The days of only having to consider disk storage and bandwidth when choosing a website provider are long over. Now, you have to analyze your needs and assess the capabilities and perks of one web host over another to decide which service is right for you.
For e-Commerce web hosting, your needs will be very different from someone who is considering starting a hobby website or website for a business. Here are things an online store should consider to find the best hosting for e-Commerce.
Shopping Cart Software
One of the most important features that every online store needs is shopping cart functionality. If customers can easily buy items, they will bounce right off your website and go to a competitor. Therefore, you should pick a website hosting provider that can handle this type of software. Some hosting providers will even offer the option to install shopping cart software with just one click.
Some of the best shopping cart options are Magento and PrestaShop. Both are free, have tons of attractive features, and are worth investigating. If you are using WordPress e-Commerce hosting services, there are many plugins available as well, so you can turn your site into a fully functioning online store.
Storage Space and Bandwidth
To have a successful online store, you need to choose a hosting provider that gives you enough space to store your product catalog, customer database, and shopping cart software. You also need a website hosting provider that gives you enough bandwidth so your customers can access your products and other resources.
Look for e-Commerce website plans that provide at least 2 GB of disk space and 10 GB of bandwidth. It depends on the size of your store and how many monthly visitors you get. However, by choosing a website with these qualifications, you’ll be able to host thousands of products. It will be a good starting at the very least for you as your store grows.
Secure Credit Card Payments
When you start your own online start, you need to make sure your hosting provider enables secure credit card payments. You’ll also be storing confidential customer information, so security needs to be a priority.
Therefore, an essential security feature is an SSL certificate, which helps to authenticate and encrypt data transferred from visitors to your website and vice versa. Some of the benefits of SSL Certificates include protecting your visitors’ personal data from misuse, it protects your online store from spoofing, displays security padlock by the URL, and bans data alterations and editing.
Take, for example, GoDaddy’s e-Commerce hosting plan. Included in the plan is a free SSL certificate, which is compatible with all major browsers and mobile devices, removes the “Not Secure” warning from browsers, malware checker, Free SSL Checker, and secure site Trustmark. Having the SSL certificate increases your customer’s confidence in your online store.
In addition to keeping the data of your customers safe, you’ll have to make sure that the overall safety of your website is maintained. Luckily, most reputable e-Commerce website hosts will have various techniques in place to keep their servers safe from DDoS attacks, thanks to strong firewalls and secure facilities.
Some website hosts will provide you with access to additional security software like Sitelock that truly helps keep your website safe. After countless stories of website breaches, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Because your online store is a source of income for you, you will want to ensure that it is up and running as much as possible. After all, every minute that your site is down is sales that might be lost.
Make sure the hosting provider has a high uptime guarantee. If you are choosing an unreliable host, then your visitors might get an error message every time they try to come to your online store.
To avoid this problem, choose a website hosting provider that offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9% or higher. For a site that offers at least a 99.9% or higher, then your online store will be done for 8.77 hours over the course of the entire year. The higher the guarantee, the less time your website will be offline and inaccessible.
Your visitors will bounce off your page in just two seconds if your online store isn’t loading fast enough. Having a fast website host is essential to the success of your store. Plus, it interferes with the ranking of your site if it is slowly loading.
While there are ways you can improve your website speed, one of the most crucial first steps is what website hosting provider you choose. Pick one that can handle your traffic levels without interfering with your performance levels. After you choose your website provider, you should continue to test your website. Keeping track of this stat can help you monitor when you should upgrade your plan.
Your hosting plan should provide 24/7 customer service that can respond quickly to any problems you have. Every minute your online store isn’t working is a minute you aren’t making money, so you want to ensure your website provider can work quickly to solve any issues.
Before signing up, read reviews for the online store website hosting provider. Some of the highest rated eCommerce hosting sites on Host Advice are Hostinger, FastComet, and A2 Hosting. You can also check out e-Commerce website hosting comparison websites to see what works best for you.
Your chosen website provider should give you email addresses that match your domain. You’ll likely need to email your customers their invoices or confirmation of their purchases, and therefore it should come from an email address that seems legitimate. An e-commerce website hosting provider should provide at least one or more email addresses that are customizable.
Before people purchase from your website, they have to find your online store first. Much of this will come from how highly search engines, like Google, will rank your site. Good SEO does have multiple steps, but a major part is your ability to customize the individual pages of your online store.
Your website provider should allow you to:
- Customize your URLs and complete the meta descriptions for each page
- Submit your site to search engines
- Provide you with competitive analysis reports and keyword ranking
- Have access to SEO services through your provider
Make SEO a priority to ensure you are getting as many customers as possible.
E-Commerce Website Builders
If you don’t know how (or don’t want to) build a website from scratch, you can save yourself time and money by relying on an online store builder. A website builder will provide you with various templates that you can use to design and build your site. Most will allow you to customize certain elements on the template, so it fits your site’s needs better.
Look for a site builder that offers:
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Many options to customize your site fully
- Responsible templates that also look good on mobile devices
Managed e-Commerce Hosting?
For those who aren’t experienced with managing a website, choosing a managed e-Commerce hosting plan might be a smart move. The hosting provider will handle all systems on your behalf, including automatically updating any software, security, and more. It can be a helpful way for you to save time and energy when building your website.
Best Hosting for e-Commerce Sites
Creating a great e-Commerce site could mean profits for you. Finding the perfect web host for you is the first step on the way to making profits. Take time to consider what is important to you before choosing your e-Commerce hosting provider. To learn more, you can find a full e-Commerce website hosting comparison here.