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Best Ecommerce Hosting - How to Find the Best Ecommerce Hosting for YOUR Business - What to Look For in Ecommerce Hosting

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Anyone who’s new to ecommerce or to the internet in general will soon find themselves awash in a sea of technical jargon when they try to find a hosting company. This has become such a hot market that there is no shortage of “review sites” on the subject, but not all of them can be trusted. Many times they are simply members of the hosting companies’ affiliate programs, which means they get paid for all the customers they send to the hosts. Do you see the conflict of interest here?

Rather than direct you to one company or another, this guide will simply give you tools to decide for yourself if a company has what you’re looking for.

What to Look For in Ecommerce Hosting

Some hosts will give you end-to-end solutions, and some will charge you piecemeal for every item that you add. Here are a couple of main things to pay attention to in order to find the very best ecommerce web hosting for your needs:

Virtual Shopping Cart
This is software that is built right in to many hosting plans – it controls the “store”, allowing customers to put various products in their cart and “check out”. Make sure that this software is easy to understand. Many hosts will offer free demonstrations of their software – take full advantage of this, and make sure that the software makes sense for you.

Payment Gateway
Many hosts come integrated with Paypal or a similar service, which is easy to set up but may not be ideal for all businesses. Check the host to make sure they can meet your needs, whether you use an online solution or have your own private merchant account (which allows you to process credit cards directly).

Site Setup Tools
Many hosts will have “one-click installs” of popular software, like Wordpress for blogs or Joomla for site design. Check what options your potential host offers, and make sure they will work for your needs.

Encryption (SSL)
SSL encrypts information as it is sent to other computers, so it is essential if you are processing payment information over the web. Most hosts charge separately for this, so make sure you do your homework to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you are exclusively using PayPal or other such independent services, this will not be an issue.

Two Golden Tips for Hosting Selection

Try Before You Buy
The best hosts will have either free-trial periods or “demo modules” of their hosting platform, which let you play with their software before ever deciding to buy. Companies that offer one of these two things have confidence that their product can stand up to scrutiny. Companies that don’t have either may be trying to conceal hard-to-use software or other defects.

Consult a Web-savvy Friend
Possibly one of the biggest green flags you can get is from a trusted friend who has experience with ecommerce hosts. They have actually gone through the signup process, become a customer, and worked with the host on a regular basis. So you will get more reliable info from them than you could from almost any other source. And as a bonus, since they have already worked with the hosting company’s software, they can help you get your site setup, too!

The world of ecommerce web hosting is large and sometimes overwhelming to the newcomer, but by following these rules and trusting your instincts, you will be able to find a hosting platform that works for you.

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