12 Best Scalable Hosting Services (Feb. 2024)

Best Scalable Hosting

The best scalable hosting plans resemble the always adorable and instantly recognizable pufferfish. At the first sign of danger, the innocent-looking creatures fill their rather elastic stomachs with water to swell up several times bigger and almost spherical in shape. Once the threat is gone, the pufferfish shrinks to normal size and carries on without issue.

Believe it or not, the same idea holds true when it comes to scalable web hosting. Instead of sharks or other underwater prey, however, the peril for websites is a sudden rush of visitors. High traffic volume can overwhelm a server, sinking your site to the bottom of the ocean.

We know servers can’t magically double in size and conjure up more resources, but the right hosting plans and providers can grow and shrink to meet your audience’s demands. Read on to learn about the most reliable and trustworthy scalable web hosting services.

Best Cheap Scalable Hosting

Sure, cloud hosting offers more flexibility than shared hosting, but all that growth opportunity can come at a hefty price tag. Believe it or not, super-affordable shared hosting plans cover the basic growth needs of most website owners.

Look especially for hosts that offer so-called unlimited hosting — the term may not be entirely accurate, but the undefined limits on storage, bandwidth, and memory enable your site or online business to grow to the point where you’re ready to move to a virtual private server or cloud environment. Unlimited hosting providers commonly say their shared servers will cover 95% to 99% of users’ needs.

Not only do several affordable cloud hosting providers combine shared hosting environments and prices with the premium redundancy and stability of the cloud, but our favorites also offer no-hassle migrations to upgraded plans. Whether you’re moving to a larger shared hosting package or making the jump to the cloud or a VPS, these companies are worth a look:

1. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and SSD speed boost
  • Optimized caching and 1-click installs
  • Unlimited email, domains, and databases
  • Advanced security and FREE HackScan
  • 24/7 support via phone, chat & tickets
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

CHEAP
RATING
4.5 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): There are plenty of excellent cPanel shared hosting providers out there, so what sets A2 Hosting apart from the rest. Not only does the company offer a ton of features, but it has custom-built its packages for enhanced performance, speed, and security — putting your priorities above pricing. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

2. Hostinger.com

Hostinger Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.49

  • Unlimited everything, from storage to databases
  • FREE site builder & WP performance upgrades
  • FREE daily or weekly backups
  • Custom control panel and auto-installation scripts
  • SSH access & unlimited FREE SSL certificates
  • Get started on Hostinger now.

CHEAP
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): As the shared hosting market becomes increasingly saturated, unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts have become surprisingly average. Hostinger, however, extends the routine, expected metrics to greater lengths — the number of websites, databases, FTP users, subdomains, and parked domains are all unrestricted for most customers. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 50 GB SSD – 200 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

3. Bluehost.com

Bluehost Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Cheap shared hosting from a trusted provider
  • Ideal for hosting a WordPress website
  • FREE Weebly website builder and Cloudflare CDN
  • Unlimited traffic and 24/7 live chat support
  • Get 75% off today with our Bluehost coupon
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

CHEAP
RATING
4.7 ★★★★★ Our Review

Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Bluehost pricing is about as competitive as the industry offers. Sign up for a shared hosting plan for as little as $2.95 per month, and WordPress hosting packages are consistently priced; a VPS plan starts at around $31.99 per month; and the dedicated hosting rates are as little as $91.98 per month. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

See other top affordable hosts »

Best Scalable Cloud Hosting

When it comes to scalable web hosting solutions, cloud hosting always seems to be at the top of the list. The platform involves a server network that shares the load of storing and delivering your website to visitors. Additional machines can be brought online to help out when traffic is growing, just as they can be turned off when things start to slow.

Website and business growth can be quite unpredictable, and cloud hosting offers a simple way to manage unexpected peaks and valleys. Even better, many hosting providers offer automatic scalability to remove tedious and time-consuming infrastructure management tasks. You’ll want to keep an eye on costs, as pay-by-the-hour billing can fluctuate just as much as your computing resources.

That said, cloud hosting remains a wildly powerful — and still growing — market for modern online businesses. Technology market research firm Gartner estimates that the cloud hosting industry will grow by more than 20% in 2023, which trumps the 18.8% growth forecasted for 2022. More than 92% of businesses rely on the cloud in some form, making our three favorite cloud hosts important potential partners in your brand’s growth and success.

4. Kamatera.com

Kamatera review

Monthly Starting Price $4.00

  • Ultimate scalability with limitless customizations
  • Create and deploy servers in 60 seconds
  • Easily add load balancers and firewalls
  • Stellar 99.95% uptime guarantee
  • Sign up today for a 30-day FREE trial
  • Get started on Kamatera now.

CLOUD
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Kamatera: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Starting with more than 60 operating system images to choose from, Kamatera is a strong option for developers who know exactly what environment works best for their project. Customize your cloud server as needed and deploy in less than a minute. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
5 minutes 20 GB SSD – 4 TB SSD 1 – 32 cores 1 GB – 128 GB

5. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $4.00

  • Start with $100 in credit for your first month
  • Auto scaling with premium Intel processors
  • Customized operating systems (Linux or Windows)
  • Deploy Linux instances in less than 1 minute
  • Transparent costs and by-the-minute billing
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.

CLOUD
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Boasting 99. 998% platform availability, the popular cloud hosting services from 1&1 IONOS deploy more than 2,500 virtual machines each week. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 10 GB NVMe – 640 GB NVMe 1 – 24 cores 512 MB.- 48 GB

6. Cloudways.com

Cloudways review

Monthly Starting Price $8.25

  • Managed cloud hosting with 24/7/365 monitoring
  • Choose from 5 popular cloud providers
  • Auto-healing cloud servers with FREE backups
  • 3-day free trial with no credit card required
  • Host unlimited apps with no contract lock-in
  • Get started on Cloudways now.

CLOUD
RATING
4.6 ★★★★★ Our Review

Cloudways: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): If you can’t beat the cloud provider behemoths, offer their infrastructure as a service. Cloudways gives customers their choice of cloud platform: AWS, Google, Linode, Digital Ocean, or Vultr. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
8 minutes 20 GB SSD – 4 TB SSD 1 – 96 cores 1 GB – 384 GB

See other top cloud hosts »

Best Scalable VPS Hosting

A close cousin to cloud hosting, virtual private servers traditionally represented the next step when scaling a website beyond shared hosting. We’ll get into the differences between VPS and cloud hosting later in this article, but business owners can still rely on powerful VPS solutions to grow and adjust to meet audience demands.

Similar to shared servers, VPS hosting divides a server’s resources among multiple customers. Instead of sharing a server’s resources with hundreds of others, VPS environments distribute more resources to fewer users. Even better, site owners can configure their VPS to their exact specifications, including the operating system and security measures of choice, along with the option to add and remove resources as needed.

Because traditional VPS environments reside on a single physical server, site owners are somewhat constrained. However, that threshold is set rather high, and providers will gladly help you migrate to a larger cloud or dedicated server if your web traffic demands it. Take a look at our most trusted VPS hosting providers below:

7. Hostinger.com

Hostinger Review

Monthly Starting Price $5.99

  • Cloud-based SSD storage for speed and reliability
  • Double your RAM with burst periods
  • FREE dedicated IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
  • Custom control panel for reboots and OS installs
  • HostingAdvice readers enjoy more than 50% off
  • Get started on Hostinger now.

VPS
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Hostinger’s laser focus on providing affordable hosting solutions shines brightest with the company’s VPS packages. The company provides six different virtual server plans, including one that costs less than $5. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 50 GB NVMe – 400 GB NVMe 1 – 8 cores 4 GB – 32 GB

8. Kamatera.com

Kamatera Review

Monthly Starting Price $4.00

  • Cloud VPS that’s more flexible and affordable
  • Load balancer, firewall, and managed services
  • Premium Intel CPUs with 300% more power
  • Choose between monthly or hourly billing
  • Sign up today for a 30-day FREE trial
  • Get started on Kamatera now.

VPS
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Kamatera: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Backed by cutting-edge cloud computing technology, Kamatera adds instant and limitless scalability to the VPS hosting marketplace. Each cloud or virtual server is equipped with blazing-fast SSD storage and Intel Xeon Platinum CPUs. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
5 minutes 20 GB SSD – 4 TB SSD 1 – 32 cores 1 GB – 128 GB

9. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • Turbo server & cache options for faster page loads
  • Well-built plans starting with 4GB RAM
  • FREE CDN plus auto-installs with Softaculous
  • Multilingual support and up to unlimited databases
  • Enhanced security with and daily kernel updates
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

VPS
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): While A2 Hosting’s turbocharged shared hosting platform gives site owners ample room to grow, the company’s tech prowess is on full display with its portfolio of VPS options. Ranging from unmanaged, bare-metal environments to stress-free, fully managed space, A2 Hosting is sure to have the perfect option for your expanding online presence. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
7 minutes 20 GB SSD – 450 GB SSD 1 – 10 cores 1 GB – 32 GB

See other top VPS hosts »

Best Scalable WordPress Hosting

Simply put, WordPress hasn’t become the world’s most popular content management system without being able to scale. The platform serves everyone from hobbyist bloggers and small-scale professionals to Fortune 500 companies, including eBay, Forbes, Sony, IBM, and TechCrunch.

WordPress is not the only tool you’ll need to help your site reach the masses quickly and effectively. In addition to a fast WordPress hosting provider, you’ll want to optimize your site to minimize the amount of hosting horsepower you’ll need to load various pages.

In addition to various caching solutions, you’ll want to explore a content delivery network, database optimization, and elastic hosting infrastructure. Bonus points for faster solid-state drives, NGINX, PHP 7, and automatic updates — features that are common with our favorite WordPress hosting providers, listed here:

10. Bluehost.com

Bluehost Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Recommended by WordPress.org since 2005
  • Automatic WordPress updates and initial install
  • FREE WordPress themes in the Bluehost Marketplace
  • 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email
  • Get exclusive discounts on WordPress plans
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

WORDPRESS
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are aimed at first-time site owners and personal bloggers. These services come at a premium compared to the standard Bluehost web hosting (basic shared hosting) plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 7 minutes

11. SiteGround.com

SiteGround Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • Officially endorsed by WordPress.org
  • FREE migration plugin or automated installation
  • Pre-installed Git, 3 caching levels, and FREE CDN
  • FREE WP setup wizard, staging, and auto-updates
  • Fast, 24/7 support via custom chat system
  • Get started on SiteGround now.

WORDPRESS
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

SiteGround: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Want a hassle-free, WordPress-optimized hosting service. SiteGround has thought of everything you need to get your site up and running. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD New or Transfer 6 minutes

12. Hostinger.com

Hostinger Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.49

  • 1-click WP install, PHP 7+, HTTP/2, and NGINX
  • All-in-one security protections from BitNinja
  • WordPress optimizations boost performance
  • No price markup for WordPress services
  • Daily backups and FREE SSL certificate
  • Get started on Hostinger now.

WORDPRESS
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): As much as we love WordPress, one of our biggest pet peeves is when hosting providers exploit the popularity of the world’s most-used content management system by offering so-called WordPress hosting that, in reality, is exactly the same as the host’s shared server plans. Fortunately, Hostinger’s ultra-fast infrastructure and easy access to SSL certificates and backups sets up the company to outperform the vast majority of the violators of our admittedly made-up rule. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – 200 GB NVMe FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

See other top WordPress hosts »

What is Cloud Hosting and How Does It Work?

Synonymous with scalability and reliability, cloud hosting entails storing your site on multiple servers connected together on a network that enables you to use resources from several different places. The configuration of so many machines behind your site means you have virtually unlimited storage, bandwidth, and memory to deliver your site. If some part of the cloud network fails, other machines can take over the workloads, ensuring your online presence remains online, available, and fast.

Cloud hosting can be broken down into three different configurations or business models: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. The as-a-Service suffixes speak to the on-demand nature of the cloud. Most site owners will find Infrastructure-as-a-Service helpful, as it gives customers more control over the technology behind their website. Platform-as-a-Service focuses more on developers scaling applications and leveraging data, while Software-as-a-Service makes software programs, business applications, and productivity tools available online via a subscription.

Even though computing resources are virtualized, VPS and cloud hosting both rely on physical servers.

At a higher level, cloud hosting is categorized as public or private. Public clouds, such as those hosted by the companies listed above, are vast networks of computing power where thousands of businesses, websites, and applications can coexist. Private clouds are internally operated and managed, protecting valuable data from potential outside threats. Again, public cloud hosting will serve most site owners most effectively, while private clouds are typically reserved for enterprise businesses with vast resources and technical expertise.

What is the Difference Between VPS and Cloud Hosting?

We’ve discussed the basic similarities and differences between virtual private servers and cloud hosting environments earlier, but let’s dive into the details. For starters, both types of hosting involve the virtualization of computing resources. According to cloud computing and platform virtualization experts at VMware, “virtualization relies on software to simulate hardware functionality and create a virtual computer system.”

Those virtualized computer systems are called virtual machines, which can be created and deployed on a single server (VPS) or network of servers (the cloud). Tech organizations can run multiple independent virtual machines on a single server — including multiple operating systems and applications. Virtualization gives businesses the best of both worlds: reduced IT expenses and increased agility, efficiency, and flexibility.

  • Customization: VPS users have fine-grain control over configuration and management, which is straightforward and akin to a dedicated server. Because cloud platforms are more complex, features may be limited or harder to tweak effectively.
  • Scalability: Site owners can typically add more resources to either environment, but the physical server limits a VPS. Meanwhile, the cloud draws from tons of servers, with even more often waiting in the wings.
  • Performance: The extra oomph in cloud hosting generally means the platform is speedier, but much of website performance depends on how you configure and optimize both your site and the underlying infrastructure. Let’s call this a tie.
  • Security: Cloud hosting typically holds a slight edge here, boasting greater natural redundancy and failovers. But the distributed network represents a larger target for attackers. A VPS, however, represents a single potential point of failure but offers a central physical location and greater independence.
  • Cost: This one gets tricky. As you may have noticed above, you can find VPS and cloud plans for as little as $5 per month — or as much as $20 or more monthly. A lot rides on the type of website or application you want to host, but the dedicated resources of a VPS typically come at a higher rate. That being said, by-the-minute billing of cloud hosting can fluctuate wildly and wreak havoc on budgets if not closely managed.

As you can see, the two platforms are very closely related and are both poised for highly scalable organizations looking to rapidly grow their audience. Some hosting providers further blend the lines by using a cloud network for their virtual servers. A Cloud VPS offers added stability and scalability while providing the structure and services of dedicated resources.

What is the Best Cloud Server for Small Businesses?

For small and growing businesses, it’s about return on investment, productivity, and efficiency — and cloud-based solutions cover all three. A comprehensive, well-managed cloud streamlines operations, reduces cost, and enables entrepreneurs to focus on mission-critical business strategies instead of tedious IT oversight.

Graphic illustrating cloud hosting and computing
Cloud hosting can serve many business goals, from web hosting to project management.

We’ve covered the best cloud hosting options above, but there’s another world of cloud storage, file sharing, and Software-as-a-Service options. You’re probably already familiar with Google Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and Dropbox, but what about tools for project management, human resources, and other day-to-day tasks? How else can the cloud help your business?

Amazon Alternatives: Developer-Friendly Cloud Options

We prefer the hosts listed above for their attention to high-performance infrastructure and premium, personalized customer support. But we’d be remiss not to mention the larger players(for those who really know what they’re doing).

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform represent the Big Three of cloud hosting. The companies offer seemingly unlimited scalability potential for enterprise organizations. Still, the complexity of the à la carte solutions, lack of support, and tough-to-predict pricing models can make those options unattainable for those just getting started.

These flavors of cloud hosting are perfect for application developers and power some of the biggest brands on the internet; however, those looking for a simple and scalable way to get online may be quickly overwhelmed. Those who have a little bit of tech expertise but aren’t quite ready for the big time may want to consider some of the following:

All six options offer incredible services for those not faint of heart. Those with the tech know-how will appreciate the simplicity of access the three providers on the left can offer, while enterprises especially will gravitate toward the robust platform of services the three companies on the right can offer. Whether scaling from 1,000 visitors a month to 100,000 or 1 million to 10 million, you can find many options to help you reach those goals. Best of luck!

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