Running an eCommerce business is very exciting and very rewarding. When done properly, an eCommerce website allows you to market your products or services to people around the world rather than being stuck doing business in your local area only.
Of course, to be successful, you need a great looking website that is up and running smoothly at all times. To accomplish this, the most important tool you have is a good eCommerce web hosting service.
On this page, you will learn all about eCommerce web hosting and get answers to common questions such as:
- What Exactly is eCommerce Hosting?
- How is eCommerce Hosting Different from Traditional Web Hosting?
- How to Pick the Right eCommerce Hosting for Your Business
What eCommerce Hosting?
The concept of eCommerce hosting is a little confusing. Technically speaking, there is no unique type of web hosting solution that is only used for eCommerce. In addition, the traditional web hosting options that are commonly available are used to host an eCommerce site.
When someone is talking about eCommerce hosting, they are almost always referring to a service that offers web hosting that is configured to be used for eCommerce.
In addition to the web hosting servers, these companies also offer the actual eCommerce platform (software) to run the website. This combination of services makes it easy for other businesses to build their eCommerce service quickly and reliably.
What Types of Hosting Work Best for eCommerce?
Even within the general eCommerce hosting category, there are quite a few options to consider. Like normal web hosting, you choose from various hosting technologies to support your eCommerce site.
The specific one you need depends on things like your budget, how many customers you expect to visit your site, how many products you will be selling, and much more.
The following is a quick introduction to each of the different hosting technologies used for eCommerce sites and a brief overview of when they might be best used.
Cloud Based eCommerce Hosting
Cloud-based eCommerce hosting is one of the most popular options out there today. This is because web hosting using cloud technologies is configured to meet the needs of any size site.
In addition, cloud hosting is the most stable option due to the fact that, even if there is a hardware failure in one physical server, it will not bring the site down. Most dedicated eCommerce hosting services use this technology.
Shared eCommerce Hosting
Consider shared eCommerce hosting if you are looking to save money. This is where multiple customers put their eCommerce sites on a single web server.
The downside is that if one site gets a big spike in traffic, it causes all the other sites to slow down or experience problems. Fortunately, the best hosting providers do a great job at managing this risk.
VPS eCommerce Hosting
VPS, or virtual private server, is a hosting technology where one server is used to run multiple different websites. Unlike shared hosting, however, each customer on a given server is allocated exclusive use of set system resources.
This helps to ensure a spike in traffic or other problem with one site will not impact the others on the server. This is a higher level of hosting that is much more reliable than shared servers.
Dedicated Servers for eCommerce Hosting
Dedicated servers are individual physical servers that are used exclusively to run one website. This means your site gets full access to all of the system resources promised to your site.
It is often possible to run multiple servers focused on a single site if the site is really busy. This allows it to function similarly to a cloud hosting solution.
Dedicated servers for eCommerce hosting tend to be the most expensive and are only used for very large sites.
How Much does eCommerce Hosting Cost?
The costs for eCommerce hosting vary greatly depending on your specific needs. If you choose to sign up for a traditional hosting package and then install your own eCommerce platform, the costs are the same as hosting any other type of site, which means it starts from about $4 per month.
If, however, you want hosting that is focused specifically on eCommerce, you will pay more. The exact price depends not just on what hosting features you need, but also on what else is provided by the hosting company.
Many eCommerce hosting companies, for example, provide website templates, eCommerce software, portfolios, email marketing tools, SEO services, analytics, and even customer service. The more features you need, the more you will have to pay.
However, it is possible to find basic eCommerce hosting solutions for not much more than what you pay for normal hosting. Once you start adding on more and more services, however, the price rises dramatically.
Why is eCommerce Focused Hosting So Important?
Because eCommerce hosting costs more than more traditional options, some people wonder if it is necessary to get this specialized service.
- Customers Abandon Slow Sites – When a potential customer visits a site, they expect it to load quickly. If they have to wait more than a few seconds for your eCommerce site to load, you can be sure they will leave the page and find somewhere else to get your products.
- Easy Site Setup – Hosting services dedicated to eCommerce make it extremely easy to set up your site and customize your own online store.
- Safe for Payment Processing – A good eCommerce hosting solution has payment processing options built right into the platform. This makes it much easier to begin immediately accepting online payments for your business.
- Downtime Costs Money – Every second that an eCommerce site is offline is potentially costing a lot of money in lost sales. This is why eCommerce sites offer exceptional uptime guarantees.
- Key Data Backups – Frequent data backups are key for eCommerce sites since products, inventory, and other variables change regularly. This is why most of these types of hosting providers offer advanced backup and restoration services.
- Simple Inventory Management – The eCommerce platforms offered by these hosting companies are built specifically to make it fast and easy to manage your inventory, which is critical for any successful eCommerce business.
Of course, there will be many other reasons to use a hosting provider that specializes in eCommerce sites. Whether it is worth the added costs can only be evaluated by you, but in most cases, the slightly higher monthly bill is well worth it after factoring in the benefits you receive.
How to Choose the Right eCommerce Hosting for You
Now that you understand what eCommerce hosting is and where to use it, you must decide if it is right for your website.
If you really want to take your online business to the next level, this type of hosting solution really does make sense. While it will be more costly upfront, the added services save you so much time and effort that it is always worth the investment.