Hosting: the black sheep of an E-commerce website
Hosting is not necessarily the first thing you think of when starting an e-commerce project. However if you don’t it can quickly become problematic, leading to issues like slow speed, downtimes or security breaches.
This article is designed to explore and explain the most common issues resulting from a poorly thought out hosting solution, along with exploring the subject of e-commerce in the Cloud and how managing your web projects in the Cloud can help solve most if not all of those problems.
Hosting issues affect e-commerce business performance
Let’s dive into the subject by reviewing the most common hosting issues that e-commerce businesses have to face and solve.
Overcrowded hosting servers equates to slow speed and downtimes
A low-quality web host is likely to become overcrowded. This is one of the most common reasons a site has downtime. And if not downtime, slow loading pages are also a problem. Since customers leave if your website is too slow. Also Google uses speed as a ranking factor. Pages that are loading too slow are not going to be in Google’s index.
Storage space is also related to hosting and can affect your site’s speed. E-commerce websites need detailed images of products so you will have a lot of files to store and need enough bandwidth to do so.
E-commerce website security with a bad hosting providers can become a nightmare
This is particularly true with shared hosting, but it does not mean that other solutions are totally secure. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, especially with e-commerce websites because they store a lot of sensible data, like credit cards or delivery information. Also a hosting solution with a secure data center and a backup service is important in order to avoid losing your data. Finally, to reassure your customers about data safety, a two factor identification system is highly recommended.
E-commerce scalability and flexibility needs are hard to reach with classic hosting
Reaching hosting plans limitations is problematic for e-commerce businesses. When the number of data transfers grow, so does the price of most hosting solutions. Under this category is also the issue of missing features : if you can’t set up your website according to your needs, business development is going to be impossible. Since you may not know which features you will need in the future, ideally you want a hosting solution that is able to support all of them.
Simply put, customers that can’t access your site can’t buy and are unlikely to come back to see if your pages load faster than before. To avoid this problem, you need a fast and reliable web hosting with high uptime.
Migrating an e-commerce business to the Cloud
What exactly is Cloud hosting
You’ve probably heard about the Cloud a lot. It is highly popular lately and a lot of e-commerce companies are migrating to Cloud based services. Let us explain the concept a little. The Cloud consists of data stored across multiple computers that you can access with a network connection. It provides computing resources on the basis of n demand.
Your data will be stored on virtual servers. These have access to a network of physical servers. The resources needed for your website are spread across those physical servers and depending on your needs, you will access more or less space on these physical servers. It works and behaves similar to traditional hosting however businesses have access to thousands of more servers around the globe, which means faster speeds and response times.
You will improve all aspects of your web projects using Cloud
Not only regarding the performance of your e-commerce business but also cost and time wise. E-commerce’s growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands are easier to manage. Whether your needs increase or decrease, you are able to scale up quickly thanks to Cloud’s on demand servers. You can also count on auto scaling SSD to help with the storage of your media content. In that way, you gain operational agility and of course time.
Security wise, many Cloud companies use 'failover', which means that if one of the physical servers of the Cloud is compromised, your resources will just move to another one of the available servers. So that means no downtime related to security issues, and also less for you to take care of.
Migrating their e-businesses to the Cloud is a decision that a lot of CIO and IT directors decided to make without regretting it. And why should they ? It improves business performance, levels of service automation while allowing them to reduce and control their costs. And, as we’ve seen in this article, it’s flexible, scalable and secure.
Cloud hosting management needs time and expertise
Cloud hosting is nothing like classic hosting solutions and for that reason, migrating and managing an e-commerce business on the Cloud requires specific and high technical skills. While classic hosting requires you to think in terms of servers, with Cloud hosting, you need to rethink in terms of service. Indeed, you won’t have to maintain or update the database of your e-commerce website.
You need to configure all the services you need for your website to run smoothly and for that you need to understand what is available and what you have to choose from. These are like huge services libraries where everything is available but, as in a library, you won’t be able to choose something, not to mention the best, if you can’t grasp the meaning at all.
Taking over the steering and upkeep of Cloud infrastructure you set up for hosting your e-commerce business is definitely a job in itself. It requires either expert skills and time, or to spend a considerable amount of money.
Fortunately, some companies like Artifakt, focus on simplifying and automating these processes in order to make this expertise and service accessible for every e-commerce business owner.