When searching for your website for a web host, it is important to consider the specific needs and purpose of your business and website. Depending on the type of website and for what it will be used, a certain type of web hosting may better suit your needs, be it shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting. In addition, if you run a business and plan on selling products online, then you’ll need to look into eCommerce hosting. Though it works similarly to a general web hosting, however, eCommerce hosting requires certain specific security features and corresponding related software.
Finding the right host for your eCommerce site is crucial to your business and should know which features offered with eCommerce hosting are essential. Not only that, you’ve got to satisfy customers too. You need to make sure that optimum uptime, fast load speeds and more are offered. With this let’s take a close look at the hosting of an eCommerce site.
What is an eCommerce Website Hosting?
In short, an eCommerce hosting is simply a hosting type set up specifically for those who sell goods online. This type of hosting requires a range of specific features and functions, many of which are necessary for businesses as they will be processing customer personal data. There are SSL certificates, payment processing, shopping cart software, and more within those requirements for such commercial sites.
Apart from the security and shopping-related features included with eCommerce hosting, most hosts will also provide a variety of solutions and features so that businesses can thrive online selling products when it comes to online catalogues, inventory management, and more fundamental features such as web design. You will have similar options, in other words, to that of plain web hosting. All in all, alongside their standard plans, many of the top web hosts also provide eCommerce solutions.
How does an eCommerce Website Hosting Work?
As with any form of web hosting and web-building, those with eCommerce platforms will need to register a domain name before they go live. Not only that, but also the eCommerce stores need to set up payment processing specifically. Most web hosts will of course offer these aspects as part of the plan for which you are signing up. With this in mind, you need to ensure that the host you choose is providing such offers.
As we’ve mentioned above, the eCommerce hosting platforms setup, plans, and function work quite similar to normal hosting. Factors such as web design, content, and plugins remain accessible and function as they would with any platform. While many web hosting providers offer eCommerce solutions, you’ll also have the choice to host your site via platforms specific to eCommerce.
For example, Shopify is one of the most frequently used and popular eCommerce sites and they even offer their own hosting. You can set up your website as you would with any platform, and you will be provided with the eCommerce features and functionalities — that is, SSL certificates, payment processing, and shopping cart functions. While for many with eCommerce sites, Shopify is a great choice and a viable option, it’s not the only platform available.
Top Web Hosting for eCommerce Sites
When it comes to hosting eCommerce, there are two options for you: hosting platforms and self-hosted ones. With hosting platforms such as the aforementioned Shopify, the platform will both offer eCommerce features and functionality, and host your website. With self-hosted platforms, on the other hand, with a host of your choice, you will essentially be using eCommerce platforms. This is quite similar to sites using WordPress CMS, but using another provider to host their site, rather than WordPress.
I have mentioned below a few of the most popular web hosts for hosting and self-hosted ecommerce platforms.
Hosted eCommerce Platforms
Within hosted platforms you will have a variety of options, however there are 2 platforms that are renowned for their features and functionalities.
Let’s take a brief look at BigCommerce and Shopify.
Shopify: You can customize a wide range of features on Shopify with a simple user interface and a multitude of available applications. Although some limitations exist, such as modifying the checkout page, Shopify allows you to easily add the aforementioned apps to the platform quickly. Additionally, upgrading to higher plans lowers the payment processing cost, which is the usual 2.9 per cent + $.30.
BigCommerce: BigCommerce is another popular choice for eCommerce hosting which offers features for small businesses and medium sized businesses. They also maintain an uptime of 99.99 percent and claim to deliver some of the fastest sites available. They also offer multi-layered security, protection against DDOS, and automatic fraud detection.
You’ll still need to find a host in using a self-hosted eCommerce site. In other words, both the eCommerce site and a Web hosting company will be required. For example, if you will choose to use Magento as your eCommerce platform (detailed below) which you can then integrate with, say, Cloudhostservices.
Two of the most common self-hosted eCommerce platforms are listed below;
Magento: As a leading eCommerce site, Magento provides a range of features unique to business types within the packages. By this they sell plans for small companies, big companies and more. They currently have more than 250,000 users and are offering a number of custom extensions. However, Magento is also better suited for those with more web design and development experience due to its flexibility and customizability.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce makes it a little more user friendly. They list trusted on-site hosting providers with each provider have their plans specified. From here, you can add extensions to a long list, customize themes and install a number of plugins. Of course, if it doesn’t work for you, then they provide a support team, safe and reliable payments and a 30 day money back guarantee.
Bear in mind that hosting eCommerce platforms may cost a little more. However, the benefits of such platforms can outweigh the costs, and they do so often. Self-hosted platforms are a viable choice, however, if you are familiar with web development or anyone inside your company.
Tips for Choosing –
When you are selecting a service, whether hosted or self-hosted, you’ll need to pay attention to several factors. In order to help those with eCommerce store find the right hosting solution, we have outlined a few tips to keep in mind during the project.
- When you are running a small company, make sure that the businesses that you trust are making plans for that.
- If you are searching for self-hosted sites, then you’ll need to decide whether private, VPS or cloud hosting is the best thing for you. VPS and cloud hosting are somewhat similar and are two of the most popular web hosting solutions.
- As already described, speed of the site should be a major concern for eCommerce sites, as speed of the site may make or break sales.
- Customization is also immense. An eCommerce is all about conversion rates, so with the customer (shopper) in mind, you need to build your site and make navigation as simple as possible.
- Eventually, ensure the safety features of the platforms you find to be reliable. Most platforms would of course provide robust security, as this is an eCommerce requirement.