Reliable server determines any site performance. Customer needs fast page loads for comfortable shopping. So the online-stores owners should choose hosting attentively.
Also a well-chosen server increases the online-store security, as we wrote about earlier.
This article is about choosing the online-store server based on business objectives and requirements. The article is interesting for online-store owners and developers.
Features of hosting choosing
At first it’s needed to identify the requirements of online-store performance. What traffic does the site have? What load of customers is expected? How many orders will be processed at the same time? How many products will be in the store? Answering these questions we can determine the hosting-provider features:
- Performance: processor power and quantity of processes work at the same time. It’s better if processes are loaded no more than 40%. It gives the necessary margin of safety.
- Throughput: transmitted data value for the selected unit of time. No less 100 Mbps.
- RAM: no less 2Gb. RAM depends on database value.
- Disk subsystem performance: servers with HDD and SSD are provided. SSD is faster, but its volume is more expensive.
Pay attention to the Magento 2.3 technologies stack requirements. This is important when choosing the characteristics of the hosting provider's servers.
- Operating system (Linux x86-64)
- Composer (the last version)
- Web-server: Apache 2.2 or 2.4, nginx 1.x
- Database: MySQL 5.6, 5.7
- PHP: 7.1.3, 7.2.0 (Magento 2.3.1 certificated and tested on PHP 7.2.11)
Also highly recommended:
- Elasticsearch version 6.x compatibility
- Varnish 4.x or 5.2 versions
- Redis 3.2, 4.0, 5.0 (compatible with 2.4+), better 5.0.
Actual requirements published regular in Magento 2 official specification.
Secondly you need to consider the technical support level of the hosting provider. If your online store needs the hosting support, you should choose channels of communication. 24/7 support is better.
Thirdly you need to analyze functions of various hosting providers and choose what you need. It can be backup, scalability, security services, SSL encryption, firewalls, etc. They usually are not free or included in the tariff.
Fourthly you should focus on the online store target audience location. If you will sell in one country, you should choose the server located in this country. This will reduce response time.
Finally you should determine the hosting type for your online-store.
Hosting types for Magento 2
Shared hosting is the cheapest type of hosting where many sites are located on the same web server. So the load may be disproportionate. This type is suitable for small projects. The main disadvantages - problems with increasing load, lack of scalability, limited configuration options.
VPS-hosting is the virtual dedicated server service. It works on one technical server. This is the best solution for stores with loading up to 50 orders per month.
Dedicated server is the type of hosting, when the client is provided with a separate physical machine. The main advantages:
- Full access to hardware.
- High secutity level.
- Maximum performance.
- More opportunities for experimentation to solve specific problems.
Cloud hosting is the most stable hosting. The workspace is located in the cloud network. So cloud hosting is a network of connected virtual and physical servers. Such systems are supported by load balancers. If the server of the online store is unavailable due to the increased load, customers will still be able to use the site. This type of hosting has no extensibility limitations.
Web server: Apache or NGINX?
Magento 2 recommends using Apache and NGINX. Which one is more suitable for your tasks, more productive and more profitable?
Estimated from the internet, Apache and NGINX account for 50% of the traffic, with Apache accounting for 60 million sites, and NGINX - about 40 million.
Apache (apache.org) is the most common and popular free server on the network. It is more reliable and flexible. The server is not demanding on processor resources and is able to serve many sites. The application is available for Unix, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and others.
NGINX (nginx.org/ru/) is the most popular web server in the Russian Internet. It is simpler than Apache, it is reliable and fast. Now it is in the top 3 most popular web servers in the world.
Both servers in their latest versions can compete with each other in most areas.
The main technical differences between these two web servers:
- Apache web server creates a separate process in response to each user request. This technology is simple to implement and support, but is not suitable for highly loaded projects. Nginx creates child processes that response requests. This technology is suitable for sites serving thousands of connections simultaneously.
- Apache web server generates static and dynamic content, therefore, it is chosen by users who configure proxying and additional features for working with dynamics. Nginx only produces static content, but dynamic does not.
- Apache has over 60 official modules and a huge number of amateur ones. These modules do not require assembly, they can be loaded immediately. Nginx has 130 official modules, but a pre-build is required to run them. This is more complicated, but considered safer.
So for a high-load project, in which it is necessary to serve a large number of static content and/or multimedia streams, NGINX (or a combination of Apache and NGINX)is the best solution.
Hosting for a small site and a large store: is there a difference?
Magento is a CMS with rich features.The more Magento functionality is used, the more relevant is the issue of optimizing the site.
Choosing a hosting tariff, you must choose the type of site:
1. Small online store (simple or brand new, without high loads). Shared hosting is the most suitable.This is an inexpensive or free solution for aspiring entrepreneurs.
2. A store with consistently high traffic and an average of 50 orders per month. For this type of online store, VPS hosting is ideal.
3. Large online store, highly visited retail with more than 1000 products and 1000 orders. If the store grows and develops, the usual hosting tariff will not be enough. You need a solution that delivers high performance. For this type of store, the best solution would be a dedicated server or cloud solution.
Top 5 Best Hostings for Magento 2 Online Store
There are a lot of hostings suitable for Magento tasks - they differ in configuration, server location and price.
The most popular of them:
Also, large hosting providers you can trust:
We tried to help you in choosing the best hosting tariff for your online store on Magento 2. If you still have questions, our team can advise you on the Magento stack so that you can’t make a mistake in choosing a hosting.