We’ve been offering managed hosting for Magento and WordPress ecommerce sites for a couple of years. We lease entire servers from a top US host (Nexcess.net) and we put clients on them. We then charge clients less than they’d pay Nexcess for that level of hosting while layering our own support on top of theirs. We don’t make any money off this so you might ask: why would we do this?
The reason why is because we are charged with caring for our clients’ ecommerce stores. After trying most of the inexpensive hosts out there over a very long period of time we’ve seen a recurring theme that makes ecommerce success more difficult and thus we steer clear of cheap hosts.
Problems With Cheap Hosting
For $10 or $20 a month you’re excited to host your new Magento or WordPress website cheaply. At first things work out well. You are a new customer so you get put on a server that is not yet “full” and your website isn’t getting much traffic so everybody is happy.
Problem 1: Soon your server gets “filled” up to its maximum capacity and then some. You start to see performance drop because you find yourself now on a crowded server.
Problem 2: As your site grows you start to use more of your of the server resources and so unbeknownst to you the host reacts by “throttling your site”. That means they put limits on your bandwidth and server resources to protect all your neighbors.
Problem 3: Eventually your site performance seems seriously compromised and the response is slow. You may also realize that Google penalizes slow sites and you certainly will recognize when your search traffic starts tailing off.
The only way a hosting company can offer hosting at $10 or $20 per month is if they get a ton of websites hosted. So loaded servers and throttling the sites on them is part of the model to make it work.
Don’t get me wrong, cheap hosts are perfect for your personal blog where you post photos of your trip to the Virginia Stamp Collector’s Convention. But for a website you are counting on to make your money, they don’t cut it and eventually always give you problems.
For WordPress ecommerce sites you will get a longer run on a cheap host than with Magento. Magento itself is so resource intensive that even before your site gets very popular you will likely have major problems.
Just Do It Right
The worst part about not doing it right from the start is that you usually don’t know when the host is starting to hurt your progress.
The best way to run a business online is to run it like a business. You wouldn’t open a brick and mortar store in a sketchy location right? So take extra time in choosing an optimal ecommerce host.