Online shopping is booming globally and is considered one of the fastest growing industries. According to estimates made back in 2018, the market is forecast to grow threefold within five years. Online commerce gives entrepreneurs real opportunities to build a strong and competitive business that attracts and retains clients.
Types of hosting for online store
Every online store has its start on ordinary shared hosting. But as the attendance of the project grows, the need for resources and hosting performance increases. That's when the question arises: "How to choose a server for an online store?".
Online store on shared hosting can be compared to a stall at a fair among many other similar points of sale. In the case of your own server, virtual or dedicated, it will already be a store in a separate room, with the space you need only, personal lighting, water and electricity systems, as well as a secure lock at the entrance.
- Shared hosting (virtual hosting) - a relatively cheap service (from 100 rubles per month), which has restrictions: on the number of sites, resources, load. This means that if your site uses more resources, it may be blocked.
- VPS is a flexible virtual solution that allows you to host a large number of websites and databases, you can also install the necessary software. However, the main disadvantage of VPS is its higher cost and the need for knowledge in system administration.
- A dedicated server is an ideal solution for owners of large online stores with hundreds of thousands of users per month. You get full control over both software and hardware.
Table 1 - Comparison of hosting options for online stores.
|VPS / VDS
|Yes, they do.
|Yes, fully isolated
|Possible, with restrictions
|Possible, with a temporary server outage
|Tied to equipment characteristics
Choosing the type of hosting can be compared to choosing a car or a musical instrument: you should not buy the most expensive model of car or guitar right away, as you will not be able to appreciate all the benefits. Therefore, the best option for the beginning will be shared hosting with affordable tariffs. And already after your store will gain an audience, you can think about upgrading.
For the successful operation of a large online store with high loads, it is better to avoid shared hosting, as it is not always up to the task. You should by no means risk losing clients during peak hours. That's why most store owners prefer to use VPS hosting or its more powerful alternative - a dedicated server. Efficient equipment can easily cope with the load of web stores running on different platforms.
What you need to consider when choosing hosting
We recommend starting with an audit of your resource to determine its requirements. There are several criteria to consider when selecting a server.
- Estimate the traffic to the site and the number of products the online store will provide.
- Decide on your programming language and security requirements.
- Pay attention to the frequency of backups, protection against viruses and DDoS attacks, as well as other protection parameters.
- It is important to consider the CMS used, the number and size of databases and media files, the operating system, working software and scalability. We recommend selecting a server for your online store with spare capacity to be ready for sudden increases in load, for example, during promotions, seasonal sales or competitor attacks.
Which operating system to choose
Servers can have different operating systems installed, such as FreeBSD, Linux, or Windows. Some users with insufficient experience make a mistake. They make the choice of a server for the store solely based on the Windows operating system, thinking that it is more convenient. Windows hosting is recommended to order only when your online store uses Microsoft technologies: MSSQL database management system or ASP.NET web application development platform. If you plan to create a store on WordPress platforms or any other popular CMS, hosting on Linux will be the optimal solution.
Another important factor is the location of the server. Many entrepreneurs choose to use overseas servers for several reasons:
- Site loading speed is faster if the server is located in the same country as the user. This is important for businesses that target foreign audiences.
- Overseas data centers are usually equipped with the latest generation of state-of-the-art equipment, meeting ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 quality standards, and provide a high level of security and storage control.
There is also a less obvious reason. Some entrepreneurs choose foreign servers because data centers abroad are subject to the laws of the country in which they are located.
How to choose a provider
- 24/7 technical support is an important aspect. A quick response and help in case of a problem is essential.
- Study the provider's reliability, legal entity and documentation.
- Pay attention to additional services. These can be domains, SSL certificates, hosting trial period, etc.
Real client reviews can also be useful. Check how user-friendly the provider's website is, whether its tariffs are clear, and how professional the technical support service is. Be sure to read reviews on specialized sites, ask other entrepreneurs about their experience of working with the provider. Look at the responses of technical support staff in social networks and find out how long the company has been on the market. These details will form a general picture of the reliability of the company, which will make it much easier to make a decision.
If you see that server rental services are very cheap - this is a reason to think. Often newcomers or unscrupulous companies offer favorable prices, but cannot provide the stated capabilities.
Quality hosting for an online store is like taking care of a person's health. We rarely think about it until there are problems. To avoid such situations, you should take the choice seriously, and as your business grows, you can change the type of hosting. Be prepared to tweak and adapt so that your store runs efficiently and makes a profit!