As the business magnate and Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates famously said: ‘If your business is not on the internet then your business will be out of business’. More so now than ever, it is imperative for commercial entities to have a web presence that allows for visibility, availability, and accessibility in the new environment that business is taking place in.
A business with a website in one that the consumer feels that they can trust and has their finger on the pulse for what the modern consumer expects from them. Therefore, constructing an online store, or a web storefront for an existing one, should be a top priority for any business owner.
There is a widespread and competitive market for web hosting options to get a webpage up and running at the speeds required for online customer conversion. However, there are eCommerce optimized web hosting options that can be the superior choice for those business owners that are creating a site specifically to conduct trade.
These e-commerce hosting services feature tools to assist in getting the most out of a commercial website, integrating marketing and research tools, analytics services and cart applications, making the experience as rewarding for the business owner as it is for the consumer.
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Why do You Need Ecommerce Hosting?
With the steady decline of retail growth and its swift outpacing by online shopping sites over the last decade, business owners must now adopt an entirely new set of tactics pertaining to the success of their commerce, user conversation, and customer satisfaction.
Ecommerce hosts specialize in keeping performance high. Research indicates that potential customers will wait only an average of 6.3 seconds for a retail webpage to load before abandoning the site to search elsewhere, with mobile web users waiting less than half of that time at 3 seconds before closing the page. Overall, 80% of users that experience loading issues with a store’s webpage will not return to the site and this can sever any and all future conversion from a large section of interacting consumers if a web store does not meet the customer expectations.
eCommerce web hosting services employ a number of cache and content delivery network (CDN) systems to route visitors to their closest linked data center, guaranteeing an optimized performance that accommodates the traffic spikes and other common factors faced by commercial websites that can affect loading times.
Security should be a business owner’s number one concern when moving their commerce online. With all of the multitudinous benefits that come with the internet and e-commerce, there is a new set of hazards from malicious sources to consider. eCommerce web hosts recognize that downtime for a business is an unaffordability so they grant security against attacks that can leave a webpage compromised. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attack upon your website can take it down completely until the attack is resolved by overwhelming the server with constant superfluous requests from multiple compromised devices.
These downtime periods are estimated to cost small businesses up to $120,000 and up to 2 million dollars for enterprise organizations. More costly could be the mark against the business’ brand upon public exposure of its lack of security measures. Good eCommerce hosts will have DDoS protection built into their packages. Furthermore, customers need to see that a business’s website is secure when they are submitting sensitive credit card information. Ecommerce web hosting services can include the integration of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates which allow for the data encryption between the customer’s device and the server, securing data transfer and credit card transactions.
This can take the costly and time-consuming aspects of necessary security maintenance out of the hands of the business owner and incorporates it into the web hosting package.
Finally, eCommerce web hosting features the tools to construct the technical foundation of the web store that a standard host may not. Secure payment gateways, shopping cart choices and preinstalled eCommerce plugins are all vital features for beginner and experienced eCommerce traders alike.
What are the Benefits of Ecommerce Hosting?
- Customer confidence: Consumers want to know that their data is secure when submitting information to a commercial website. There are multiple systems that can warn customers that they are browsing an unsecured website, one of the more common being the ‘Not secure’ tag in the address bar. eCommerce hosting features integrated SSL certificates, allowing customers to have the conviction that their credit card data is protected. This trust can boost customer engagement and conversion on an eCommerce site significantly.
- Increased security: With cyber attacks on the rise that range much further than productivity destroying DDoS assault, customers on eCommerce websites need to know that the databases on the host server are heavily protected. These services place a priority on security and feature measures to mitigate DDoS attacks and malware incursions.
- Performance and visibility: eCommerce web hosts design their packages to keep the all-important uptime percentage as high as possible. By optimizing servers, they are able to handle the traffic spikes associated with eCommerce without compromising page loading times. This keeps the page ranked highly in Google’s search index and allows for a much higher rate of visibility to potential customers.
What Factors to Consider for Ecommerce Hosting.
- Encryption: When considering choices for an eCommerce web hosting service one should seek a provider that offers a range of protective features in its packages. Data is a valuable resource to hackers and they can employ numerous methods in extracting customer data from a commercial site. Select a provider that follows PCI compliance and offers not only DDoS protection and SSL certificates but spam filters, firewall deployment, virus protection, and domain name privacy too.
- Storage and file size: The vast majority, if not all, eCommerce sites rely on high-resolution images and videos to suitably market and advertise their product or service remotely. This, in combination with a large database of customer data, can cause a website to experience slow loading times. A prospective user will wish to find an eCommerce hosting service that can provide the bandwidth to support the needs of their website.
- Scaling options: The desire for most businesses is to grow beyond their initial bounds and reach new levels of success and product or service distribution. Therefore, it is important for a provider to allow options for a website to upgrade and expand with the growth of their business. The greatest choices are providers that allow for these upgrades to take place with little to no downtime.
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Top 3 Ecommerce Hosting Providers
There is a competitive market for providers offering a web hosting environment. Anyone wishing to take their commercial business online is open to all the advantages available with hosting providers. These are some of the top web hosting providers and details on why they are the correct choice for bringing businesses into the modern world of eCommerce.
Squarespace: For smaller, creative businesses Squarespace is a platform offering features such as web page design templates for those more inexperienced in page design, free, unlimited hosting and a free domain name for the first year of usage. In regards to security, Sqaurespace boasts malware and anti-DDoS protection in addition to auto-renewed SSL certificates.
BigCommerce: This robustly protected provider features a PCI compliant, DDoS protected, ISO/IEC and SSL certified infrastructure. The provider’s supply of unlimited bandwidth and a fast CDN network allows BigCommerce to claim an uptime percentage of 99%.
LiquidWeb: Ideal for enterprise-level businesses, LiquidWeb can accommodate any size of business utilizing its Cloud Infrastructure. Its servers are fully managed and maintained by the LiquidWeb team, leaving the owner to focus on running the business. The provider is PCI compliant with SSL certification available and it supplies off-site data backups to get a website operational again quickly should the site be compromised. Additionally, the provider has a support team available around the clock.
Regardless of a customer’s experience level, design knowledge or funding, there are a plethora of options for web hosting available that cater to the needs and expectations of eCommerce in today’s society. Fortunately, in this competitive market, these providers are offering all the tools and protection a customer needs to create or upgrade a commercial website, have it functioning effectively with customer satisfaction in mind and get their service on the public radar as quickly and as consistently as possible.