When you need to host your website in the best environment possible, it’s easy to first consider the providers that offer the most storage, flashiest perks, or cheapest plans. If you’re an online store that’s run on eBay’s Magento platform, however, your strategy should focus primarily on finding a provider that offers the best support for this robust CMS. Web hosting providers with Magento-friendly services exist far and wide thanks to the eCommerce management platform’s popularity. Choosing the best web hosting plan after you determine that your web administrators will get specific Magento support is no walk in the park. Competition is stiff, and the vast amounts of digital hosting space available mean that providers will try anything to entice you away from their peers. For websites that rely on Magento, using the guidance given freely below will result in the discovery of your ideal hosting provider, rather than a merely satisfactory one.
Compare Magento Hosting
What is Magento Hosting and How Does It Work?
Simply put, Magento web hosting solutions are those which provide the tools, support, and conditions necessary for eCommerce to happen, and succeed, on stores built with Magento. Magento is one of the most popular CRM platforms for managing an eCommerce store’s products, customers, promotions, and more. It’s a pretty heavyweight program and therefore requires a hosting environment that can help setup new domains when an admin uses Mage to install a new store, recognize and configure settings to the version of Magento being used (Open Source or Commerce), and create server conditions that are ideal for lots of traffic and purchase activity.
When Should I Choose Magento Hosting
It’s pretty easy to tell if you are or aren’t supposed to be using a hosting provider optimized for Magento. If your eCommerce store uses the Magento CRM then your host should match accordingly, and if not, then another hosting solution is for you. Magento stores and their owners may be suited well in a non-Magento hosting environment, but the advantages of using Magento hosting is that it’s not necessary to check your prospective server for the software and configuration necessary for the store to function. Magento hosting packages need Linux x86-64, Apache 2 or Nginx1.7, PHP 5.4 or newer, MySQL 5.6, and HTTPS for payment security. Choose Magento hosting if you want your server or VPS to have these by default, so your store works without random errors, but also because these plans are often categorized by the type of Magento platform used. First, eCommerce sites are high-traffic and so Magento hosting providers dispense with the shared hosting and offer VPS and dedicated servers exclusively, in most cases. Plans may also be separated by whether or not they’re meant to support Magento’s free open source version or the more robust Enterprise edition.
Main Benefits of Magento Hosting
The primary benefits of Magento hosting, besides optimization for Magento stores, are its dedication to speed, support, and search engine visibility—arguably things appreciated by eCommerce shops on any CRM.
Every eCommerce site owner knows that each second a customer has to wait on a loading page is another point against them actually purchasing, and so Magento hosting environments tend to prioritize speed. This means guaranteed uptimes, SSD storage, and sophisticated CDN caching and other utilities to make pages load instantly everywhere.
Great Website Visibility
Magento is one of the eCommerce platforms that scores well for search engine visibility, with the XML sitemap tool, metadata for all pages and products, optimized URLs, Google content API and special caching functionality. Hosting platforms for Magento complement this utility with their own search optimized settings.
Support teams who are proficient in addressing server issues are one thing, but ideally, a Magento hosting provider should also lend a hand to those experiencing issues with their CRM. It’s rarer to find these hosting services, but they do exist, and are on call 24/7 to help setup stores, reduce or eliminate speed issues, and more.
What to Consider When Shopping for Magento Hosting
When comparing a handful of Magento hosting providers, put more emphasis on the features below. Those that overperform in terms of security—especially of payment information—and speed as well, should be given special consideration.
As hosting provider reviewers who have worked with Magento before, we can say that few things are more important to store owners than protecting customers’ information and their payment methods. Accordingly, accept nothing less than round the clock monitoring, IP whitelisting, firewalls, database protection, and 2-factor authentication in your host.
Because Magento stores must by nature include some sort of payment gateway, all pages and domains need to support HTTPS for maximum protection. That also means the host needs to provide SSL certificates for them, preferably for free.
Nothing deters a potential customer like a slow page or a stuck shopping cart. Magento hosts know this and cater to the needs of store admins by providing SSD-based storage, more RAM, better uptime, and unique caching mechanisms so that product and checkout pages don’t spend an extra nanosecond in limbo.
Compare Magento Hosting
How to Choose the Best Magento Hosting
The best Magento host is subjective, and entirely dependent upon the unique needs of the web store admin and the website itself. After all, no site is built the same, so start with the steps described below and you’ll land on the single best hosting provider of those you may be contemplating.
- First consider the type of Magento version you use with your store, and the store’s size. For large stores and those using Magento Enterprise edition rather than the open source version, you’ll want at least a VPS or dedicated server to support more serious traffic and purchasing behavior. Obtain your Apache or Nginx log files to determine peak traffic and then compare versus your potential providers’ load times.
- A Magento VPS or dedicated CPU, for example, can also be managed or self-service. Which to pick depends on the degree of control your admins need, or adversely their need to focus on the bigger picture. Managed hosting will take care of maintenance, configuration, patching and more.
- After accounting for capacity needs the next most important variable to set apart multiple providers is customer support. The migration process can come with hurdles that a talented customer support team will help you clear, and if they’re available 24/7 all the better. Some will even publish their average response time.
- Last but not least, ensure that all domains hosted on the new provider will be protected with SSL and other security necessities relevant to the modern eCommerce store.
How to Install a Magento Hosting Plan
To start a new Magento store now that you have a hosting plan set up, simply login to cPanel from your browser and install Magento on the Softaculous web installer tool. All you need to do is type in your new store’s domain, the version of Magento you want to use, and your preferred admin login. Then the file path will be defined and your store installed. The Magento app itself provides an interface for you to continue setting up and managing your store.
To migrate an existing Magento store from one hosting provider to another is a bit more complicated, and requires the following steps:
- Backup your current Magento databases using your current hosting provider’s phpMyAdmin. In the export section select the databases you want to export and execute.
- Use FTP to copy the Magento store’s files to your local machine, then move them into the root folder of your new hosting provider.
- Import the databases back into the store with phpMyAdmin or use the appropriate command line. Most Magento hosting providers support phpMyAdmin for this reason.
- Login to your database name provider and point the system at your new hosting provider’s IP address, which may take up to a day to complete.
Top 3 Magento Hosting Providers
SiteGround has been around for quite a while and recognized the power of Magento quickly, and its shared Magento hosting plans now provide all the tools that stores required for success. Plans for Magento 1-click hosting start at $3.95 per month and include 10GB SSD storage, version control via Git, free CDN caching and Railgun, and isolated accounts on another server for superior security. Top-tier Magento plans offer up to 30GB space at $11.95 per month.
Offering one-click installation and other crucial tools for Magento deployment such as sitewide SSL, free full page and Varnish caching, and auto updates, it’s surprising that Cloudways Magento hosting plans start at just $10.00. Great for those who already have a site and want to offload some of the maintenance and updating, managed servers offer up to 16GB RAM, 4 vCPUs, and 2GB transfer.
Optimized for Magento, Zerolag’s managed plans include both Enterprise and Community version support and the team will customize hardware and capacity based on the client’s unique needs. For this reason, Zerolag only offers customer quotes. What larger more established sites are getting here is full management and maximum performance at a higher price, but the peace of mind to know that no matter how large their store grows it will run well.
Magento Hosting for Free
There are some decent options that I saw available to people who have a small niche store and don’t need much in the way of capacity or support. SkySilk and GoogieHost come to mind, with plans that start at $0.00 and basic services like DDoS protection and 98% uptime. Still, for stores with an ambition to grow significantly, it’s worthwhile investing just a few dollars per month on a Magento hosting solution that will help rather than harm your progress.
My Conclusion About Magento Hosting
The recipe to make a great Magento hosting service is seemingly simple, and entails such concepts as available, scalable bandwidth and SSD storage to support a growing storefront, excellent customer service, and top-notch security for your customers’ information and payments. These needs aren’t universally addressed—even by those providers who bill themselves as Magento specialists. This is why it’s recommended to learn the subtle differences between a good and a superb Magento server: because it’s a step up on the competition.