18 September 2023

How to choose a Hosting for Magento and Magento 2

A complete guide on how to choose professional Magento hosting for optimal user experience and performance

Choose the right service hosting for your Magento site represents a crucial moment that will have a direct impact not only on your e-commerce performance, but also on the overall customer experience and, ultimately, your ROI. In a world where the online market has become increasingly crowded and competitive, details such as page loading speed, data security and infrastructure stability are no longer just "nice to haves", but essential requirements to stand out from the mass.

In this article, we will address a number of key factors that every Magento site owner should consider when looking for the most suitable hosting solution. These include the importance of opting for hosting that offers fast loading times, measured through metrics such as Time to First Byte (TTFB), which can significantly influence your search engine rankings and conversion rate.

We will also discuss the vital role of an advanced software infrastructure, which must not only be optimized for Magento, but also be flexible enough to adapt to the evolving needs of your business. Without forgetting aspects such as scalability, to be able to manage increases in traffic during periods of high demand such as Black Friday or the Christmas season, and security, to ensure that sensitive customer information is always protected.

In today's environment, every minute of downtime or delay in loading can result in lost revenue and a decline in customer trust. That's why it's crucial to make an informed and strategic choice about your hosting provider. So, read on to find out how to make the right choice that will position you for success in the competitive world of e-commerce.

High Speed ​​and Low TTFB: Key Factors

The speed of a website is not only crucial to providing a great user experience, but also plays a vital role in ranking on search engines like Google. This search engine has clearly established that loading speed is an element considered in the ranking algorithm. A reduced TTFB (Time to First Byte) is the sign of an efficient and responsive server. On the contrary, a high TTFB can have particularly harmful effects on a Magento ecommerce, contributing to a poor user experience, an increase in cart abandonment rate and, consequently, a decline in positioning in search results.

On occasions of heavy traffic influx, such as during Black Friday or the holiday season, maintaining a low TTFB is even more vital. Small delays in server response times can translate into significant losses in terms of sales and customer satisfaction, aspects that no ecommerce can afford to underestimate.

Advanced Software Architecture

Unlike the first version of Magento, with the release of Magento 2, Adobe has taken significant steps to standardize and standardize the server-side software ecosystem needed for an effective implementation of the platform. Official guides now not only list recommended software but also go further, specifying the versions of each software that would ensure ideal compatibility and optimization for the server-side environment. This move represents a big step forward in simplifying the management of hosting infrastructure, allowing online store owners to focus less on technical issues and more on growing their business. Standardizing software requirements in Magento 2 offers a clear roadmap for setting up a server-side environment that is both scalable and performant, thereby reducing incompatibility risks and performance issues.

https://experienceleague.adobe.com/docs/commerce-operations/installation-guide/system-requirements.html

Magento 2 requirements

 

NGINX webserver

NGINX Banners

NGINX has earned an excellent reputation for its high performance and ability to handle large numbers of simultaneous connections, often outperforming other web servers such as Apache in these aspects. One of the key factors in this efficiency is its asynchronous and event-based operating model, which allows it to brilliantly address the C10K challenge, i.e. the ability to manage tens of thousands of simultaneous connections.

Unlike web servers that use a thread- or process-based model, which can quickly become inefficient and consume resources in high-load scenarios, NGINX has been optimized to minimize CPU and memory usage. This makes the server not only highly scalable, but also extremely suitable for environments requiring high availability and effective traffic management.

NGINX's versatility goes beyond simple scalability; the server is highly configurable, offering a wide range of options ranging from load balancing to SSL optimization, making it suitable for a wide range of applications and business scenarios.

A point that deserves special attention is that NGINX is not only a preferred choice for some platforms, but has become a specific technical requirement in some cases. For example, Magento, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, specifically recommends the use of NGINX in its system requirements as outlined by Adobe. This elevates NGINX from a simple option to an essential component for ensuring the best performance and reliability in the world of enterprise-scale e-commerce.

With its adoption by tech giants like Wikipedia, Facebook, Amazon, and Alibaba, NGINX has solidified its position as the de facto standard for enterprise web servers, providing an unbeatable combination of speed, security, and reliability.

PHP in FPM Mode

PHP-FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) represents an evolutionary leap in PHP execution, providing a highly customizable and optimized environment for managing web requests. Unlike traditional ways like mod_php in Apache or the use of CGI, PHP-FPM introduces a level of flexibility and scalability that is critical for modern, high-performance web applications, like an e-commerce store on PrestaShop.

One of the most distinctive features of PHP-FPM is its architecture based on pools of workers, which are preloaded and kept in a "ready to use" state to handle incoming requests. This avoids the computational overhead associated with starting new processes or threads for each request, a problem typical of other execution models. This innovation translates into significantly reduced latency and increased throughput, two decisive factors for web applications that require excellent performance.

PHP-FPM is not only flexible in its architecture, but also in its configuration options. You can customize the number of child processes, use persistent connections, and precisely define worker pool behavior. This flexibility allows PHP-FPM to adapt to an incredibly wide range of application scenarios, from small businesses to large, high-traffic e-commerce portals.

The web technology ecosystem is evolving, and with it the functionality of PHP-FPM. The latest versions of the PHP language have introduced significant improvements such as Zend OpCache and the Just-In-Time Compiler (PHP JIT). Zend OpCache improves performance by storing precompiled PHP bytecode, thus reducing the overhead of interpreting code on each request. PHP JIT, on the other hand, optimizes code execution at runtime, providing a performance boost especially in compute-intensive scenarios.

Finally, it is important to underline the synergy between PHP-FPM and advanced web servers such as NGINX. Both use an asynchronous and event-based model, making this combination particularly effective for efficiently managing resources and ensuring scalability. This compatibility represents a significant advantage in terms of performance, security and reliability, factors that are increasingly at the center of attention in the panorama of modern web technologies.

Varnish as Full Page Cache

Varnish assistance

Varnish Cache is a next-generation HTTP accelerator that acts as a powerful caching layer between your website and your visitors. The primary objective is to lighten the load on the backend server, while at the same time accelerating page loading speed, a crucial factor in high-traffic contexts and for applications that require low latency.

One of the salient features of Varnish is its high configurability. Thanks to the Varnish Configuration Language (VCL), system administrators have detailed control over how HTTP requests and responses are handled. This level of granularity allows for precise cache optimization, tailored to the specific needs of the website or application in question.

But Varnish isn't just configurable; it's also designed for speed. By using RAM memory as a data store, requests can be processed almost instantaneously. This is especially useful during high-traffic events such as Black Friday or the Christmas season, where the ability to serve large numbers of users simultaneously becomes a critical success factor.

In terms of scalability, Varnish is able to extend horizontally with ease. It integrates seamlessly into more intricate architectures that make use of load balancers, allowing efficient management of traffic peaks and scalability compliant with business growth needs.

One noteworthy detail is that Varnish Cache has become a recommended component by Adobe in its Magento software stack. This highlights not only Varnish's compatibility with Magento but also its critical importance in providing optimal performance for these ecosystems.

When paired with other advanced software components such as NGINX and PHP-FPM, Varnish completes a sort of “sacred triad” for web performance. This synergy offers a highly performing and robust environment, improving not only page loading speed but also efficiency in resource use and tolerance to performance issues. In this way, Varnish Cache confirms itself as an irreplaceable element for any website performance optimization strategy, especially in a complex and demanding context such as a Magento e-commerce.

ElasticSearch

ElasticSearchLogo

One of the most effective and recommended tools by Adobe to improve the performance and efficiency of Magento hosting is ElasticSearch. This real-time search and analytics engine is designed to handle large amounts of data quickly and reliably, providing a powerful and flexible search solution for your e-commerce business. ElasticSearch significantly improves the user experience on the site, offering fast and relevant search results thanks to advanced algorithms and features such as autocomplete, keyword suggestion and spell correction. Furthermore, it is highly scalable and capable of supporting increases in traffic and data, thus adapting to the ever-changing needs of your online business. Within a Magento hosting environment, ElasticSearch integration not only elevates site search performance, but also contributes to data analysis and optimization of marketing strategies, making it an indispensable component for any online store which aims to offer an excellent service.

Rabbit MQ

One of the tools strongly recommended by Adobe to optimize Magento hosting performance is RabbitMQ. This messaging middleware is designed to manage the flow of information between different system components, helping to effectively scale applications and improve the robustness of the entire infrastructure. As part of a Magento e-commerce site, RabbitMQ plays a crucial role in ensuring that processes such as order processing, inventory management, and customer notifications run smoothly and without interruptions. It also facilitates the management of traffic peaks by distributing workloads in a balanced manner between different servers, which is particularly useful during busy periods such as Black Friday or the Christmas period. In summary, integrating RabbitMQ into a Magento hosting environment not only increases the system's resilience and scalability, but also helps provide an optimal user experience, which is key to the success of any online business.

Multi-Level DDoS Protection

E-commerce sites based on the Magento platform are often targets of DDoS attacks, a form of digital extortion that can have devastating repercussions both in terms of accessibility and reputation. To counter this threat, it is critical that a hosting service offers robust and comprehensive DDoS protection, operating at both Layer 3 (network) and Layer 7 (application).

Layer 3 DDoS protection serves to intercept and filter malicious traffic at the network level before it reaches the application server. This is particularly effective against volumetric DDoS attacks, which seek to flood and overload the network with a huge flow of malicious traffic.

As for level 7 protection, this is calibrated to repel more sophisticated attacks aimed at the web application. These attacks, also known as application layer attacks, may attempt to exploit specific vulnerabilities in the code or web server and require more elaborate defense measures. Defense strategies at this level can include rate limiting, advanced HTTP request filtering, and behavioral analytics to detect and neutralize suspicious activity.

The combination of DDoS protections at levels 3 and 7 offers a 360-degree defense against a variety of DDoS attacks. While layer 3 filtering can neutralize most large-scale attacks, layer 7 measures are essential to thwart more targeted and sophisticated attacks, which may escape network-level controls.

Systems consultancy

Before selecting a hosting service for your Magento platform, it is essential to undergo a complete systems consultancy. This preliminary step is crucial to identify any vulnerabilities, shortcomings and areas where site performance can be optimized. Systems consultancy should examine a number of key factors:

  • Catalog Size: The number of products offered on your Magento is an important indicator of the system resources that will be needed, including the ability to handle a large number of database queries.
  • Visitors in Real Time: Understanding the maximum number of visitors your site can have at one time is critical to properly sizing your infrastructure and ensuring your site can handle inevitable traffic spikes.
  • Periods of High Traffic: Events such as Black Friday or the Christmas period can lead to a significant increase in traffic. Astute advice will need to take these periods into consideration and plan accordingly to prevent any disruption to service.
  • Geographical Origin of Visitors: If your Magento e-commerce has an international audience, the consultancy should evaluate the need for an enterprise-level Content Delivery Network (CDN). This will ensure fast loading times and a cohesive user experience, regardless of users' geographic location.

Detailed systems consultancy can provide valuable insights into how to maximize the performance of your Magento store, while ensuring a high-quality user experience and a stable, secure environment. This type of assessment is essential for making informed decisions and ensuring that your infrastructure can support the needs of your online business.

24/XNUMX assistance and real-time response time

system assistance

Having an assistance service available 24 hours a day, with an intervention time of less than 24 minutes for critical situations, represents a decisive advantage that goes far beyond simple comfort. In a digital ecosystem, where every minute of downtime can translate into significant economic losses and reputational damage, the readiness and effectiveness of technical support become crucial elements.

24 hour availability: This feature is crucial, especially for Magento stores that have an international reach. Since problems can arise at any time, regardless of time zone or local business hours, it is essential that a team of experts is always available to provide immediate assistance.

Quick Response Times: A short response time, especially in the event of critical issues such as server failures or DDoS attacks, is vital to minimize the negative impact on users and business operations. A response in less than 15 minutes can be the differentiating factor between a manageable setback and a large-scale crisis that could take hours or days to mitigate, causing financial losses and undermining customer trust in the process.

Proactive Support: A high-caliber support service doesn't just intervene when problems emerge; often implements proactive strategies to anticipate and prevent potential complications. This may include monitoring server performance, scanning for potential security vulnerabilities, and other preventative measures that help create a more secure and performant online environment.

Backup & Disaster Recovery

Backup-and-Disaster-Recovery

In a digital environment like a Magento e-commerce site, the security and protection of data — including customer demographics, orders, and invoices — are not only desirable, but absolutely crucial. A high-quality support service should offer advanced data protection features, including remote geographic duplicate backups and a proven disaster recovery plan. These measures are essential not only for business continuity, but also for protecting company reputation and complying with regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Remote Dual Copy Geographic Backups

These backups offer an additional layer of security, safeguarding data in more than one geographic location. In an era where data is one of an organization's most valuable assets, its loss or corruption can have devastating impacts, both economic and reputational. This backup strategy is particularly advantageous in the event of catastrophic events such as fires, floods, or other natural disasters that could take out an entire data center. Having data backups in a geographically distant location is vital for quick and effective business recovery.

Proven Disaster Recovery Plan

A well-structured disaster recovery plan is a roadmap of procedures and policies designed to ensure rapid recovery of operations and data in the event of system failures or other disasters. Such a plan should be tested regularly to verify its effectiveness and identify any areas for improvement. It must also be flexible enough to adapt to a variety of catastrophic scenarios, from simple hardware failures to large-scale outages.

Compliance with GDPR

Being in compliance with the GDPR is mandatory for any e-commerce that handles personal data of European Union citizens. In addition to secure and confidential data protection, the GDPR requires that organizations have effective procedures to notify both authorities and affected individuals in the event of data breaches. Implementing GDPR-compliant backups and disaster recovery plans isn't just a best practice: it's a legal requirement.

Conclusions

Since 2005, we have specialized in hosting Open Source CMS, including Magento and Magento 2. If you are looking for a hosting service that can satisfy all your needs for your e-commerce on Magento, offering the best conditions of service, we are the ideal partner to ensure your success in the online world.

Select the right hosting solution for Magento it's a task that requires careful evaluation of several elements, from the strength of the technical infrastructure to the quality of customer support. Hosting that boasts a low Time To First Byte (TTFB) and an advanced software stack not only elevates the performance of your site, but also represents a crucial investment in the prosperity of your digital business. System consultation plays a crucial role in making a well-considered and tailor-made choice to your specific needs. With high-quality support and a well-structured backup and disaster recovery plan, you can position yourself optimally to provide a world-class user experience and stand out in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive online environment.

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INFORMATION

Managed Server Srl is a leading Italian player in providing advanced GNU/Linux system solutions oriented towards high performance. With a low-cost and predictable subscription model, we ensure that our customers have access to advanced technologies in hosting, dedicated servers and cloud services. In addition to this, we offer systems consultancy on Linux systems and specialized maintenance in DBMS, IT Security, Cloud and much more. We stand out for our expertise in hosting leading Open Source CMS such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, Prestashop, Joomla, OpenCart and Magento, supported by a high-level support and consultancy service suitable for Public Administration, SMEs and any size.

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