If you’re unsure how to answer the common question “what’s the difference between Cloud and cPanel hosting?”, take the time to read this article that delves into the technicalities of Cloud and cPanel hosting as well as the basics of how web hosting works.
A website is made up of files – these files can be code, graphics, animation, video and so on. To be able to have a website you need somewhere to store these files so that people can access them via the Internet. So, much like leasing a home to live in, you lease web hosting space for your files to ‘live in’ on the Internet.
There are hundreds of different technologies and configurations for web hosting, each delivery different but benefits for websites. The two most popular forms of web hosting are “cloud hosting” and “cPanel hosting”, but what is the difference between these products and which of these would best suit your business?
Apart from being a popular marketing term there is substantial meaning behind the word ‘Cloud’ and it’s relevance to the potential power of this hosting environment.
In web hosting ‘Cloud’ means that all web hosting services (DNS, mail, web, ftp, database) run on multiple servers rather than a traditional single server. This ensures that a failure in one server will not cause downtime for your website.
cPanel web hosting service is well known in the hosting industry and for business alike. It’s currently the world’s most popular hosting control panel and one that the majority of users are familiar and comfortable with.
cPanel is commonly installed on a standalone server and, while this will generally work well “most of the time”, it does mean that all services are susceptible to failure if that server fails, or need to be taken offline for maintenance.
So, how to choose between the two> When choosing between Cloud and cPanel it is important to look at the features of each hosting option and compare the differences.
1. User Interface
Though the UI might not seem important, it is the first difference most people notice between the two control panels.
A Cloud hosting control panel can have either a basic, clean or complex UI which enables users to manage their website and other standard features. Depending on the provider this may or may not provide more than its cPanel counterpart. This is due to many new providers coming into the space creating their own proprietary control panels.
As a widely-used hosting control panel, cPanel has undergone considerable development over the years where additional features have been added to allow users to make change through an interface rather than a hosting configuration. For users that are reliant on a UI, cPanel will be the most likely choice, as more customers would be familiar with the cPanel interface due to its widespread use within the industry.
2. Server infrastructure
It is important to know the clear difference between how Cloud and cPanel are hosted, so that you are choosing the right infrastructure for your business. Cloud hosting services (PHP, web server, databases, email, DNS) all run on individual and separate servers. This means there are a group of computers dedicated to supporting server applications that are utilized or can be readily utilized with no downtime.If you were hosting your website on a service which was not clustered, if the server attached to that service crashes, your website will be offline until the server is fixed.
cpanel on the other hand, is commonly hosted on a single server. All services (web, email, database, DNS) are all reliant on this one server to be running every minute of everyday, representing a single point of failure. This means there is a substantial benefit to choose Cloud as this provides greater performances and reliability.
3. Load Balanced
Servers often become overloaded; this is common among web hosting providers which affect the performance. The load balancer prevents such bottlenecks by forwarding requests to servers that are best suited, thus balancing the load.
Cloud hosting is load balanced, allowing all client requests to be distributed across multiple servers. This ensures that response time for visitors to your website is faster and the site is more tolerable to faults.
cPanel is commonly not load balanced, therefore, Cloud hosting becomes the relevant choice for web sites that require higher performance requirements.
Cloud providers are now adopting new web server technology to keep up with the change in the environment, specifically with more ecommerce stores using highly intensive applications such as Magento. Litespeed is a web server, which is high performing and reads Apache server configuration directly, it also out performs a standard Apache configuration on all benchmarks conducted.
cPanel currently uses a standard Apache configuration unless configured otherwise by your web host. This configuration is common in the industry and is perfect for most website found on the internet.
5. Domain Name Servers (DNS)
DNS is the first step to a faster performing website, for most cPanel customers the DNS will be served locally from the same server as the hosting. Cloud hosting on the other hand, leverages a single DNS cluster. This cluster utilizes a number of nodes (servers) strategically placed across the globe to provide an enterprise level of DNS redundancy.
Some Cloud providers have deployed Anycast methodology, which is the first step of increasing site performance. Anycast DNS directs queries to the closest machine on a network from a visitors physical location, meaning your website is up on a users monitor faster and more reliably. In summary, there are a number of differences between cloud and cPanel. Cloud hosting is a faster platform that is technology advanced. Whereas, cPanel will most likely appeal to users who want an aesthetic interface and additional functions, also let’s not forget about the millions of users that are familiar with the platform. So when choosing a hosting platform take into consideration the functionality you will need for your website, who will be managing your website and their technical knowledge to manage your hosting infrastructure.