While a fully functioning and well-designed website is vital for the success of your eCommerce company, just as critical is the quality of the web hosting that the website uses to get online. Your choice of hosting solution can directly impact your website’s performance, security and customer experience, and affect whether you have the right tools, features and support to run your operations. To help you make an informed decision, this post will discuss the essential web hosting requirements you need in today’s competitive online market.
Website reliability is paramount for every eCommerce business. Downtime can result in lost sales, a damaged reputation and dissatisfied customers who leave to shop elsewhere. To ensure your site stays online, it is vital that you choose a web hosting provider that guarantees high uptime, preferably 99.9% or above, and backs this up with a service level agreement (SLA).
At the same time, look for a provider with robust server infrastructure, redundant networks and reliable data centres, as these are necessary to ensure continuous website availability, even during peaks of high traffic.
eCommerce businesses can experience periods of high demand, especially during peak shopping seasons or when they have launched a new marketing campaign. It may be that such increases in traffic require more server resources than your existing hosting plan has to offer. This leaves you with two possible options, either you need to upgrade to a larger hosting account or upscale the resources of your existing plan.
If there is the potential that you may need to scale up instantly to keep your site from crashing or performing sluggishly, then your best choice is to opt for cloud hosting, as this allows you to scale up or down on demand. At the push of a button, you can have all the additional resources you need for as long as you need them. If you have another type of hosting, scaling up may take longer, but you should at least look for a web host that makes it quick and easy to upgrade to a bigger plan that offers you more CPU, RAM and storage.
As part of your operations, your eCommerce website will handle sensitive customer information, including personal details and payment data. Protecting this data is of the utmost importance for building trust, maintaining customer loyalty and complying with regulations like GDPR and PCI-DSS.
When it comes to hosting, it is important to choose a web host that offers a secure server environment. Look for a host that defends your server with robust firewalls and intrusion and malware prevention systems; provides SSL certificates to encrypt information and payment details sent from the user to your website; and blocks DDoS and other forms of cyberattack.
Additionally, check that the host provides a remote backup solution that encrypts backups and checks them for integrity. This way, if the worst happens, you can swiftly get your website back online.
Speed and performance
Website speed and performance directly impact customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Slow-loading pages can drive visitors away, resulting in lost sales opportunities. As a two-second delay in loading time can reduce conversions by up to 7%, it is essential that your web hosting solution has fast server response times, caching mechanisms and other optimisation techniques to ensure your site provides a good user experience. For ultimate speed, look for a host whose hardware includes high-performance Intel Xeon processors and superfast SSD-accelerated storage drives.
Choosing a web hosting provider that caters specifically for eCommerce needs can greatly benefit your business. Look for hosting features such as the cPanel control panel, one-click installation of popular eCommerce platforms like Magento or WooCommerce, free SSL certificates, professional email hosting and SEO tools. These features help you streamline the setup process, simplify site creation and management, and enhance the overall shopping experience for your customers.
24/7 technical support
Timely and reliable customer support is essential for eCommerce business as technical issues or downtime can occur at any time, potentially impacting sales and customer satisfaction. Make sure that your web hosting provider offers 24/7 technical support through channels such as online chat, email, ticket and phone. This way, you know that regardless of the time of day, an expert will be available to help you fix any issues and get your website working as it should.
Selecting the right hosting solution is a crucial decision for eCommerce business owners. By choosing the right provider and the appropriate form of hosting for your needs (i.e., shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server or cloud), your business stands a greater chance of success. To do this, you should look to find a solution that is reliable, scalable, secure and fast, and which comes with eCommerce features and 24/7 support.
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