Cloud Hosting vs On Premise Server for E-Commerce Applications
It’s much easier these days to start your own business online, and that’s great news for everyone. The market loves the variety, it’s a wonderful earning opportunity, and people get to express their creativity and live their passion with their own small business. But of course, running a business isn’t just about creativity, passion, or even providing the market with products. There are lots of logistical issues to consider, and one of those is interfacing with your potential customers through a web-based e-commerce platform.
One of the most important decisions you need to make is whether to host your e-commerce site on the premises (i.e. purchase your own server) or host it on a cloud hosting service. This decision has an impact on your budgets, your ability to grow, your ability to respond to opportunities the market presents, and even your hiring practices. Dedicated hosting and shared server hosting are perhaps the 2 most used hosting services ever for running an online business. Dedicated web hosting comes with many benefits, and the biggest one is completed freedom to use every single resources of a single server dedicated to the entire website. Unlike shared hosting, this hosting has one server assigned to a particular website, which the website developer uses to upload his/her website files with complete control and freedom.
Before you make a decision, you should consider three main factors: cost, security, and scalability.
Cost is one of the most complex factors to calculate, because of the vast differences between owning a server and, in effect, “renting” cloud-based hosting.
On-premise servers require a huge upfront cost, but it doesn’t end there. There are also utility costs to consider, as well the cost of IT staff. You absolutely should not even consider hosting on premise unless you have IT professionals familiar with server administration on your staff.
Hosting an e-commerce site itself comes with additional server related costs, due to regulatory compliance issues, which may require specialized software and additional staff training.
Cloud-based hosting e-commerce sites have much lower costs to entry. Furthermore, they have their own IT experts as well as regulatory experts and certifications. You might pay more “per month” (discounting the original large investment), but the expert advice and security is well worth it.
Unless you’re very familiar with encryption or hire an expert in the field, the security offered by a reputable cloud hosting service is likely going to be far superior to anything you can achieve with an on-premise server. That’s vital when you’re running an e-commerce site because your clients are trusting you with their financial information. A single security breach can completely devastate a large company, let alone a small one.
Scalability and Growth
Cloud hosting for e-commerce sites offers a clear advantage when it comes to scalability and growth, over on-premise servers. In most cases, you can choose packages where you pay for what you use, with cloud hosting, and resources can quickly be allocated to account for higher server loads and more visitors.
This is very important for online businesses because the number of visitors to your site can vary wildly (and rapidly). Are you prepared for your on-site server to handle Black Friday numbers or other extreme sales? What if one of your products goes viral, and 10x the number of site visitors are clamoring to purchase it?
Cloud hosting can handle these sorts of events, without excessive upfront costs.
When it comes to hosting an e-commerce site, in all but the most edge cases, cloud services are usually your best bet.