How to Choose the Right PrestaShop Hosting
One common theme noticed among users is that they often start hunting for the best web hosting plan first. It seems to take priority over the website they are going to build or even what platform they intend to use.
The problem with this approach is that there are many hosting pros and cons which are very much platform dependent. Take PrestaShop for instance. Hosting for this needs to be very specific in order to get the best performance.
Table of contents:
What is PrestaShop
PrestaShop is an open source eCommerce platform. It offers you not just a framework, but the opportunity to use it to run a complete drop-in online store that you can get up and running with very little technical skill.
First started back in 2005 as a school project, it eventually became public and available in two languages – English and French. From there it simply grew and has today become more widely available and in more Languages.
At the moment, PrestaShop is faced with a dwindling market share that stands at a mere 4%. Faced with major competitors such as Magento and WooCommerce, is there a reason you should choose PrestaShop and try to find the right hosting for it?
Challenges Faced by PrestaShop Stores Owners
PrestaShop brings a lot of advantages to the table including fast eCommerce site deployment, no licensing fees, easy customization, and more. However, site owners should be prepared to face a few challenges.
Many users have complained of PrestaShop’s slow speeds. Part of this is due to it needing tweaks for performance improvement. As a whole however, it still suffers slightly from various issues including outdated core design and being a data-centric platform.
The need for Virtual private Server (VPS) hosting to run PrestaShop isn’t strictly necessary. However, it is very common for eCommerce stores to opt for VPS hosting in order to increase performance and reliability. When this happens, server management can become a problem.
Need for Scalability
eCommerce stores tend to grow because if they don’t it simply means business is terrible. If your shop is progressing nicely and the money is flowing, you’ll soon find yourself running out of resources as more products are added and customer volumes increase.
Specific Hosting Requirements
PrestaShop has a list of prerequisites in order to run which might not be present on some hosting plans. From memory limits to web servers and scripts, not everything you need might easily be found on some shared hosting plans – although it is possible.
Types of Website Hosting Solutions
If you’re lucky enough to pick a good host, PrestaShop may be able to run on all of their plans, even shared hosting. Even if it will work, that does not mean it’s the ideal scenario for your users.
As the name implies, shared hosting plans offer users a common pool of resources that are called when needed – by any of the accounts on the server. This means there is a possibility your site will have to wait if resources are occupied when you need them.
This drawback makes shared hosting plans highly unsuitable for performance sites, especially when it comes to eCommerce deployments.
This is usually the most extreme hosting solution available. It offers you the possibility of opting for a ridiculous amount of resources all siloed into an entire server occupied by a customer group composed of just you.
While this is fantastic for performance and security, it does mean you’re paying for the entire server, which can be very costly.
Sitting in the middle ground of shared and dedicated server hosting, VPS offers the best of both worlds. It gives you much better performance, security, and reliability than shared hosting. At the same time, you pay a fraction of the price that dedicated hosting can cost.
A big part of the appeal of VPS plans lies in flexibility. You essentially get the same level of control over a virtual machine as you would in owning a dedicated server. That does mean you will need to be able to manage it though – but don’t worry, ScalaHosting has Fully Managed VPS plans available to ease your mind.
What is PrestaShop Hosting?
Most web hosting plans are generic in nature which means they technically can handle a wide range of sites and applications. Some, like the PrestaShop Hosting plans ScalaHosting offers, are specifically designed to offer the maximum benefits for those seeking to run this eCommerce platform.
Why is Other Hosting Not An Option?
If you’re going to be running an eCommerce shop, you should be aware that customers today are extremely demanding – and cautious. Waiting too long for your online store pages to load will lose many customers for you.
At the same time, they are also more highly aware of cyberthreats. This has made them extremely sensitive to security, especially on sites that are going to be handling their financial information – such as online stores.
PrestaShop hosting has typically been designed to take these and other factors into account. ScalaHosting has optimized its PrestaShop hosting plans for maximum user and customer benefit at the best price-performance points possible.
Criteria to choose PrestaShop Hosting:
If you’ve been shopping around for PrestaShop Hosting, there are areas to look out for to improve your chances of eCommerce success. Conditions for better PrestaShop hosting include:
PrestaShop is a web app and no matter how good or efficient any web app is designed – you’re going to need access to a solid amount of resources. There is a necessity for on-demand availability to server pages to visitors anytime, without needing them to wait.
Not only are eCommerce sites intended to grow, but you also have to take seasonal things into account. For example, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales, Year end promotion sales, mid year sales, and more. Finding a PrestaShop hosting plan that lets you scale up the resources available quickly and easily is important.
You’re aware the VPS plans offer better security, but how about the other things available that factor into this area? For example, ScalaHosting PrestaShop plans not only include free SSL, but offer you SShield real-time server monitoring for the ultimate security assurance.
Unmanaged or Managed PrestaShop hosting?
If you’re a business oriented customer, chances are that you want to be able to concentrate on your core functions – expanding growth. This means you can take advantage of ScalaHosting’s Managed VPS PrestaShop plans. Build your business and leave the technical detail of keeping your server in top-notch performance to them.
Do You Have a Lot of Products to List?
The more products and variants of them you have in your store, the bigger the potential revenue stream. More customers will be attracted to the variety, but it also means a need for more resources. ScalaHosting VPS PrestaShop hosting plans are very configurable, so you can choose the exact amount of resources you to start off with.
What’s the traffic behavior like?
eCommerce traffic can be hard to predict accurately, but that’s simply a part of life for online store owners. As long as you find a plan that is agile enough, your resources can stretch instantly, on demand.
Where Are Your Customers From?
While there are many things you can do to improve performance, attention needs to be paid to server location before you purchase your plan. Choose a hosting location close to your target market to reduce wait times caused by latency. The further away your server is from your visitors, the higher the latency will be.
PrestaShop Hosting Requirements
Compared to some web applications, prestaShop is a little more versatile. For example, it can run on both Windows and Linux servers and make use of either Apache or Nginx. However, it will require a complete stack to work – i.e Operating System + web server + PHP, and MySQL.
The only key specific is the MySQL database, along with the minimum requirement of anything from PHP 5.6 onwards. Of course, higher versions of PHP will offer better performance as well.
Secure Sockets Layer Certification
Earlier there was a mention of free SSL, but eCommerce sites realistically should consider more advanced variants. This will help increase customer confidence in your online store and can be bought from ScalaHosting as well.
Tips to Get a Good PrestaShop Hosting Provider
Finding the right PrestaShop hosting partner isn’t as difficult as you might think. As long as you follow a few simple guidelines, it’s likely the experience will be smooth. There are pretty general, for example:
- Performance – Does the host offer servers with good performance and is known for reliability? PrestaShop stores need high uptime in order to serve customers 24/7 uninterrupted.
- Customer Support – Is there a team ready to offer assistance at any time you need it? Good hosts like ScalaHosting take pride is their customer service and offer expert and holistic services with their experienced teams.
- Price – Some web hosts rely heavily on commercial applications for their business. While in some cases this might be good, the end result may be much higher prices than you should be paying.
- Be prudent – Paying for the most expensive plan isn’t necessarily always best. There are many other elements that factor into the relationship, such as attitude and efficiency.
Running an online store can be extremely profitable and the experience exhilarating. Don’t allow something as simple as choosing a web host get in your way.
Opt for an experienced web hosting partner like ScalaHosting and you can be reassured of reasonable rates coupled with cutting-edge technology. Build your business, don’t struggle with unnecessary technical clutter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does PrestaShop Cost?
PrestaShop is free to use since it is open source software. However, if you need to pay for PrestaSHop support it might get expensive. This is available either directly from Prestashop with a paid support plan or other third-party vendors.
How Does PrestaShop Compare with osCommerce?
osCommerce is a lot older than PrestaShop and loses out in terms of functionality. Even though PrestaShop isn’t the most popular choice in the market for eCommerce, it still holds a large market share that osCommerce.
Can I use PrestaShop with Apache Server?
Yes, PrestaShop works with both Apache and Nginx. The requirement range is pretty broad, but MySQL and PHP are the two unchangeable necessities. Most VPN hosting plans will easily be able to accommodate PrestaShop installations.
Is PrestaShop a Good Online Store Platform?
Yes. PrestaShop offers users a quick and easy way to get their eCommerce shops running. It deploys rapidly and can in fact be used “as is”. Most good online stores will however make good use of the customizability that PrestaShop offers.
Does PrestaShop Use Plugins?
PrestaShop does make use of a modular add-on system similar to WordPress. It calls these “modules” and they are available from many sources. This can be attributed to its popularity as well as the open source nature of the core platform.