Professional Reviews

eCommerce Web Hosting

Choosing a hosting company for an e-commerce site is a very important decision. Some factors to consider are: server uptime, whether they have 24/7 support, the availability of a Content Management System (CMS), Secure Socket Layer ( SSL) and Dedicated IP address, the type of server access such as shared, dedicated or VPS and cost.

Most web hosting companies will let you know their percentage of uptimes and provide stats. All servers go down once in awhile for maintenance and upgrades, but a reliable server will be up over 90% of the time for any given month.

It is also important to be able to obtain technical help if needed. If you are running an online store you will want as few interruptions in server uptime as possible. Twenty-four seven support should be high on your list of factors. Make sure your hosting company provides support over the weekend and at night. If something goes wrong you don’t want to have to wait for Monday morning to have it fix! That could mean a loss of sales.

A Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress provides  e-commerce plug-ins and a database to store your products and other details. If you are accepting credit cards and other sensitive information you will want SSL and a dedicated IP address. An exception to this if you are using a third party such as PayPal and are not collecting any personal data such as phone numbers and addresses.

Another consideration is what type of server/bandwidth capacity you will need. A shared hosting account is the cheapest way to go. You will be sharing a server/bandwidth with other accounts, this is cost effective if you have a small e-commerce site or just starting off. As you grow and increase traffic you will want to upgrade to a VIP or even dedicated server. A VIP server still shares bandwidth with other, but not as many. A dedicated server is YOUR server and only your site will be hosted, it does not shared with any other sites and can be very expensive.

Monthly cost is always important – but keep in mind lower is not necessary better. A lot of hosting companies will start low and then will increase their cost when you renew your service. Still other offer low prices but have reduced services.

 

Hosting Features Bluehost HostGator GoDaddy Yahoo
24/7 Support Yes – Phone, Chat & Email Yes- Phone, Chat and Email Yes -Phone Yes- Phone and Email
CMS Yes Yes Yes Yes
SSL Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dedicated IP Yes Yes Yes No
Start up Cost of Dedicated IP

$39.96 a year

Free with the Business Plan

$78.88  year

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