Finding a good ecommerce web host is perhaps the first thing to consider when deciding on a website for your products and services. While there are many factors which you should ideally take into account before you sign up for ecommerce hosting solutions with any provider, the following deserve special mention:
- To begin with, the web page loading speed is of utmost importance when you are deciding on a host for your ecommerce site. Studies show that when a web page takes longer to load, your viewers are more than likely to abandon the site and navigate elsewhere.
- When you are looking for a good ecommerce host, you should consider their technical support systems. The host should be able to guarantee 24×7 technical assistance from experts through emails, live chats and phone calls. The best way to ensure this is by choosing a provider which has secure data center architecture. Each such data center will have hundreds of servers and each of these will be able to host ecommerce websites for businesses. This allows a large data center to provide round-the-clock monitoring of its sites because the costs are borne by multiple website owners.
- You must choose an ecommerce host which can offer you a high uptime. A good host must be able to guarantee a 99.98% uptime and such a calculation must take into consideration any downtimes during that period. This will include instances of outages or scheduled maintenance work for upgrades and reboots etc.
- When you are planning on selling many different types of products you will need databases like MySQL for storing the information. Your host should be ready to support languages like PHP to run a shopping cart which will let your buyers shop for their preferred products on your website. Besides, your host must also provide a user-friendly control panel that will allow you to track the visitors and handle multiple email accounts seamlessly.
- One of the most important things to look out for in an ecommerce host is whether it offers you a dedicated IP address. This is imperative to keep your client information secure. Credit card details of your customers have to be encrypted so that this confidential data does not get compromised or intercepted in any way. To get SSL certificate for your website, you will need to have a unique IP address.
- Shared hosting plans typically impose limitations on bandwidth and disk space; besides, you will have to share the server resources with neighbors on the same server. So, a shared hosting plan is never adequate for an ecommerce site. For ecommerce sites that are likely to get a lot of traffic, you will need more resources and therefore, you have to either settle for a VPS plan or a dedicated server. When you find that your ecommerce site is growing at a steady pace, you may want to upgrade the VPS plans to a dedicated hosting plan, managed or unmanaged. If you choose managed hosting, you will benefit from automatic security upgrades and updates, better security provisions, superior server management etc.
- When looking for a reliable ecommerce host, it is important to look at factors beyond price. Simply because the host is offering incredibly low rates for hosting solutions is not reason enough to sign up with it. You must make sure that their services are dependable. It is important to avoid hosts which claim to offer unlimited bandwidth and disk space; you must also inquire into any kind of hidden fees that the host may charge later.
Choosing a host which cans provide you with excellent support is crucial. You have to get a host which can support your operating system, regardless of whether you choose to buy Linux or Windows packages. Your host should be in a position to create and manage multiple email accounts. It should offer shopping carts, different methods for online payments like PayPal and credit card transactions. It should also offer SSL encryption that is PCI DSS compliant. To be sure your ecommerce host can offer you 24×7 supports, you need to check for their response times before signing up. You could also get in touch with their sales representatives and check to see if they own forums. It may be a good idea to sign up with a provider which offers a free trial period. This will help you find out if their services are reliable or not. Alternately, you can also check for online reviews about their performances and read through client feedbacks.