VPS hosting is perfect for launching an e-commerce site, while similar in many ways to other web endeavours – sales and security bring their own unique challenges. Your standard informational site has fairly easy content management, and hosting requirements are low in comparison to an e-commerce site which is much more resource-hungry.
Depending on your skill level, you may not know where to start to get your site into a functional state. Maybe you’ve heard great things about Magento as an e-commerce platform and want to install their shopping cart software. Then again, if Magento has too much of a learning curve for you, there’s always WordPress with its fleet of e-commerce plugins like Shopify and WooCommerce. The CMS you choose is up to you, but once all of that is established it’s time for the million-dollar question: where am I hosting this thing?
Shared hosting? Mmm…
Well, right off the bat, shared hosting is a no when you are choosing between VPS hosting or shared hosting for your e-commerce needs, due to the sensitive nature of transactional data. True, no one wants to accrue more overhead and money needs to be saved wherever it can be. But, the money you’re saving by opting for shared hosting isn’t worth the headaches you’re setting yourself (and your clients!) up for. Being the victim of your “neighbour’s” intense server resource usage could take your site offline for hours. Of course, you could also potentially be the person hogging server resources: CPU, RAM, etc.
Either way, you’ll be dealing with more disruptions than you’d care to. And, don’t forget what happened to Target’s image in the aftermath of its massive data breach. Not good. While you may not expose over 100 million customers’ personal information to the dark web, just one single instance of compromising a customer’s credit card could damage your business beyond repair.
What’s the best hosting option, then?
While VPS hosting has enough oomph for most online storefronts out there, the benefits of dedicated hosting cannot be ignored. If you’ve got exponential growth in your future (as is every business owner’s dream), then you might as well put a dedicated hosting solution on your radar.
There is no question that opting for a bare metal dedicated server is the more expensive hosting option compared to VPS. But this is all relative to revenue. Eventually, if your site is the main driver of your business, adding server expenses will be seen as a good thing because it means sales are up.
Yes, statistics show hosting response times have a direct effect on sale conversions. So, the best hosting option is the option that keeps your website blazing and your visitors happy. The edge VPS servers have over dedicated servers is scalability. It’s much easier to upgrade or downgrade and downtime is minimal.
Why would a customer care where I host my site?
Technically speaking, they won’t. They have no idea who your host is. But they’ll certainly notice the difference throughout their experience visiting your site. Let’s look at some stats. How long do you think the average visitor will tolerate waiting for the site to load? Ten seconds? Five seconds? Not even. You’ve got a whopping two seconds to convince someone coming to your site that you’re open for business. Still, think slow loading times and unresponsiveness are something you can tough out? VPS hosting can help.
Much like in a brick-and-mortar store, wait time plays a big part in customer satisfaction. Have you ever stood in a checkout line that you thought would never end? After evaluating the situation, did you abandon your goods and just leave the store without buying anything? Most people have probably been in that exact situation. Online shoppers are no different. They’ll absolutely move on to the competition if they think they’ll have a smoother experience. And in this case, it doesn’t include having to take a drive across town to the other store. Studies have shown that customers will switch to the competition if they find the competitor’s site is slightly faster than yours. How much faster? About 250 milliseconds, which is about the length of time it takes you to blink your eyes.
VPS hosting improves sales conversions
Shopping cart abandonment is a real problem that VPS hosting can cut down. Nearly 18% of abandoned carts are caused by slow loading times, which over the course of the year could end up costing you thousands of dollars. The solution is simple. Reduce your load time by less than a mere second with VPS server hosting.
Also, keep in mind that site speed does have a minor role in your marketing efforts. If you’ve ever engaged in an SEO campaign you know that an ingredient in Google’s secret sauce or “algorithm” is page loading speed. One of the key goals when marketing your e-commerce site is getting as close to the top of the Google search results as possible. While optimizing your site’s code plays into how well your site loads, your VPS will also contribute to quicker load times for that Google bump.