So you have a fantastic idea for a new eCommerce store, you done the research, you can source products and your ready to get going. The issue you now face is finding a reliable web host company to look after your precious eCommerce store.
Don’t worry, you in safe hands as we explain what you should be looking for when deciding which company to use for website hosting.
There are several factors involved when choosing an eCommerce web host. I bet your first thought is how much is this going to cost me, i should go with the cheapest but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
An eCommerce store is the front end of your company and potential customers need to have a pleasant experience if they are going purchase from you.
For your eCommerce store to have the best chance of creating a sale it needs to load fast. Even the most optimized websites will only load as fast as the server hosting it will allow. A company that specializes in eCommerce hosting compared to a run of mill hosting company should servers that are optimized for your platform. Good hosting companies will also ensure the servers are up to date, for example upgrading PHP and Apache versions.
eCommerce sites are particularity complex and code heavy given all the features a visitors expects of today’s online stores, features such as reviews which must be pulled from a database, zoom in image shots, promotional sliders and so on. As your website grows its visitor based these features place more strain on the server. If you where to compare a store hosted on a shared hosting platform vs a dedicated server you would see a dramatic difference in how the site loads and the experience you would receive.
Lets face it, we live in a world today where cyber security is a massive threat. Hackers don’t just want your data, they want to take over your website. A Good hosting company ensures that security is not just a feature they have, but its the backbone of the company. If your business website gets hacked then the loss of sales could be catastrophic. Before signing up to a web hosting company ask questions about their security protocols and the software they use in the back end. Then search Google for an possible exploits that may be present in those software’s
Everyone shops around now for the best possible price before buying something, Web hosting is no different. By keeping a record of the companies you find, what features they have, cost etc you can get an idea of the general price points for what you want. If you find one company that seems to be expensive compared to others you have found you may want to find out why. There is no harm in emailing saying “could you tell me why your cost is X and this company cost is Y” They may come back with features in their plan that other companies don’t offer.
What out for really cheap web hosts. Often these are resellers of other companies servers. If they don’t control the hardware then they will have delays in the event of issues. Remove as many middle men as possible to avoid delays and issues in the event something goes wrong.
You want a web host that’s going to be reliable. Downtime is an important factor and aiming for 99.99% rate is something ever web hosting company should be aiming for. Most companies will display the downtime rates on their site. Often claiming the 99.99% figure however as a precaution you should contact them to find out if the site goes down what are there measure to get the site back up and how long does it take.
If a web host owns their own hardware and is not a reseller then they should have a pretty good Infrastructure in place. You want a company that re invest in their business and clients. Scale-ability is an important factor. If you sites starts to become very popular then the host will need to offer a solutions in the event you need to upgrade hardware or change servers completely.
Infrastructure will also mean how the company handles data, for instance if your eCommerce store was under DDOS attacks do they have the required Infrastructure to mitigate the threat. DDOS attacks cost companies millions of dollar per year so its important to ask if they have the Infrastructure to ensure your site is not impacted should another server come under attack and vice versa.
Hopefully you found the information here worth while. Remember its important to ask question to hosting companies. Do your research and your eCommerce store will flourish.