What is Ecommerce Web Hosting?
An ecommerce website allows you to market your products online.
To get the site available to customers, you will require ecommerce hosting.
It hosts the website for clients and ensures your site is running optimally.
We look at what is ecommerce web hosting and which hosting option suits your business.
What is Ecommerce Hosting?
Ecommerce web hosting is a service where a hosting provider serves an ecommerce website to end customers.
The web host offers a server where the site’s files are stored and maintained.
You can rent or buy servers via web hosting providers. The web host offers services to secure and optimize the server.
It differs from standard web hosting. Ecommerce hosting has features that help manage a commercial website.
Some of the unique aspects include-
- Shopping cart software.
- Payment processing.
- Managing traffic spikes.
- Shipping and tracking.
- Database support.
- Security for customer data.
Ecommerce Hosting Types
1. Cloud-Based Hosting
Cloud-based hosting uses computing resources from a third-party cloud provider.
The cloud provider offers the cloud server, storage, and network.
The remote servers are inter-connected for high reliability. If one hardware goes down, another server can quickly replace it.
Cloud hosting is a popular solution for ecommerce websites.
You can quickly scale resources based on the website traffic. It provides pay-as-you-go pricing models based on your demands.
2. SaaS Hosting
Software as a Service (SaaS) is cloud-based web hosting. The software that runs your site and hosting is included in one subscription.
A SaaS host frees you from the IT workloads involved in self-hosting.
For example, Shopify and Adobe Commerce Cloud are SaaS-based ecommerce platforms. The host managed components such as
- Software licenses
The monthly subscription covers server maintenance and security.
You get cloud hosting, ecommerce software, and back-office operations.
3. VPS Hosting
A Virtual Private Server or VPS is a form of multi-tenant cloud hosting. It has one physical server divided into smaller virtual servers.
Each allocated virtual machine acts as a dedicated environment. So you can host multiple websites on one server.
A security issue on one website is less likely to affect your site.
4. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated Hosting gives you full access to the web server hardware.
You get the same control over the system and application software as VPS. However, yours is the only website that is hosted on the server.
Dedicated hosting can be expensive. It is used by large-scale ecommerce companies that have in-house maintenance staff.
Ecommerce Platform Hosting Types
1. Fully Hosted Ecommerce Solution
Fully hosted ecommerce platforms maintain your store’s files in the cloud. You don’t have to set up the server or take care of the server-side workloads.
Popular hosted ecommerce platforms include-
Fully hosted solutions are commonly referred to as SaaS products. As a merchant, you get complete hosting services and an ecommerce platform.
The vendor uses a cloud provider to host your site. For example, Shopify offers the Google Cloud Platform.
Or it can be the vendor’s cloud, such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Pros and cons of fully hosted ecommerce services-
|Pros of Fully hosted ecommerce platforms||Cons of Fully hosted ecommerce platforms|
|Subscription-based platform. You only pay for the services you require.||Limited customizations. You do not get much control over the server.|
|The platforms are easy to manage with user-friendly features and layouts.||Higher costs as your site grows. More traffic leads to high costs.|
|Customer support from the vendor for hosting and site maintenance.||There are limits on the number of products you can add and regions to scale.|
2. Self Hosted Ecommerce Solution
In self-hosting, you are responsible for hosting your ecommerce website. It does not offer native hosting services from the application vendor.
You can choose your web host and the type of hosting for your store.
In self-hosting, you get to choose the ecommerce application and the infrastructure.
Popular self-hosted platforms include-
The ecommerce software requires external hosting. For example, you have to add WooCommerce hosting with the software.
Pros and cons of self-hosted ecommerce platform-
|Pros of self-hosted ecommerce platform||Cons of self-hosted ecommerce platform|
|You can choose the hosting provider and ecommerce platform.||The setup process is more complex than fully hosted platforms.|
|Extend features, including the layout of the ecommerce site.
You can customize the store freely.
|Lack of technical support can cause issues and extra costs.|
|More control and flexibility over the server.||You have to maintain the server on your own in case of unmanaged self-hosting.|
Why is eCommerce Focused Hosting So Important?
1. Customers Abandon Slow Sites
Around 47% of customers expect a web page to load less than 2 seconds.
According to Google, more than half of mobile visits are abandoned. It is when the mobile pages take more than three seconds to load.
Traffic spikes or heavy extensions can also make your web pages slow.
The hosting provider ensures that your web pages have quick responses. It can do that by caching, CDN, and speed optimization techniques.
2. Easy Website Setup
Hosting companies make it easy to set up and customize your store.
Opt for managed hosting for your ecommerce website. Experts do critical tasks like server setup and configurations.
3. Secure Payment Processing
Ecommerce sites are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches.
You can lose customer data, leading to fines and loss of brand reputation.
The ecommerce hosting should have a secure server. You also get compliance assistance for your store.
4. Minimize Downtime
Excessive downtime can lead to revenue losses for your business.
Finding the right ecommerce hot ensures that your site is available to customers. Check if the uptime guarantee is mentioned in the SLAs.
What to Consider When Choosing a Host for Your Store
1. High Performance
With an ecommerce site, the priority should be finding a fast and reliable web host.
A site with a fast load time attracts more visitors. It also helps the site rank higher on Google.
The right web host offers performance components such as -
- Caching mechanism.
- Content delivery network.
- Latest hardware technology.
- Performance tuning.
2. Security and Encryption
Security should be a priority for web hosting companies.
Some security threats include DDoS attacks, SQL injections, malware, etc.
Any risk can damage your store and even lead to data breaches.
Web hosting companies offer the following security services-
- Free SSL certificates.
- DDoS protection.
- Spam filters.
- Virus protection.
- Intrusion detection.
The web host should protect from malware, DDoS attacks, and other malicious bots.
3. Bandwidth and File Storage
Ecommerce stores have image-heavy pages due to product listings. So many files of images and high-resolution videos can lead to a slow site.
Ensure that you have sufficient bandwidth to support all the files. You are also guided on the best image sizes for optimizing site speed.
4. Scalable Hosting
Ecommerce hosting should allow you to adjust resources based on demand. Ensure that you get a flexible hosting infrastructure.
Cloud hosting is recommended for ecommerce websites. It is because you get more flexibility in scaling.
Some of the cloud scaling models include-
- Horizontal scaling.
- Vertical scaling.
A lot of work is put into building an ecommerce website. You have to design the pages, list all products, update the inventory, etc.
It also carries everyday customer transactions and sales reports. If the website crashes, you do not want to lose all the data at once.
Backups ensure that copies of your data are stored elsewhere from the original storage.
Ensure that your web host offers fully automated and daily backups of your data.
6. Technical Support
Self-hosted ecommerce solutions do not get technical support. If any issues arise, you have to solve them on your own.
Outsourcing hourly support can get more expensive in the long run. Your site would remain slow or damaged until the issue is fixed.
In managed hosting services, you get native technical support. You should check if the ecommerce web host offers 24/7 proactive support.
You can immediately open a ticket for your case and get it resolved quickly.
7. Hosting Costs
Ecommerce web hosting plans depend on your business size and demands
Opting for less expansive shared hosting is not recommended. It can damage your site and cause security risks.
You have to choose if you want a self-hosted solution or a fully hosted one.
For self-hosting, you can pick a hosting provider with your ecommerce software. SMBs are recommended to go for managed ecommerce hosting.
A SaaS solution is helpful for large-scale ecommerce sites that require built-in support and native cloud features.
A suitable ecommerce web hosting is essential to run your online store. It offers a responsive site, server security, and technical support.
The ecommerce hosting solution has to fit your business demands. You should consider all the factors mentioned as you pick an ecommerce web host.
An excellent hosting provider will improve your ecommerce business with an optimal running website.
Learn more about ecommerce hosting on the MGT Commerce blog.