One of the key elements of building a store on Magento is the right choice of the hosting company. No doubt, stable hosting plays a significant role in a store functioning. In most cases, hosting resources have a direct effect on a Magento web store performance, therefore it is critically important to choose a trusted Magento optimized solution when reviewing hosting offers for the website.
Let’s look through the most important characteristics related to the hosting companies that we should pay attention to first of all:
Types of hosting servers
Your website performance depends directly on the type of a server and its hardware resources that will be available for website functioning. This is especially important for your store’s active hours/days when the load is higher than usual. If you open any hosting company website, you will see some of the most popular types of hosting solutions:
In the shared hosting offer, the system resources are located on one server/computer that is used for many different websites that are hosted by a hosting company. So, the performance is lower than with a dedicated server. But if this hosting is Magento optimized, which means it has all the required configurations specifically for Magento platform, it can work really well for small stores, depending on the available server resources.
VPS (virtual private server)
This type is similar to shared hosting. It also uses shared system capacity but in a slightly different way. In case of a VPS, the performance is better because the system resources are dedicated to their user more in comparison with a shared hosting. It is good for middle-sized stores.
Here you have your own computer (server), separated from the others. All of its capacity is used for your website only. It also allows implementing different configurations on the server to improve website performance, which does not always work when you have a shared server.
Indeed, a dedicated server is faster, but usually, it is more expensive than a shared one or a VPS.
The most flexible solution is cloud. It is also based on shared resources but it can be scaled from low to very high level (equal to dedicated hosting or even better). So, this solution is suitable for stores, which plan an increase in sales in the nearest future. This choice allows having required resources without a necessity to migrate to another more powerful server in case of growth (unlike when using shared, dedicated or VPS types). To be more specific, cloud service is a complex set of cluster systems that allow sharing a specific amount of resources (preconfigured by a user) required for a website. The service cost depends on the amount of chosen resources required for your store.
It is good to have 24/7 support from your hosting company. If you have a critical issue, you know that you can email them or give a call at any time, and they will help you fix it.
Backups are required to have an ability to easily restore any lost data. Pay attention to the backup services provided by your hosting plan – it is very important to have fresh daily/weekly/monthly backups. A good hosting provider can always help you with it. It is either included in a hosting plan or can be offered as a separate paid service.
Hosting companies care about the security and privacy of the data stored on their servers. All your information needs to be protected, in case of any leak – it will cause critical security issues that will affect your business, for example give access to sensitive customer information, malicious code input, etc. So, the hosting company should confirm that they follow all security standards and their servers are protected. Just ask them to provide you with their security policy to see what they offer.
The bigger store you have the more server resources it requires. If it is hard to determine the exact amount of resources that you need, you should contact a hosting provider and tell them about your store (number of visitors per day, SKUs, orders per day, number of stores on one Magento instance etc) and they will be able to offer you a corresponding plan.
It is also very important to have a cache management from the server side in order to maintain high Magento store speed. If you are going to have a high load of the server, make sure that you are able to configure such technologies as Redis, Memcached, Varnish on the server side to improve website performance.
Make sure that a hosting provider supports the latest PHP versions, especially PHP 7.
As you may also know, the latest PHP versions have a lot of security, performance and other improvements. And Magento 2 supports PHP 7 out of the box. Surely, the latest PHP version should be supported.
We’ve briefly reviewed all the main aspects that you should check when looking for a hosting company for your Magento store. From our side, we can recommend one of the most trusted hosting companies – Nexcess. They offer their services in the USA, Europe and Australia. Our clients have good experience with them and we can confirm that it is the right choice. Some of the other good Magento optimized solutions are ZeroLag, Sonassi, MageMojo, Byte (Netherlands-based hosting provider).
Summing up all information, once again we want to emphasize the importance of Magento optimized servers for your store – it can significantly increase the website performance which, in turn, can increase your conversion rates. The faster a store is, the more users stay on it, browse and buy.
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