Magento’s current market share is 14.89% according to Built With, which is very impressive considering how competitive the e-commerce space has become. If you have your online store running on Magento, hosting is one of your most significant concerns.
What else do you need to bear in mind when searching for the right hosting provider?
The list includes:
Your Magento site should be ultra-fast. So, select a provider whose server always runs at optimized speed. You might want to know why speed is so important. Magento, despite being feature-rich, lags in the native search. Almost everyone introduces changes to make Catalogue search personalized to meet searcher’s needs.
We all know better search results translates to increased sale. But if a spike in sale comes at the cost of intermittent downtime and slow load-time, the loss would be in millions. My advice is to talk to your hosting provider and inform them of what kind of changes you want to make in the native search feature and how much of extra space that might require.
24/7 customer support
E-commerce belongs to B2C. Store owners interact with end customers all day. Just one pissed customer and the reputation of the store can go downhill. A server with uptime guarantee is no doubt useful, but if their customer support is not up to the snuff, ditch them immediately.
Customer support should be available round the clock. For a standard (non-e-commerce) website, customer support provided by the web hosting company is essential to manage scripts, database, name servers, log files, et al. But e-commerce is an entirely different ballgame and making mistakes can be costly.
Magento site owners visit the admin panel often to configure subscription options for their newsletter subscribers. And for that, they may need the aid of their hosting provider. Then there’s online inventory, managing which can be a painful experience in the absence of essential tools. Especially on Magento as inventory management extensions are high in demand among users. The majority choose ERP extensions as they come with features galore such as inventory report, dropship, supply forecast and more.
You can install innovative Magento plugins, but the server needs to support them. E-commerce hosts are typically well-equipped to accommodate such extensions, but during downtime when site owners turn to customer service reps, not getting proper help translates to losing customers. So, for better customer satisfaction, every online store needs to find a hosting provider that offers 24/7 customer support. And their support team must provide something of value, not some prearranged scripted responses.
Affordability matters big time
True, the e-commerce industry is rife with big players. But plenty other not-so-well-known businesses are also out there partaking in the competition. And many of them use Magento as Cloud hosting is steadily getting cheaper. Cloud vendors are aware that e-commerce hosting for small businesses can turn into a profit-making venture. So, they are offering affordable hosting to cheapskate retailers.
If you want your business to scale up, don’t go for these solutions. They may be highly affordable but lacks crucial features. In my opinion, e-commerce hosting for small businesses is either quality at the expense of price or the other way around. Both are equally important, and as a Magento store owner, you can’t compromise with any of them.
That’s why I recommend you search for a hosting service that caters to the mid-market. They understand small business needs. When you pay for a service like this, upgrading, redirecting and configuring your Magento store with the help of third-party extensions become easy and your wallet doesn’t bleed.
Setting up a blog
E-commerce sites badly need blogs. It’s a fact, and I expect you not to doubt that even for a minute. If recent studies are to believe, customers have become smart. Even the dumbest of them now reads five online reviews before buying a product. The same studies revealed customers are more likely to buy a product after they read about it online.
Your Magento site, therefore, needs a blog where you can skillfully publicize your inventory collection. But the blog is not a default function on Magento. You can use custom plugins to set up a blog, but my advice would be to integrate a WordPress blog with your Magento store. Both are open source, and their combination will rock.
Magento modules are simple to use. You can even create one if you have a tad bit of programming knowledge. To integrate WordPress blog with Magento, all you need to do is install Magento WordPress Integration Module and configure it. That’s all. By selecting a host that’s popular in the WordPress circle, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary hassles.
Web server and database
Magento is an application, and for any application to work up to its fullest, the server database must be tuned to it. The database server must employ a high-capacity storage engine, and the data must be stored in a robust RAID controller.
We all know that when it comes to e-commerce, security is a high-priority. To make the Magento website fully secure, the server’s security built must be latest and custom configured. Redirected packets can cause security issues. To protect the site from them, the server must prevent them and render a high network performance. And last but not the least, alternative PHP cache should be enabled for better web server performance.
You can change your hosting provider anytime. Still, I recommend you screen them carefully before selecting one because a disruptive experience caused by a technical glitch can damage your reputation. And in the e-commerce industry, reputation is everything for brands. So, follow the tips discussed here to get the most value from your Magento store.