As the owner of an online store, deciding on an eCommerce hosting plan is a high priority. After all, your website is your business. Without a properly functioning and secure website, your customers will be less likely to buy from you, eventually shutting down your website and possibly your business.
Running an online store is much more involved than running a website that is used to display information or media. You are responsible for inventory, customer information, data processing, and creating an easy-to-navigate website.
Determining what makes a good eCommerce host is different than what makes a good host in general. But what exactly makes it different, and what should you be looking for?
As an eCommerce business owner, you need the best security you can get. With customers inputting addresses and credit card information, you are responsible for ensuring that information is not going to end up in the wrong hands.
Your site should definitely have an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate encrypts the data being transferred between the customer and your website. You can tell if a site has an SSL certificate by looking at the address bar of your browser. If there is a little lock, and the URL begins with https://, that site has an SSL certificate. If it doesn’t, don’t buy from that site as it is not secure.
A successful website runs well. This is the same for an eCommerce site, but it carries a little more weight. The reason is that you have inventory, a way to showcase that inventory, and an integrated payment system. These features take up more storage space and need more bandwidth to run properly. Ensuring that you have the right amount of each is great, but you’ll want the right equipment, too. Instead of a normal HDD, aim to have an SSD. A solid-state drive is faster and usually has more storage than its counterpart.
Uptime is a percentage of how often your site is up throughout a year. While 100% is basically impossible, you want to get as close as you can. A lot of hosts offer 5-9’s, or 99.999% uptime. This is what you should be looking for. If a potential host has less than 99% uptime, you can just skip right over them.
Backing up a website is important and should be done for any website. When it comes to an eCommerce site, however, backups need to happen more often. Ideally, you want a host that can offer daily backups. With orders happening daily, it will benefit you and your customers to have daily backups if something happens and causes a loss of data.
Using the cloud to do an additional backup or even backing up your site manually is recommended. You need backups for your backups, and you’ll be happy that you do if you ever need one.
Running a website, upgrading it, managing it, and everything else that comes with a website is hard to do alone. Having customer support that understands the process of running a website is a huge help. It’s even better when they are available 24/7.
Different avenues to reach your support team such as phone, email, and chat should also be on your list when looking for eCommerce hosting. InMotion is a firm believer in providing awesome customer support because we want you to feel at ease if you ever run into an issue. This is why our support team is industry-leading, and always available.
While there are other features to look for in an eCommerce hosting plan, these are what you should be looking for first. These features combined will provide for a solid base for your website and growth. If you want to learn more about what a good eCommerce plan looks like, head over to our hosting plans page. We go into more detail about what you can expect from us and our hosting service.