The following is a guest post provided by Commerce Acceleration Group, a San Diego-based E-commerce Agency specializing in Magento design and development.
There are a lot of moving pieces when a retailer decides to rebuild their website. On any given rebuild there could be up to fifteen outside vendors involved, providing services like re-targeting, custom reporting, CRM, Order Management software, and email marketing to name a few. Often a retailer’s ability to select the right vendors can make or break a project. At Commerce Acceleration Group we try to make what can be a stressful process as stress-free as possible. So we thought we’d stop bye the ZeroLag Blog today and share our top 5 considerations for picking a new Magento hosting provider.
We are assuming that you’re going to compare the hardware specifications from your hosting quotes, but one thing to look for is whether the hardware is new or refurbished. Most Magento hosting providers utilize pre-owned hardware to some extent, and they should be upfront with you whether the hardware going into your environment will be new or refurbished.
2. Website security
In today’s digital environment, the last thing you want to do is spend countless hours removing malware from your site and re-securing a site you thought was secure. At a minimum we suggest to make sure you’re implementing a firewall, and ip filtering high risk countries that you do not sell into. Also be sure your Magento hosting provider provides emergency support if needed. We also recommend you make regular automated backups in case you ever need a roll-back.
Support is one of the biggest differentiators we see in the e-commerce hosting world. Having highly qualified technicians and engineers is not enough. It’s important that your hosting provider has engineers on staff with platform-specific knowledge. If you are on Magento, your engineers should have Magento experience. This little oversight causes many retailers many additional hours of frustration in the additional time it takes to isolate and address any issues that arise. Additionally your hosting partner should have a direct and strategic relationship with the platform that you’re building your site on. The kind of relationship where their executives talk with the platform’s executives. This is important because, as a retailer, you want your hosting company to be able to react to shifting strategic directions of your platform providers, ensuring you have the best experience. Finally and most important, your Magento hosting provider and your development partner should have a partnership and not a competitive relationship. Let’s face it, when you have a hosting or website issue, you don’t want your hosting company saying it’s a coding issue and your developer saying it’s a server issue. This reason specifically is why Commerce Acceleration Group exclusively works with ZeroLag on all Magento Hosting. If there are any issues on common customers, our engineers work as a single unit to ensure the issue is resolved quickly.
4. Managed hosting
This may seem small, but make sure you’re looking at a managed hosting plan. Managed hosting is when your hosting company is dedicated to helping you optimize and maintain your servers for maximum performance. In the deployed e-commerce world the optimization and maintenance of your hosting environment is critical to your conversion rate, overall revenue and even Google rankings.
5. Company culture
You likely won’t be able to visit and take a tour of your hosting company, but we recommend asking questions like, “how is your turnover there?” and “what is the average tenure of your engineers?” It’s just not reasonable to expect good service when you have new engineers every month. We find several hosting companies in the Magento world have a high engineer turnover and have seen the direct impact on service to customers. At the end of the day, we have found that the happiest retailers, when it comes to hosting, are retailers who have hosting companies and development partners that work in complete harmony behind the scenes. It allows you, the retailer, to build your e-commerce business and not spend time focusing on non-relevant conversations.
Commerce Acceleration Group, is a San Diego-based E-commerce Agency specializing in Magento design and development.