What is ecommerce hosting?
As electronic commerce grows, services designed for this sector proliferate. Ecommerce hosting is one of them.
Both companies that use web managers such as Prestashop or Magento and, above all, those that have their own code, need this service in order to grow. But what is eCommerce hosting? In essence, eCommerce hosting is a set of hosting services and, by extension, IT services tailored to companies dedicated to online sales and their specific needs.
DIFFERENCES REGARDING GENERIC HOSTING
As a specialized service, eCommerce hosting focuses on the most critical aspects of hosting for an eCommerce, which are:
Any user, at any time and place, must be able to access the store. Some of the services indicated to fulfill this purpose are: load balancing, redundant architectures, HA platform or CDN services in strategic countries.
Although it is related to the previous point, we want to refer here to the privacy and integrity of the information that an online store manages. That the hosting provider complies with certifications such as ISO 27000, with the RGPD, and with the PCI-DSS, is, today, essential.
It permeates everything from SEO to user experience, which is why it is critical that an ecommerce responds fluently without interruption. For this, not only technology and programming are important: the data center of the ecommerce hosting provider, in addition to being robust, must be located at a neutral point of traffic exchange and have peering agreements wherever the ecommerce wants to operate. Latencies should be minimal.
In addition to being easily scalable, the solution must be tailored to the code, content and typology of each ecommerce. Here the combination of cloud and dedicated resources in the same solution, access via VPN network to the web code for programmers, secure development environments, database management.
An ecommerce does not close, its technical service should not either. Since all technology sometimes fails, it is not only important to solve problems quickly, but also to anticipate them. Both the management and the support of an ecommerce hosting service must be proactive and 24x7x365 so that any incident can be replicated in the shortest possible time.
TYPES OF ECOMMERCE HOSTING
Ideally, we should find as many types as there are ecommerce, since it is a service based on adaptability. However, in practice we can distinguish between two large groups within this class of services: on the one hand, those that integrate the hosting with content managers such as Prestashop, Magento or osCommerce; and on the other, those focused on the design and management of the hosting platform, tailored to each ecommerce and its specific web code.
The former offer standard solutions that already include web hosting and the license of the software in question. They are packaged and generally cheaper, although they tolerate very little customization in terms of resources, programming and design, and can present difficulties in growth and internationalization processes.
The second type of ecommerce hosting, more flexible and scalable, requires a fine-tuning of each component, as well as continuous analysis and redesign during the operation of the service. Developers make daily changes to the code, which means adapting the solution almost as often, something essential if an ecommerce grows, especially if it grows quickly. In this type of hosting, managed services such as high geographical availability, database clustering or caching acquire special relevance .
When deciding, being almost impossible to know the quality of a service in advance, it is advisable to know if a provider has ISO or PCI DSS certifications, as well as to ensure that they offer global Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that guarantee operability of the whole solution.
If you run an eCommerce platform
If you run an eCommerce platform, you are browsing more important water surfaces. You will require a large amount of disk space and bandwidth. The shared hosting you were using previously will no longer be sufficient and you need to switch to more reliable hosting. A Dedicated Server of Hosting can be expensive but, when it comes to keeping your clients, there is no alternative.
In your line of business, there is no room for cuts. Even the slightest disruption will reduce your customers' trust in you. Obtaining a CDN service is mandatory. CDNs are a lifesaver when your site has gone down, with an inordinate amount of traffic your hosting platform becomes unable to keep up with the load it is having; A CDN will serve your customers geographically and keep your site running flawlessly.
Most of the eCommerce platforms out there also use Magento or Woocommerce for WordPress. These CMS are simple and easy to use for beginners. So, when choosing a hosting service, know which CMS you will be using and find the best host for your platform.
Server location is also an important factor when speeding up your website. Google penalizes sites with low speed. Depending on where the majority of your clients reside, you will need to select either a North American, a European or an Asian server.
Being in charge of an ecommerce business can be challenging and there may be different obstacles that you must cross. Find the hosting provider that can provide you with the best 24x7 support and the best CDNs according to the geography of the majority of your customers
Factors to take into account to select the right hosting for an eCommerce
Your accommodation must be where your target audience is, if your store points to some country, you must look for a server in the country with local IP. If, on the contrary, it is in the Iberian Peninsula, then try to be in any capital city such as Barcelona, Bilbao, Galicia, Madrid, Valencia etc.
Speed is important, you will see that most of the companies that we recommend at the above detail all the technical aspects in each hosting plan. If it serves as a clue, try that the hosting plan includes SSD disks and CDN service.
Customer service is vital, try to be 24/7 and by phone. Runaway from the mandatory ticket system. In particular, some like to talk on the phone to clarify doubts and once you are certain of what you want, then you do send an email so that it is a record of what you are asking for. The truth is that for these cases, the experience is what prevails. Search the internet for a forum so you can see opinions about customer service.
The agility of the technical service, in this case, one would also recommend you guide yourself a little by the experience of others. When you spoke with the technical service to increase the capacity of our VPS and request the activation of some modules and in less than 15 minutes I had it solved.
That they offer SSL Certification, It is essential to project an image of trust for your visits. In an online store, monetary transactions are generated and an SSL certificate transmits the peace of mind to users that their bank details will not be used by third parties.
Good bandwidth is about the level of data transfer between the server and the visits. Having an adequate bandwidth for the level of visits will ensure that you do not generate incidents. For example, purchasing 1GB of data transfer may be fine for a simple online store.
Hard disk space is like everything, as you grow you will need more storage space. To give you an idea, for a blog with 1GB of space it is enough if you mostly publish text, but for a store 5GB may be better, since images or multimedia content take up much more (especially video).