Imagine you are in search for a book and walking down the street you find yourself in front of 2 book stores. Its high season & everyone is buying books, both bookstores appear to be the same from outside, so you decide to check both before making a decision.
In the first bookstore, you find yourself roaming around, you try and get hold of clerk to guide you through the store. Once there, you have a hard time finding the book you want as there are too many options, so you start to filter out and take your time. After a while, you finally find your book.
In the second bookstore, as soon as you enter, you can see the store is categorized by genre, you follow down the path and find the clerk who gets the book for you and puts it in your hand.
Believe it or not, these can be compared to online stores. The first bookstore compares to the feeling your clients will get when you host your ecommerce site on a shared environment, the second bookstore, to a private server.
These are the reasons why Ecommerce is not suited for shared hosting.
1. Shared IP Addresses
Would you share your store and product showroom with someone else? You really don’t want your store that you depend on for sales to be damaged by someone else’s activities.
Maybe they decided to send out SPAM mail thereby resulting in the blocking of IP by Google’s servers temporarily.
Perhaps someone who is hosted on the same server as you becomes a victim to a malicious attack on his website.
It’s only a matter of time until the damage spills over to you. This is quite simply the way it is with Shared Hosting, wherever you go.
Why should you have to suffer?
2. Shared Resources and Limitations
On a shared hosting server, you are effectively sharing your Web Hosting Space, Memory, Bandwidth and CPU Processing power with other users, let’s refer to them as your neighbors for now.
If you’re looking for reliable managed eCommerce hosting that your business can rely on, then your site should not be at the mercy of the resource utilization of a neighbor.
Many hosts use CloudLinux in their shared environment, limiting the overusing account, however this does not address the resources sharing issue.
Some believe Shared hosting is great for new projects that have fewer dependencies, less traffic, and resource requirements. Although a new ecommerce site may have low traffic however, the fact of the matter is that ecommerce websites provide a different ‘type’ of content to their user, that is products, many products.
Each product has its respective image, description, and connection to the database.
All of this requires consistent, uninterrupted performance.
3. Performance is Less Consistent on Shared Hosting
You have an E-Commerce site? Well then you better be fast – Period! Shared hosting platforms may be optimized with CloudLinux and LiteSpeed webserver, but they aren’t ecommerce friendly. Having a slow website in this day in age is unforgiving.
There is a direct correlation between your visitor bounce rate, conversion ratio, and the speed of your site; with a slow site your customers will become frustrated, and ultimately opt for an alternative solution.
Speed now directly affects SEO, and with the new Google RankBrain algorithm change, Google does demote pages with high bounce rates.
How do you decrease your bounce rate?
Make sure your site loads as fast as possible (preferably under 1 second)!
4. Security is Lacking
SSL provides some encryption for online activities, however this does not equate to your server being secure.
In a shared hosting environment you will not be able to control security parameters controlling who is accessing the server, rather you would be separated by a series of configurations.
On a private server, you would be essentially, as the name implies, – Fully and Privately hosted.
5. True Business Value
You may be paying $5/month to host your e-commerce website, but is it really worth losing $1,000 in potential sales when you could have been paying as low as $49/month for a better-suited hosting environment?
Of course not.
Like with any business, the most important factor of running an E-Commerce website is getting out there. You need to drive interest and traffic to your website and this should be your number one priority.
Do you really want to put all that effort and time to find out the website you were hosting was not capable of handling the influx of customers?
Cheap isn’t always better when it comes to eCommerce.
If you have decided to host on a shared hosting platform or currently find yourself in one, I am not telling you to buy a state of the art dedicated server or Virtual Private Server right away. However I am recommending for you to put your business first, and analyze what is important to you.
Weigh in the benefits and understand that hosting an online store in a shared environment is not suitable. Once you have done so, you can then look into the available options such as VPS & Dedicated Servers.