Are you ready to take your eCommerce business to the next level, but aren’t sure if you should continue using your shared hosting account or make a change to a VPS – Virtual Private Server. While this may seem like an easy decision, there are several things to consider. After all, your website is the heart of your eCommerce operation. Keep reading to learn which option is best for your needs.
Understanding the Limitations of Shared Hosting
There are some shared hosting providers that make the claim you will have unlimited resources and that you will be able to run multiple programs you can install with ease if you use the right software. These companies typically promise you the world to get you to sign the bottom line, just like eCommerce marketing companies.
However, before you sign, you must read the fine print. There is no such thing as having “unlimited” disk space, CPU usage, or bandwidth. If your business grows and your website is running several scripts to provide functionality to customers, your hosting is eventually going to hit a wall.
Avoid Using a Shared SSL Certificate
There are some shared hosting providers that will reduce their costs, along with your prices, by offering you a shared SSL certificate. The SSL – secure sockets layer – is a protocol that will create a secure connection between the server and the client. Just think of the confusion and uncertainty your customers may experience if they see a warning message on your site that states the SSL certificate you have doesn’t match your website’s domain name. Chances are, this will cause your customers to leave without completing their purchase.
As a result, there are only really two situations when you should consider shared hosting for your eCommerce website. The first is if you are creating a functional prototype website. Or if you are setting up a niche website where your customers already have a relationship with you.
VPS for eCommerce Websites
As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is to spend more money than necessary. However, your business may suffer if you are trying to run but have limited resources. Even though the initial outlay is often somewhat bigger, it is essential to make sure you get the server choice right the first time around. Be sure you choose a provider that can support your business for a minimum of a year, which will help you avoid the need to switch to an all-new hosting provider at an inopportune time.
However, that doesn’t automatically mean you must choose dedicated hosting (also called colocation) immediately. Dedicated hosting is usually too expensive for the majority of self-funded eCommerce startups. While this is true, you can find an affordable VPS hosting option if you do your research.
The Benefits Offered by VPS
There are many benefits offered by VPS over shared hosting. Most are attributed to the fact that the resources provided are pre-allocated and isolated. VPS offers isolation from others activity that are using the same host, guaranteed speed, guaranteed stability, guaranteed space, and root access. It’s these benefits that make it the best choice for most eCommerce businesses.
If you consider your eCommerce business to be “serious,” or if you are growing significantly, then choosing VPS is a decision that just makes sense. While shared hosting has a place when it comes to testing your website, it isn’t a long-term option. VPS is more affordable than dedicated hosting and it is much more robust than shared hosting, which makes it a perfect mix of function, affordability, and scalability for your eCommerce website.
Author bio: Anna Watson is a graduate from San Diego State University and a blogger online. She loves to write about tech, business, marketing, and many more. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter @annawattson25.