Magento Hosting

Why Your Magento Hosting Service is at the Heart of your eCommerce Success?

2018 marks a decade since the launch of Magento. During that time, the open-source eCommerce platform has grown into one of the top picks when it comes to eCommerce portals.

And the reason – reasons rather – are simple.

Magento is an extremely robust, scalable, and feature-laden open-source software that enables merchants to create outstanding and highly customized web storefronts. It is particularly known for its excellent catalog management options, multi-store, SEO perks, just to mention but a few.

Webstore owners love it as it affords them full control of the design, functionality, presentation, and content of their websites. With Magento, they are guaranteed a fully-featured eCommerce solution built with the latest technology and in tune with the modern eCommerce industry requirements.

All amazing things, bar one issue. Without proper Magento hosting, your store is as good as useless.

Choosing a Good Magento Hosting Provider

Hosting can either enhance or break your website performance. Knowing this, it is imperative to properly evaluate the most suitable Magento hosting partner and options to ensure your store performance is optimal throughout.

Nobody wants to wake up to a barrage of emails from angry shoppers squawking about a range of issues – long page loading times, issues with adding items to the cart, errors in the checkout page and what-not. This is the kind of stuff that keeps online sellers up at night and sweating throughout the day.

Good thing is, it can be averted with proper Magento hosting. And to do that, there are several factors you’ll have to weigh.

Do you opt for a shared server or VPS? What kind of resources does you site need to run optimally? What level of support will you need from the web host?

All these questions, and more, will need to be answered. Reason being the industry is littered with hosting providers, but not all of them can be relied upon or have the necessary resources needed to effectively run a Magento-based store.

So then, how do you go about choosing a good Magento hosting provider? Here are six aspects you need to think about.

  1. Your Website Requirements

As far as your website requirements are concerned, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind:

  • Your Website Traffic

Knowing the number of requests your server deals with during normal and peak times is the first step in determining the best Magento hosting provider for your store. The importance of this is to help in clarifying the size and scope of the hosting plan you might need.

It is important to note that you cannot do this via Google Analytics since it does not give details of how hosting works – it only averages the data, meaning you cannot establish key details per the second.

If you already have an eCommerce store in place, this is information you can check with your current hosting partner. Ask them for Apache or NginX logs to understand server requests per the second. If they don’t have these, the alternative is to fetch raw log files. There are a several free tools available online that you can use to check the time slices of requests received.

  • Number and Type of Products

The number of pages and products and also the product type on each page has a big influence on which Magento server your store requires.

Assume, for instance, that you have two category pages whereby one lists 10 simple products and the other 10 configurable products.

Typically, the simple product page requires less hosting power compared to its configurable counterpart. And by configurable we mean items like clothing which have different sizes, colors and other variations.

This is because this will influence things like how you render products on the page, how you update your promotions, and how you run the indexes.

  • Latency Test

Latency, aka the time data takes to move from Point A to Point B, is one of the most important factors for any eCommerce website.

Knowing this, you need to make a decision on the location of your Magento hosting server and how it relates to your user base, or the majority of your customers. The closer you are to the server, the better because it basically implies low latency.

The problem here is that this may be limiting for many businesses since hosting offshore (and by offshore we mean Asia) is generally cheaper compared to choosing a plan with an onshore hosting company.

It should not be lost on you that latency has an impact on one critical aspect of your website: SEO. And generally, the better your SEO, the more sales you will generate.

  1. Level of Server Control

The next thing you need to think about when it comes to choosing a Magento hosting provider or package is the type of hosting based on who will be running the server for you.

There are two types of server hosting to consider:

  • Managed Hosting

Managed hosting is all about relinquishing your server management tasks to the service provider.

A good Magento web host will be responsible for tasks such as:

  • Configuration and maintenance of the Magento server
  • 24/7 proactive monitoring
  • Security of server
  • Fixing server and Magento-related issues
  • Applying OS updates

The downside with managed Magento hosting is that the provider may have an inability to work on custom functionalities, not to mention that they may charge premium for tasks like software installation.

  • Self-service Hosting

As the name implies, self-service hosting involves running the server yourself or appointing a third-party team to do it on your behalf.

Self-service hosting presents technical expertise issues, and will need you to hire outside help if there lacks the appropriate personnel to do it in-house.

  1. Type of Server Hosting

While we are still speaking servers, one other thing you need to consider when choosing a Magento hosting solution is the type of server you want to host your store on.

Your options as far as this is concerned will revolve around three options: a dedicated server, shared server, and cloud server.

  • Dedicated Server

A dedicated server means having an entire server to yourself. This has the obvious shortcoming of being a bit pricey, although the benefits that come with it are immense.

Like good site performance, for example, since you literally have all the server resources to yourself.

A dedicated server is ideal for those Magento stores that boast vast amounts of traffic and products, ditto stores where high security is paramount.

  • Shared Server

A shared server sees you share the server with multiple other website owners. This means sharing the physical server itself and its associated resources – disk space, memory, and CPU.

Due to this pooling, this option is, understandably, very affordable.

However, store owners will have to contend with many issues ranging from website availability, to website speed, to security and other concerns that come with sharing the same server and resources.

  • Cloud Server

The third option you have with regard to server type is cloud server. Unlike the dedicated and shared servers, this solution involves hosting your website on a virtual environment as opposed to a physical one.

A cloud server is similar to a dedicated server in that it grants you a lot of control over the server, and this is provided for through a web-based interface.

Cloud servers are also highly scalable since they are a labyrinth of servers as opposed to just one. This means a cloud server can handle changing loads easily.

  1. Web Security

Web security is another crucial aspect to think about when it comes to Magento hosting.

Check to see if your hosting company has a strong policy against dubious websites such as adult websites, banned websites, or spammers. This especially goes to those who intend to host on a shared platform.

We say this because such activity may eventually lead to your shared IP getting blocked, which could consequently see your website blacklisted in certain locations.

As well, since you are running an eCommerce website, security itself should be top of your agenda. Go the extra mile to make sure your online store has the appropriate security measures in place, including setting up SSL and SSH encryption features.

The added fillip here is that in addition to ensuring both the security of your website and customers, this has an added effect on your SEO.

The third element you need to think about with regard to web security is daily/live data backup and restoration. You can also throw firewalls into that conversation.

  1. Magento Compatibility

This should have been one of the first points, but no matter…

As a Magento eCommerce business owner, it is very important that the hosting provider you decide to go with has full compatibility with Magento 2.0, the latest edition of the Magento platform.

This means the hosting server can support PHP 7.0, MySQL 5.6+, and Apache 2.x.

Other compatibility aspects you should consider include checking for PCI compliance as well as various data center certifications.

  1. Support

As an online merchant, you also need to consider the level of support you need from your Magento hosting provider.

A good web host is one who provides 24/7 Magento emergency services. This is especially beneficial to store owners who are not well versed with Magento site building and the suite as a whole.

Look for providers that have a lower response time and offer reasonable rates for standard support mechanisms.

Obviously, everyone will be effusive about their ability to provide fast response times. But customers do not lie so it is always best to check what the reviews are saying about the company’s support.

Last Word

Magento hosting can be a tricky subject, and it is not made any easier by the myriad options and companies available to choose from.

However, it is a subject very much worth cracking since choosing the right provider and solution has a direct bearing on your store, whether it is its performance, speed, security, or SEO.

For this reason, be meticulous in your search for a reputable Magento hosting provider. Your business depends on it.