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Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting: Which is best for E-commerce websites?

The retail landscape has gone through a series of changes in the last decade. Any e-commerce website needs to provide simple and 24x7x365 access to users, understand the behavior of the buyers, and offer technical support for any problems faced by them. This translates to storing, managing, distributing, retrieving, and backing up volumes of data. Hence, the choice of a hosting plan plays a pivotal role in the success of an e-commerce platform. In this article, we will compare the pros and cons of Shared and Cloud Hosting services for e-commerce websites.

Shared and Cloud Hosting

In Shared hosting, multiple websites reside on the same server, sharing its resources and bandwidth. On the other hand, Cloud hosting entails multiple servers which are connected virtually, working in tandem. These servers are controlled by a central algorithm which opts for the most optimum way to store, retrieve, and rebalance data.

Both Shared and Cloud Hosting have their own advantages and disadvantages. Before we look at the comparison between the two, it is important to understand the three main challenges faced by e-commerce websites:

  1. Speed – Users visiting an online store expect the page to load with minimal delay. The e-commerce giant, Amazon, found that a page load speed lag of 100 milliseconds costs them 1% in sales.  Undoubtedly, most e-commerce websites want the page load speeds to be as fast as possible.
  2. Scalability – An e-commerce store has multiple products listed on its website. With constant marketing efforts, it is possible that one or more of their products catch the fancy of the buyers leading to a sudden spike in traffic. There are also many online stores that cater to huge volumes on a seasonal basis. In a nutshell, online stores need to have a host who can offer instant scalability at minimal costs.
  3. Security – An online store, typically manages customer profiles along with their credit card/ bank details to make the transaction easier for the buyers. Hence, the security of data is a top priority for most stores as it allows them to gain the trust of the buyers.

Comparison

Parameter

Shared Hosting

               Cloud Hosting

Scalability

Limited scalability since the resources like Storage and RAM are limited.

            Unlimited scalability at the click of a button.

Speed

Since the resources are shared, the speed is slower

          Multiple servers are deployed, hence the                      speed is much faster.

Security

The susceptibility to attacks is higher which can be secured by using a           Secure Shell (SSH).

          Data redundancy and anti-malware and                        attack detection tools keep the data more                    secure than in shared hosting.

Costs

Shared hosting is usually cheaper.

           While the price depends on the cloud hosting              provider, usually these plans are costlier.

Summing up

As can be seen in the table above, Cloud hosting certainly looks like a better option for e-commerce websites. A good cloud hosting provider with a state-of-the-art infrastructure and dedicated focus on speed, security and scalability can ensure that your online store lives up to the users’ expectation. Remember, no two websites are the same. Hence, you must choose the provider only after you assess your requirements from the hosting plan. If you would like to share your experience with either of these plans for your e-commerce store, then feel free to mention it in the comments below.


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