Starting your Business Website with a Top Ecommerce Hosting Package
Ecommerce hosting is growing by leaps and bounds every single day as the internet explodes into more and more markets. E-marketing and online sales just keep climbing every year, with no end in sight. Therefore the demand for good ecommerce web hosts is soaring.
There is plenty of money to be made in ecommerce, whether it’s with your own products or another vendor’s products. With a little bit of skill, knowledge, and hard work people are out there right now making a fortune with ecommerce sites of all sizes, selling everything under the sun.
We chose MyHosting as our #1 choice for ecommerce hosting, and we have also posted 4 other excellent >ecommerce web hosts.
Our Choices for Ecommerce Web Hosting for 2012
What To Look For In Your Ecommerce Hosting Plan
When doing research on a web hosting company that has good ecommerce solutions look for a host who has an excellent database system, typically using MySQL. Ecommerce sites basically run on their shopping cart function, and MySQL databases allow such sites to function and ‘do what they do’. Thankfully, almost every top hosting choice has good database function already in place.
Be sure that the cpanel is easy to use and allows you everything that you will need. In addition to the Cpanel, Fantastico is another must have add-on feature in ecommerce hosting. These two combined will allow you easy access to managing your server, your domains, and you will even be able to create blogs with a few simple clicks of your mouse.
Many web hosts will have a built in site builder that supports shopping cart functionality and is very intuitive and user friendly. This is the best place for newer folks to start. Simply purchase a keyword rich domain and start building your sites. Add lots of great user friendly content, lots of images (people love images), and write good fair and balanced copy.
If you cover all of these bases you will begin to see sales in your account in no time. The key to running an ecommerce website is giving your visitors lots of options and educating your customers. If you can accomplish both of these goals then your site or sites will be successful.
Unlimited disk space, domains and bandwidth are frequently advertised by hosting companies, but the unlimited claim is not always true. By these claims you would assume that the hosts are offering that a client could host an unlimited number of domains in his hosting plan, and utilize as much resources as needed for these domains. Unlimited email address and unlimited databases are other features that should be looked for in a hosting plan. Do your due diligence and speak to a representative to determine the limits of the “unlimited” claims in the sales copy.
Another very important consideration when looking for a good host is its ability to maintain a good server uptime percentage. The standard in the industry is 99%, but some hosts are offering 99.9%. This is a critical issue in hosting because you would want your customers to be able to access your website 100% of the time. Otherwise you may run the risk of your website looking unprofessional, losing customers and it may even affect your business’ bottom line.
There are many important features that should be included in a self-hosted ecommerce package and these include:
- An unlimited number of categories and subcategories
- Products reviews
- An unlimited number of products available for the shopping cart
- Email notification of product updates.
- Inventory management
- Shipping and other taxes calculation
- Robust search catalogs
- Creation of coupons, discounts, and gift certificates
This functionality is very critical to the operation of an ecommerce website. Carefully scrutinize any host you are considering to ensure that they offer these features. If they do not, then continue looking until you are able to find a host that does. There is a great deal of competition in the hosting industry these days, and there is a very good chance that you will find exactly these features being offered elsewhere.
Also, if you’re new, look for top notch support and reliability. You’re going to need some help setting things up. We prefer hosts with support in the U.S., both via phone (24/7/365) and chat. All of the big web hosts will provide this. Given the great amount of competition in the hosting market these days, more and more hosts are attempting to offer the best support services they can, since this is an area that can be a deal breaker when a potential client is looking for good support from their hosting company. Read some of our reviews to get a better idea of who’s doing a great job in that department.
Types of Web Hosting Packages
If you’re a beginner then you’ll most likely kick things off with a cheap shared hosting account, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Many of these packages are great and they are exactly what you’re looking for. Shared plans typically run from $5 to $10 per month.
If you have a large ecommerce site or plan on building something larger and more complex then it’s best to at least have a look at a few VPS hosting and dedicated hosting plans. These plans will have more raw bandwidth power, control, and security than a shared plan. Cloud web hosting is also becoming more and more popular, you certainly have plenty of options.
Ecommerce hosting is a lot more straightforward than some would have you believe, if you’re nervous about jumping in, look for a web host with a money back guarantee.