Our Experience With Hosting Magento 2 Stores

We’ve been working with Magento 2 since it was in its early beta stages last year. We have helped the project along by submitting code fixes (pull requests via github), opening issues with detailed steps to reproduce, and helping to improve the documentation.

With each release, we’ve tested the install process, documented issues, and have become more experienced with running a Magento 2 ecommerce store. We’ve seen a lot, learned a lot, and have helped many ecommerce clients launch successful Magento 2 online stores.

Here’s some of what we have experienced…

Many different ways to host Magento 2

Since its official release in November 2015, we’ve had clients launch new M2 stores and convert M1 stores to M2. This has happened in:

  • Shared hosting accounts running Magento 2.0.x using PHP 5.5
  • Shared hosting accounts running Magento 2.1.x using PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.0
  • Virtual Private Servers running Magento 2.0 and 2.1
  • Dedicated servers running Magento 2.0 and 2.1, using PHP 5.5 through 7.0, some using Redis and/or Varnish
  • Multiple dedicated servers with dedicated database servers

Magento 2 offers a variety of options that are built in to cater to all sizes of merchants. From its default built-in file based full page cache, to support for Redis caching, use of Varnish, and multiple database servers, there is no one best way to host an M2 store.

Hosting optimizations make a difference

Magento 2 out of the box can have some serious performance issues. Things such as setting the right mode, adjusting .htaccess rules for optimal compression and caching, and a proper robots.txt file are just a few areas where gains can be made.

Other areas are proper php settings for compression, php OpCode caching settings, MySQL optimizations for InnoDB and caching, and proper permissions on files can really help make Magento 2 faster.

Security can be complicated

The Magento 2 documentation can be confusing at times, and contains a lot of information that has to be digested. This is apparent when trying to set up permissions with best practices in mind.

Although strides have been made to accommodate M2 in various hosting environments, merchants with security in mind have to be careful when setting up a Magento 2 store that file ownerships and permissions are set to maximize security for their store. With better security comes more complicated update processes, sometimes making web based updates harder or not possible.

Examples of these issues include:

  • Setting the root web directory to /pub for increased security (this impacts web based updates and requires aliases to overcome)
  • Separating ownership out between FTP/ssh and web based processes (can lead to web based update permission issues)
  • Locking down admin access via IP restrictions
  • .htaccess file entries to keep prying eyes out of sensitive areas and information about the store

Having a web host that understands these issues can be very helpful to ensure your store is set up properly and securely from the beginning.

 There are hurdles to overcome

Although Magento 2 is clearly the future for Magento Inc., its early release has come with a number of bugs and issues. We have helped many merchants overcome these issues, and/or pointed them in the right direction in terms of a known bug/issues, potential workarounds, or obtaining a developer to help address more complicated issues.

These issues are becoming less frequent as the project matures, more documentation is created, and the Magento community at large contributes to the knowledge and understanding of all that M2 has to offer. Working with a web host that is plugged into this process and community can be a huge help when problems are encountered.

Magento 2 represents the future of ecommerce using an open source platform. It is a very full featured application that is quite powerful. With that power comes more complexity and needed know-how to unleash its full potential.

Choosing a web host that understands and knows Magento 2 is a key decision in making sure your store will be safe, secure, and run fast and efficiently when customers arrive. Having a web host “in your corner” when problems arise can save you countless hours of troubleshooting, and reduce downtime when an error crops up.

If you are considering Magento 2, or your current web host is not up to par with Magento, talk to us. We’re different from most web hosts that see hosting as a faceless commodity. We are hands-on and personal with our ecommerce clients. We even monitor all hosted Magento stores for not only being up and running correctly, but that the websites are fast at all times.

Looking for a web host that understands ecommerce and business hosting?
Check us out today!

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