How to Host a Magento Website?

Barry

For a beginner Magento admin one of the trickiest affairs is to choose the right host. There are some criteria to choose the right host such as amount of site traffic or top requirements for running your Ecommerce website. Before delving deeper into the intricacies of choosing a host for your Magento website, let us see at the common features of a web host.

 

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At first how will you define web hosting? For placing the entire web content on server, we need a web host. Options are available to host your site via your personal server but it is an expensive clue. Another option is to buy a certain disk amount of a server or taking it up on rent. Rent services are available with ISPs or Internet Service Providers. Let us enlist some attributes of web hosts for helping you in choosing the best web host for yourself.

 

Hosting platforms:

 

Following are the 2 most popular web hosts with Magento Ecommerce sites:

 

Windows Web Hosting Servers: There is good news for the die-hard fans of Windows OS as it offers you with a variety of Magento hosts to choose from but with a twist. One of the biggest disadvantages is that the Windows web hosts are generally costlier because of many licensing protocols.

 

Linux Web Hosting Servers: With Linux many options for web hosts are available and with much lower price amount than what are offered by Windows based web servers. Web hosts are offered by many ISPs having many UNIX flavors.

 

Types of Hosts:

 

There are many host types that are available with you. Choose them in and accordance with your budget and requirements. Most popular types of web hosts are as follows:

 

a) Free Hosting
Do not be astonished. In this world of money and transactions there are some services still available in lieu of a small service like this wherein a web host would let you use its disk space for its advertisement being displayed at the homepage or some inner-page. Popular free host sites are myspace.com, lycos.com or geocities.com.

 

b) Shared Hosting
By choosing this host you would be able to utilize the shared disk space of its server in addition with other partners. For an Ecommerce website having small scale of traffic, this is a good idea as it’s also cost effective. However it’s having one big disadvantage and that is during the hours of high traffic of your site or vice versa, speeds of other partners slow down.

 

c) Virtual Dedicated Hosting
This kind of hosts is ideal for medium-sized websites where dedicated bandwidth and RAM space are offered. It’s making you a virtual owner of its web server. However compared with shared hosts, the price of Virtual Dedicated hosts are higher.

 

d) Dedicated Hosting
It’s good if your site traffic is high and if you are reaping its benefits then you need to opt for a costlier option of web hosting and that is the Dedicated Hosting. Here the entire server space will dedicatedly work for your site.

 

e) Collocated Hosting
Collocated web hosting is a safe option for your website that saves it from vandalism or accidents.

 

Hosting Components:

 

General features of a web host:

  1. Disc Space: Website requirements determine the type of a particular web host such as for a site where a large number of audios and videos are required; there should be a good deal of disc space in addition with future scopes for expansion.
  2. Website Traffic: Larger your site’s rate of data transfer is, larger disc space is required. For example if lots of audio and video contents are required to transfer then more than 10 GB disc space is necessary, per month. In addition there should be a flexible option to extend the upper limit as and when necessary.
  3. Processing Speed: Shared hosting gives you a glimpse of processing speed via other partners. But for using other web hosts you should have knowledge of the RAM amount allocated. In accordingly the price would vary.
  4. Connection Speed: The range of connection speed is overwhelmingly variegated. Take for example the range varies between 64Kb/sec to 2.488 Gb/sec. Higher the speed, better the service.
  5. Email Accounts: Enough email accounts should be there and various services like IMAP, POP and E-MAIL Forwarding facility is available with them.
  6. Email Support: Along with various accounts, facility should be there for sending emails from backend. Simply speaking there should be SMTP enabled and in functional form at your website.
  7. Databases: Databases are available at various forms such as MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server. On the basis of your database requirement, you must choose the product prudently. Limited extent of database memory space is offered by many shared ISPs. To bypass this difficulty you may choose a virtual dedicated server.
  8. Server uptimes: One of the largest priorities is to avail the service of a reliable and reputed web host. It’s best to keep up with an ISP that delivers 99.99 percent server uptime. Many ISPs offer requisite compensations to users in case a slower server speed disturbs them.
  9. Backup and FTP: Generally Ecommerce websites are regularly updated and as such backups should be necessarily kept and many ISPs are there that can offer this service for a nominal charge.
  10. Control Panel: You should look for a flexible control panel so as to enable you with keeping in request logins, reboot requests etc.
  11. Latest Technologies: Latest technologies should be enabled with web servers and they should support recent versions of PHP, ASP, JAVA, PERL etc.
  12. Customer Support: 24*7 customer support is provided by many ISPs in the dual categories of technical and non-technical sectors. Included information can be achieved either from web forums or client testimonials.

 

Requirements of Magento Web Hosts

 

Requirements of Magento Web Hosts are as follows:

 

OS: Latest versions of Magento Enterprise or Community Edition need Operating Systems such as Windows or Linux x86-32/x86-64.

 

Web Hosts: Web servers like Apache 2.x or Nginx 1.7.x or IIS are needed by latest versions of Magento Community Editions or Magento Enterprise Editions.

 

Database: MySQL 5.6 (Percona or Oracle)

 

Versions of PHP: PHP 5.5 or PHP 5.4 is utilized by the latest editions of Magento ISPs.

 

Requisite disc space

  • Disc requirement for the Development Phase: This space depends upon the size of your Ecommerce store and in most of the cases varies between 1/2 to 1 GB memory spaces.
  • Disc requirement for Earlier Production Phase: Medium sized single Ecommerce store would require 1024 MB memory. Any further installation of stores would require 256M to 384M disc space.
  • Disc requirement for Later Production Phase: If hundreds of visitors daily visit your store then around 1 GB to 2 GB memory space is required while more traffic would require higher memory space.

 

Requirements for Bandwidth: Higher bandwidth helps faster data transfer between 2 networks per unit time. For example Magento web host called RackSpace provides 50 GB bandwidth while Siteground delivers unlimited bandwidth.

 

PHP Memory Limit: Amount of RAM is determined through this limiting factor. For example Nexcess provides 512 MB memory.

 

Maximum Limit of Uploaded Website: This attribute enables you to upload biggest files with the help of PHP. For example Nexcess lets you for a file uploading to the extent of 64 MB.

 

Maximum Extent for Input Variables: This attribute would enable a web host to handle and control number of variables per unit time and it is limited to a certain number. For example the Nexcess would allow you a unit input variable.

 

Network Port’s Speed: Your site traffic determines your selection for the speed of your network port. For example 100 mb/sec port speed is allowed by Nexcess.

 

Magento website’s PHP requirements

 

Additional pre-requisites for an Ecommerce store to properly function:

  1. Disable the PHP ‘Safe Mode’. This option handles security problems of a shared server. However many important functions are restricted if it is kept on. For that it is mandatory to disable it.
  2. Please install the Php-curl extension after which an entire library of client URLs would be activated.
  3. After installing the curl extension please install the Php-dom extension. The DOM or Document Object Model is a set of rules that is cross-platform and language independent for representing and interacting with xml documents, xhtml and html objects.
  4. Next comes the installation of Php-gd extension for enabling image manipulations that are presented in different formats because image functions are included in the gd library.
  5. Hashing algorithms are supported by special functions such as array hash_algos(void) which are included in the hash library which is supported through Php-hash extension.
  6. The extension Php-iconv is used to convert sets of characters. Thus you need to install this extension too.
  7. For the functions of encryption or decryption, Php-mcrypt extension should be added with your Ecommerce store.
  8. Pattern matching facility is provided by Php-pcre extension.
  9. For accessing PHP databases Php-pdo extension is required. PHP Data Objects extension provides for a lightweight and consistent interface.
  10. For getting the access to MySQL database you should install the Php-pdo_mysql extension.
  11. For converting an xml file into a simple object you need to install the Php-simplexml extension.

 

Comparison between various Magento based service providers for web hosting

Hosting provider

Ideal size of company

Magento Partner

Installation of Magento

Support

PCI Compliance

Peer1

Medium/large

Platinum

1-click install

24/7

Yes

Nexcess

Medium/large

Platinum

1-click install

24/7

Yes

RackSpace

Large

Platinum

3-clicks install

24/7

Yes

SiteGround

Small

N/A

1-click install

24/7

At a charge

LiquidWeb

Small

N/A

1-click install

24/7

No

 

Some other popular web hosts are as follows:

  • BlueHost
  • Hostgator
  • Inmotion hosting
  • Arvixe
  • Site5

 

Comparison chart of these web hosts are as follows-

Web Host

Magento Installation

Installation of Theme

Magento Support

Magento Tutorial

Magento Special Hosts

BlueHost

1-click

No

Hosting issues only

No

Free CDN

Hostgator

1-click

No

Hosting issues and those related with the applications

Yes

Free CDN

Inmotion Hosting

1-click

No

Hosting issues and those related with the applications

Yes

No

Arvixe

1-click/Free professional installing service

No

Hosting issues and those related with the applications

Yes

Free CDN

Site5

1-click

No

Hosting issues and those related with the applications

Yes

Free CDN

 

Conclusion

 

At the end of your selection, let’s install your Magento site. For creating and launching your Ecommerce store there are many added processes. These works would be simplified with the help of a Magento developer. You may hire Magento developer on contract from a reputed website design and development company. In addition freelance developers are also available in the market but with a doubtful professional reputation.

Please put in your valuable inputs about how you liked our article. Your suggestions are invaluable to us for further development.

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Barry Davis is a Technology Evangelist who is joined to Webskitters for more than 5 years. A specialist in Website design, development & planning online business strategy. He is passionate about implementing new web technologies that makes websites perform better.

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