I wanted today to touch on a topic that has been floating around the forums from time to time that deals with one of the most important aspects of running an online store. This is something you will want to know when establishing a budget and considering initial company over-head costs. For this article we will be focusing on Web Servers and hosting for your online store and how you should never sacrifice quality for cost. When it comes down to it, you should always offer the best online experience for your customers as possible and if done correctly the cost will pay itself off with profit generated from sales.
Whatever you do, never compromise on quality to save money.
What can I afford at the beginning?
It’s worth trying your best to starting an online store with something more than just the cheapest Shared Hosting plan but we understand, money is tight and sometimes that is all you have. Sometimes, all one can do is start with shared hosting so if you DO then make sure to choose a quality hosting provider to get the best hosting possible “even in shared land” which would be Arvixe. Arvixe is already optimized for Opencart hosting and their servers are tremendously reliable, secure, and stable. If you can afford the cost at the beginning then always go with at least a VPS or even better a dedicated server. We hope that your online store is going to attract TONS of people and in turn TONS of sales, which all leads to profit—–> which then leads to paying the cost of quality. After all, if you offer a quality store then people will take notice and keep coming back. If you offer a sluggish…laggy…slow loading store then people will just turn their noses and go away. This is the worst possible thing you could do because once you’re branded…you’re branded.
You may think you are saving money by not paying the cost of a VPS / DEDICATED server but in the long run you “may” be losing money because you never allow your company to grow to its full potential
Exceptions: There are exceptions to the rule. There are people out there that have tiny online stores and can get away with using a Shared Hosting. We aren’t discounting these people.
The last portion of this article will be on how to choose a VPS and DEDICATED with Arvixe
VPS AND DEDICATED
Virtual And Dedicated Hosting(static type hosting)
With so many different choices out there when it comes to web hosting, it can be a tough decision to choose between them. Arvixe makes it an easy choice by pre-configuring and optimizing their servers for Opencart. However, it can still be a tough decision when people are unsure of the differences between a VPS and a dedicated server. These two types of web hosting are very similar, and confusion is inevitable. Today, we will focus on these two services, and decide the major differences. Take the time to decide which best fits your needs.
The cheaper of the two is the Virtual Private Server, also known as a VPS. For those that have not yet been informed, a VPS is a shared server that has many of the same functions as dedicated hosting. Unlike regular shared hosting, VPS allows the user to have a separate operating system, as well as root access. VPS customers also are given certain performance guarantees that are normally associated with dedicated hosting. Although there are multiple users on the same server, each user has their own personal settings. To paint a clear picture, here is an example. The VPS is like an apartment complex. Everyone has their own living space, front door and lock. They are partitioned apart, although the whole of the building is together. Many common spots are shared, but each section has its own space. This is how VPS functions.
Dedicated hosting on the other hand holds the top spot for web hosting. With dedicated hosting, you are renting out your own server personally. Renting the server enables you to use it total control, as you are the only customer that is using it. This personal server allows for much more memory intensive scripts to be run smoothly. For large websites with large volumes of traffic, a dedicated server is the perfect solution. Unlike a VPS, you have no worries that the other users on your server might be taking up too much bandwidth. Never again will your load time and up-time suffer at the whim of others. Functionality is much like a VPS, with root access, the ability to run your own operating system, separate firewall, and many other similarities.
So how do the two powerhouses stack up against each other? Price wise, the dedicated server is more expensive. It also has more bandwidth capacity, a faster CPU, and more freedom when choosing a script. The VPS has many of the same features, but lacks the ability to run more advanced scripts. Although the server is separated equally between users, at some point you will be limited as not to disrupt the other users’ websites. This can be ignored for a time, because many websites don’t need the full power of a dedicated server all the time.
When it comes down to the choice between them, the main thing to keep in mind is your needs. Price should never be the main deciding factor. If your traffic pattern is constant and of a high volume, then you may be in need a dedicated server. However, if you have erratic traffic that is not yet overwhelming, VPS can offer all the security and functionality of a dedicated server, within reason, for a fraction of the price. The decision should be easy with all the facts presented.
A VPS (Virtual private server) will be the right type of hosting platform for those who are looking for a hosting server which is reliable and stable to support their growing and expanding business. VPS hosting is not only more stable, but it is also being allocated with a larger amount of resources such as the disk space, bandwidth, data speed for its clients as compared to a shared web hosting with limited resources.
Let us review what are the key elements when which we need to focus on when it comes to choosing the right VPS hosting provider.
1. Hard Disk space – this will largely depends on the purpose of the site that you are running. If you are a teacher whom often need to record and broadcasting short documentaries to your students, then you will need a lot of hard disk space. However, if the site is used for internal forum between a team of 10 personnel on anything related to career, then the hard disk required does not need to be a lot.
2. Control panel – there are many types of control panels available in the market today, citing some as examples here; cPanel is the most well-known control panel. cPanel is very user friendly and came with a lot of useful features. Anyway, cost is not the only criteria to consider when you choose your control panel, select the one which you are most familiar with and found ease to be using with. Other panels popular to Open Cart users are PLESK and WHM
3. Price – VPS is averagely affordable. One can easily get a VPS hosting service ranging from USD50 – USD100 per month. Furthermore there should not be any setup cost which you need to pay for when you are enrolling for your VPS hosting service.
4. Server Up-time – Don’t settle for any server with lesser than 99.5% up-time “which Arvixe DOES HAVE” because with the wide varieties that you are entitled to select from, please take your time to discuss these features with an Arvixe specialist.
5. Allocated memory – Don’t even consider for anything lesser than 512MB, because one will need to have adequate memory to enhance the performance of your server. The higher the RAM size your account is equipped with, and the faster your site will be loaded with the necessary information and data and also processing jobs will be running faster with increased efficiency.
6. Security protection – Check out if there are any types of security control which are offered by the web host to protect the VPS server as well as the accounts of their clients. A reliable and highly committed web host offer 24 hours protection and support to their clients. Assigned technical engineers will be on shift duty around the clock to provide real time assistance to their clients should there are any unexpected downtime due to computer hackers attack or DDOS attack. With these on-going monitoring and protection in place, many a times, the down-time can be significantly reduced or eliminated all the way.
How to pick a Dedicated Server
The signs of online business success, such as a high number of customers and high transaction volumes, may signal that it’s time to consider moving to a dedicated server. Perfect for large businesses and e-commerce websites, dedicated web servers offer a powerful solution for your online business’ needs. A dedicated server provides an unparalleled, robust hosting environment for your complex websites and critical e-commerce applications.
With dedicated server hosting, you get optimum performance, fast data access, and your high traffic volumes are easily accommodated. If you want complete control over your online presence, with total reliability and flawless performance, then you need dedicated server web hosting.
How to ensure you choose the best dedicated server hosting
With dedicated server hosting you will experience more reliability, flexibility, security, and the highest level of website performance. Choosing a dedicated server solution for your Open Cart Shop is a considerable decision that requires careful planning on your part. It is very important to choose a superior quality dedicated server web host to handle your e-commerce website and ensure the best experience for your target audience.
Here are some tips you must keep in mind while choosing dedicated server hosting services for your business:
-Choose the operating system for your dedicated server. You have the option of choosing between a Linux or Windows dedicated server. While a Linux dedicated server can be more difficult to manage than a Windows dedicated server, your dedicated server host’s support team can help you manage your dedicated Linux server and offer professional advice for your dedicated hosting solution. Open Cart recommends a LAMP set up which is LINUX/APACHE/MYSQL/PHP
-If you want to run a resource-rich website, make sure you choose the fastest and most powerful processor you can afford. You might even need multiple processors to handle everything. Determine your processing needs and choose accordingly. Ask for help from your dedicated server hosting provider when needed as they can help you choose the operating system that will work best for your website.
– Look for a dedicated server web host that offers 24/7 customer support. (ARVIXE HAS THIS) You will need someone to always be available to help if you have any problems with your server. The response time needs to be quick, so try calling or emailing the dedicated hosting provider to test out their customer support.
-You may also want to consider your budget. Can you afford a custom dedicated server? There are many costs associated with dedicated server services: server cost, setup fees, bandwidth fees, software licenses, upgrades, security, etc. You may also need a faster processor and more memory as your business continues to grow. Whatever you do, never compromise on quality to save money. Put your Open Cart Shop needs before your budget.