Is Shared or VPS Hosting Better for an eCommerce Website?

An eCommerce website is one of the easiest ways to rake in massive profits. The quicker you can get started, the sooner you can start making more money than you ever thought possible. Just make sure that you don’t end up moving so quickly that you choose the wrong kind of hosting for your eCommerce website.

Shared hosting and VPS hosting keep getting tossed around as the best kinds of hosting for an eCommerce website, but which one is better? Keep reading to find out!

First of all…

What’s shared hosting?

Lots of people choose shared hosting when they’re starting their first eCommerce website, and it’s not hard to see why: Shared hosting is the cheapest package offered by most hosting companies. But that doesn’t mean it’s best for your website.

Shared hosting means that your website will share a server with other websites. (That’s why the price is so low.) This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Shared hosting is actually great for newer websites and for small websites that don’t handle lots of sensitive information.

But if you want your eCommerce website to be able to collect sensitive information (like credit card details), you’ll be better off choosing VPS hosting.

What’s VPS hosting?

VPS hosting stands for Virtual Private Server hosting.

It’s kind of the middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. You already know that with shared hosting, you share a server with other websites. Well, with dedicated hosting, your website is the only website stored on a server, which means all the server’s resources are dedicated to running your website. This is a top-shelf hosting package, and it’s priced accordingly.

For an eCommerce website, the right option is somewhere in the middle: VPS hosting.

With VPS hosting, a server is split into multiple private servers, using virtualisation technology. This means that each website gets its own private section of the server, which is dedicated only to running the website.

5 reasons why VPS hosting better

Because the server is still technically shared, VPS hosting is much cheaper than dedicated hosting. But because the server remains separate from the others, VPS hosting feels like dedicated hosting.

Even if you’re just starting out with your eCommerce website, it’s better to choose VPS hosting. Here’s why:

1. VPS hosting means consistently faster loading

If you choose a good web host, you’re usually guaranteed fast servers, but web hosts can’t do much to control what happens when a website suddenly starts using more resources than usual. When you share a server, the speed of your website depends on how much your resources are being sucked away by the other websites on the server. This isn’t usually a problem for smaller websites, but eCommerce websites usually need more resources to run efficiently.

VPS hosting is the best way for new eCommerce websites to have consistently fast loading. That’s why, if you want a fast-loading eCommerce website, you need VPS hosting.

2. You’ll never have to compete for resources

With shared hosting, websites have to battle for resources. With VPS hosting, each website is allocated its own dedicated resources that are never shared with other websites, no matter how many resources they suddenly need. When you pay for VPS hosting, you’re guaranteed to have access to server resources whenever you need them.

Because you have your own server resources, your website will be invulnerable to the traffic spikes of other websites. With shared hosting, if one website is receiving much higher traffic than usual (This is what’s called a “traffic spike”), this sucks resources away from other websites, causing them to slow down or even crash. With VPS hosting, your eCommerce website won’t be affected by the traffic of other websites on the server, because each website gets its own resources.

If your website frequently experiences high traffic, you’ll need to monitor it to ensure you don’t go over your limit. And if needs be, you can easily upgrade to a VPS plan with even more resources.

3. VPS hosting is more secure

VPS hosting is more secure than shared hosting, because when you choose VPS hosting, your web host partitions your website from the other websites on the server. This means that any malicious activity on those websites will never spread to yours. In contrast, if your website is on a shared server, the ill effects of their poor security measures will affect you, too.

Also, with VPS hosting, you can customise your Operating System and install any security add-ons that you see fit. You don’t get those customisation options when you choose shared hosting.

Security is important for any website, but because your eCommerce website collects sensitive data from your customers, security is especially crucial for your eCommerce website.

4. VPS hosting gives you more control

VPS packages include root server access, which gives you complete control over your hosting environment. In contrast, shared hosting packages limit you to whatever server setup your web host has predetermined for you.

VPS packages also mean that your website won’t be affected by the actions of other webmasters, which gives you more control over what happens to your website.

5. Higher search engine rankings

Because VPS hosting is faster and more secure, hosting your website on a VPS gives you higher search engine rankings than hosting it on a shared server. And higher search engine rankings mean higher visibility and more sales for your eCommerce website. So, even though shared hosting might seem cheaper in the short term, choosing shared hosting over VPS hosting could end up costing you money.

The takeaway

Shared hosting is a tempting option for many new eCommerce website owners. But if you don’t yet have the budget for dedicated hosting, VPS hosting is definitely your best bet. It’s faster, more secure, and gives you much more control than shared hosting.