Ecommerce Hosting is all about capacity & customer service. Calling a hosting plan ”ecommerce-ready” is not a way of describing a literal class of hosting package. However, certain features not only need to be present, they should be emphasized in the ads for what you buy.
Why Buy Ecommerce-grade Web Hosting?: One big key to success in ecommerce, is for the average site visitor to never, ever see a serious glitch. One serious glitch can cost you a sale, a new customer, and their satisfied word-of-mouth. A reputable web host, who markets a plan as ecommerce oriented, will understand that. They can be expected to work in your corner to make it happen.
You will, understandably, pay more for an ecommerce web hosting plan. You, the ecommerce-grade client, will be expected to need more service assistance. You will be expected to need immediate responses to your service requests. Your host will charge more per month, for this service availability, than you would for a budget-tier VPS.
Slow Down, Newbies! Because of cost and setup time, you probably won’t start your first ecommerce business on a full-blown ecommerce web hosting plan. Cost-conscious startups will opt for a low- or mid-end VPS, which usually offers all the essentials, but less capacity and less service response.
Don’t lose money! If you plan to upgrade to an ecommerce web hosting plan later, make sure there’s a painless, fast way to upgrade later! Once your site’s ready and live, your marketing successes can overload a budget hosting plan. After a point, low server capacity equals low revenue potential.
What to Expect: To begin with, your ecommerce packages will fall under three types of service. The first two types are VPS (virtual private servers) and dedicated web hosting plans, upgraded with better tech capacity, more promises from the service departments, more conveniences, etc.
The third type is a special kind of web hosting, which I’ll leave alone – skip this unless you’re curious. That third ecommerce web hosting type is usually called ”fully hosted ecommerce.” The web hosting is incidental in that service; it’s premium ecommerce software, that happens to be hosted.
So, here’s what to expect from those ecommerce-upgraded VPS and dedicated web hosting plans. Full administrative & techie access is a must, and I mean the whole kit. When you need to hire a technician to solve problems you don’t understand, they’ll throw alphabet soup at you, and you’d best be saying ”yep!” to all of it: SSH, SFTP, cPanel, Virtuozzo, detailed and integrated control panels for every feature, logs and backups (not just the features – an actual history of backups and logs) …because these are the things that solve problems as fast as possible.
Costs: If you’re launching straight into handling money and product, you cannot afford to skimp on price or provider reputation. The cost of your ecommerce web hosting will be geared to the expectation that this ecommerce operation will bring revenue in the first month.
If you’re not there yet, try a lower-end VPS instead of full ecommerce web hosting package. Discounted ecommerce VPS plans will start around US $45, lower for big promotions. Plans which won’t bottleneck a successful marketing plan, will average US $100-120 per month, more or less for various related services. (Don’t forget to buy and set-up your SSL certificate!)