Choosing a web host should be your top priority if you want a business website. Your choice of hosting provider will directly influence the quality and success of your website.
A web hosting provider doesn’t only serve your website files to visitors. It controls how your website works, how fast it loads, its availability during outages, and its security — all of which directly impact your customer’s user experience and the success of your website as a sales tool.
You get the point — having a great web host is critical!
In recent years, Google’s cloud hosting solution has risen to prominence and established itself as a leading service for millions of customers. If you’re considering Google as an option, we’ve compiled the top advantages of choosing Google Cloud hosting to help you make your decision — including why we think it’s currently the best solution on the market.
1. Outstanding Availability and Uptime
A fundamental factor in the success of your website is its availability. You can have the best content or product in the marketplace, but none of that will matter if visitors can’t access your website.
The last thing you need is losing visitors and revenue because of website downtime. This is the time when prospective followers and customers will most likely seek out your competitors.
Regular periods of website downtime will not only impact your bottom line but can also negatively affect your search engine rankings. Google and Bing spiders regularly visit your website to crawl your site, check content, page speed, and availability. Frequent or lengthy outages will impact your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Your hosting provider has a direct influence on your website uptime. There’s very little you can do to increase uptime on your own. Beyond avoiding errors in your code, you’re entirely reliant on your hosting provider.
Achieving 99.99% Uptime
A massive advantage in choosing Google Cloud hosting solutions is their commitment to achieving uptime upwards of 99.99%. This is reflected in their Compute Engine Service Level Agreement (SLA), where any dip below a monthly uptime of 99.99% will result in financial credit.
Here at Kinsta, moving our infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) allows us to sit on the shoulders of giants. We gain access to one of the largest networks in the world, which is resistant to downtime through countless failover scenarios for system and server outages. We then directly pass these benefits to our customers, offering premium hosting solutions with monthly uptime approaching 100%.
Other leading cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, have infrastructure rivaling Google Cloud’s uptime availability. However, after significant research, there doesn’t appear to be a definitive or reputable study crowning the most reliable cloud platform (yet).
2. Live Migration of Virtual Machines
Another huge advantage of Google Cloud hosting, especially here at Kinsta, is the live migration of virtual machines (VMs). This allows us as a hosting provider to maintain the availability of your website — with no noticeable degradation in performance — when live-migrating VMs between host machines.
Patching, repairing, and updating software and hardware is a must in delivering a cutting-edge service. Live migration with Google keeps your instances and website available during:
- Regular infrastructure and maintenance upgrades
- Network and power grid maintenance in the data centers
- Hardware failure including CPU, memory, disks, network interface, power, and more (though this is not always possible; in instances where hardware prevents live migration or fails, the VM will crash and restart automatically)
- Host operating system (OS) and BIOS upgrades
- High importance security-related updates
- System configuration changes
This involves many components and is a highly complex process. To better appreciate the moving parts involved, check out this illustration of the high-level steps:
Although initially a unique offering from Google Cloud, competitors have begun to see the benefits: Live migration is a service that Microsoft Azure has subsequently replicated.
3. Free Uptime Monitoring
Considering the potential impacts of downtime, monitoring your infrastructure and website availability is a vital practice.
Implementing a solution to perform uptime checks lets you automatically track the availability of your hosting setup and be alerted in the event of any outages. This allows you rapidly respond to any issues inside your control and minimize downtime while also tracking whether your provider meets their SLA.
Another advantage of Google cloud hosting is the operations suite, which allows you to monitor the performance of your platform and applications. Creating uptime checks and alerting policies is a simple process. It’s also completely free to monitor your Google infrastructure (though monitoring technology outside Google Cloud will cost extra).
The platform lets you create uptime checks across the following resource types:
- Kubernetes LoadBalancer Service
- VM instance
- App Engine service
- AWS load balancer
4. Leading Global Infrastructure
One of the biggest things setting Google Cloud hosting apart from other players is their global network. It’s easily one of the biggest in the world, rivaling the global infrastructure of both Microsoft and Amazon.
Comparing the global infrastructure of the top three cloud providers is no easy task. They each use different terminology to describe their global network, and certain data points aren’t publicly available.
Although we can distinguish no clear winner, you can see from the data we’ve gathered in the table below that Google Cloud offers a leading global network:
|Amazon Web Services
The existence of a global network will play a pivotal role in your user experience. Geographical proximity plays a key role in the speed at which your users can access your website and resources.
A larger and more geographically distributed network lets you offer local access to more people. This means more of your end users will enjoy a faster and better user experience when visiting your website.
Google Cloud offers several hosting advantages within their leading global infrastructure, which we’ll detail below.
5. Unrivalled Throughput
Throughput is the rate at which data processes and transfers between two locations. In networking, it is used to measure the performance — meaning speed — of VMs and hard drives along with internet and network connections.
Network throughput measures how many packets of data successfully arrive at their destination in a set timeframe. Packet loss creates slow and poor-performing networks. This, in turn, will create slow speed in your applications and impact your users.
In short, your website will take longer to load, especially in peak traffic situations.
A major advantage of choosing Google Cloud hosting is the platform’s unrivaled network throughput. A recent comparison of the top 3 cloud providers showed Google Cloud VMs have nearly 3x the network throughput of their AWS and Azure counterparts. Google’s bottom-performing network throughput machine performed 65% and 105% better than AWS’ and Azure’s top-performing machines.
The winning VM type for network throughput performance was Google’s Compute-Optimized VMs (C3). Here at Kinsta, we’ve made these new GCP machines available on all WordPress plans.
It’s these machines that have helped make Kinsta clients like Hardbacon and Enventys Partners aware of decreases in page load time — 63% and 50%, respectively — while also making performance dips due to traffic spikes a thing of the past.
6. Performance Optimization With Network Service Tiers
A key benefit of Google cloud hosting is the opportunity to optimize your network for performance or price through a choice of Network Service Tiers.
Having created a massive network of real-world infrastructure, the Google Cloud Platform can support the vast majority of the journey from the user to your resources. Customers gain access to their cutting-edge network, bypassing congested public internet routing and minimizing the number of traceroute hops for faster performance.
Let’s look at how the Google Cloud Platform Network Service Tiers break down.
The Premium tier, the more expensive of the two options, is designed for high-performance routing. Traffic is conducted through Google’s global private fiber network with more than 100 points of presence (POPs).
The Premium tier is built for speed. The user is picked up from the internet service provider (ISP) at the nearest PoP. They then travel through the Google Network using cold-potato routing, an approach that limits the distance and the number of traceroute hops for faster and more secure transport.
You also get the added benefit of global load balancing. One massive load balancer splits your traffic among servers into different regions instead of multiple load balancers for each region. This lets you use a single anycast IP address for your whole network, which is only possible when you have total control over the underlying hardware.
You’re protected with a Global Service Level Agreement (SLA) in this setup. This binds Google through a contract to deliver a certain level of service, where you’d be compensated if they fail to reach those levels.
The Standard tier is about optimizing your network for cost at the expense of peak performance. However, you will still access performance levels that are competitive with other cloud providers.
Most of your traffic travels the existing internet service provider’s (ISP) networks with standard routing. Traffic is handled with a hot-potato approach where it’s passed through many networks, autonomous systems, and ISPs before reaching its final destination. Speed is compromised when there are more hops before data reaches the users.
There is also more complexity in the Standard tier, as you will only have access to regional cloud load balancing services. This means more “footwork” for you as the client, whereas you have global load balancing for your setup in the Premium tier.
The Standard tier also doesn’t come with the Global SLA offered by the Premium tier. So, in the rare event of performance standards not being met, you won’t be compensated for lack of service.
Competition to Google Cloud Network Tiers
The Google Cloud Platform was the first major public cloud provider to offer a tiered cloud network. Like any new and unique product launched in the cloud space, it wasn’t long until the other significant players joined the party.
At the end of 2018, Amazon quietly introduced AWS Global Accelerator. Then, midway through 2020, Microsoft completed the holy trinity with Azure routing preference.
Both providers offer a similar solution to the GCP Network Service Tiers. Traffic is accepted close to the user through one of their many PoPs. It’s then routed over their global networks.
Each offers a cold-potato approach to route the traffic through as few hops as possible to accelerate performance and ensure low latency. Like the GCP, both Azure and AWS solutions come with additional data transfer costs.
7. Continued Dedication to Network Expansion
Despite already offering planet-scale infrastructure, Google remains committed to growing and improving its global network. They focus on expanding into new regions and countries to produce more network edge locations.
This growth trend will, in turn, improve your ability to deliver an exceptional user experience to customers visiting your website. You’ll be able to offer ever-lowering latency and ever-heightening performance through more locations across the world.
As of November 2021, Google has announced the opening of five new regions. These include Warsaw (Poland), Delhi (India), Melbourne (Australia), and Toronto (Canada).
But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to plans for a new region in Israel, the following are coming soon to Google Cloud:
- Doha (Qatar)
- Paris (France)
- Milan (Italy)
- Santiago (Chile)
- Madrid (Spain
- Turin (Italy)
- Columbus (US)
- Berlin (Germany)
It’s not just new regions worth mentioning, but also Google’s commitment to better connecting their infrastructure with subsea cables. These new connections accelerate data delivery as they carry our digital lifeblood from one side of the globe to the other.
In 2021 alone, Google has announced the plans for six new subsea cables that will connect Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the US:
- Apricot: A new subsea cable that will connect Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia — planned for arrival in 2024.
- Blue: A collaboration with Sparkle and others, connecting Italy, France, Greece, and Israel.
- Dunant: A submarine cable system crossing the Atlantic and connecting Virginia Beach in the US to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez on the French Atlantic coast.
- Echo: A subsea cable from the United States to Asia, connecting California to Singapore, with a stopover in Guam.
- Firmina: An open subsea cable connecting the East Coast of the US to Las Toninas, Argentina, with additional landings in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
- Raman: Another collaboration with Sparkle and others, connecting Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, and India.
8. Ease of Setup
Setting up the infrastructure can be a daunting prospect when getting started with building a website, blog, or application. A series of challenges and decisions can quickly stack up, such as:
- Where to buy the domain
- Which content management system to use
- What type of server is needed
- How much storage you’ll require
- Which database to attach
A top advantage of Google Cloud hosting is the ease of deploying a new web hosting solution. The service lets you choose from over 100 click-to-deploy web hosting solutions, greatly simplifying the setup and launch process.
These click-to-deploy solutions offer a preconfigured setup that typically comprises a virtual machine server, operating system, storage disk, content management system, and database. They’re available at an affordable price without expending the time and effort required to source what you need to get started.
All Google Cloud’s click-to-deploy hosting solutions are customizable. So, once you’re up and running your day-one deployment, you can come back at a later time to adjust and further optimize the solution.
If you’re considering launching your first blog or website, the Google Click to Deploy solution for WordPress is certainly worth a look. This solution offers an out-of-the-box setup of WordPress on the Compute Engine platform, available with a range of hosting options at various price points.
When comparing the top three cloud providers, Google Cloud seems to be the leader in easy setup. AWS offers competitive out-of-the-box web hosting solutions through Amazon Lightsail, but the process feels more involved; more configuration and thought are required to get started.
Azure is a bit of an enigma here. It also offers web hosting services, though it’s not immediately apparent. It’s contained within their Web Apps service, and it’s pretty easy to miss since their site talks about web applications and not websites.
9. Amazing Support Service
A critical factor in choosing a web hosting provider is the quality of support you’ll receive. Along the way, you’re likely to encounter issues with your website hosting setup. When this happens, you’ll want a quick, simple, and comprehensive support solution to troubleshoot whatever problems you’ve run into.
The support available from Google is undoubtedly one of the main advantages of Google Cloud hosting. This comes in three forms, which we’ve detailed below.
Comprehensive Paid Support
Choosing one of Google’s paid Customer Care plans unlocks advanced support for the full range of their cloud technologies. There are three paid support plans available — Standard, Enhanced, and Premium support.
As you move upwards through the paid support plans, you unlock additional support formats, accelerated response times, more communication channels, greater availability, and escalation choices for more immediate issues.
With premium support, you get guaranteed response times in 15 minutes and 24/7 support 365 days of the year for critical-impact issues. It also comes with a dedicated Technical Account Manager to help optimize your Google Cloud Platform usage. You can fully customize and tailor your support across every product and service, even gaining access to hands-on training.
However, with support prices that can scale beyond $150,000 a year, it’s not for everyone.
Even if you don’t choose a paid support plan, you gain free access to a vast community of enthusiasts and experts who can provide support as a Google Cloud customer.
The Google Cloud Community is home to 20,000 members. Here, you can meet industry peers, ask questions, and collaborate to find answers for the Google products you’ll use every day. You can also head over to Google Groups, where you’ll find a range of forums to discuss Google Cloud.
Extensive Support Documentation
The Google Cloud Platform has one of the most comprehensive collections of support documentation out there. If you have a mind for technology and prefer a DIY approach, you’ll find everything you need in that documentation to troubleshoot your web hosting issues.
The platform offers guides, code samples, architectural diagrams, best practices, tutorials, API references, and more, all so that you can learn about and troubleshoot every aspect of your Google Cloud setup. Best of all, it’s completely free.
10. State-of-the-Art Security
Security is a primary concern for any business. When choosing the Google Cloud Platform, you benefit from a security model developed over 15 years of continuous improvement through innovation. The same system secures their top products, including Gmail and Google Search.
You can also rest easy knowing that Google’s team of industry-leading security and privacy experts is dedicated to enhancing the platform’s state-of-the-art security.
Below is a selection of the top security features you’ll benefit from when choosing the Google Cloud platform:
- Encryption of your data both in transit and at rest, ensuring your sensitive information is protected by industry-leading 256-bit AES encryption, regardless of whether your data is stored on a Google persistent disk or traveling between you and their data centers.
- A team of vulnerability management experts dedicated to continuously scanning, identifying, and patching vulnerabilities in the Google Cloud Platform.
- Its own established global network and strong relationships with the world’s leading ISPs, improving the security of your data in transit with fewer hops across the public internet.
- Continued independent verification of their security, privacy, and compliance controls.
- Achieving industry-leading certifications including ISO/IEC 27001/27017/27018/27701, PCI DSS, GDPR, and HIPAA, and providing peace of mind that the platform is secure while also helping to further your compliance efforts through proxy.
Here at Kinsta, we don’t just rely on the security of Google. We ensure 24/7 secure application hosting, database hosting, and managed WordPress hosting by building on their existing platform and principles.
Our approach secures and isolates each account and each separate site. We achieve this using Linux containers (LXC), and LXD to orchestrate them, on top of the Google Cloud Platform.
In addition to this, we leverage Google Cloud’s enterprise-level firewall to filter out malicious traffic before it enters our network of servers.
As you can see, there are numerous advantages in choosing Google Cloud hosting and utilizing the Google Cloud Platform for your website.
Thanks to the platform’s simplicity and click-to-deploy hosting configurations, getting started is easy. Once hosting is up, your website will load at lightning speed and almost always remain available thanks to one of the world’s leading cloud networks. You can even choose network service tiers, giving you the power to enhance performance at a cost.
You and your customers can benefit from the peace of mind of knowing that sensitive data is protected by state-of-the-art security and a team of experts. When you need support, you can turn to an extensive repository of self-service tools, or you can reach out to Google’s expert support professionals, who are available 24/7.
After all of this, the only question left is: What are you waiting for?