Congrats! Since you are here, you must be ready to launch your online store. At this stage, you might be wandering – can you just use your existing web hosting, or do you need something special?
Well, the choice of web hosting is critical. Even if you have the best products to offer, a good eCommerce store requires a powerful web hosting provider.
Making an online store is just half of the battle won.You also need to ensure that your eCommerce store is providing a streamlined and convenient customer experience. With the wrong hosting service, your online store can slow down to the extent that your customers will leave and never come back.
As an online entrepreneur, you need to ensure that the buyer’s journey is swift and hassle-free. Your choice of a hosting provider will influence your website’s loading speed, uptime and overall performance. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the factors to take into consideration while choosing the right web hosting solution for your online store.
Choose Hosting That Supports Your Shopping Cart Software
There’s a variety of eCommerce software available today. You should go with the software that best meets your needs, then choose a web hosting provider that supports the system requirements of that software.
For instance, Magento is the widely used PHP/MySQL based shopping cart. Similarly, nopCommerce is the most popular .Net/MSSQL based eCommerce software. They are full-featured, and worthy of consideration. We recommend going with a specialized web host because they know shopping cart software in and out. For example, a generic PHP/MySQL web host won’t know the ecosystem of a Magento store. Your web host must be capable of helping you with your shopping cart software when your developer is not around.
So, make a thorough feature comparison of all software and make the right call. Take your time making your decision—it will be a lot of work if you change your mind later on.
Go With A Premium Web Hosting Service
To begin with, your website speed is one of the essentials of eCommerce growth. You need to ensure that each page loads quickly in order to yield higher conversions. However, if you go for a budget-friendly web hosting provider, it will eventually cost you more.
A one second delay in page loading can reduce customer satisfaction by 16% and increase conversion loss by up to 7%. If your website page takes two or three seconds to load, you can tell your success goodbye!
But slow page load time is just one aspect of losing customers. Website crashes, glitches or error reports are even worse. This is precisely why you must spend some money on a premium web hosting provider and avoid dealing with such headaches in the long run. Yes, it’s totally worth the investment!
You Need Hosting That Supports Secure Credit Card Payments
Security is the key factor for any website, especially for an eCommerce site. Processing online payments and storing confidential customer information require special care.
One security feature you need for secure financial and credit card transactions is SSL. An SSL certificate serves as a digital passport, allowing data to be transmitted over secure networks. It authenticates and encrypts all data transferred through the website.
Many online banks and payment processors (including MasterCard, Visa and American Express) require that your hosting is PCI compliant. The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) ensures a unified approach for safeguarding credit card holder information, preventing credit card fraud, and other security threats. Make sure that your web host offers SSL certificates and they have also high-end hosting solutions that can also be made PCI compliant on demand.
While your eCommerce store grows, you will need a web host that can keep up as well. There is a good chance that you will outgrow your shared host and you might have to move your hosting to the next higher plan or perhaps next hosting option.
You need to ensure that your web host can support these hosting upgrades so you can bump up hosting resources whenever need arises without experiencing a fall in your online store’s performance. Depending on the size and traffic of your online store, you can opt for a VPS, dedicated, cloud or managed server.
Backups are mandatory for every eCommerce entrepreneur. Imagine waking up one day to find that all your hard work has disappeared. Imagine all your product listings being gone. You will hate yourself for choosing an unreliable hosting provider.
It is a good practice to prepare yourself for data loss or hacking because such incidents do take place. Choose a hosting provider that offers regular, automated website backups. You may depend on your web host for timely backups as part of your hosting plan, however, we recommend creating backups of your own. You can do so via numerous plugins or third-party software.
Tech support is an essential feature that you must not neglect when choosing a web host for your online store. If your website goes down, tech support is the superhero you will need. You must ensure that you are getting all the assistance you need from your provider. Tech support is a core feature that separates a good web host from mediocre ones.
Your hosting provider should have a dedicated team in place for customer support. When things go south, their customer support will hook you up with a real person who can figure out the problem and educate you on how to fix it. Many times, you won’t even have to blink, and reliable tech support will fix your problems for you. Also, check whether the tech support is staffed 24/7 or if they are being outsourced.
To run your eCommerce business successfully you need to partner with a hosting company which is as committed to the success of your website as you are. A company you can trust and work with for years to come.
In short, you need a reliable host that can run (and preferably install) shopping cart software of your choice, is secure and PCI compliant, and responds promptly and helpfully every time you may have a support request.