Online stores have seen tremendous growth in recent years. The pandemic has forced even technophobes to switch their shopping habits and hop onto the e-commerce bandwagon. This is why it’s so important for businesses to use the right tools and technologies to cater to their vast and ever growing customer base.
Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms. First released in 2008, the platform’s ever growing popularity brought it to the notice of Adobe, which successfully purchased it for a price of $1.68 billion in May 2018.
While there are other solutions such as Shopify and WooCommerce, Magento stands apart for a number of reasons. For one, it’s open source, which means you can tailor it to your needs if needed. But even apart from that, it’s default offerings are plentiful to cater to small and large businesses alike. With Magento powering your online store, your e-commerce website will be equipped with all the essential tools that make online shopping a pleasant experience, such as product categories, recommendations, cart abandonment reminders, marketing and email promotion, and much more.
You can even create specialised content for users by offering coupons and different landing pages for logged in users, and deploy other features to attract new users and retain existing ones.
What are the best Magento hosting providers?
If you want to set up an online business, having a domain name is only part of the equation. You also need to purchase hosting space and decide on the software and applications you’ll run on your website. While the conventional approach is to register a domain name and buy a web hosting plan, there’s a large number of providers that offer plans for Magento hosting.
Choosing a specialised hosting plan makes sense as the hosting provider offers a variety of services so that you can devote all your time and energy towards growing your business.
At a minimum, these hosting providers offer a domain name, storage space, backups, SSL certificates, and more. The exact range of offerings will depend on the plan you opt for and your ideal plan will depend on various factors such as the total number of monthly visitors, the number of products on offer, etc.
We’ve limited our selection to only those hosting providers that offer more than just Magento hosting. Although hosting providers dedicated to only a single platform or software solution have their own advantages, should you decide to switch to a different platform, you have no choice but to move to a completely different hosting provider, which can be a costly endeavor. We’ve similarly excluded hosting solutions that are restricted to a limited region, such as the UK or Europe.
Although A2 Hosting offers four different plans for other hosting solutions such as WordPress, you’re limited only to the Turbo Boost and the Turbo Max plans for Magento. Both these plans offer a host of features that appeal to small and even large businesses. This includes a free website builder to help you quickly put together a cohesive e-commerce website, 24/7/365 support over phone, email and even live chat.
The entire focus of A2 Hosting is geared towards ensuring high performance, which is why in addition to offering unlimited NVMe storage space, you also get to choose the location of the data centre. This is important because the closer a data centre is to your clients, the faster the performance. You can choose the server closest to you on the order form itself, and the options are Michigan and Arizona in the USA, Amsterdam in Europe and Singapore in Asia.
The Turbo plans offer AMD EPYC servers, and coupled with the NVMe drives boast of handling 9X more traffic and 3X faster read/write speeds. The speed advantage cannot be overstated, especially for large online stores with catalogs of many different products and options.
HostGator offers Magento hosting on its shared plans, the cheapest of which, the Hatchling Plan, is available for $2.75/mo. The Business Plan, at $5.95/mo comes with additional features such as free SEO tools, and a dedicated IP address. But there’s no clarity on the resources that you get with either of these plans. There’s no information about the RAM, disk space, number of visitors, etc. that are permitted with each plan, which is surprising.
Apart from these shared hosting plans, HostGator also provides dedicated and VPS hosting.
Depending on the content of your website, or the catalogue of the online store, the number of monthly visitors, etc., it makes more sense to opt for dedicated or VPS hosting rather than a shared plan. Thankfully, you can do just that with HostGator as it provides a 1-click Magneto installer and a free website builder, so you can quickly set up your online store on a dedicated or VPS plan.
If you’re just starting out, and don’t have a vast catalogue or even dedicated customer base, it might make sense to try the cheap shared plans, especially considering the 45-day money back guarantee. But if you want your online store to serve hundreds of users, or more, at the same time, and process hundreds or thousands of orders, billing requests simultaneously, the dedicated or VPS hosting plans are the only real choice.
A dedicated or VPS Plan however is far more expensive than a shared hosting plan but offers far greater security and dedicated system resources such as 8-30 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD or SSD running Linux or Windows, etc.
Compared to HostGator’s dedicated or VPS Plans, InMotion Hosting’s plans for Magento are far more pocket friendly. It’s cheapest plan boasts 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 45 GB SSD storage and 4 TB of bandwidth, along with a few additional features such as free SSL, a dedicated IP address, free website transfer and setup etc., and costs $31.00/mo if you opt for the three year option. The price gets costlier as you reduce the duration to 2 year, 1 year, 6 month, etc.
Each of the plans include SSD storage, and apart from the four basic plans, InMotion also gives the choice of three premium plans with far greater system resources available for use. The premium plans make sense for established stores, or at least those businesses that already have a well planned roadmap geared towards expansion and want to deliver the best performance to visitors to their online stores.
Each of the plans also include features that make sense for e-commerce stores such as SEO tools and comprehensive reporting. The latter feature allows you to quickly take stock of popular search terms on your online store, assess inventory, active orders, etc.
All the plans include cPanel and InMotion also provides command-line access so you can install Magento manually if you have the expertise to do so. If not, you can use Softaculous to easily install Magento with a single click, but InMotion charges $5/mo for this service.
FastComet also promotes shared hosting plans for Magento but unlike HostGator, there’s far greater transparency in the resources available in each plan. The costliest plan, FastCloud Extra, at $5.95/mo provides 35 GB SSD storage, free website transfer, let’s you create multiple websites, 100,000 unique monthly visitors, 6 CPU cores, 6 GB RAM and a whole host of other features such as 45-day money-back guarantee, and more. You can also perform 30 daily backups and restore data with the 1-click restore manager.
If you don’t need that many resources, and don’t expect that many monthly visitors, you can opt for the cheaper FastCloud or FastCloud Plus plans.
All of these shared hosting plans include excellent security features such as protection from malware and exploits, brute-force attacks, BitNinja Server Security which guards against DDoS and other automated attacks, hacked website recovery and much more.
On top of that, FastComet also lets you choose the location of the data centre. This is useful because the closer a data centre is to your target visitors, the greater performance they’ll experience when accessing your online store. Currently, you can choose a server from four different locations in the USA, apart from Canada, Europe (Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt), India, Singapore and Australia. With such a wide spread of data centre locations. you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a server location that’s nearest to your website visitors.
When considering a hosting solution, you have the choice of shared hosting, VPS or dedicated hosting. If you don’t mind shelling a little extra for the promise of near perfect uptime, excellent performance, scalability, etc., it makes sense to opt for cloud hosting.
This option might appeal to medium to large businesses who might have the need to scale up server resources at a moment’s notice to meet demand. With Cloudways, you can choose from among some of the biggest names in cloud hosting, including AWS and Google Cloud, as well as other popular hosts such as Digital Ocean, Linode and Vultr. Each of these cloud services has a large number of data centres and you can choose the one that best suits you.
The price you pay for your plan will vary depending on the cloud service you opt for. For instance, a Standard plan with Digital Ocean that offers 4 GB RAM, 2 Cores, 80 GB storage and 4TB bandwidth will cost you $42/mo while $86.77/mo will only get you 4 GB RAM, 20 GB storage and 2 GB bandwidth if you opt for AWS cloud service.
The price comparison alone should help explain the intended users for cloud hosting. But in addition to global data centres, each plan you opt for comes with 24/7 support and a host of security solutions to ensure maximum uptime of your online store. Furthermore, you can also tap the tech support for optimum configuration of your service to deliver the best performance to all visitors to your website.