The benefits of VPS hosting for your eCommerce startup

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Are you contemplating whether virtual private server (VPS) hosting is the ideal choice for your promising eCommerce website? You're not alone. 

As a popular, budget-friendly solution, VPS hosting is often the go-to choice for startups. However, the decision is not always straightforward, and it's essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks fully.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the advantages of VPS hosting, compare it with shared hosting, and provide practical steps to transition smoothly to a VPS solution. You’ll gain invaluable insights into how and why VPS hosting offers reliable, secure solutions that significantly enhance website speeds, security, and uptime. 

By the end, you’ll be empowered to make an informed decision well-suited for your eCommerce startup's needs!

Understanding VPS hosting for eCommerce startups

In the bustling world of eCommerce, the performance of your website directly impacts your sales and customer satisfaction. This is where virtual private server hosting comes into play, offering a unique combination of advantages for your online store’s performance, security, and scalability.

A VPS is a virtual machine that you rent on a larger physical server, which is partitioned into multiple virtual servers. Each VPS operates independently, with its own operating system (OS), resources, and software. 

This means that even though you're sharing a physical server with other users, your VPS is isolated from the others. You have complete control over your virtual server, akin to having a dedicated server, but at a fraction of the cost.

Key benefits of VPS hosting for eCommerce startups


As your business grows, your website's traffic may increase, necessitating more resources. With VPS hosting, you can easily add or remove resources as needed, giving you more control over your budget and ensuring your website can handle increased traffic without any performance issues.


Every minute your website is down, you're potentially losing sales and damaging your reputation. VPS hosting can help you achieve high uptime, but it's important to note that uptime can vary between providers. 

Liquid Web, for instance, boasts an impressive uptime of 99.999%, ensuring your website is always available to your customers.

Dedicated and isolated environment

A virtual private server offers a dedicated environment that can be secured and monitored closely, a critical feature for eCommerce websites handling sensitive customer data. You will also have the flexibility to configure settings and install custom software to meet your specific needs.

However, it's essential to debunk some common misconceptions about VPS hosting. Not all VPS providers offer the same performance levels, and managing a VPS does require some technical knowledge. 

  • While a virtual private server is typically more expensive than shared hosting, it provides much better performance and control. 
  • Your data is isolated on a VPS, but it's not automatically secure or backed up. That depends on the measures you and your eCommerce hosting provider take. 
  • Without the right support, migrating to a VPS can be a complex process
  • While an unmanaged VPS might seem cheaper upfront, a managed VPS can save you significant time and effort in the long run.

That being said, it's important to choose the right hosting provider and understand the ins and outs of managing a virtual private server to get the most out of your investment.

Comparing shared hosting and VPS hosting

When launching an eCommerce startup, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is choosing the most fitting hosting to meet your business requirements. Among the most popular choices are shared hosting and VPS hosting. Both have their own sets of features, benefits, and drawbacks.

The difference between shared hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most basic type of hosting, where multiple websites are hosted on a single physical server. The server's resources, such as CPU, RAM, and storage, are shared among these websites. 

This makes shared hosting a budget-friendly option as the cost is distributed among multiple users. Providers handle server maintenance, updates, and technical issues, making it easy to use. 

However, because resources are shared, performance can be impacted if other websites on the server experience traffic spikes or perform resource-intensive tasks. Users also have limited control over server settings and configurations.

VPS hosting

Virtual private server hosting provides you with a dedicated portion of a physical server's resources. This results in better performance, as your website doesn't have to compete with others for resources. 

VPS hosting also offers higher security due to the isolation of each virtual server. Vulnerabilities in one website can't impact others on the same physical server, unlike shared hosting. It allows for easier scalability, as you can adjust resources as your website grows. Plus, you have more control over server settings, allowing for customization to meet your specific needs.

However, VPS hosting is typically more expensive due to the dedicated resources and increased control.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two web hosting options for your eCommerce site:

As you can see, for eCommerce startups, VPS hosting could be a better choice due to its superior performance, security, and scalability. These factors are vital for eCommerce websites, which need to provide a seamless user experience, protect sensitive customer data, and grow with the business. 

While VPS hosting is relatively more expensive, the benefits it provides in terms of performance, security, and the potential for increased revenue can justify the higher cost.

A step-by-step guide to transitioning to VPS

Transitioning to a VPS hosting platform from your existing hosting service can seem overwhelming, but with proper preparation and a clear roadmap, the process can be smooth and efficient. 

Preparatory steps

  1. Assessment and planning: Start by assessing your current website's performance, traffic, and resource usage. This will help you understand what you need from your VPS in terms of resources, performance, and scalability.
  2. Selecting a VPS provider: Choose a VPS provider that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as uptime, customer support, scalability, and security. Liquid Web, for instance, offers an uptime of 99.999% and 24/7 customer support.
  3. Back up your website: Before making any changes, ensure you have a complete backup of your website. This includes all files, databases, and email accounts.
  4. Domain and Domain Name System (DNS) configuration: You'll need to configure your domain name and DNS settings to point to your new VPS, typically through your domain registrar's control panel.

Transitioning to VPS

  1. Setting up the VPS: Once you've chosen your provider, you'll need to configure your VPS. Choose your operating system, set up server security measures, and create user accounts.
  2. Installing software: Install necessary software on your VPS, such as a web server (Apache or Nginx), database server (MySQL or PostgreSQL), and PHP.
  3. Transferring files and databases: Use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client like FileZilla or a Secure Socket Shell (SSH) like PuTTy to transfer your website files from your old host to your VPS. Import your database to your new server using a tool like phpMyAdmin.
  4. Configuring domains and DNS: Update your domain's DNS settings to point to your new VPS. This process can take up to 48 hours to propagate worldwide.
  5. Testing: Test your website thoroughly on your new VPS to ensure everything is working correctly. This includes checking all pages, forms, and functionality.

Post-transition steps

  1. Checking for errors: After the transition, check your website for any errors. Pay special attention to broken links, images, or scripts.
  2. SSL certificates: Install SSL certificates on your VPS for secure data transmission.
  3. Security measures: Implement security measures such as firewalls, malware scanning, and regular updates.
  4. Monitoring performance: Monitor your website's performance on the new VPS. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance.
  5. Email configuration: If you're using your VPS for email, ensure your email accounts are set up correctly.
  6. Backup strategy: Implement a backup strategy for your VPS to protect against data loss.
  7. Final testing: Conduct a final round of testing to ensure everything is running smoothly.

All these steps can be made effortless with Liquid Web’s complimentary migration services to help businesses switch their hosting provider with minimal downtime. This can make the transition process even smoother and more efficient.

Selecting the best VPS provider

Choosing the right VPS hosting provider is paramount for the success of your eCommerce startup. There are two main types of VPS hosting: unmanaged and managed. 

In unmanaged hosting, you're responsible for all the technical tasks, from server configuration to security and maintenance. 

In managed hosting, on the other hand, the hosting provider handles all the technical aspects, freeing you to focus on your business. 

For startups, managed hosting is often the recommended choice. It may be more expensive upfront, but it's more cost-effective in the long run as it saves you the time and effort of managing the server yourself.

When choosing a VPS provider, consider factors such as:

  • Performance, which is necessary for your website's user experience and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Security, especially for eCommerce sites handling sensitive customer data.
  • Uptime, which is the amount of time your website is up and running. High uptime is essential for customer satisfaction and sales.
  • Customer support as it can be a lifesaver when you encounter issues.
  • Pricing that is affordable and offers good value for money.

Choosing a provider that specializes in VPS hosting for eCommerce, such as Liquid Web, can offer additional benefits, like:

  • Fast and secure hosting, ensuring a smooth shopping experience for your customers. 
  • Tailored hosting solutions by understanding your needs and offering a hosting solution that helps you reach your business goals faster. 
  • High availability hosting to guarantee maximum uptime (99.999%). 
  • HIPAA and PCI-compliant solutions for a secure and compliant infrastructure for businesses dealing with sensitive data.
  • Proactive management of your hosting, keeping your server and OS updated, reducing your administrative overhead.
  • 24/7/365 customer support to make sure that help is always at hand when you need it.

How Liquid Web simplifies VPS website management

Managing a website on a virtual private server doesn’t have to be a complex task. With Liquid Web's Next-Gen VPS hosting solution, the process is significantly simplified. This hosting provider offers a suite of features and tools designed to make managing a site hosted on a VPS as easy and efficient as possible.

Liquid Web's VPS hosting includes:

  • 10 Gbps network, ensuring fast and reliable connectivity. 
  • Management of unlimited sites with the InterWorx control panel, providing flexibility for your online presence. For those who prefer the Plesk or cPanel control panels, they are also available. 
  • Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN), which speeds up your website's load times, reduces bandwidth usage and provides an additional layer of security against DDoS attacks for cloud hosting. 
  • Standard ServerSecure advanced security, an integrated firewall, and standard DDoS attack protection, so you can rest assured that your website will be well-protected against potential threats.
  • Root access to enable you to customize your server exactly how you want it.
  • Easy scalability by adjusting resources as your website grows. 
  • Dedicated IP address, providing benefits for email deliverability and SEO.

Liquid Web's VPS hosting plans come in four tiers: Essential, Advanced, Professional, and Elite. All plans include full management with a control panel, 50 GB of Acronis Cyber Backups for data protection, and DDoS Protection for security. And everything is backed up by a reliable 100% network and power uptime SLA for peace of mind. Liquid Web also offers managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, among other managed CMS hosting services.

Next steps: Implementing VPS hosting with Liquid Web

Virtual private server hosting offers a multitude of benefits for small businesses and startup eCommerce sites, making it a superior choice to shared hosting. With dedicated resources, enhanced security, and scalability, VPS hosting can significantly improve your website's performance and user experience. 

However, the key to harnessing these benefits lies in choosing a reliable and competent provider. Liquid Web stands out as a leading choice for VPS hosting with its fast and secure hosting, tailored solutions, high availability, compliant solutions, proactive management, and round-the-clock customer support. 

Liquid Web simplifies VPS website management, allowing you to focus on growing your business with a commitment to provide unparalleled service.

Ready to take your eCommerce startup to new heights? Book a consultation with Liquid Web today, and give your eCommerce site the robust, secure, and high-performing hosting solution it deserves!