The type of web host needed for e-commerce is one that can meet all the security, support and functionality needs of a business. E-commerce hosting is very different from normal web hosting because there are additional, mandatory features. These include support and software for SSL, databases, email servers, shopping carts and payment processing. E-commerce web hosting must provide businesses with all the tools and services they need to conduct transactions, manage customer service and process requests.
Dedicated vs. Shared Services
Businesses owners may choose from three different types of web host services. First, dedicated web hosting services provide a single client with all the service space, access and bandwidth. This exclusive business relationship provides the highest levels of reliability and accessibility, but it is the most expensive option. Second, shared web hosting involves many different companies sharing the same server, so they also share the contract costs. This option is the most cost-effective, but it guarantees occasional downtime, space shortages and bandwidth limitations. The only way around this problem is to find a highly reputable web hosting service that guarantees uptime, space and bandwidth.
A third kind of web hosting technology is VPS, which strives to find the right balance between shared and dedicated hosting. VPS, which is also called virtual dedicated hosting, is a solution that uses a virtual private server to offer clients control and flexibility at lower prices. This still means that the business will share the same server with other websites, but each VPS has assigned spaces. The VPS will independently function without outside interference. Clients are given total administrative control over their web host software. VPS is popular because there are no extra hardware and maintenance costs for physical equipment.
Web Hosting Security
Online security is a priority for any business that engages in e-commerce. Hackers who steal passwords, credit card numbers and sensitive information will cause serious PR, legal and financial woes for the company. Web hosting services should offer the highest levels of security and encryption. For example, SSL Certificates increase the protection of online consumers by posting an authoritative green seal at the link of the website. SSL Certificates contain data files that are sent to the browser every time a consumer accesses the e-commerce’s website. This in turn triggers the so called “http protocol over TLS/SS” or “https protocol over port 443” protocol that secures the connections between the web server host and the consumer’s browser.
The web host service should guarantee a high-performing server with adequate resources. This will increase the functionality of the website, reduce the likelihood of technical difficulties and ultimately keep consumers happy and spending money. When shopping for an e-commerce web host, ask about the server’s CPU, RAM, operating system (OS), bandwidth and storage space. A solid-state drive (SSD) is generally better than a hard disk drive (HDD) to improve speed. Be sure to confirm with the company that the uptime is guaranteed at 99 percent. Request real-time statistics of uptime, downtime occurrences and server performance.
Related Resource: What is Managed Web Hosting?
The type of web host needed for e-commerce should come with a dedicated IP, which increase security, and an automated backup function, which will reduce future technical problems. 24/7 technical support should be available by phone, email and live chat.