If you are planning to start online eCommerce business, this check list will help you to understand basics of web hosting and will make your process easier to choose eCommerce web hosting providers:
Is it your first time purchase?
If you are newbie in eCommerce business, then I strongly recommend giving proper time in research. Review each point provided in this check list and give honest answers to this question. If require; do not hesitate to hire consult or discuss with expert.
It is very helpful if you learn basic technical terminology in web hosting buzz. Even if you are totally new in this field or you don’t have interested in learning more. Basic information will help a lot to choose best host providers for your business. Here are few basic terms you should start with:
- Domain and Hosting
- DNS and IP address
- Shared vs Dedicated Hosting
- Hosting space and Bandwidth
- Hosting server operating systems
- SSL certificates
- Server backup
- Database software
First learn about your requirements in terms of hosting space, hosting type and support. If your requirement is very small, no need to go for dedicated server. This can save your big money to go for right option.
Search for eCommerce hosting Specialist
Not all hosting providers are specialist in eCommerce hosting. You can find the best support if you choose eCommerce hosting providers. Now days, there are specialist hosting providers for Magento, OsCommerce or other Open Source shopping carts; choosing them will make your technical integration and error resolution process easier.
Hosting Up-time Review
Once you are filtering few hosting providers, check for their up-time review which should be at least 99.99%. When you are running eCommerce business, small downtime can result in big business opportunity.
Ecommerce hosting also require various additional tools and support. Sometime you may have to upgrade your plan and choose additional hardware in business expansion. You must check pricing for such additional features. Just keep in mind; it will be difficult to transfer your eCommerce website to another host.
Payment Gateway Integration
While you are selling products online, payment gateway integration is crucial part in which you need to integrate merchant account with PayPal or other third-party payment gateways. Make sure your hosting providers can provide support in this process if you require.
Web Technology & Shopping Cart
If you choose ecommerce web hosting providers, shopping cart software is the most standard feature that may available in their hosting package. Still you can check various hidden prices to minimize the headache for future expansion.
SSL certificate must, if you are operating eCommerce website, now it is important part to choose best SSL certificate that can fulfil your needs. There are different types of SSL certificates available online like, wildcard SSL, EVS SSL, domain validation SSL etc. I recommend checking various SSL certificate resellers who can help you to choose SSL for your website and can offer big discount on same SSL as compare to CA.
Backup & Restore
Kindly check whether your hosting provider offer backup support or not, also check how frequent they took backup; as some hosting providers offer regular backup at free of cost and some may charge for it.
Check for their email facility as it will be an important part of your eCommerce business. You should check for email forwarding, auto-responder, and email aliases for pop-3.
Apart from this, you must check how friendly and how quickly they respond to your tickets. As most of the hosting providers claim 24×7 supports, but when you actually need it, you will have to wait. Search for their customer support review or send some query and see how they respond.
There are numbers of hosting review website that collects their customer’s reviews in terms of up-time, customer support and reliability. Refer few forums, review website and discuss with their existing users.
Apart from given points, there are so many things that you need to check before you choose eCommerce hosting provider. Listen to your inner voice, are you happy with their website design, sales pitch and pricing, are you satisfied with their customer support? Have you found genuine review of their customers? Do they provide security of your important data? How transparent they are to discuss their terms and conditions?
Make sure you find all above answers positively as it is very important for one to learn these before you host your bread & butter on their servers!!
This article is written by Sophie. She is a Digital Marketing Manager ClickSSL.com, a Symantec SSL provider from leading brands. Her area of interest is, web security, blogging, ecommerce brand marketing and photography. You can follow her on twitter @sophie_perrone.
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