When we first read the announcement by SiteGround about the launch of their new auto-scalable cloud product the first thing we looked for was the price, the second was whether their SuperCacher was included or whether it was available at an optional extra. It doesn’t take much of a guess that we thought that their previous Cloud Hosting was a little overpriced when the Booster was added on. Of course, it is all relative as you certainly get what you pay for, and SiteGround is excellent.
The good news is that the new SiteGround auto-scalable Cloud Hosting is quite affordable now as the SuperCacher comes as standard, cutting the price of their Cloud Hosting by around $40 in real terms. But it goes a bit further than that. These are Dedicated Resources, not resources shared with many other people as you would expect on a VPS. This makes it great value, especially with all the additional features you get as standard, such as their SuperCacher and other developer features. One other great thing is that the new product uses SSD’s, which are considerably better than regular Hard Disks.
Configure Your Own Plan
While they have four prebuilt plans ranging in price and specification the real benefit of SiteGround’s Cloud hosting is the fact that you can configure the CPU, RAM, and disk space independently. This allows you to save money on paying for things that you do not need, while boosting power should you decide.
You can, for example, change the Entry plan and add an extra CPU for just $10 per month. Or perhaps you just need extra disk space without the additional CPU or RAM. It is easy to configure, so you only have to pay for what you need.
Auto-scalable on demand
If you are expecting a traffic spike, whether it is because you have some viral content or just a popular sales promotion you may want to ensure you have enough resources available to handle all the extra traffic. Fortunately, you can configure the Cloud Hosting to increase the resources available automatically without any downtime. You can see an example of the interface below:
We had a few queries about this, so fired up the SiteGround live-chat:
The Webmaster: If it upscales, does it automatically downscale once demand lessens? Or are you stuck on the higher plan until you manually downgrade.
Ivan P.: yes, you have to manually downgrade by requesting that.
Ivan P.: we do not have auto downscale.
The Webmaster: And does it pro rata the billing? So I could upgrade for just a week?
Ivan P.: the billing works per calendar month actually.
Therefore, if you use the automatic upscaling feature, you may want to keep an eye on the resources used and then downscale once the rush is over. Of course, you are only looking at 10 or 20 dollars or so for the peace of mind that your website will be online no matter what traffic comes your way. This is especially useful for higher resource websites such as e-commerce where even a short downtime can affect your income.
One thing to consider when deciding on what auto-scaling you need is that if CPU maxes out, the CPU usage will just be throttled. If your RAM maxes out, your visitors will see an error. Now, it is possible that your CPU may max out for the odd second or two on rare occasions, and this is fine. You may not want to configure auto-scaling for this kind of behavior. With RAM, though, you would not want anyone to see an error page, but the RAM is much less likely to spike. Therefore we would recommend setting the RAM to auto-scale even if you don’t want to use this feature. Then, if you are expecting a busy period in the near future, you can always set the CPU to auto-scale as well. Of course, with an extra dedicated CPU being just $10 you might decide just to upgrade anyway.
The Old SiteGround Cloud Hosting
SiteGround says that they are keeping the old product going for existing clients, but to be honest, we think you would be much better upgrading. We believe the flexibility with auto-scaling, and the ability to pick the exact specifications you need, as well as the SuperCacher, included as standard you will be in line to make some savings as well as move to a full SSD hosting product.
You may be reading this, but don’t need a Cloud Hosting Solution at this stage but like the sound of the SuperCacher and other developer features (including website Staging). Fortunately, SiteGround has a range of shared hosting plans that provide an excellent steppingstone before scaling up to the Cloud. You can read our full SiteGround review here, and you can get up to 60 percent off your first invoice, exclusively for The Webmaster Readers here. SiteGround’s GoGeek plan uses SSD’s for MySQL (databases) and has all the developer features, and SuperCacher found on the Cloud Hosting and is worth looking at.
Jonathan Griffin Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.