When you’re trying to promote your online business, make sales or just increase traffic to your site, it’s vital you have a well-presented eCommerce store. Today we’ll walk you through exactly what eCommerce hosting is, why it’s so important to do it properly, and what to look out for when choosing your hosting provider.

What Is Ecommerce Hosting?


Ecommerce hosting refers to the platform you use to present your online store to potential buyers. The data host stores the site data and information, providing an environment for your site to be accessed the world over. Without hosting, you won’t be able to sell a thing online.

How Does Ecommerce Hosting Work?


First, you’ll need to register a domain to host your site under. Then, you’ll need an eCommerce tool that’s capable of accepting payments. Your hosting provider can get you sorted with a domain name, while you’ll need to use an eCommerce platform like WooCommerce or Magento to build your store and include the plug-ins capable of taking payments. However, some tools, like Shopify, will take care of the hosting for you.

Ecommerce hosting types


  • Shared hosting - The cheapest option. Here your site and store will be on a server with dozens of other businesses. You’ll each be given a portion of the server space, but in some instances, you could experience speed interruptions as your neighbors compete with you for resources; especially during high traffic times

  • Dedicated hosting - Here you’ll get your own private server. This is ideal for large businesses that expect a lot of traffic. Being on a private server means no resource sharing, and bandwidth is dedicated to running an efficient site

  • VPS hosting - Similar to shared hosting, your site will be housed in servers with other businesses, but here, your neighbors can’t muscle in on your resources

  • Managed cloud hosting - A good choice for businesses that outgrow the limits of shared hosting. Here you’ll have access to resources across a whole data center with on-demand usage of power

Hosted Vs. Self Hosted Ecommerce Platforms


Hosted eCommerce platforms cover the hosting for you, while self-hosted supply the store building tools only, and you’ll need to find a host like Verpex to house the site.

  • WooCommerce - This is one of the most popular self-hosted platforms. It has a huge number of extensions, good out-of-the-box functionality and a simple UI that newbies will appreciate. You can check out more on how it all works over on our WooCommerce hosting page.

  • Magento - This platform is designed for large enterprises and big businesses. Magento is self-hosted and is set up to cater to thousands of sales and transactions each day. Lots of global corporations use it to build online stores, making it more expensive and much less user-friendly. You can find out all the details over on our Magento guide.

What to Look for When Choosing Your Ecommerce Provider?


ecommerce
  • Performance

    Speed is vital for any eCommerce store. If customers can’t buy your products quickly, or it takes too long to get to the checkout, then there’s a good chance they’ll abandon their carts and leave your site.
    Some stores, like WooCommerce, come optimized for speed already, and our in-house experts at Verpex can ensure you aren’t running any plug-ins that might slow down your site

  • Encryption

    This is a must for any new eCommerce store. You’re going to be handling a lot of personal data, financial information, and credit and debit card details, so you must use an encrypted connection. It’s becoming standard across the industry now to provide SSL certificates.
    At Verpex, we’re no different, and take your security very seriously indeed

  • Bandwidth and file storage

    This all depends on what you want to get out of your website. Obviously, smaller websites and stores won’t need a lot of storage and can happily use cheaper shared hosting packages, but the larger your website, and the more traffic you have, the more bandwidth and storage you’ll need.
    Luckily, all types of hosting plans can be scaled up or down relatively easily. Before you choose your package, consider how much traffic you expect your site to have

  • PCI Compliance

    Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is a set of mandatory regulations put in place to ensure the security of credit and debit card transactions online. The onus is very much on you to get this right and you can’t rely on the data host to ensure compliance.
    Instead, make sure you install the correct add-ons and security tools that come bundled with your eCommerce platform. Providers like WooCommerce make this easy to do and it shouldn’t take long at all

  • Backups

    We’d always recommend choosing a host that offers data backups. In the event of a cyberattack, it’s important you’re able to roll back to a previous version of your store so you can be ready and selling again in no time.
    Depending on how large your store is, and how many transactions you have, you might want to consider weekly, daily, or even hourly backups

  • Account limitations

    Always check the fine print of both your eCommerce platform and your hosting plan to make sure it’s definitely the right one for you. Check how much extensions and add-ons are going to cost, whether you’ll get a free SSL certificate, find out what sort of reporting analytics are available and what sort of fees you might pay for exceeding bandwidth limits.
    It’s best to plan out expectations for your site and store in advance of signing up to any plan and to not go in blind

  • Support

    24/7 support is an absolute necessity. A lot of self-hosted eCommerce platforms might not have any support teams you can contact, so you’re going to need to rely on the data host for your day-to-day maintenance.
    However, a lot of eCommerce platforms are open-source, meaning developers from around the world are continually working on them; you can find a wealth of guides and blogs covering the finer points of most. Verpex offers 24/7 support to cover technical issues across a range of different eCommerce platforms

  • Integrations

    Some eCommerce platforms integrate better with different types of hosting than others. For example, WooCommerce is a WordPress-only plug-in so it must be integrated with a WordPress hosted site.
    Outside of this, each eCommerce tool has a huge range of extensions and plug-ins that cater to a whole range of different tasks and services. This is about the goals your business is trying to achieve, and you need to choose a platform that has the best integrations to help you meet those goals

  • Developer-friendly environment

    Again, this depends on what you want to get out of your store. If you’re a web development wizard with excellent coding skills, you might want to try the customization offered by Magento.
    Or, if you’re a brand new entrepreneur setting up your first store, you might want to give Shopify or WooCommerce a try. Both have much more developer-friendly interfaces

Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Ecommerce Host?


Picking the right host can set the tone for your whole eCommerce store. Choose poorly, and you could be stuck in a contract with sluggish speeds and limited customer support. Get it right though, and you can end up with a package perfectly tailored to meet your specific business needs.

Criteria for Choosing an Ecommerce Host


Budget
Budget

If you’re running a very basic store, you can get a shared hosting plan for just a few dollars per month. However, for those that need a beefier store, hosting prices can start from around $109 per month.

Development experience
Development experience

Realistically assess your skills and how much time you can put into development and speak to a service agent about the best plans

Support
Support

You need a provider that can offer multiple avenues to raise issues, including over the phone, via live chat and by raising email tickets. Luckily, Verpex provides all of this and more

Security
Security

Most eCommerce stores themselves come with add-ons and extensions that can enhance your cyber defenses, and a data host should have the knowledge and skills to help recommend which ones will be best for your site

Uptime guarantee
Uptime guarantee

Every minute your store or website is down means lost business for you. Accept nothing less than a 99.99% uptime guarantee from your eCommerce host in order to ensure the smooth running of your site

Budget
Budget

If you’re running a very basic store, you can get a shared hosting plan for just a few dollars per month. However, for those that need a beefier store, hosting prices can start from around $109 per month.

Development experience
Development experience

Realistically assess your skills and how much time you can put into development and speak to a service agent about the best plans

Support
Support

You need a provider that can offer multiple avenues to raise issues, including over the phone, via live chat and by raising email tickets. Luckily, Verpex provides all of this and more

Security
Security

Most eCommerce stores themselves come with add-ons and extensions that can enhance your cyber defenses, and a data host should have the knowledge and skills to help recommend which ones will be best for your site

Uptime guarantee
Uptime guarantee

Every minute your store or website is down means lost business for you. Accept nothing less than a 99.99% uptime guarantee from your eCommerce host in order to ensure the smooth running of your site

What Ecommerce Hostings Are There?


WooCommerce Vs. Shopify

WooCommerce is self-hosted, cheap and customizable. The perfect choice for mid-sized businesses. Shopify on the other hand provides the hosting for you, is very user-friendly and aimed at taking the pressure of newbies. You can read our full comparison over on our WooCommerce Vs. Shopify page.

WooCommerce Vs. Magento

Magento is a big step up from WooCommerce in terms of customizability and handling traffic. It’s perfect for large enterprises that have thousands of daily visitors to the store. It can be quite expensive, and WooCommerce offers a reasonably-priced alternative. Why not check out how the two stack up on our comparison page.

Summary


Your eCommerce hosting choice is so vital because your online store is the heart of your business. It needs to be secure, within your budget, able to handle expected amounts of traffic, have plenty of useful integrations and be able to perform well. While Verpex can offer hosting packages to meet just about every business need, we’d always recommend you sit down and do a little research on your business needs first.

Ask yourself how many customers you expect, how much storage space you need and what you’d like to get out of your store. This will help us guide you to the most appropriate package.

Frequently Asked Questions


faq ecommerce

Does My Ecommerce Store Need to Be PCI Compliant?

Yes, if you’re going to be accepting payments via credit and debit card you’ll need to meet PCI regulations.

How Customizable is My Ecommerce Store?

This depends on the eCommerce tool you use. For example, Magento is 100% customizable, and you can amend just about every aspect. Shopify on the other hand has far fewer customization options.

Is There A Money-Back Guarantee?

Yes, Verpex offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with your eCommerce hosting.

Can I Move Over an Existing Domain?

Yes, we make it easy to transfer over any domain or eCommerce store to our hosting plan.

Julia
Julia Raznik