A small to medium-sized ecommerce business is best setup through a web hosting company. The time and effort required setup one’s own web server that will fulfill the bandwidth and storage requirements and software development for the ecommerce business is not just practical.
The maintenance after the website is up will also require a dedicated IT staff just to keep the business website working. The result is an additional need of a dedicated IT skilled staff.
This is where the ecommerce web hosting comes into the picture. The services offered by a web hosting company relieve the business from the technical task. The are many choices in the lists the companies that can host an ecommerce business website. It is a challenging task to choose the right web hosting company for your ecommerce business. This challenge is even compounded by the variety and complexity of the business logic of the website. In making the choice, the pros and cons should be weigh-in carefully since an ecommerce website involves money.
The following should be considered in the selection of an ecommerce web hosting service:
There should be a defined service level agreement (SLA) in terms of the bandwidth in an ecommerce web hosting solution. With the bandwidth always within SLA, there is a proper flow of operation in your business. The website should have the functionality to accept needed user information such as orders, credit card number and other information needed to transact a business. The network bandwidth along with software logic should ensure the integrity of these business transactions. The web hosting company should offer a T-3 or 45mbps network speed and this is the minimum recommended.
A network configuration that decreases the network hop from the network backbone is recommended. This will decrease the number of nodes being jumped to before a packet finally reaches to its destination. This fewer jumps means faster bandwidth and less prone to error in the handling of data. There is a greater possibility of an error to occur when the “downstream” of the provider gets further. The possibility of needing to co-locate should be considered if this action of bringing closer the computer to the backbone shows a significant improvement. There is always a better ecommerce experience when a web hosting service uses powerful computer hardware
A 24/7 reliability of your website is achieved by adding redundant servers which will take over the operation when the main server is down.
Having two backbone providers also adds to the website’s overall reliability. Aside from bandwidth requirements, the disk space should also be considered. A special feature of a web hosting company could include software that builds online catalogs. Online transactions should be secured and protected by the web hosting company. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the most reliably used software protection by ecommerce businesses to secure their transactions. The web hosting service should provide the payment processing feature used in ecommerce.
The feature to transfer data directly to web hosting server’s database systems, inventory, and accounting is a much desired by site owners from a web hosting service. This feature is called back end integration. A reasonable cost of a web hosting company that provides a reliable service is a much desired feature. A monthly fee of $100- $150 is the average.
More features requested mean a higher monthly cost.