The cloud is mostly a marketing term that gets intentionally misused by hosting providers. The true sense of the cloud is the ability to spin up virtual servers automatically by an app to handle more capacity and spin down those virtual servers when they are no longer needed. To take advantage of this cloud, the application must be engineered to use components of a cloud provider like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, MSFT Azure or even DigitalOcean for example. To engineer such app setup is expensive and it’s something not needed by the majority of the WordPress websites out there.
Look at Netflix for example, they see a huge increase of visitors during the prime time tv slot at night, their system recognizes this and spins up an army of additional server workers to increase capacity. As people go to sleep that capacity is no longer needed and the system kills off the server workers. Instead of them investing in always-on dedicated capacity they take advantage of the cloud to always have just enough servers to serve the visitors, the cloud allows them to save millions of dollars. This apparently infinite ability to keep expanding and shrinking in capacity is where the word cloud comes from.
The cloud is nothing magical, there are some cool components and tools but at the end of the day they are just servers like any other provider big and small have. That’s why hosting a single instance WordPress app in Amazon is just a waste of money, as bandwidth is many times more expensive there, and sometimes outright inferior like their Lightsail product. The cloud is overkill if your app is not engineered to take advantage of scalability. If the small hosting providers are claiming cloud servers but they don’t offer tools and components to auto scale up and down, like hourly pricing and APIs to program the auto-provisioning of virtual servers, then they are most likely just trying to sell you the marketing term.
If you have the need to scale your WordPress website and would like for it to be hosted in a true cloud expandable platform, get in touch with DistroServer and we will analyse your needs and architect a solution for you.