One of the most important questions for any start-up e-commerce business is where and how to host their website. Finding the right web host helps you adhere to some of the most crucial rules in the e-commerce world, such as providing your visitors with a user-friendly platform, having secure connections and other protective measures in place and disposing of effective analytics tools to monitor customers’ behavior. Especially for small to medium-sized start-up companies, it can be tricky to find the right web hosting candidate for their needs and, most importantly, find a solution that falls within their financial means. It is precisely the latter consideration that causes many new e-commerce businesses to purchase a shared web hosting solution from one of the many dedicated companies on the internet today. There are two types of popular shared hosting options available, each offering a different level of independence: shared web hosting and VPS hosting.
Shared web hosting
Shared web hosting is based on a simple principle and is one of the cheapest options available for e-commerce entrepreneurs. It means you pay for your website to be added to a server shared with several other websites, which significantly reduces the cost of your subscription fee. Another reason why shared web hosting helps you cut costs is the variety of free software and other business solutions included in your web hosting package, such as security measures and shopping cart solutions. On top of that, top web hosting companies offer increased manageability of your website and an administrative support platform, which allows even absolute beginners in the e-commerce world to effortlessly manage their web shops.
If you opt for shared web hosting, however, you are never in complete control of your own site and it is likely that a few problems will pop up along the way. Customization and optimization, for instance, can only be done to a certain extent and within the confines of your web host’s possibilities. Because you are sharing your server with different sites, a huge increase in traffic on one of those sites can also have a negative impact on the loading speed of your web pages. Finally, keep in mind that not being fully in control of your server often goes hand in hand with potential security risks.
VPS web hosting
If you want to increase your website’s independence and avoid some of the negative aspects associated with pure shared web hosting, VPS web hosting is a favourable alternative. With VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting your server still shares the same physical system with other websites, but functionally operates as a stand-alone server. This type of web hosting is still cheaper than dedicated web hosting – where you exclusively lease your own private server – but offers you an added degree of flexibility and independence. VPS server solutions allow you to run the operating system of your choice, gain access to more disk and storage space and enjoy more security and stability than with traditional shared web hosting. In addition, your website will boast increased performance rates, as it is no longer dependent on the usage and traffic of others.
Which of these two solutions you choose to host your newly established e-commerce business depends largely on your financial means at the time. Most start-up business owners initially go for the shared web hosting plan and then switch to VPS once they have achieved the required amount of cash flow. There is no doubt that dedicated web hosting services are still the cream of the crop, but VPS and shared web hosting offer two extremely viable alternatives.