How to Find the Best Cheap Magento Hosting Provider?
There are a lot of solutions to choose from when it comes to building an online store. You can do it with Shopify, WooCommerce (a WordPress plugin), BigCommerce, Volusion and so on. Although all of these are great platforms, Magento is also a very good solution for building an online shop.
Magento is an open source eCommerce platform that provides Merchants with everything they need to run an online store. It is designed for people who don’t have any web development skills and also has a very helpful community that helps a great deal if you are looking for a solution to something.
A shop keeper can list only a few or even tens of thousands of products in his/her store. A large number of themes and plugins allow users to customize their store according to their preference. Magento offers a very robust system that you can handle with basic computer knowledge. You can expand it and add custom functionality, although that is a point where coding knowledge is required. For that, one would have to hire a developer who understands how Magento works.
But if you’re only looking to set up an online shop, you can do it. It is easy to download and install the layouts and plugins that fit your store. Once you have installed it to your server, you have access to a robust list of features right away. If you’re a complete beginner, it will get confusing at times and it demands a significant learning curve.
Magento is a very powerful eCommerce solution that couldn’t really be compared to others, because it offers an endless amount of features and possibilities if you know how to use it. For this reason, having a Magento site managed can be very costly.
Although it can be used for free and has a user interface that intermediate users can easily handle, it is mostly used by large, high budget shops. There are number of versions you can choose from. You can download the Community Edition for free and you can also use a free demo of the Enterprise plan if you sign up for it.
When an individual or group of individuals intends to set up a large shop, they often hire a developer or a web guru to handle installing the system for them. So Magento is mostly used by people who have professional web development experience. If you don’t have any web development experience and still want to set up a site yourself, it’s best if you find a different solution.
Building Your Online Store
Once you have this system running, you can do just about anything when it comes to creating an online store. Custom design tools let users create the exact design and layout they have in mind. There are also a great number of pre-built templates that you can choose from, like ones at ThemeForest.
Magento is an all in one eCommerce package, so you don’t really have to use other tools to handle marketing. Once you have it running, SEO will be automatically configured; you’ll only have to tinker with it if you want to.
Of course, payments are handled with absolute ease. Magento implements one-click payments, shipping to addresses, guest checkouts and other things according to demand. It also integrates about 50 online payment systems.
The system has a pretty strong security for protecting your users’ and your company’s information. Magento also offers a pretty expensive ($1,000) service to resolve any problem that your site might have.
You also have a strong support. There are all sorts of resources available on their website that can help a great deal.
The Pros and Cons of Using Magento
Like any other system, nothing is flawless. Magento is very powerful enterprise level software that is great, no doubt about it. But there are a lot of other factors to consider that might not make it as appealing on second thought. The overall problem with Magento is that using it at full capacity will probably consume a lot of time and money. It’s important to look through the advantages and disadvantages before jumping into a system even if it’s very promising. But I don’t have to tell you, that’s why you’re here.
- Flexibility – Being an open source platform, you can easily find and add templates and plugins that help you create the website you prefer. You can also customize these templates and even Magento’s source code as well. Being so flexible is one of Magento’s greatest strengths.
- Full of Features – Magento boasts many features that other platforms simply lack. Implementing multi-currency, multi-location, multi-language systems might be difficult to do with other systems, while Magento can do it easily.
- The Community Version is Free – Small and Medium size businesses can greatly benefit from this, as they can cut a lot of their costs.
- Highly Responsive – Today, optimizing your site for mobile devices is a key component of success. Mobile users increase in numbers with every year that passes, and they do a lot of shopping from their handheld devices. Magento has you covered, as it lets you easily create mobile websites that offer a solid experience to your users.
- Strong and Helpful Community – Being among the most used e-commerce platforms in the world, Magento has a strong and supportive community you can turn to. Thanks to this, we have quick support and such a large community always works on creating additional extensions. They have also inspired a lot of already existing themes and plugins as well. If you have any issues or questions, you can always find someone else who has probably encountered and solved it before.
- Expensive – Like I said, Magento is enterprise level software. Sure, you can download the community version for free, which is great, but the Enterprise version costs more than $15,000 per year. It is targeted towards big enterprises who can afford it. This is probably the biggest downside of this highly popular e-commerce platform.
- High Housing Demands – Magento requires a dedicated server that is specialized for it. Most normal housing platforms can’t really be used to host it. You should also have a developer configure it on the server, which also costs money. Housing Magento comes with its own limitations, because it’s big and requires a lot of optimization. You can easily have your websites crashing if it’s not done properly.
- Hard to Find Developers – Magento developers are pretty scarce on the market and even if you find one, they charge a lot. There are a few authentic developers who truly understand how Magento functions. The system also boasts an incredibly large database, so it needs someone who can handle it.
- Time Consuming – No matter how skilled you are, making customizations takes a lot of time. Magento loads slowly which might be a great turn off for many. This is only a problem if you’re using the Community version; the Enterprise Premium version has pretty fast loading speeds.
Building Your Shop with Magento
Setting up a proper Magento website for a company can take from 50 to 500 hours for a developer. There are a few important questions you should answer before jumping into action. Depending on your answer, the amount of time this process takes might be cut in half or it might be double.
- What kind of theme/layout would you like to have? Do you want to implement a pre-built one or have your own custom theme?
- Do you want to use the default lineup of features that Magento offers, or would you like to have some custom ones developed for you?
- Do you have a clear, well-rounded idea of how your website should look and function?
Answering these three questions will set you on the right path and you’ll even get a better idea of the budget that will be needed to create your website.
Another key component of building a Magento based website is hosting. You’ll have to know what kind of hosting is needed for the website you have in mind. There are some top players in web-hosting that offer the services you need and we’ll talk about them in the following section.
How To Choose the Right Hosting Provider for Magento
Now, Magento is a hungry beast, so it requires some power to operate and for that you’ll need to choose the right host.
Just like when you’re building a website, the better idea you have of what you want and how it should operate, the easier it is to choose the right service. We have written this guide to help you in choosing the right host and we’ll also recommend our top choice for Magento web hosting.
When you’re looking for a host keep the following factors in mind:
- Your site’s overall performance
- How many products you’ll have
- An average monthly traffic
- Will it be a small store or a large store?
Hardware specifications are also important. Choosing a server for your website is similar to choosing a computer for yourself. For starters you should choose a machine with VPS server, quad core processors (4 cores), 8GB RAM (or more). SSD Hard Disks will also increase loading speeds by a great deal, so prioritize machines that have them.
Types of Hosting
You can choose to use managed servers or self-service servers.
If you choose self-service hosting, you’ll have to do everything yourself. You’ll have to run the server, install software and tinker with complicated administration. But you can also hire a professional to do it for you. If you prefer to have more freedom and resolve issues yourself, then you got it.
If you choose managed-hosting, your web host provider will take responsibility for a lot of things. They will migrate your site to their server if you need it, fix any problem related to hosting that might occur. Basically, you’ll have a team of professionals looking after your website. HostGator for example does a great job at that and their servers have full support for Magento.
There are a lot of web hosts that offer managed-hosting at a low price. You can use HostGator, BlueHost or InMotion to have yourself a solid hosting service that you can rely on. HostGator has plans that support Magento starting at only $2.95 / month. Of course, prices vary depending on which provider and which plans you choose, but you’ll easily find the one that fits you.
Types of Hosting for Magento
Shared Hosting – This is the cheapest hosting plan you can find. Although it is a great start for building your Mangeto eCommerce shop, but it won’t work in the long run. Magento requires a good amount of server resources, which shared hosting lack of. Security is also a main concern on shared hosting.
VPS Hosting – These servers cost a lot less than dedicated servers. This is because you share the server with a number of other websites on there. You can install just about any software and set its speed. The only problem is that the loading speeds and the machine’s overall performance can depend on neighboring websites as well.
Dedicated servers – Dedicated servers are pretty expensive but you’ll get the maximum performance out your server. You don’t have to share a room with anyone and have the entire machine to yourself. If you want your pages to load as quick as possible, then this is the one you should be working with.
- InMotion – They offer a very solid service for users at any skill level and have the optimal choice for small businesses. The Power service comes at $5.39 a month, which is ideal if you’re looking to start up an online store. It offers easy installation, SSD hard disks and a reliable support team that you can call to help you out.
- HostGator – This provider offers an automatic Magento installer, so you can have it running on your dedicated server with a single click. You can also purchase their business plan that comes with additional benefits.
- BlueHost – BlueHost also has an automatic Magento installer which lets you set it up with a single click. They have your back with a 24/7 support. More than two million webmasters trust their service for good reasons. Their monthly price starts at $2.95, which is amazing considering all the goodies they offer.
Although Magento will run fine on a shared, cheap hosting plan, once your website starts getting visitors, you will need to upgrade to a VPS plan. VPS hosting gives you more flexibility and more resources than shared hosting.
Magento is straight forward in what it has set out to do. The company aims to offer the best eCommerce solution. They already have most of the market, and for a very good reason. Magento is solid and reliable when it comes to running your web shop.
It is already pretty clear that this system is aimed towards big enterprises rather than average users. If you’re working solo, you’re probably better off using a different service like Shopify, WooCommerce or Volusion.
Although Magento requires a lot of care, effort and resources, it will serve you well in return. If this eCommerce platform sounds like it’s what you need and what you would manage, then you’re a few clicks away from using it.
I hope that this article helped you have a more well-rounded idea of what Magento is and that you have found the right web-host for your website!