In today’s digital age, eCommerce is rapidly becoming the preferred method of shopping for consumers around the world. With the growth of online shopping, eCommerce businesses must have a robust and reliable hosting infrastructure to ensure their platform is always accessible and functioning at its best. Choosing the right eCommerce hosting solution can be a daunting task, with numerous options available in the market.
In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable insights into choosing the optimal hosting solution for your eCommerce platform. In addition, we will present the key factors to consider when selecting an eCommerce hosting provider and highlight the benefits of choosing the right hosting solution for your business.
Types of hosting for eCommerce site
Regardless of the type of hosting, whether it is a cloud, a dedicated server or a self-built server room, you should provide network communication, data storage, a server that gives computing power, virtualization of server resources, an operating system and middleware, runtime and applications.
On-Premise is a hosting solution, also known as local hosting, which refers to the practice of installing and maintaining software or applications on one’s own IT infrastructure rather than using cloud hosting services or an external service provider.
Infrastructure control: With On-Premise Hosting, an eCommerce business has complete control over its infrastructure, which means it can better monitor and control its business processes.
Data security: On-Premise allows for full control over data and security, enabling a high level of company data security.
Customization to requirements: This kind of eCommerce hosting allows for software and infrastructure customization to individual business needs and requirements, which is particularly important for more specialized business processes.
Continuous availability: With this eCommerce hosting solution, an online store isn’t dependent on services provided by an external provider, which means that the infrastructure is always available.
High costs: On-Premise requires significant financial investment in purchasing, maintaining, and updating infrastructure and software.
Expertise required: On-Premise requires IT experts who are able to maintain, update, and repair infrastructure, which can be costly and require significant knowledge and experience.
Lack of resource scalability: This eCommerce hosting solution can be limited in terms of scalability and flexibility, meaning that if additional resources are required, the eCommerce store must make additional investments in infrastructure and software.
High risk: This kind of eCommerce hosting can be associated with high risks related to security, downtime, and data loss, which requires continuous monitoring and ensuring appropriate safeguards.
It is the right choice for organizations with stringent regulatory requirements, such as healthcare, financial services, or government sectors that may prefer On-Premise software due to the high level of security and control it offers, and for large eCommerce businesses that have the necessary IT resources and financial resources to manage this hosting solution.
A dedicated server is a type of hosting solution where an entire physical server is solely dedicated to serving the needs of a single client or website. In the case of dedicated servers, the hosting provider provides the servers, storage, and network. In turn, the user is responsible for the installation process (installing virtualization, operating systems, middleware, runtime, and applications).
High Performance: Dedicated servers provide high performance as they are not shared with other customers. This means that resources such as CPU, memory, and storage are dedicated solely to the customer’s use.
Scalability: Dedicated servers can be easily scaled up or down depending on the customer’s needs. This means that additional resources can be added to the server when needed, providing flexibility and scalability.
Reliability: Dedicated servers are more reliable than shared hosting as the resources are not shared with other users. This means that the server is less likely to experience downtime or performance issues.
Security: Dedicated servers provide a high level of security as the server is not shared with other users. This means that the customer has more control over the security of their data.
Technical Expertise: Dedicated servers require technical expertise to set up and maintain. Customers may need to have an IT team or hire a third-party provider to manage the server.
Responsibility: With a dedicated server, the customer is responsible for maintaining and securing the server. This means that the customer needs to have the technical expertise to manage the server or hire a third-party provider to manage it.
This type of hosting is ideal for high-traffic websites and resource-intensive applications that require maximum control and customization over their hosting infrastructure and need that require a reliable and secure hosting environment.
IaaS stands for „Infrastructure as a Service.” It is a type of cloud computing service that provides customers with virtualized computing resources over the internet. In the case of IaaS, the hosting provider already provides virtualization, thanks to which the user only runs the operating system.
Scalability: We can easily and quickly expand the physical resources of the server with additional virtual machines, which facilitates scaling. This is helpful at the early stage of the project when the eCommerce website owner does not fully know the server load yet.
Security: IaaS providers offer security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and data encryption to protect their customers’ data.
Cost Savings: IaaS eliminates the need for businesses to invest in and maintain their own physical infrastructure. This can result in significant cost savings as eCommerce businesses only pay for the resources they use.
Limited control: Loss of information and no influence on what is happening in the lower layers. Using what is available in the cloud results in lower performance.
Dependency on Internet connection: IaaS requires a stable and reliable internet connection to access and manage the infrastructure. If the internet connection is lost or becomes unstable, eCommerce businesses may not be able to access their infrastructure.
It is commonly used by startups, SMBs, and businesses with fluctuating workloads, as it allows them to avoid large capital expenditures on infrastructure and pay only for the resources they use yet.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a type of cloud computing that provides a complete development and deployment platform for building and hosting applications on the internet. With PaaS, developers can create and deploy web applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. For PaaS, these include networking, storage, servers, virtualization, operating system, middleware, and runtime. The user is responsible for creating and deploying their applications.
Ease of Deployment: PaaS providers offer ready-to-use tools and development environments to build, test, and deploy applications, making the process quick and easy.
Responsibility: Most of the responsibility for business continuity rests with the hosting provider.
Maintenance: PaaS providers maintain and update infrastructure, operating systems, and middleware. This allows customers to focus on developing applications and saves time and effort related to infrastructure maintenance.
Lack of control: PaaS providers have control over the infrastructure and software, which means that customers have limited control over the application environment. They cannot customize the software or the environment to suit their needs.
Security: Customers may be concerned that hosting their application on a third-party platform may not provide sufficient data security. In such cases, they must rely on a service provider to ensure an adequate level of data security.
Vendor dependency: Using PaaS hosting means that customers are dependent on the service provider to provide the right environment and tools to build and deploy applications. In the event of a service provider failure, customers may have difficulty migrating applications to another platform.
PaaS is ideal for companies that require fast and scalable application development without the need to manage and maintain the underlying infrastructure. It is also a cost-effective solution, as it eliminates the need for hardware investment and reduces maintenance costs.
The SaaS model is the simplest solution because you only need to buy the service, and you can use it right away. All elements, such as networking, storage, servers, virtualization, OS, middleware, runtime and applications, provide a hosting provider. A good example of this model is Gmail.
Easy access: SaaS services are easy to set up and use and do not require extensive technical knowledge. All that is needed is an internet connection and a web browser.
Costs: SaaS services operate on a subscription basis, which means that the customer only pays for what they use. There is no need to incur high costs at the beginning of an investment, and in the case of small businesses and startups, SaaS can be much cheaper than traditional solutions.
Automation: SaaS services often offer automation of business processes, which allows for time savings and increased efficiency.
Scalability: SaaS enables easy scaling of resources according to needs, allowing for quick response to changes in the business and flexibility in management.
Lack of control and customization: SaaS services operate on provider servers, which means that users do not have full control over their data and applications and haven’t impact on solution customization
Dependency on the provider: Using SaaS services means that users are fully dependent on the provider, which means that in case of technical problems or changes in the company’s policy, difficulties may arise in using the services.
Security: SaaS services store sensitive data in the cloud, which can be associated with the risk of privacy and data security breaches.
SaaS is a good choice for small and medium-sized businesses or startups and new businesses.
How to choose the best eCommerce hosting solutions?
Choosing the right hosting solution depends on the merchant’s situation and scale. It is important to consider several key factors to choose the right hosting for your eCommerce store. Here are some tips that can help you choose the optimal hosting for your eCommerce store:
Determine your requirements: Before you start looking for hosting for your eCommerce store, determine your requirements for speed, security, performance, and scalability. Based on these requirements, you can choose the hosting that best suits your needs.
Choose a hosting that offers performance and speed: Optimal eCommerce hosting should provide fast page loading, high performance, and low latency. For this purpose, it is worth choosing a hosting that offers fast servers and CDN technology that allows you to distribute your content around the world.
Pay attention to security: Security is crucial for eCommerce stores, so choose a hosting that offers high-quality security, including SSL certificates and DDoS protection systems.
Choose hosting that offers scalability: Your eCommerce site can grow as your business grows, so it’s important to choose hosting that offers easy scalability and expansion without sacrificing performance or service quality.
Choosing the right hosting depends on the size of the eCommerce platform. It should be remembered that depending on whether it is a small, medium, or large eCommerce, the needs and requirements will differ. Below is a downloadable checklist with questions worth asking your hosting provider when deciding on the right eCommerce web hosting.
Hosting cost (TCO)
The cost of hosting is influenced by the following elements:
- The price of the solution
- Time to market
Have you ever wondered what a failure looks like and what losses it can bring? Below we have presented what a potential failure in eCommerce seems like from the merchant’s point of view and how to shorten its time.
How can this time be shortened?
MSPs (Managed Service Providers) take care of business continuity; this is their main task. Their role is to look at the project from a different perspective than that of a merchant and a software house. It is important for MSP what to do to prevent failure. An effective way to avoid failures is monitoring and 24/7 availability.
However, in the event of a failure, the task of MSP is to reduce the failure time to a minimum, thanks to which eCommerce losses will be much smaller.
- Implementation of monitoring and notifications
- IT team on duty 24/7
- Prepare procedures for responding to the simplest failures
Losses during failure
Who should be responsible for hosting: MSP or Software House?
There is a belief in the environment that a software house should be responsible for hosting the eCommerce platform. However, this is a wrong assumption. Of course, it may happen that larger software houses will have their own departments responsible for hosting, but this is a definite rarity. However, in most cases, MSP (Managed Service Provider) is responsible for hosting.
The ideal scenario is one in which there is a cooperation between a software house and an MSP. This is a great value from the merchant’s point of view because he receives an eCommerce implementation service and a hosting service „at the same time” which gives him a sense of security. That is why such teams, i.e. software house, and MSP, are of great value and are sought after by merchants.
When is it worth using MSP services?
It is worth choosing MSP services when maintaining business continuity is particularly important because downtime can cause significant financial losses for the company. MSPs are on duty 24/7 and can react in the event of a potential threat and prevent a failure or reduce its duration to a minimum.
Advantages of using MSP
- Improved security: MSPs specialize in managing IT infrastructure and can provide businesses with robust security measures to protect against cyber threats.
- 24/7 support: MSPs typically offer round-the-clock support, ensuring that any IT issues are resolved quickly and minimizing downtime for the business.
- Access to expertise: MSPs have a team of highly skilled IT professionals who are experts in their field. This allows businesses to tap into this expertise and benefit from their knowledge and experience.
Hosting for a specific eCommerce platform
When choosing the best hosting solution for eCommerce, you should be guided by the fact that the chosen solution meets the most important requirements of an online store. This solution should ensure business continuity, scalability and security. So how do you choose hosting for one of the most valued eCommerce platforms on the market, i.e. Shopware and Sylius? We will try to answer this question.
Hosting for Shopware
Shopware is an open-source eCommerce platform focused on user experience. Its main goal is to provide each eCommerce store with a personalized path and delivers an unforgettable experience to customers. This eCommerce solution is the most popular and fastest-growing platform in Germany, which is also expanding its operations to the global market. It is an open-source platform dedicated to B2B and B2C businesses.
When choosing a hosting solution for this platform, as with other platforms, you should pay attention to the following elements:
- Performance (infrastructure, processors, disks)
- Server location
- Backup and security
- Technical support and response time
- Monitoring and SLA
- MSP experience in hosting Shopware (or another platform of our choice)
An important aspect is also the plans you have to develop your eCommerce. For example, suppose you plan to enter foreign markets or expect an increase in orders. In that case, it is especially worth opting for a solution enabling scalability just now without a drastic reconstruction of the server environment or a complete change in the future.
When choosing a hosting provider, it is worth choosing a partner who will advise and support your activities in the future.
One such company is Centuria (MSP), whose main task is maintaining the online store’s continuity. It provides services primarily in hosting, cloud solutions and server administration. Its portfolio includes eCommerce websites with an annual turnover of over PLN 1 billion, several million SKUs, and over 100 000 transactions in one day.
Hosting for Sylius
When it comes to Sylius, there are several hosting options available, ranging from shared hosting to private clouds. Sylius does not recommend any specific hosting provider, which means that it is essential to conduct research and choose the option that best suits your needs.
“Sylius is designed as a self-hosted platform that is easy to deploy on multiple hosting providers. However, since hosting is key to the performance and security of the e-shop, it needs to be done by an experienced team. That’s why we have recommended hosting partners – the silent heroes of our Partner Network that host and optimize thousands of eCommerce stores. You can’t make a bad choice entrusting them with your business”Sylius
To achieve optimal performance and avoid potential issues, it is crucial to pay attention to the infrastructure of the hosting solution you choose. Furthermore, it’s worth noting the location of the server room as it can significantly impact website performance. For instance, if the server room is located in Warsaw, users from Central Europe will experience faster website loading times compared to users from America, who may experience slower loading times. Thus, selecting the server room location carefully is vital.
However, for those focused on production and sales, a dedicated server or private cloud is recommended.
Choosing the right hosting for your eCommerce platform is not easy. First, you need to determine the company’s requirements and needs and thoroughly research available hosting solutions. If you have questions about hosting after reading the article, we encourage you to contact Centuria (MSP), which will dispel your doubts and help you choose the right solution.
However, if you are still at the stage of choosing the platform on which you will build your eCommerce, we will be happy to help you! Contact us! We are specialists in the development of platforms based on Sylius and Shopware.