hosting is a popular web hosting company offering a selection of cloud-based VPS hosting plans. All servers are fully managed, come with a cPanel control panel, and are backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Unfortunately, prices are quite high. A VPS-1000HA-S subscription will cost you $29.99 per month, and it includes 4GB of RAM, 75GB of storage, 4TB of bandwidth, and free SSL certificates. Prices increase from here for more advanced servers with more resources. Although InMotion is slightly expensive, the amount of resources on offer really is quite impressive.
Configurable cloud hosting with a low price tag
Bandwidth: From 1TB | Free SSL: No | Management: Self-managed
Highly configurable cloud servers
Clear, fair pricing structure
Windows OS is significantly more expensive
No free trial or money-back guarantee
InterServer has made it onto our list of the best cloud hosting options because of its transparent low prices and highly configurable slice-based VPS servers. A range of Linux and Windows operating systems are available, and you will have full root access and control over your server.
Prices start from $6 per month for a Linux server with one CPU core, 2048MB of memory, 30GB of SSD storage, and 1TB of bandwidth. Additional “slices” with the same amount of resources can be added for $6 each, up to a maximum of 16. All payments are monthly, with no lock-in contracts and the ability to cancel at any time.
9. Liquid Web
High-end cloud VPS hosting for business users
Bandwidth: From 10TB | Free SSL: No | Management: Semi or fully-managed
Fully-managed cloud hosting available
Impressive range of premium features
Windows plans are significantly more expensive
Limited data center locations (USA and Europe only)
Liquid Web is a high-end hosting company targeting those with more advanced needs than the average user. It offers a selection of cloud-based VPS hosting options, with both Linux and Windows operating systems available. Prices start from $59 per month for a Linux server with two vCPUs, 40GB of SSD storage, 10TB of bandwidth, and 2GB of RAM. Windows servers start from $129 per month for 4GB of RAM, 100GB of SSD storage, and 10TB of bandwidth.
Highly specialized cloud hosting solutions
Bandwidth: From 500GB | Free SSL: No | Managemen: Managed & Unmanaged
Hourly billing available
Highly configurable cloud servers
Not a beginner-friendly option
Managed service is very expensive
Kamatera focuses solely on cloud solutions, with a range of hosting, storage, and other products on the market. Its cloud hosting is highly configurable, with prices starting from just $0.005 per hour ($4 per month). You can customize your server to fit your exact needs, and the highly redundant, worldwide network is designed to ensure maximal uptime and extremely fast performance.