Introducing G2’s New Cloud Hosting Categories

June 13, 2024

Just as architects redesign and renovate buildings to meet modern standards and aesthetics, we at G2 update our taxonomy from time to time to represent software and services categories in the best possible way.

To ensure buyers can clearly differentiate between cloud hosting providers, we are excited to announce that the broad cloud hosting category on G2 has been broken out into two new categories: Cloud Web Hosting Providers and Cloud Application Hosting Providers.

This change was made to provide a clearer, more detailed understanding of the diverse cloud hosting options available, helping buyers select the right solution.

Let’s take a closer look at these categories and understand their differences.

Differences between cloud web hosting and cloud application hosting

Cloud web hosting is essentially a subset of cloud application hosting. The term "cloud hosting" encompasses a broad range of services, so breaking it down into more specific categories can provide clearer definitions and better representation of offerings for buyers. This differentiation helps B2B buyers select the right hosting solution for their specific business needs by providing a clearer understanding of the services offered.

Here is a breakdown of the differences between cloud web hosting and cloud application hosting.


Cloud web hosting provides infrastructure and resources for hosting websites and small web applications. It efficiently hosts static websites with scalability, reliability, and fast delivery via content delivery networks (CDNs). It supports dynamic websites using server-side technologies (e.g., PHP, Node.js, Python) and databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB). It offers relatively easy setup and management, making it ideal for less technical users, although some technical knowledge may still be required.

Cloud application hosting makes applications accessible over the cloud and is tailored for complex, resource-intensive applications. It supports advanced business processes and requires extensive integration with other enterprise systems, making it more suitable for technical users. Designed for large-scale, enterprise-level applications like gaming platforms, tax software, ERP systems, and custom business apps, this hosting type demands robust performance, backend processing, and high user interaction.

Resource allocation

Cloud web hosting often uses shared resources, especially in basic plans. This makes it suitable for applications with moderate resource requirements, offering an affordable solution for smaller projects or businesses with limited budgets. However, the shared nature of resources may impact performance during peak times. Some cloud web hosting plans offer dedicated resources, providing consistent performance.

Cloud application hosting typically offers dedicated resources to ensure optimal performance and reliability. It is designed for applications with high resource demands, providing the necessary infrastructure to support complex and resource-intensive tasks. This dedicated approach ensures consistent performance and better handling of high traffic volumes. Lower-tier plans may share resources, but higher-tier plans usually offer dedicated resources.

Security and compliance

While cloud web hosting and cloud application hosting share a common foundation, their security differences reflect the varied needs of their users and the types of applications they support.

Cloud web hosting includes basic security measures appropriate for less sensitive applications. This level of security is often sufficient for simple websites and blogs that do not handle highly sensitive user data. However, it may not meet the stringent security requirements needed for more critical applications.

Cloud application hosting incorporates advanced security features and compliance support. It is suitable for applications handling sensitive data and requiring strict regulatory compliance. These providers must ensure data integrity, confidentiality, and compliance with regulatory standards (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR). This hosting type ensures that security measures are robust and meet industry standards, providing peace of mind for businesses managing critical and sensitive information.

Use cases

Cloud web hosting is ideal for businesses looking to establish an online presence through websites. It is commonly used for hosting personal blogs, corporate websites, interactive forums, and small-scale e-commerce platforms. This hosting solution is perfect for users who need a straightforward, cost-effective way to maintain an online presence.

Cloud application hosting is suited for businesses developing and running custom applications or large-scale, enterprise-level applications. It is commonly used by SaaS providers, developers, and enterprises needing robust app hosting solutions. For example, Quickbooks hosting involves hosting Quickbooks accounting software—traditionally a desktop-based application—on remote cloud servers, enhancing its accessibility and functionality through cloud computing.

What will happen to the Cloud Hosting category on G2?

The cloud hosting category on G2 will no longer exist. All products previously under this category have been moved to either cloud web hosting, cloud application hosting, or both, depending on their eligibility for these categories.

Typically, on G2, when a category is broken out, it becomes a parent category. However, due to the distinct functionalities of these new categories, we decided to place them under different parent categories.

The cloud web hosting category has been placed under the Web Hosting parent category since it primarily deals with hosting websites. Conversely, the cloud application hosting category has been placed under the broader Hosting category, as it focuses on hosting applications rather than websites.

Evaluating pros and cons through the buyer's lens

Buyers with firsthand experience with cloud web hosting and cloud application hosting providers have shared extensive feedback in G2 reviews about them. Let's look at what worked for them and what could be improved.

Cloud web hosting offers several key benefits, including faster and easier scalability, high reliability, cost-effectiveness through a pay-as-you-go model, excellent performance, and user-friendly interfaces.

However, potential buyers should be aware of some common concerns, such as unpredictable costs, potential support issues, security risks, dependence on internet connectivity, and the possibility of vendor lock-in.

Similarly, cloud application hosting offers several advantages, including scalability, cost efficiency, accessibility, reliability and uptime, and robust security.

However, buyers considering this solution should also be mindful of challenges, such as complex pricing structures, steep learning curve for beginners, potential customer support issues, downtime or technical problems, and the risk of vendor lock-in.

Navigating the hosting space with G2

By offering a more distinct breakdown, G2 enables buyers to compare options with greater precision, ensuring they can easily identify which solutions meet their specific needs in terms of scalability, performance, and security.

This tailored approach will assist buyers in making more informed and confident decisions when selecting their hosting provider.

Upgrade your hosting experience and stay ahead of the curve with G2's innovative new categories.

Edited by Jigmee Bhutia

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Introducing G2’s New Cloud Hosting Categories G2 launched two new cloud hosting categories to help B2B software buyers differentiate services and choose the right solution for their business needs.
Anindita Sengupta Anindita is a Senior Research Analyst at G2 specializing in cloud technologies, CAD & PLM software, and web hosting services. With over five years of experience in market research, Anindita has a proven track record of tracking, analyzing, sizing, and forecasting the industrial printer and B2B software markets. Her passion for technology and staying up-to-date with the latest software trends makes her an invaluable asset to B2B buyers and sellers of software. When she's not immersed in market research, Anindita loves to read and explore new destinations, constantly fueling her curiosity and creativity.