When running your Magento website, one of the foundational decisions you will need to make is which hosting provider to choose. Your web host, or web hosting provider, will supply the technologies and services necessary for your Magento site to be viewed online. How your Magento application code, files and data are hosted is critical to your website’s performance and availability. Website speed matters more to many customers than most other website features, so choosing the right host is critical to avoid user abandonment and loss of revenue.
When considering which type of hosting provider to select, it’s important to consider it as part of the overall picture, for instance, appraise such elements as your caching strategy, expected throughput, current traffic volume and anticipated growth rate.
A Managed Hosting option will handle the hardware components (from patching to server configuration) to keep your server running at peak performance and ensure it is kept secure. Ideally think about working with a Magento specialist as they will be able to fine-tune the server environment to tailor it to the running of Magento code and databases.
If you self-manage your hosting, you will be responsible for configuring, patching and updating the server/s yourself. If you want flexibility and need to keep hosting costs to a minimum, this will likely be the best option for you. If, however, you want specialist overhead support, a Managed Hosting option should be carefully considered.
A shared server (only available with a Managed Hosting) effectively means you are renting only part of a server. This is usually the cheapest option as you will share resources with other customers, but the downsides can be severe. Your website performance can be seriously impacted by other activity happening on the shared server; for instance, malicious activity occurring to your neighbors could threaten your own Magento store.
Although this is a more expensive option, opting for a dedicated server will offer you greater control and tighter security. Today with cloud infrastructure options, a dedicated server is typically offered on shared infrastructure - your cloud provider will dedicate a specific amount of its server resources for your application needs, which are then scaled up or down on a demand basis. Through a cloud-dedicated server, you can still gain some of the cost-effectiveness of a shared server.
Number of Servers
We recommend for everyone except the smallest Magento stores that you run in a High Availability (HA) hosting environment, which includes two application servers and a load balancer in front to give you maximum availability and scalability. If one server fails, the other can pick up the slack. Recovery from server faults can also be taken care of more carefully in a HA environment.
It is wise to run a staging server that shares its configuration with a production server to allow you to test impending configuration changes or code and database deploys.
You should also consider the kind of security provided by your host solution, and the level of support offered if any server problems arise.