If you have been resisting the allure of e-commerce for your business, 2020 may well have convinced you. Coronavirus panic has taken hold of the world, and with the virus spreading in the US, people are choosing to stay away from public places. Those sellers who only have brick-and-mortar stores are already struggling to stay afloat. People were already becoming more likely to buy something online, and the current panic is going to create many more converts.
You may be scrambling to get your e-commerce website set up, and you will have some decisions to make. The very first decision will be what web hosting to use. Web hosting is essentially online real estate for your website. Without it, your website cannot exist.
But web hosting is not just a blank space. Different web hosting options provide all sorts of different features. Certain hosting providers are set up to facilitate e-commerce sites in particular, and you should look for the right hosting for this purpose.
Here is how to go about finding the perfect hosting for your e-commerce site
What to look out for
Platforms like eBay’s Magento CMS software are perfect for e-commerce websites for a reason. They make it easy to collect customer data and store it in an easily navigable database. They provide tools to securely take credit card payments and to work with PayPal. Unless you have a great web developer to do the work for you, you should take advantage of the features these platforms offer.
Magento is just one example of an e-commerce platform, but other platforms like WordPress have great e-commerce features as well, even if they cater to any kind of website owners.
When looking for web hosting, you should be on the lookout for providers who cater specifically to users of the platform you have settled on. It should come with the requisite SSL security that ensures you and your customers are safe from hackers and thieves.
The best managed hosting is a particularly good choice for an e-commerce site, as this type of hosting provides more dedicated resources to you, align with the combination of independence and support on offer.
Make sure you do a deep dive into the reviews for any hosting provider you feel inclined to trust. While there are many great hosts out there, you need to ensure they do what they promise. Features are useless if they constantly malfunction and there is no good customer service to help out.
Other e-commerce users will be able to tell you just how well the hosting has responded in times of crisis and whether they live up to their claims. A significant number of negative reviews should be a red flag, even if the majority are positive. Hosting providers may be able to fake good reviews, but they can do little to prevent disgruntled customers from making their grievances known.
Finally, remember that cost should always be a secondary factor. The most expensive may not be the best hosting, but cheapness can be an indicator of limited features and support. Choose the web hosting that looks best, then take a look at the different pricing options to see what suits you.