Choosing the best e-commerce hosting is not easy. Managing an e-commerce site is a delicate activity that requires the utmost scruple right from the choice of the right hosting service. If we can forgive a “normal” site for some slowdowns, in fact, this is not acceptable with an online shop. This is because if the hosting does not prove to be up to par, this could lead to drops in our turnover with serious consequences for our business.
Choosing low-cost hosting for a personal site may be an acceptable choice, but for e-commerce, the price factor should not be the main discriminating factor in the selection process as the initial savings could soon prove to be a weapon to double cut.
What is E-Commerce hosting?
A host is an Internet server, the activity of which consists of hosting web pages. E-Commerce hosting is, therefore, a specialized service provider that provides storage space on a server permanently connected to the Internet.
Hosting allows your domain name to be accessible to all Internet users. It, therefore, has an essential and indispensable role if you want to publish content on your site and make it public. Thus, the role of the host is to store your files on a connected server to make them visible on the Internet when the visitor finds your site.
The majority of E-Commerce hosting offers solutions, including:
- A database;
- Several email accounts allow you to obtain a generic address.
- FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access to directly access directories (product images, for example);
- Statistics of your traffic.
Choosing hosting for an e-commerce store
Let’s briefly summarize the main features that must not be missing in a hosting plan intended to host an online store:
The hosting must obviously support the server-side scripting language and the DBMS necessary for the application through which we will manage our e-commerce: it is important to make sure that there is full compatibility between the hosting and our software (or e-commerce CMS or e-commerce platform ), so before buying the hosting it is good to have chosen the software or to have very clear the characteristics with which it will be developed.
Optimization of resources
Compatibility provides that the software of our online store runs without problems: choosing a hosting optimized specifically for our software also means making sure that the processes are fast and do not suffer slowdowns, as the system has been set up to create the best possible environment in which to run the specific application we have decided to use.
Fast hosting is crucial for every type of site (speed, among other things, is a ranking factor for Google and therefore affects indexing), but for an online store, it is really an essential feature: a slow store disincentives users to purchase by pushing them to look elsewhere.
The e-commerce hosting must guarantee a continuous service without downtime: in this sense, it is advisable to verify that the guaranteed uptime level is not less than 99%, and this is clearly indicated in the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
In an e-commerce store, sales flows may not be constant throughout the year. Therefore, it is important to count on a hosting that can also handle any traffic spikes – without suffering blocks or slowdowns that would cause a collapse in sales in moments of higher demand. In this sense, the possibility of upgrading to the higher hosting plan in case of need should be considered an added value or, better still, accessing additional resources only for the time necessary to cope with the increased traffic flow (in this case sense a cloud service would seem the best answer).
An e-commerce hosting must be secure as a lot of customer information is managed in it (personal data, purchase history, payment data, etc.). Therefore you cannot afford the luxury of not guaranteeing an adequate level of security and confidentiality of archived data. In this sense, it is mandatory to contact a hosting provider that allows you to install an SSL certificate within your hosting plans. It has strict security policies, protection tools (for example, firewalls configured to counter any DDoS attacks), and backup plans that guarantee the integrity of customer and transaction data even in the event of a computer disaster.
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