If you’ve decided to start an e-commerce website, you are probably searching for the perfect hosting solution to run a great online store. Opening a storefront online is a great move because it allows you to get your product into the hands of consumers worldwide instead of being restricted to just consumers locally. You need a great plan of action when it comes to choosing your web host because there are so many great options and they all vary in what they can offer you.
You can power your e-commerce site with an in-house web hosting solution, through affordable shared hosting, in a private dedicated server, or through managed hosting. Whichever method you choose, it will all affect how your website performs and what your user experience will be like. Take a look at the main options you have when it comes to running your e-commerce site and comparing the hosting possibilities with your budget and business requirements.
Choosing a shared host
Many people go with a shared hosting option to stay within their strict business budgets. Shared hosting means that many businesses will share the same server and run their websites right along with yours. The problem with this is that a security issue on one site could mean a security breach with all of the rest. A high level of traffic on one site could affect the other sites and their customers may not way around for the site to run faster at a later time.
While shared hosting is one of the most popular choices for e-commerce sites due to its affordability, it’s usually not worth the money saved. With so many websites working on one single server, the shared internet connection and resources among all of these sites is a recipe for issues with load times, high traffic issues, restrictions on bandwidth and disk space, limitations on control, and the potential of a security issue. Despite the drawbacks, this may be a possible option for a small company or startup.
You may also wish to use in-house hosting which would require you to provide a server room, purchase the needed hardware and software, hiring an IT team, and leasing reliable high-speed internet. Your IT staff would be in charge of handling the daily operations and the whole thing could add up really quickly.
They will make sure you are backed up, the security is constantly monitored, and that the server is always up and running. This is great for ensuring your customers can access your online store but it’s not going to be pretty in the budget. Many people avoid this option, despite the major benefits, because of the costs and complexities attached to the requirements behind an in-house host. A startup or small business would feel overwhelmed and financially drained doing this.
An alternate route a company may decide is to colocation, which refers to a company that stores their hardware and network equipment in a hosting company’s facility. You’d get physical storage space, electricity for powering the hardware, and internet bandwidth.
This is great for those that don’t want to worry too much about hosting and it will save you so much money when it comes to bandwidth. You’ll have the reliability of the data center too. The problem with this option is that you have to purchase your own hardware and find a provider that will accept this arrangement.
Are there any other options?
Last but not least, you may consider going with dedicated and managed hosting options. This is incredibly expensive but it has a great pay off. You’ll get the whole server to yourself which means no handing off the control over what operating system is used or web applications are in place.
You won’t have to worry about increased traffic with other websites because the traffic is only for you and you’ll have a ton of flexibility. This amazing option is very expensive but it may be worth it if you can find it in the budget. For those that don’t want to deal with too much of the management of the hosting, you could get managed hosting which takes away the server administration task and allows you to focus more on your site and customer rather than working on the processes of the hosting.
These are some of your main options when it comes to selecting the host for your e-commerce site. Take a look at your budget and your website’s needs when making the choice because the host choice you make could affect your site’s speed, your customer experience, and essentially your revenue.