If you own a brick and mortar shop in 2020 it is most likely that you have a complementing eCommerce website for an ever-growing population of online shoppers. Even if you start with an eCommerce shop with no offline support, you are on the right track. A domain name, design, and functionality are some decisions that need to be made from the start, along with the choice of right hosting provider and host plan. With these essentials, it is always a good thing to invest a bit more time from the start in order to build a good eCommerce website that will have better results in the long run.
Shared hosting from the start
If you don’t have a lot of experience with hosting providers, choosing the right provider and plan can be tricky. This is why shared hosting is usually the first choice for newcomers and fresh new websites, including eCommerce and other web-shops. One of the most common reasons for shared hosting is the affordable price. Of course, low price is related to sharing server resources with other websites on the same server. For the start, shared hosting can be a good solution, but it has limited growth potential, and your performance usually depends on you and your server neighbors.
Shared hosting usually means that you only pay for space on the server where you can put your website. The hosting provider is obligated to keep the server working, but the rest is up to you – all monitoring, uploading, and maintenance.
Even VPS hosting, which represents a solution between Shared hosting and Dedicated servers has its good and bad sides. On the upside, you get additional resources when needed, but on the downside, you are still sharing hosting with other websites.
When can shared hosting become an issue?
Shared hosting is something similar to living in a large apartment building. You don’t know all of your neighbors, but you share the same address, elevator, garage, front entrance, and hallways. Server in shared hosting is the building, one of the apartments is yours, and your neighbor can be on virtually any website. Together you work independently, but you share resources like CPU time, memory, storage space, Internet bandwidth, and so on. Usually, this is no problem, but when some of the websites have a spike in the number of visitors, other websites can be affected. And for most of the websites, this doesn’t have to be an issue, but for eCommerce, every second of waiting or downtime can impact your popularity.
Also, shared hosting has limited resources, so if your website has a fast-growing pace, your performance will most certainly suffer. VPS hosting can be a solution that covers the growth, but we are still talking about a large number of neighbors.
Other sites on your server can affect your SEO
In most cases shared hosting uses one IP address for the server, which means that you are sharing the same IP with your neighbors. This can turn into a problem for many reasons.
The indexing that Google and other search engines allow is based on server IP address. Being on shared hosting, you can experience performance drops from bot crawlers. Even worse – you might notice slow indexing or search engine bots not visiting your website as much as they should. For every other type of website, this might not be an issue, but for eCommerce, it can be a deal-breaker.
The same IP for you and another website also means that the activities of others will impact your website. For example, if one of your neighbors uses his website for spamming, every address on this IP will be flagged, and even blocked by others. This can directly impact the performance, visitor count, search engine ranking, and numerous other things related to your website.
When it comes to shared IP, there is a possible solution that can help you with your neighbors. One of the things that set good hosting apart from the rest of them is special features like dedicated IP on VPS hosting and other things that we saw with Hostinger. This way, you are physically sharing the same server, but have different addresses, and you can add resources when you need them. Essentially having the benefits of dedicated hosting for a reasonable price.
Find out more about your neighbors
In that case, you notice something strange about your website, maybe it is time to know more about your neighbors. The easiest way is to use some of the free tools available that can show you a list of all websites that share the same IP. Some of them can even tell you if any of them is flagged for illicit activities.
Since you can’t impact the choice of your neighbors, this might be a good reason for you to change your hosting plan.
Dedicated server hosting is the solution that is oriented completely towards your website. It is specially built for high bandwidth and high traffic websites like successful eCommerce websites. Every server resource is at your disposal, and you have additional control over the architecture, security, OS… Among other things dedicated hosting has better-guaranteed uptime, fast response time, and generally superior performance, along with powerful tools for data backup, instant setup, better support…
Cloud hosting is very similar to dedicated hosting in terms of performance. It is offering scalable server resources based on hardware virtualization. This allows high traffic and high bandwidth for your website.
If you want to further improve your game, managed hosting offers to manage your website for you. This basically means that everything is handled by experts from the start. You will have help from the get-go, and further, along the way, all updates, backups, security checks, and monitoring is something that you don’t have to worry about.
Since website maintenance is a time-consuming job, it is not a surprise to see most of the websites opt-out for managed hosting. At the end of the day, you can count on benefits like simplicity, advanced security, regular backups, additional services, scalability, and dedicated support (or even a support team). And that is the best part of managed hosting – let experts manage your website while you take care of content optimization and further boost your website. Your website will always be optimized without your active involvement, and time and energy spent.
Surpass your neighbors
Once you feel that there are issues regarding your hosting, you’ve reached the critical point in your website’s life. It doesn’t really matter if the problems are coming from your neighbors, performance, or IP issues, if your eCommerce is suffering, so are your finances, and you are past waiting. VPS hosting can be a starting ground, but dedicated/cloud hosting, or even managed hosting are permanent solutions that will benefit your business and help you focus on important aspects of your website.