Ecommerce Hosting: Useful Tips to Help Choose a Provider
Secure and reliable data storage is key to a sustainable and consistent web store functioning. However, choosing the right web hosting provider that would cater to the needs of your ecommerce website may become challenging.
We have prepared a mini-guide to help you decide on the reliable hosting provider for your ecommerce website, ensuring trouble-free work and safety of integrated services.
The amount of information created worldwide keeps on growing. Due to the latest research revealed by Statista, the total volume of data created, copied, saved, and consumed will reach 59 trillions of gigabytes (59 zettabytes) by the end of 2020.
Digitalization of commerce contributes to the data growth. Web store owners wish their website information was secure and the website operations could be processed with no downtime. Keeping your data safe and your online store high-performing is exactly what hosting providers do.
Below we consider the main issues arising when you have to choose a web hosting provider for your website and get to know some of the top hosting providers for ecommerce.
Why Choosing a Reliable Web Hosting Provider Matters
At the very start of any ecommerce activity, using free hosting might seem the right thing to go for. However, the strategy has its drawbacks that badly influence user experience and the whole business. The main downsides are:
- Poor security;
- Few features;
- No technical support.
On the other hand, choosing a more reliable web hosting provider is likely to bring everything required to help you run your business efficiently both now and in the future.
How will you recognise a reliable web hosting provider?
Reliable hosts, as a rule, provide the following:
- 24/7 customer support
A reliable web hosting company provides you with a 24/7 support in case of any technical issue. It helps to avoid downtime and guards your website’s reputation, maintaining it favourable.
- Advanced security
A reliable web hosting is transparent about the measures it takes to protect your website and user personal data. It timely informs you of any security threat.
- Backup and restore points
The option to backup and restore lost or damaged files will give you peace of mind that critical data on your website can be recovered. Additionally, the feature serves as an assurance for the webmasters.
- Access and user permits
A reliable provider makes sure that the server login permission is given only to the trusted web hosting personnel appointed by the website owner.
- Ability to monitor the network
A web hosting company that continuously monitors the network can detect and stop the spread of malware before it gets to your website server.
For ecommerce, working with a high-quality hosting service is crucial as it facilitates the inner-workings of an online shopping platform and gives access to the platform-specific features and benefits.
Along with providing space on a web server to store files and making them accessible on the web, hosting services allow you to get a speedy online platform and develop your business brand.
High-Speed & Sustainable Website Performance
According to the data disclosed by Search Engine Journal, the expected web page load speed in 2020 is 3 seconds or less. Even a 1-second delay negatively affects the website traffic, making users leave the webpage without waiting for its content to load.
Most of web hosting providers having the above-mentioned features will also help:
- Optimize website performance;
- Increase the load speed of both desktop and mobile pages;
- Rank higher in Google search results.
Added Features & Improved Customer Security
Running an ecommerce website presupposes dealing with users’ personal information and large amounts of sensitive data in general. To purchase a product from a web store, the user normally shares:
- Name and surname;
- Email and phone number;
- Credit card info;
- Billing address.
When choosing a web hosting service, you want to have access to data protection features and tools, as well as provided security measures, such as:
- SSL certificates;
- Opportunity to block IPs;
- Hacker attacks prevention mechanisms;
- Regular backups.
Load Balancing & Zero Downtime Deployment
Online business owners know that every minute of a website downtime may cost you money and reputation. If issues appear on a website running on free hosting, it will take you time and effort to find out the problem and fix it in a timely way.
Opting for hosting providers that offer 24/7 technical support will help you to resolve issues asap and reduce downtime to zero.
What to Consider Before Selecting a Provider?
Selecting a web hosting provider may become a challenge due to the various criteria you have to keep in mind, like hosting rates, uptime, page speed, as well as the services and features they offer.
Below we’ve collected 5 key points to pay attention to and consider to find the right fit.
1. Type of Hosting
Understanding how a web hosting works and knowing the key types of hosting for websites will simplify the process of selecting the one that suits your particular business needs.
Four common types of hosting include:
- Shared hosting
A shared hosting enables sharing a server with other websites, which helps to considerably reduce costs. This type of hosting suits corporate websites or personal blogs due to its low cost and provision of ready-made pre-configured software.
- Dedicated hosting
A dedicated hosting is meant to host only one website. This option is suitable for web stores, as it provides an opportunity to store and organize large amounts of data as well as to install and customize any software. However, it costs more than a shared one.
- Virtual private server hosting (VPS)
VPS hosting type functions just as a dedicated hosting. However, in the case with VPS, you get a virtual machine installed on a dedicated server. VPS hosting is a feature-rich solution that gets chosen by fast-growing companies and ecommerce start-ups.
- Cloud hosting
Cloud hosting is the most flexible hosting solution among all the types, as it does not depend on a physical server. You can easily adapt it to your exact business operations, integrations, and processes, depending on the user traffic and storage capacity.
2. Server Reliability and Speed
The importance of this indicator is undeniable. The speed of a server has a direct impact on page speed. The higher the page speed, the more satisfied the users will be.
Pay attention to the percentage of server reliability. The higher this indicator, the lower server’s downtime.
To prove the significance of tenths and hundredths of a per cent for server reliability, we’ve made some calculations.
1 year = 31,536,000 seconds (365*24*60*60)
If your server is 99.9% reliable, it means it might be down for 0.1%.
0.1% out of 31 536 000 seconds makes 31 536 seconds which equals 8 hours, 45 minutes and 36 seconds. 1 working day, to put it short.
The below table shows how the level of server reliability influences downtime.
|90%||36 days, 12 hours|
|99%||3 days,15 hours, 36 minutes|
|99.9%||8 hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds|
|99.99%||52 minutes, 33 seconds|
|99.999%||5 minutes, 15 seconds|
Security is one of the core concerns when selecting a web hosting provider as servers are often attacked by hackers due to the financial information they hold. Server security means the protection of valuable financial and personal data of the web store and its good reputation among the users.
Make sure the hosting service companies you consider provide:
- SSL security certificate;
- Anti-virus protection;
- Spam filters;
- DDoS protection;
- Separate server backups.
4. Multiple Data Centres
To allow your web store to be ranked higher in search for your specific target audience, consider choosing a web hosting provider that has some of its physical servers installed in the countries where your target audience is based.
Location of the server’s data centre influences your website’s speed and latency. In case the users are located far from the data centre, page speed and file loading may become lengthy.
Online shoppers are often impatient, and low page speed may make them leave your website and never to return. Moreover, site speed and page-loading time matter for search engines. If you wish your website ranks higher select the web hosting provider with the data centres located closer to your customers.
5. Customer Service
Consider hosting service companies offering dedicated support teams to help resolve technical issues and those related to the customer journey on your website.
Additionally, it is advised to check if a hosting provider can be easily reached out through the contact channels, such as:
- Call centre;
- Live chat;
- Ticket submission.
A well-maintained ecommerce website provides customers with an excellent customer experience, which helps to increase sales, gain reputation, and positive online reviews.
Top Web Hosting Providers for eCommerce Platforms
Selecting an ecommerce hosting provider to suit the requirements of your website is the key to long term success of your business. You want to save money, time, and get a web store running smoothly with no crashes.
Within our ecommerce practice at NEKLO, we have identified and selected the top 3 ecommerce platforms offering diverse hosting options. They are:
All the 3 options work to help boost your online presence. However, they differ in terms of functionality and features.
Below, we outline the key parameters and hosting peculiarities of these ecommerce platforms so as to help you make the right decision.
Magento is trusted by world-famous brands like Cisco, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Nike. It is fully customizable through its 3,000+ extensions available at the Magento Marketplace.
The platform suits both small online shops and large digital enterprises and marketplaces. Magento is scalable and grows together with your business.
- Strong SEO;
- Responsive design themes;
- High scalability and customization;
- Multi-brand management and global reach;
- Amazon sales channel.
Apart from a feature-rich web store, Magento will require a hosting solution.
5 most popular web hosting providers for Magento so far include:
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that suits for:
- Starting a web store;
- Brands with the amount of stock keeping units (SKU) less than 100.
It’s easy-to-use and grabs merchants’ preference with such features as:
- 70+ payment gateways;
- Multi-channel selling;
- Manual order creation;
- 24/7 support;
- Amazon integration.
Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform, which means it does not allow third-party interference. Statistics provided by BuiltWith for the websites using hosted solution technologies show that Shopify is no.1 with a share of 37%.
Additionally, Shopify provides:
- Free domain;
- 99.98% server reliability;
- Unlimited email forwarding. In addition Shopify has a vast 3rd party app store, for literally everything. You can even add Google Analytics to your Shopify Store with Conversific, combining Shopify’s own data and GA data for holistic display, helping you to make better data driven decisions.
BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform suitable for mid-market and enterprise brands. It also suits fast-growing businesses.
Website Builder Expert reports that BigCommerce boasts an average growth of 28% a year when it comes for small businesses willing to scale up.
- Cross-channel selling;
- Flexibility and extensibility;
- Page builder visual editor;
- Multi-currency support;
- No transaction fees.
What sets BigCommerce apart is that it has the tools helping to sell physical, digital, and service-based products without requiring you to use a third-party app.
Despite the data and studies saying that BigCommerce demonstrates inconsistent speeds, this hosted platform still has:
- Fast page speed;
- Unlimited bandwidth;
- Very few security issues.
Hosting solutions vary and perform differently depending on your business purposes. That is the reason why you’d want to take time to identify the key goals and needs you wish to satisfy.
Before you select a hosting company, think over the hosting type that you need, the budget that you have, and the specific requirements of your website.
A correctly-chosen web hosting provider will help you to successfully start and then upgrade a web store.