There are a lot of variables that go into the success of an ecommerce business. Marketing professionals certainly know how true this is. The constant need for A/B testing and the refining of both the user experience and content all play a big part in how well products or services can sell. To go a bit deeper into the factors that can have a big effect on how well your ecommerce site does, let’s take a look at servers.
It’s true that hosting can make or break a business because of the many performance related factors that can influence customer behavior. These factors can be traced right back to the server that your site calls home. Make no mistake, though, your content management system will play a big role in your site’s performance as well. That’s why you want the best combination for your particular business. A big Magento build and a mid-sized WordPress backed site will probably require two different kinds of hosting solutions. Chances are, though, if you’re just starting out, VPS hosting is the way to go. There are always exceptions, however. Let’s explore why owners of ecommerce businesses should take an extra close look at their hosting.
If you were looking to put up a blog or portfolio site that remains relatively static, shared hosting might be just fine. But, there are too many negatives when it comes to running an ecommerce site. While the cheapest option, you’re also dealing with the slowest option. It’s important to stress just how critical site speed is to your success. Not only are you losing out on sales if your site is slow, but you’re also putting yourself at risk of compounding that poor experience and losing visitors who won’t even go to your site due to poor reviews. Consider that 79% of users who have an issue when making a purchase won’t return to the site and 44% of those who had a poor experience will tell their friends or family about it.
There is also the issue of security. No hosting solution is perfect, of course, but shared hosting brings its own challenges. In the event of a security breach, there is higher risk of “infection” or a malicious agent getting access to your site due to the fact you’re sharing the same hardware and resources as many other sites. If the breach occurs in one site, there may be a method of accessing yours due to the proximity. If you’re handling things like customer credit card information, this can quickly spell disaster for the longevity of your business. Consumer confidence is a difficult thing to get back.
If not shared hosting, will a VPS work?
For most ecommerce businesses just getting off the ground and up to mid-sized ones (visitors in the thousands) a virtual private server is the go-to solution. If shared hosting is having a bunch of roommates who are always eating the food in the fridge, a VPS is an apartment of your own. Sure, there’s still a landlord (you are still sharing hardware with neighbors, technically) but you own the unit. Your VPS isn’t as susceptible to performance issues due to the activity of other accounts on the server. The resources alloted to you are yours only. Those resources are also considerably higher than the ones you would get on a shared plan.
VPSes come with higher clocked CPUs, more RAM, and larger disk space that will go far in helping you establish a robust ecommerce site. Throw in the optional managed services, and you’ll really see the difference. With a managed VPS, the backend management of the site is largely left to your hosting company. Troubleshooting, backups, and other technical issues that would otherwise take up time from you actually selling won’t have to be of concern.
In short, yes, some ecommerce sites would benefit from using a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are generally the highest performing hosting options you can choose. The reason why one might be hesitant to go that route is because of the cost involved. You pay for that performance. Also, your current activity levels may not warrant it. Until you’re hitting tens of thousands of sales with high six figure visitor counts, you may not need it. But, you’ll see for yourself if the VPS performance isn’t enough over time. You can always migrate.
It’s clear that a lot goes into your site’s success. The hosting company you work with can influence that success greatly. That’s why you want to partner with a hosting company that has the experience, longevity, and resources to ensure that your site is always performing at a high level. The team at JaguarPC can help you choose the monthly plan that makes the most sense for your business. Whether you go for a VPS or want to see if a dedicated server would be a better option, contact us today so we can go over the best solution for you.