As you plan to launch your first ecommerce startup, think carefully about the web hosting solutions your business would need. The first thing you need is a great website. But, the question is what are the components that constitute one?
Believe me, a good website is much more than just aesthetics and usability. It is also secure, speedy and reliable.
Many startups think Shared Hosting is a cost-effective solution for their ecommerce needs. Shared Hosting, like its name suggests, is a mutually shared server that rents storage space to several different websites.
Imagine getting credit card information for hundreds and thousands of your customers and then putting all of that sensitive data on Shared Hosting servers. I’m scared to even think what would happen if there was a security lapse! Plus their painfully slow loading speeds. (SIDE NOTE: Never put credit card information on a hosting server. There’s PCI concerns to be addressed here.)
However, thanks to Google’s push for speedy websites, more companies are opting for Dedicated Hosting Servers over Shared and Virtual Private Servers to run their websites.
Security is one major reason you should invest in better (read EXCLUSIVE) web hosting services. However, there are other reasons too. For large ecommerce businesses that need tight data security, Dedicated Hosting is definitely the best solution.
Cloud Hosting – a virtualized environment – is a good fit for businesses that must optimize IT performance with just a few clicks.
What’s more, hybrid technologies are now available in the market that let you use the power of Dedicated Server and the flexibility of Cloud for your unique business needs.
Measuring service uptime by a web hosting company is essential to gauge the quality of their service, as it is one of the key attributes of a reliable hosting company.
When choosing a host, get a solid uptime guarantee. In simple terms, uptime means how good a web hosting company is at keeping their systems up and running. Service uptime is usually measured as a percentage. Almost all premium quality web hosting services guarantee an uptime of 99.5% to 99.9%.
Here’s how you can interpret these numbers:
- 99% uptime means the service is unavailable for 14.4 minutes a day, or 1.7 hours per week, 7.8 hours per month, or 3.65 days per year. 99% sounds so good, but if we analyze website downtime – its sums up to be a lot.
- 5% uptime means that the service is unavailable for 7.2 minutes per day, or 0.84 hours per week, or 3.6 hours per month, or 1.83 days per year. Can you see what a difference in quality a small .5% can make?
- 9% uptime means that the service is unavailable for 1.44 minutes a day, or 0.17 hours a week, or 0.72 hours a month, or 8.8 hours a year. This is by far the best that any company will offer.
This means that your best bet will be a company that keeps your website running 364 days a year, plus 15.2 additional hours. Anything less than that has an adverse impact on conversion numbers, and customer satisfaction levels.
Think of the web as an ecosystem continuously polluted by malicious users and algorithms. Every new website launched on the internet is vulnerable to all of this noise.
Once a website opts for a web hosting service, it needs to ensure that it gets maximum security, especially if it has sensitive user information. Web hosting systems should have powerful, anti-malware software that can deal with the latest malware threats, and can flag users of URL forgery and brute force attacks.
Have you ever thought why some web hosting companies offer you the same services in lower prices? Well, it has a lot to do with the security they offer.
Some providers use outdated servers poorly maintained, while others don’t. Just imagine what would happen if the website you invested a lot of your time and money into, crashed as soon as members grew.
That’s why you need tight security to keep your website safe from frauds of all types. This is the only way to succeed online. For instance, RAID is a very special system used for data protection that keeps files safe even if a server crashes. If you see that a web hosting service has RAID pre-installed on their systems, it’s a good sign.
Similarly, a secure data center is equally important. Imagine if there was a natural disaster, wouldn’t it be great if your web host was ready in those instances? Therefore, secure facilities, generators and other protection measures are always a necessity.
Last but not the least, there should be backup. Go for a company that gives you the ability to back up your files every time something new is uploaded on the website. Daily backups are the best as they would let you restore the latest version of your website in case of a crash.
Speed is one of the most important factors to consider when opting for a web hosting service. Businesses require a high conversion rate to function – and the only way to ensure that is to invest in a service that will guarantee high speeds.
Several studies confirm that almost 50% of internet users expect websites to load within 2 seconds, and are likely to abandon those that take over 3 seconds to load.
Also, almost 80% internet users who have had a negative experience with a website’s performance are unlikely to return back to it.
Imagine what would happen to your business if your website loaded really slowly? For an ecommerce business that makes $100,000 every day, the losses would be of over 2.5 million dollars annually due to a slow site.
Smaller websites that go for ‘shared hosting’ sometimes suffer slow speeds, and the reason is that several websites share the same servers, as mentioned above.
However, as traffic grows, websites can upgrade their programs and switch to Dedicated or Cloud Hosting as per their need.
Surely, the things stated above come as no shock to anyone who already runs an online business, or a website. Web hosting service is by far the most intelligent and cost-effective method to get your website up and running in almost no time. Sure Dedicated and Cloud hosting might seem a little pricey initially, but they are definitely worth it.
I hope this article gave you better insight into how going for exclusive web hosting can help your business. I look forward to hearing your thoughts too!