Magento is a great e-commerce platform, proven by its popularity with over 260,000 online stores now using the CMS. As it’s built on the most common web technology, it’s suitable for most hosting environments however, it’s important that you find a host that matches your specific requirements and intentions. Being a particularly memory hungry platform, it’s really essential that the hosting you choose is optimised to ensure your store runs as fast and smoothly as possible.
For an eCommerce store there are so many important decisions to make for the website. While many will put never-ending hours working on SEO, content creation and product improvement the importance of where and who your website is hosted with is often overlooked and in the background of the running of the business. Yet, without the web hosting service that it needs, site performance can suffer and the site runs the risk of frustrating its potential customers and increasing the chance that they’ll leave for a competitor.
What type of hosting do you actually need?
This is probably the first question you should be asking yourself when starting your search for your hosting partner. There are four main types of hosting;
A small boutique shop that just need an online presence but are not planning on taking many if any orders through the website could reasonably save some money and opt for shared hosting. An online store taking hundreds of orders a day should probably consider opting for a dedicated hosting solution to ensure upkeep, speed and security.
Do they specialise in Magento?
Okay, so it’s not necessarily make or break. If the site is relatively low traffic and properly coded, technically as long as it has enough memory and disk space the site should run smoothly. However, when problems do occur, the value of having hosts that are experienced in Magento can’t be underestimated. When something goes wrong a Magento experienced host will feel like a lifesaver.
Check what your package actually consists of?
Are you paying for updates and patches to be installed? Will it be optimised to ensure the best possible running? Will they provide any support for PCI? It’s vital that you know from the get go what is your hosts responsibility and what is your own responsibility as a site owner.
Are they PCI compliant?
If you accept credit cards on your site then you must be PCI Compliant. All eCommerce websites must meet certain data security standards to make sure that all credit card information is processed and stored in a secure environment. When looking for a hosting provider make sure that their hosting environment is consistent with PCI compliance.
Who do they already work with?
Being a Magento partner is undoubtedly a good sign, but it’s not a must and there are definitely a lot of Magento hosting companies out there that aren’t certified but are pretty amazing so don’t let it put you off. Sometimes your developer will have a preference on who they like to work with in regards to hosting companies and it’s worth taking this into consideration.
It’s important to remember that finding the right Magento host isn’t as simple as ticking boxes. There are certain requirements that Magento needs as a platform but if support is more important to you than disk space or alternatively, if you have unlimited knowledge in Magento and are just looking for something snappy, you’ll have completely different ideas of the right host.
Once you’ve worked out which services are important to your business (and the ones that aren’t) and understand your priorities for your website, you can evaluate web hosts on their track record, price structure and support availability as well as their technical specifications.