Make no mistake about it, choosing the right web hosting package can make all the difference between the success and failure of your new website.
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to eCommerce, where your needs are going to be slightly different than those of your standard brochure-style corporate website or online blog. If you think about it, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; the way your customers interact with your online store is vastly different from say reading your latest blog post or checking out a photo gallery of your products or services.
As such, those customers expect more from you than and, in turn, you should expect more from your hosting company. But how exactly does eCommerce hosting differ from standard cheap web hosting? Here’s our own brief guide:
Managing an online store involves handling lots of sensitive, personal data about your customers and ensuring that when they go to make a payment, that money they pay goes to the right place. WIth that in mind, your customers need to place a great deal of trust in you as a business. They need to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business will keep both their money and their personal data safe, secure and well stored.
In order to gain that trust, not to mention complying with the law, your website is going to need certain things such as SSL certificates and dedicated IP addresses.
Reliability and fast page loading speeds are important for any website, but even more so when it comes to an eCommerce site where the whole goal is to convince customers to part with their hard earned cash. If your website suffers periods of downtime, those are periods when customers can’t even access your website, meaning they’re unable to buy your goods and services.
Worse, if your site is offline for any length of time, don’t be too surprised if your customers start thinking you’ve gone out of business altogether and decide to visit your competitors instead.
The same goes for slow loading speeds. Think about it, you wouldn’t sit around waiting for a website that takes forever to load when you could get exactly the same thing elsewhere, so why should your customers do so?
With this in mind, pick out a hosting plan that offers optimum performance and reliability to ensure that your customers can get what they need from you, no matter when they need it.
Shopping carts and other tools
As we’ve already mentioned, your customers are going to use your website differently than they would if you were a blog, brochure or other website. The fact is, you’re none of those things. You’re not a newspaper or a magazine, you’re a fully functioning online store, and just like those stores you visit on the high street, you’re going to need certain tools in order to display your products, tempt your customers to buy them, and eventually process payments.
That said, online store owners should pay close attention to the kind of eCommerce tools supported by their hosting provider. Can you use a popular Content Management System like eCommerce-focussed Magento or WordPress with WooCommerce integration? How easy is it going to be to use a payment gateway to accept online payments whilst at the same time adhering to those strict standards of safety and security that we mentioned earlier?
Take some time to do your research on all these things before you make the move to investing in hosting for your new store, and you’ll save yourself much hassle, headaches and profit losses later down the line.
Tag : Tips blogging