Starting an online business can be exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. One question that often comes up is the type of hosting service you need to open your e-commerce store. The answer depends on what kind of website you are opening and how much traffic it will get.
It’s hard to tell the difference between the different services available for your e-commerce needs. For example, do you need shared hosting or dedicated hosting? And why does it matter which one is better for your business? Click here now for a review of a hosting service that provides three levels of hosting. Keep reading to find out what these different levels are and what might suit you best.
4 Things to Look for In a Hosting Service
When you are searching for a hosting service, there are four main categories that are most relevant, especially for a newcomer. Let’s examine each of these individually.
The performance of the hosting service you are using is one of the most important characteristics to look at. You want the load time for your website to be fairly quick; otherwise, browsers might exit your site.
The hosting company should use efficiently managed high-speed servers. Website speed and availability should be one of their top priorities.
Normally, a suitable hosting service will offer several different performance tiers for its users. The most efficient tier offered is normally the VPS or virtual private server. The VPS is the fastest available option because you are the only customer using this server. There is no shared hosting, which leads to much faster load and response times.
If you’re a beginner, you probably won’t need a VPS when you’re starting out. These types of servers are normally reserved for large websites with hundreds and thousands of visitors per day.
Easy to Use
Good hosting companies will include various tools to help you with building and managing your website. Larger, more popular hosting companies offer several builders and applications available for download from the C-Panel. Normally there will be several different builders available, separated based on the skill of the user.
New users should have access to simple drag-and-drop website builders or DFY (done for you) templates where you input your specific information. Intermediate users typically choose a standard WordPress buildout, while advanced website builders might prefer raw HTML and other coding platforms.
It should also be simple for a user to set up their e-mail account. This is especially important for a business since e-mail will be one of the primary forms of communication between a business owner and their customers.
Clear Price Tiers
There should be clear price tiers available for a user to choose from. Normally, hosting companies have different prices based on a few specific factors.
- The level of performance (shared hosting, VPS, etc.)
- Tiered monthly prices
- Set yearly prices
It’s important you also make sure that the hosting company offers a lower cost for a yearly plan. For example, a monthly hosting plan might be $15 per month over a 12-month period. However, if the user chooses to pay for the whole year upfront, the price might be reduced to $8 per month. These are just examples and not specific to any plan or company.
Finally, a good hosting company should have stellar security. If you’re opening a new website, security is important when it comes to search engine rankings. Google won’t rank your site as high without the proper SSL certificate that designates your website as an “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP.”
It’s also crucial to have protection against malware and other brute force attacks. Remember, if your site goes down, your business is losing money.
You might consider purchasing a plan or using a hosting service that pays extra attention to security if your business allows customers to checkout onsite. Sensitive information like debit and credit card numbers can be an appealing target for hackers. Look for something that protects your customers from dangerous phishing tactics that put them at risk for fraud and identity theft.
What’s Best for Me as a New Online Business?
Assuming you are a brand new business, you probably won’t need a hosting plan that includes a VPS. Although you might need to take advantage of this service later as you expand, it would most likely be a waste of money to spend the extra capital to cover a higher price. A simple shared hosting plan should be sufficient to start.
If you have a larger store with a lot of products, consider taking one step up from the most basic plan. This ensures there’s enough space on your service for all the content you will need to upload.
Make sure there is an option for an easy website builder to keep things basic. When you’re opening an online business or an e-commerce store, regardless of how simple the website builder is, make sure you also have extra plugins if you need to add special features.
Choose a package with extra attention placed on security. You want to make sure your customers are protected at all times.
Don’t be overwhelmed when you choose your hosting plan. Make sure the company you’re looking into has clear options listed on the website. If it seems confusing, you might want to move on to a different site.
One last thing you want to do as a newcomer is to find a free trial provider. This gives you a chance to sample the service cost-free to make sure it works for you.