Digitization brought about a radical change in the retail landscape around the globe. Today, people buy most things online, from a pin to a car. Hence, e-commerce websites have a responsibility of providing easy and uninterrupted access to buyers and offer instant technical support for problems faced during the buying process. These websites also need to analyze user behaviour to be able to offer a tailored experience to them. This means that e-commerce websites need to store, distribute, retrieve, and backup high volumes of data. Further, according to Kissmetrics, an e-commerce portal which makes around $100,000 every day, can potentially lose sales worth $2.5 million in a year if the page load speed reduces by one second. Hence, it is important that an e-commerce website is hosted on a web server that ensures maximum uptime and high load speeds along with a few other features. Today, we will look at Shared and Cloud hosting services and compare the advantages and disadvantage of each of them for e-commerce platforms.
What is Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting?
Shared Hosting, as the name suggests, includes several websites sharing the resources and space of a web server. Cloud Hosting, on the other hand, is a hosting type where the resources needed for running and managing your website are distributed across multiple servers.
E-commerce websites have three primary areas of concern:
- Managing traffic spikes (Scalability)
Let’s look at how Shared and Cloud Hosting services address these concerns.
Page Load Speed
Kissmetrics also reported that 52% of online shoppers believe that quick page loading is important to their loyalty to an e-commerce website. Also, a one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by around 16%. Hence, having fast page load speed is important for any e-commerce website.
In Shared Hosting services, since multiple sites share the server’s resources, the load speed is dependent on the overall usage of the server. If one website receives huge volumes of traffic, then it can affect the load speed of all other websites on the server.
On the other hand, in Cloud Hosting, no such dependency exists since the website is hosted on a network of virtual servers with dedicated resources. Also, most providers use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and caching servers (Varnish Cache) to further boost load speeds by up to 1000%!
Scalability of Resources
As an e-commerce platform owner, you will constantly analyze market trends and try to list products that attract buyers to your website. If one such product catches the fancy of the buyers, you have a sudden spike in website traffic. At such times, a slow or unavailable website due to a paucity of resources can lead to a loss of business and reputation. Hence, e-commerce websites need a host who is sensitive to traffic spikes and offers additional resources instantly to manage the traffic.
Shared Hosting plans have limited resources since the hosting server is shared. Further, adding additional resources is time and cost-consuming.
On the other hand, in Cloud Hosting, most providers offer instant scalability of resources to help you manage traffic spikes efficiently.
People buy products and usually save their credit/debit card/bank information on the e-commerce website for future purchases. They put a lot of trust in these websites to keep their information secure. Hence, the security of data is the topmost priority of such sites.
While both Shared and Cloud Hosting providers deploy the latest security tools to protect your data, in Shared Hosting, the susceptibility to attacks is slightly higher than in Cloud Hosting due to the shared environment.
For e-commerce websites, Cloud Hosting services certainly look like a better alternative as compared to Shared Hosting. While Cloud Hosting plans are costlier than Shared Hosting plans, the costs are justified due to the benefits offered by them. Before choosing a Cloud Hosting provider, ensure that he understands the requirements of the e-commerce industry and offers a plan accordingly. Remember, all websites are unique – assess your hosting requirements before buying a hosting plan.