What is Magento? Introduction to Magento
You own a growing web shop? You find your current eCommerce platform not good enough, and unable to keep up with your store? There are many options, but you will hardly find a better one than Magento.
This enterprise-level software is the real deal. It is intended for people who are already doing great with their business, and have an established network of regular customers, and a steadily growing stream of new ones incoming. Magento offers advanced features and top performance, unmatched by any other eCommerce platform. But it is also hard to master, and if you are a beginner, you will have a hard time getting used to this mammoth software. But, if you have the knowledge, this software will offer customization options like no other eCommerce platform will. You will be able to create a beautiful looking and functional store, fully customized to match your products perfectly. And if you run an eBay store, Magento is the right choice, no doubt about that. Magento is owned by eBay, and it is needless to say that it is fully integrated with it.
In this article we will dig a little bit deeper into the Magento world. We will help you understand the key benefits of using Magento. We will also highlight some flaws. After that, we will explain what type of hosting works best for this platform. And in the end, we will give you three examples of hosting providers proven to work well with Magento eCommerce platform.
After you finish reading this article you will know more about Magento, and will be able to tell if it is the right platform for your store.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Magento
Magento has many strengths:
- Total control- this is what you will get, if you have the right knowledge to tweak Magento. This is an extremely powerful and robust software, capable of running even the biggest stores without problems.
- Full eBay integration- eBay bought Magento in 2011, so not surprisingly, Magento functions perfectly when combined with eBay.
- Advanced functions- SEO, marketing tools, creating and managing catalogs, checkout systems with multiple payment and shipping options, customer service, mobile shopping, store credits and gift systems to name a few. Any idea that crosses your mind can be made into reality with Magento.
- Security- Magento has a dedicated security center, with trained staff. If something unpredictable happens, you will be able to contact them, and they will resolve your security issues.
- Large community- many people use Magento, and finding tutorials and tips will not be difficult since it is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there.
However, not everything is green:
- Hard to learn- Magento is an advanced program, not intended for tech newbies. It has a really steep learning curve. In fact, even experienced users will occasionally struggle with Magento. This is why hiring someone to create and maintain your store for you is a good idea.
- Pricing- there is a free option, but for bigger stores it will not be enough. And since Magento is hard to master, you will probably have to hire someone to run it for you. Not to mention hosting prices.
- Support- compared to some other platforms, Magento has weak support; you will be on your own most of the time.
But like every online store, Magento needs hosting. We will now move on to explaining the right hosting type for Magento, so stay with us.
How to Choose Web Hosting for Magento?
There are dozens of hosting plans, but all fall within these three categories:
- Shared hosting- the cheapest, but least powerful hosting type. Your website shares the muscle of a single server with other websites. This is an economical solution, but viable only for the smallest websites. If you have a growing store, that is attracting more and more traffic, you will need something better.
- Dedicated server- on the other side of the hosting spectrum we have dedicated servers. This is by far the most powerful solution, but also by far the most expensive. You get your own server, and its full power dedicated only for your website. This will guarantee performance, since there are no other websites leeching your server. However, this much muscle is only needed if you have a gigantic website. If you don’t, dedicated servers are a waste of money. That same money can be invested elsewhere, smarter.
- VPS- Virtual Private Servers stand in the middle between shared hosting and dedicated servers. They have much more strength than shared hosting, but cost far more than dedicated servers. With VPS, you get a portion of a server reserved and guaranteed for your website. So a number of cores, RAM, storage, bandwidth, available only for your website at any time. This also guarantees performance.
For a Magento store, VPS is the perfect solution. You will have much better performance and more advanced options than shared hosting. Dedicated hosting is good too, but in our opinion it is not needed to run a web-store. Start with VPS, and you can upgrade to a dedicated server later, if you find it necessary.
We will now present you three hosting providers who have VPS plans compatible with Magento. Picking any of the below three will ensure that your store stays available all the time, with maximum speed and security.
Read on to find out three of the best VPS hosting providers for Magento.
HostGator is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the industry. It has been around for a long time, and has built a huge base of satisfied users. More than 9 million domains run on HostGator’s servers. All those people trust HostGator with their businesses, and you should too.
Start Magento Shop with HostGator
Use HostGator’s one-click Magento installation feature to get started quickly.
With so many users, a lot is at stake. HostGator did the right job constructing their data centers. First, they used only the latest technology, and they regularly update everything. Second, they make sure nothing unpredictable ever happens. Their data centers are restricted areas, and they have installed the latest smoke and fire detection systems. Power backups are also in place. All this work shows, HostGator has great uptime, and it is guaranteed to be up 99.9% of the time or better. Check this yourself at any time, they have a RSS feed on their website.
HostGator has excellent, versatile VPS plans. There are three of them, and each one is based on high-end hardware, Intel and AMD powered. Also, HostGator offers full root access, and this is something more advanced users will appreciate. And most people running Magento are probably tech-savvy. With their VPS, almost everything is unlimited- domains, subdomains, parked domains, email addresses, email storage. Off-site weekly backup is also included in the price. Here are the plans:
- Snappy 2000- the cheapest HostGator VPS plan- $19.95/mo, but it is quite powerful for the price- it has 2 GB RAM, 2 cores, 120 GB storage, 1,5 TB bandwidth.
- Snappy 4000- most balanced of all three VPS plans. For $29.95/mo you will get 4 GB RAM, 2 Cores, 165 GB storage, and 2 TB bandwidth.
- Snappy 8000- is the most powerful HostGator VPS plan- it is also the most expensive, and will cost you $39.95/mo. But it offers the most, and it can handle even the biggest Magento store- 8 GB RAM, 4 cores, 240 GB storage, and 3 TB bandwidth.
Taking care of 9 million domains is not easy, but HostGator does this very well. They have an excellent and highly trained support team, at your service 24/7/365. Since it has so many users, HostGator has a huge community too, and you will be able to find many useful tutorials and how-to videos on their website.
HostGator is an excellent choice. Try it yourself, they offer a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
If you want your Magento store to run ultra-fast, pick InMotion to be the host for it. This hosting provider is known for hosting fast websites, much faster than competition.
Install Magento to InMotion Hosting
Build your Magento eCommerce website using InMotion’s powerful VPS hosting plans.
Websites hosted on InMotion servers run up to 60% faster. But, how does InMotion achieve those speeds? One look at InMotion’s state-of-the-art data center will tell you how. InMotion is constantly innovating their servers. Each year, millions of dollars are spent to make their data center better. And it shows, both in speeds, and uptime. InMotion has 99.9% guaranteed uptime, but is able to maintain it higher than that. So, speed of light + excellent uptime = InMotion.
When it comes to VPS plans, InMotion offers three. Every InMotion plan has free SSD, and this is one of the main reasons why they have fast servers. SSD is much more stable and much faster than HDD. While most other hosting providers charge you for SSD, with InMotion, this great feature is free. Also, unlocked cores, cPanel interface and free maintenance for all VPS plans:
- VPS-1000HA-S-$29.99/mo- 4 GB RAM, 75 GB SSD, 4 TB bandwidth, 3 IP addresses.
- VPS-2000HA-S-$49.99/mo- 6 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD, 5 TB bandwidth, 4 IP addresses.
- VPS-3000HA-S-$75.99/mo- 8 GB RAM, 260 GB SSD, 6 TB bandwidth, 5 IP addresses.
InMotion has probably the best in-house based support team in the whole web hosting industry. They are known to be easy to reach, and to respond fast, usually in less than two minutes. You can reach them around the clock, in different ways. They will offer free site migration, will do free daily backups of your site, and will do the maintenance for you. InMotion also has an excellent website, filled with useful information.
And on top of all this, InMotion has one of the longest money-back guarantees in the industry: 90 days. When a company is bold enough to give a guarantee for their product for that long, it must be good, and worth testing yourself.
Online shopping naturally involves money. And where money is involved, risks skyrocket. This is why choosing a hosting provider known for excellent security features is essential. If your main concern is the security of your customers, pick BlueHost.
Deploy Magento Store with BlueHost
Use BlueHost’s VPS hosting plans to build your Magento online shop quickly.
BlueHost is an established web hosting provider, best known for its strong security and reputable recommendations as it is the number one hosting company recommended by a blogging behemoth WordPress.
BlueHost makes sure nothing ever goes wrong by keeping their servers secure from any physical harm. The whole center is 24/7 monitored, and UPS and power backup diesel generators are on standby. Nothing catches BlueHost by surprise, and this shows in their tremendous uptime history. They are constantly above industry’s standard, 99.9%.
BlueHost offers software protections too. Your customers will feel ultra-safe browsing your store, and will stay protected from spam, DDoS, malware. You can opt for SSH and SSL, to boost their privacy even further.
BlueHost is also known for affordable price tags, and their VPS plans are no exception:
- Standard- $19.95/mo- it has 2 cores, 30 GB SSD, 2 GB RAM, 1 domain and 1 IP addresses.
- Enhanced- $29.99/mo- it has 2 cores, 60 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, 1 domain and 2 IP addresses.
- Ultimate- $59.99/mo- it has 4 cores, 120 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 1 domain and 2 IP addresses.
As you can see, all BlueHost VPS plans have SSD storage, so maximum speed is guaranteed. Also, they don’t meter bandwidth, so holiday traffic spikes will not be a thing for your Magento store, if you sign with BlueHost. And every VPS plan is fully managed.
BlueHost has good support, which is easy to reach and very professional. You should check their website too, it is packed with valuable information; knowledge base, user guides, tutorials, you name it. Forums are well populated and lively, and other users are willing to offer advice and help.
Don’t hesitate to try BlueHost yourself, it won’t disappoint. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Running a Magento store is not easy, but if you know what you want, and know how to do it, you will appreciate the broad spectrum of functionalities this eCommerce platform has to offer. Steep learning curve makes it far from ideal for beginners. And for more advanced features you will probably have to pay. But when everything is considered, Magento is well worth the initial hassle. Everything will pay off the second you see your beautiful and unique store start attracting more and more customers.
But, in order for you to create and maintain your Magento store, you need a proper foundation- a good host. In this article we have explained why VPS is the perfect solution for Magento. And we also gave you three examples.
BlueHost, InMotion, HostGator- all three companies have been around for a long time, and are leaders in the industry. You can choose any of their VPS plans with your eyes closed- any of those three will make your Magento store run smoothly, keeping your customers satisfied.