You can build an ecommerce website without knowing Java, HTML, or any other coding language with the right ecommerce hosting plan. Many ecommerce hosting providers can build websites with discount codes, online checkout, loyalty rewards, and any other tools you might need.
The price you will pay for hosting depends on the size of the store. It can be as little as $10 per month, especially if you pay once a year.
What to Look For
When choosing a plan, look at features, prices, ease of use, uptime, and reviews. Reviews can indicate what you can expect, but they should still be taken with a grain of salt.
Typically, e-commerce hosting plans only have a monthly fee and a fee per transaction. There shouldn’t be any other fees.
When considering ease of use, consider whether you’ll need to do any coding. If you’re not tech-savvy, look for a site builder that makes setting up the store as easy as possible.
In terms of support, the standard is 24/7/365. Inaccessibility to support when you need it will cost your store money. Look for multiple contact methods, like phone, email, and live chat.
Ideally, go for a provider that promises 100% uptime. While this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, you don’t want to pay additional fees for help from support.
Risks of an Unsuitable Hosting Plan
E-commerce businesses need to store their website content files. If you choose a subpar plan, you could face some of the following issues.
An e-commerce business needs the right security measures before it can get started. Some browsers have more and better security features than others. Your site should have HTTPS encryption. The padlock will be missing from the URL bar if it doesn't. This makes a bad impression on potential customers, who will identify the site as “not secure.”
The best website hosting providers offer SSL encryption as part of their packages. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a small file that protects the data transferred between your site and the clients’ computers by encrypting it. SSL certificates secure credit card transactions, data transfer, and browsing of social networks. They can even speed up your website.
It’s important to look for regular security updates. Your hosting service should be able to add security patches, upgrade your software, and keep its own server software secure. Its support team should be competent, reliable, and active in case you suffer from a security flaw.
Loss of Potential Revenue
A slow site will not convince a potential customer to convert. Most people expect webpages to load in two seconds maximum. What’s more, Google ranks sites based on speed. The search engine takes longer to retrieve a slow site and punishes it by pushing it down in the rankings.
The right hosting plan can manage your expected volume, including surges in traffic. Content delivery networks (CDNs) and caching can improve your site’s speed. Caching does this by storing your website data as a standard HTML page, eliminating calls to the database, and allowing future requests to be fulfilled more quickly.
CDNs are a group of servers that store your pages’ resources, such as text files and images, and reduce the load time in the process. They improve speed by automatically directing visitors to the closest server in their area.
The fact is that you can’t afford downtime. You will lose potential income. The loss will depend on your sales volume, how many people are affected, your traffic, and the time of day, but one thing is certain – you will lose money. You might also suffer damage to your reputation.
Hosting providers schedule planned maintenance, during which your site will be inaccessible to visitors. This is better than unexpected downtime, which can take longer to remedy.
You should also look at the storage capacity, compliance with payment card industry (PCI) standards, and emergency backups. When you upload products, you must post images of them too. Ensure the hosting provider offers adequate storage to hold any images and videos.
Companies that handle credit card information must be PCI-compliant. PCI standards ensure the protection of customer data from unauthorized transactions and fraud.
Frequently Asked Questions
E-commerce startups, in particular, are tempted to bypass hosting providers and host their own sites. They often wonder if they can. To do this, you must own and maintain physical servers, which is quite expensive. It’s an option for a large, well-established e-commerce business.
What should a beginner look for?
Some features to look for are assistance with e-commerce selling, intuitive website building features like drag-and-drop, marketing and SEO tools, and security components like SSL and two-factor or multifactor authentication.
Best platform for dropshipping?
Make sure your site can process orders in an organized way and handle the traffic if you plan to start a dropshipping business. Ask your host of choice about their capacity to handle dropshipping platforms.
Best hosting for a startup?
VPS and shared hosting are suitable options for startups or small businesses.