Ecommerce website hosting refers to a particular website hosting platform that is specialized in hosting Ecommerce sites. There are significant differences between Ecommerce hosting and regular hosting that come from the purpose of the site itself. While regular websites aim primarily to provide information in an easily digestible format, Ecommerce websites aim to sell products or services directly. As a result they need a variety of additional tools to facilitate it. These tools usually include SSL, database support, various payment services (PayPal, Moneybookers etc), improved security and probably the most characteristic feature is the shopping cart. To sum it up, Ecommerce website hosting offers the tools, features and services needed by entrepreneurs to create, start, manage and maintain a successful ecommerce business.
The following features are some of the services you should look for in a good hosting provider:
- Technical support – most providers offer 24/7 support either by phone, email or live chat
- Low Transaction fees – although rare, some providers do charge a very small fee on every transaction
- Number of products – you can choose from several to an unlimited number of products depending on the provider.
- Data transfer – usually from 1 GB to unlimited data transfer depending on provider
- Phone Orders – some providers offer this feature as well. This is useful when customers are having doubts or need further persuasion.
- Deal of the day – allows for a special promotions page.
- Newsletters – this is a very powerful marketing tool and is offered by many providers. Email marketing makes it easy to place promotions and discounts in your client’s mailbox.
The additional features associated with ecommerce hosting means that the prices tend to be greater than for normal web hosting, and largely depends on the features you want. Just to get an idea, prices can start as low as $15/month and go up to $200/month. It all depends on what you want. For example the most basic hosting packet costs around $15/month and offers 25 products, 1 GB worth of data transfer, 24/7 online support, mobile and Facebook stores and some social media tools. On the other hand, at the same provider, $195/month will get you unlimited products, 40 GB data transfer, 24/7 priority support, newsletters, deal of the day, eBay integration, ratings and reviews, abandoned cart reports and plenty of other features.
Choosing the right provider
Just as in the case of normal hosting, there are a lot of possible options, and choosing the right one for your needs is vital. First of all you need to have a very clear picture of what you need.
For example there is no point in registering with a provider that offers unlimited products, if you want to sell only 10 or 20. Note down what you need on a piece of paper or Word document and then start working your way through the various providers. The process is completed much faster if you know what you’re looking for.