More customers are shopping online, which means businesses have to establish e-commerce stores to cater to their customers’ needs. Therefore, choosing the right hosting solution is critical to running your e-commerce business smoothly. Shared hosting is an easy and cost-effective solution for businesses starting out and with a limited budget.
From benefits to factors to consider and a step-by-step guide to building your e-commerce site with shared hosting, you’ll find all you need to know in this article.
- Shared hosting is an excellent choice for online businesses just starting and looking to maximize costs
- Benefits for e-commerce businesses include affordability, easy maintenance, scalability, and technical support options
- Consider uptime and performance, bandwidth and storage, payment gateway integration, and e-commerce website builder support
- A good website user experience is vital to attracting and retaining customers for your e-commerce store
Understanding What E-commerce Is
E-commerce websites let business owners promote and sell their goods and services to consumers online. The website may include a catalog of products and services that customers can explore to choose their desired product or service. It also features a shopping cart that lets consumers add items to their orders and a checkout process that accepts payment and shipping information.
Generally, the best e-commerce sites are designed with the customers in mind, providing seamless customer experiences that let them navigate and shop easily.
Is Shared Hosting Good for E-commerce?
Is Shared Hosting good for e-commerce? Shared hosting is a great choice for businesses just launching and those working with a budget. It is cost-effective and easy to set up. It’s cheaper than other hosting options, so it’s an affordable alternative for small businesses to maximize costs.
In addition, shared hosting is easy to manage, as the hosting provider handles the maintenance, including security. So, it’s easier for businesses without support or an IT team to use. Therefore, it’s a great choice for small e-commerce businesses. However, before opting for shared hosting, ensure your shared hosting provider has adequate capabilities for your e-commerce features.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Shared Hosting for E-commerce Website
There are certain factors to consider when selecting the best shared hosting. Let’s consider them below:
Server Uptime and Performance
Server uptime is the period of time a server or hosting provider’s server infrastructure is available and functioning properly. It is critical to know the server uptime of a website because it shows when a website is available for customers. So, identify the uptime of the server to know if it suits your needs.
If a server experiences a high uptime, visitors can access the website freely without time restrictions, leading to positive user experiences. However, a low server uptime makes your website unreliable. Besides a high uptime, ensure the server offers high performance. High-performance servers lead to responsive websites, boosting customer engagement and satisfaction.
On the other hand, a low-performance server results in a slow, unresponsive website, hampering customer engagement and retention. Therefore, choose a server with a high-performance rate for quick load times. This way, customers have enjoyable experiences on your website, leading to high satisfaction and retention.
Security is vital when choosing a server because it determines your business and customer data safety. Therefore, knowing if the hosting provider offers solid security features is critical. Here are some critical security features to look out for:
- SSL certificate: SSL certificates encrypt the information between a website and the user’s browser, protecting their sensitive data like login details, bank information, etc.
- Malware and Virus Scanning: An excellent shared hosting provider should provide regular malware and virus scanning to identify and eliminate any malicious code that might have been injected on your website
- Firewall: Firewall protection obstructs unwanted access to your website by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic and preventing malicious attacks like SQL injection attacks
- Regular backups: Regularly backing up your website’s data preserves vital information and allows you to restore your data quickly and efficiently in cases of data breaches
So, ensure your shared hosting provider offers these security practices to safeguard your business’s activities on your website.
Bandwidth and Storage Limitations
Bandwidth and storage limitations are crucial factors to consider when choosing the best e-commerce web hosting provider. These limitations impact your website performance negatively. Here’s how these limitations can affect your e-commerce site and how to choose a shared hosting plan that meets your needs.
- Bandwidth: This is the number of data that can be communicated between a website and its users within a particular period. Since e-commerce sites experience more traffic than other sites, it’s best to opt for a shared hosting plan with enough bandwidth.
- Storage: This is the amount of disc space available on a shared hosting server. E-commerce stores often have larger files and databases to store, so a hosting server with E-commerce storage space is recommended.
Payment Gateway Integration
Payment gateway integration allows secure and reliable online payment transactions. It gathers and transfers payment information between the website and the payment processor, ensuring secure transactions. A payment gateway integration is essential for these reasons:
- Ensures that customer payment data is protected from cyber attacks
- Enables easy checkout processes for consumers on the website
- It boosts e-commerce websites’ credibility
Primarily, payment gateway integration secures consumers’ information and facilitates their shopping experiences. So, consider a shared hosting server that offers the payment gateway integration feature.
E-commerce Website Builder Support
Adopting a web hosting provider like Cloudways ensures excellent e-commerce website builder support. This lets you customize your website and improve consumers’ experiences. E-commerce website builders offer various templates, enabling businesses to customize their branding to meet consumers’ preferences.
They also offer multiple plugins that add functionality to their websites. Finally, e-commerce website builders offer support tools that let business owners build and customize their websites effectively.
How to Set Up E-commerce Websites on Shared Hosting
The following are steps you can follow to set up e-commerce on shared hosting.
Select a Hosting Plan
Choosing a hosting plan is vital to the success of your e-commerce site. E-commerce sites need more website resources due to the high traffic volume and transactions. In addition, they are vulnerable to attacks and cyber threats. So, it’s best to use a hosting plan with robust security capabilities to safeguard your e-commerce store from cyber threats and attacks.
Install the E-commerce Platform
Here is a step-by-step process for installing an e-commerce platform:
- Select an e-commerce platform: Choose an e-commerce platform that works best for you
- Choose a shared hosting plan: Explore various hosting options and choose a shared hosting plan that matches your goals
- Install the platform: Sign up for the hosting plan, log in to your hosting account’s control panel, and move to the app installer. Select the e-commerce platform of your choice and follow the installation procedures
- Configure the platform: Once you’ve installed it, access the e-commerce admin panel and configure it for use
- Install themes and plugins: You can improve your website’s functionality by selecting the themes and plugins that suit your needs
- Test: Test your e-commerce store before you launch to identify any issues
Following these installation processes will help you design a store that meets your expectations and customers’ demands.
Configure the Payment Pathway
Configuring a payment pathway for your e-commerce site means choosing a payment service provider and connecting their services to your e-commerce store. Follow these steps to configure the payment pathway:
- Choose a payment gateway provider
- Create an account with the payment gateway provider
- Configure payment options
- Connect the payment gateway with your website
- Test the payment gateway
- Launch your website
These steps will help you configure the payment pathway on your ecommerce website successfully.
Design a Website
An e-commerce store with an appealing design attracts customers’ attention, generating more traffic for your business. It makes good first impressions and facilitates a positive user experience. It also helps your business stand out and stay unforgettable. So, it’s best to invest in captivating designs when creating your website. Here are a few suggestions for creating a design that wow your customers:
- Keep your design simple by avoiding clutter
- Include high-quality photos
- Select color themes that reflect your brand’s identity
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Enable quick load time
Visually appealing and intuitive websites generate a high return on investment for your business by boosting traffic, engagement, and retention. So, adopt these practices to build a functional design for your e-commerce store.
Optimize the Website for Speed and Performance
Optimizing your website’s speed and performance improves user experiences and satisfaction. Optimized websites are faster and highly responsive, enabling users to perform their desired functions quickly. On the other hand, slow-loading websites frustrate users, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Here are some tips to enhance your website’s speed and load time.
- Optimize images by compressing and retaining their quality
- Use caching to reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored on the site frequently
- Reduce HTTP requests to avoid slowing down your website’s performance
Adopting these techniques significantly improves your website’s performance and promotes positive users’ experiences on your e-commerce store.
Advantages of Shared Hosting for E-commerce Sites
Shared hosting offers numerous perks for e-commerce businesses. Here are some of its advantages:
Shared hosting is more affordable than other hosting plans, so it’s a cheaper choice for businesses looking to minimize costs. The best part is that it doesn’t compromise affordability with functionality. It’s packed with multiple features and benefits, making it a comprehensive tool for businesses to manage their e-commerce platform effectively. For example, it offers tools and features like website builders, email accounts, security features, etc.
Easy Setup and Maintenance
Shared hosting makes building and maintaining your e-commerce platform easy. So, you don’t need IT support to manage or navigate its features. For instance, they are equipped with one-click installation updates for software applications, so it’s easy for you to update your software and apps.
Many e-commerce web hosting providers also provide automatic backups, enabling businesses to protect their data during data loss or breach. They also come with pre-configured servers that make it easy for you to build your website without technical expertise.
Shared hosting provides multiple scalability options for users to build, manage and improve their e-commerce store. These options may include more storage, memory, etc. In addition, shared hosting providers often restrict the features available for each user, ensuring adequate resources for each website.
In addition, shared hosting plans mostly come with the option to upgrade to higher plans as your website expands. So, you can start with a basic plan and upgrade to access more tools and resources as you grow your business.
Technical support is a vital advantage of using shared hosting providers. A supportive technical support team helps with server configuration, software installation, and troubleshooting. They ensure your tool is updated and configured effectively for the best performance.
The technical support team also fixes bugs and other issues that may occur. Finally, shared hosting technical support teams can provide security measures for your e-commerce website, including protection from malware, cyber threats, etc.
Best Shared Hosting Providers for E-commerce Websites
The following are a few of the best shared hosting providers for your e-commerce website:
HostGator is one of the top popular shared hosting providers offering various hosting plans for e-commerce websites. It offers extensive features, tools, and resources, making it highly functional and user-friendly. It has attractive pricing, starting with $2.75 monthly and basic deals, and offers unrestricted storage and bandwidth for every plan.
HostGator is beginner-friendly and intuitive, enabling business owners who can’t code to build websites easily. It also offers useful features for free, including a free domain name for the first year.
However, while HostGator comes with disadvantages, such as additional costs for add-on services, HostGator is among the best shared hosting providers for its numerous advantages. First, it’s simple to use and comes with free features that will let you set it up quickly. So, if you are looking for a reliable shared hosting website, HostGator is an excellent choice.
InMotion Hosting is a shared hosting platform that works for everyone, including businesses, hobbyists, and designers. A free SSL certificate is attached to every plan; the higher your plan, the better your access to larger storage space, databases, and more. InMotion hosting plans start at $2.49 per month, and plans come with free website transfers and a free domain for a year.
InMotion hosting offers basic features for users. However, while many shared hosting platforms often limit users to specific features, InMotion hosting makes features accessible on all plans. The major difference among the plans is the amount of storage space and databases users have access to.
Finally, InMotion hosting offers many features that let you achieve your goals, from unlimited bandwidth to 24/7 support.
A2 Hosting offers an uptime guarantee, free automated backups, free site migration, and other features that make it highly functional. The exclusive web servers, 24/7 live chat and support, free SSL certification, and regular malware screening and monitoring ensure you receive adequate support. In addition, A2 hosting offers affordable pricing plans, costing about $2.99 per month.
However, A2 hosting does not provide a free domain for users, and the shared hosting provider increases renewal fees frequently.
Shared hosting for e-commerce websites is an excellent option for businesses looking to launch their website on a budget. It’s easier and cheaper to manage than other hosting types, as the shared hosting provider handles the site management. When choosing a shared hosting provider, consider server uptime and performance, bandwidth and storage restrictions, security, payment gateway integration, and the website builder the provider offers.
An excellent website builder facilitates your experience by providing the tools and resources to build your e-commerce store successfully. Therefore, ensure your shared hosting provider offers the best website builders for your needs.
Next Steps: What Now?
- Shared Hosting Unlimited Domains: Learn All the Advantages
- What Is Shared Hosting? The Good, the Bad, and the Affordable
- The Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting: The Ultimate Guide
- Shared Hosting with a Dedicated IP: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
- Shared Hosting Security: A Guide to Keeping Your Website Safe