Why choosing a good hosting matters for your Magento store
As a Magento store owner, you have to make sure that your website is up and running at all times. Downtime can cause you to lose customers, sales and make an impact on your bottom line.
Besides that, site speed is also crucial for your customers’ satisfaction and your SEO rankings.
That’s why it’s important to choose a good hosting provider that can offer you the stability, speed and security that your Magento store needs.
In contrast to other solutions like Shopify, which are self-hosted, Magento is a platform that you have to host yourself. However, this can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with hosting and servers.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. In this article, we’ll give you tips on choosing the best hosting for your Magento store and making the best decision in this regard. Let's get started!
Magento Hosting Requirements
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of choosing a hosting provider, let’s look at what Magento hosting actually entails.
Magento is an eCommerce platform based on PHP that requires a LAMP or WAMP stack for its server requirements.
In order to install Magento, you need a webserver like Apache or Nginx, the MySQL database server and of course PHP.
These are all software that must be installed on a web server for Magento to run properly. Luckily, most hosting providers will offer you a LAMP or WAMP stack, so you don’t have to worry about it in most cases.
What kind of Magento Hosting Do You Need?
If you want to host Magento yourself, you basically have to options: you can either use a shared hosting, or get a virtual private server (VPS). In some cases, you might even want to get a dedicated web server, although this is usually not necessary.
Let's take a look at all the options.
1- Shared Hosting
This kind of hosting is the most common and affordable one, and it’s often used for simple websites. With this alternative you’ll be sharing a server with other customers of the hosting company.
The main pro of shared hostings is that they tend to be very cheap. The disadvantage is that your site can be slow if there are a lot of other sites on the same server, and that you might not always get the level of support that you need.
For that reason, we generally don’t recommend shared hosting for Magento stores. If you’re on a tight budget, however, it can be a good option to start out with and then upgrade to a VPS later on.
2- Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A VPS is basically a server that’s been divided into multiple “virtual” servers. You’ll still be sharing the same physical server with other customers, but each customer will have their own virtual environment.
This means that what other websites on the same server do won’t affect you, and vice versa. For that reason, a VPS is a good option if you want more control and flexibility than with shared hosting, but don’t need a full dedicated server or can't afford one yet.
A VPS tends to cost more than a shared hosting plan, but it offers much better performance and stability. This means that it’s a good option for most Magento stores.
3- Dedicated Web Server
A dedicated server is a physical server that can only be used by your store and won’t be shared with anyone else. This is the most expensive solution, but it also offers a great deal of performance and stability.
A dedicated server is only necessary if you have a very large Magento store with a lot of traffic, or if you need full control over your server environment for some other reason. If that's you, then a dedicated server is the way to go.
For most stores, however, a VPS will be more than enough, at least until they get a lot of traction.
What to look for on a Magento 2 Web Hosting Provider?
Now that you know the different types of hosting, let's take a look at what you should be looking for when choosing a provider.
1- Server Uptime
This refers to the amount of time that your server is up and running. Most hosting providers will guarantee uptime somewhere between 99% and 99.9%.
This might sound like a lot, but it actually means that your site can be down for up to 8 hours per year. That’s a long time if you rely on your store for income!
For that reason, we recommend choosing a provider with an uptime guarantee of 99.99% or higher. This will ensure that your site is always up and running, which is critical for eCommerce stores.
When you’re running an online store, things normally go wrong from time to time. Whether it’s a technical issue with your store or server, or something else entirely, you need to know that you can rely on your hosting provider for help when things go wrong.
For that reason, we recommend choosing a provider with 24/7 support, preferably with live chat. That way, you can always get the help you need, no matter what time of day it is.
Another important factor to consider is security. After all, your Magento store will be handling sensitive customer data like credit card information.
You need to know that your hosting provider is taking steps to keep your data safe. Look for features like firewalls, malware scanning, and SSL certificates.
As your store grows, you’ll need to improve your hosting plan to make room for the increased traffic and workload.
For that reason, it’s important to choose a provider that offers scalable plans. That way, you can start out with a smaller plan and then upgrade to a larger one as your needs change.
Of course, pricing is also an important consideration. When choosing a hosting provider, you need to find one that offers a good value for the price.
Look for a provider that offers a good mix of features, performance, and support, without charging too much. It’s also important to consider the long-term costs of hosting.
For example, some providers might offer low prices for the first year but then raise the price significantly when it’s time to renew your contract.
6- Magento Compatibility
Finally, you need to make sure that your chosen hosting provider is actually compatible with Magento. Some hosting providers are better equipped to handle Magento stores than others.
When in doubt, always check with the provider to see if they offer specific Magento hosting plans or can accommodate stores created with this technology.
7- Sustainability - Green Hosting
Companies don’t think about it, but every website, including this and yours, consumes electricity, which produces carbon and affects the environment.
Do you want to know your company’s website's carbon footprint? Check out the Wholegrain Digital calculator here.
The leading tech companies in the world are often a step ahead when it comes to sustainability.
Google has been carbon neutral since 2007 and planning to become “Carbon-free” by 2030. Apple declared to be carbon neutral in 2019.
What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to hosting?
- Optimization is key: have your website using fewer resources. More performance and more sustainability!
- Pick a hosting that relies on green energy: read here about Hypernode, our top pick.
- Think about shutting down your servers during dead hours (valid especially for B2Bs).
Unmanaged Vs Managed Magento Hosting?
When it comes to Magento hosting, you have two options: managed or unmanaged.
With unmanaged hosting, you’re responsible for all aspects of your server, including security, performance, and updates. This option is best suited for experienced developers who are comfortable managing their own servers.
With managed hosting, however, the provider takes care of all those things for you. This option is best for store owners who want to focus on running their store instead of on the technical side of things.
But, which one should you choose? In most cases, we recommend managed Magento hosting.
While it’s more expensive than unmanaged hosting, it’s worth the extra cost for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your store is in good hands.
Plus, with managed hosting, you’ll get access to features like easy installation, updates, and non-stop support.
These features can save you a lot of time and hassle, which is why we think they’re worth the extra cost.
Why is Shared Hosting Usually Not An Option?
When it comes to hosting a Magento store, shared hosting is usually not a good option. This type of hosting is designed for small websites with low traffic levels. It’s not suitable for eCommerce stores, which tend to be larger and get more traffic. Additionally, shared hosting plans don’t offer the same level of performance, security, and support that you’ll get with a dedicated Magento hosting plan.
For these reasons, we generally don’t recommend shared hosting for Magento stores. If you’re on a tight budget, however, it might be worth considering a cloud hosting plan.
While not as powerful as a dedicated server, a cloud server can still offer decent performance and is usually more affordable than a dedicated plan.
What’s the Best Hosting for Magento?
Now that you know what to look for in a hosting provider, it’s time to choose one for your store. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend checking out these two providers:
These two providers offer a good mix of features, performance, and support, all at a reasonable price. Plus, they’re all compatible with Magento stores. Let's take a look at them.
Netherlands-based, Hypernode’s managed hosting is usually our choice for small to medium enterprises.
- Designed for speed: In today’s crowded e-commerce landscape, customers expect a smooth online shopping experience.
- Security: Intelligent bad bot blocking, integrated brute force protection, pro-active malware scanner and much more security features that keep a store safe and secure.
- Developer-friendly: We love the care their team put on this product.
- Flexible plans: you can check them here
Nexcess (US based) is a great option for stores that are just starting out and SMBs. They offer a wide range of hosting plans, so you can choose one that fits your needs and budget. Plus, their servers are optimized for Magento, so you can be sure that your store will run smoothly; and they also offer a fully managed plan, so you will have peace of mind knowing that your store is in good hands.
Choosing the best hosting for Magento can be a daunting task. But, with the help of this guide, we hope you feel more confident in your decision.
Remember to keep these factors in mind when choosing a provider: performance, security, features, support, and price. And, if you’re still not sure which one to choose, we recommend checking out Hypernode or Nexcess. Feel free to reach out directly to us for an ad hoc consultation!