When you start looking around for an eCommerce web hosting solution for your online business you may be tempted by the many companies that are currently offering ultra low prices on their services, which seem to come with many professional sounding features such as full technical support, state of the art data centers and more. However what you should be considering is how these companies can afford to offer eCommerce packages at such low prices, and what you should be looking for is not just those features you do get with these low cost packages, but also what features you don’t get as well, as you may end up with a cheap eCommerce solution that does not actually provide you with the tools and software to run your website effectively.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
When you are signing up to a web hosting package you are basically buying space on a server to store all of your website files, so it is very important that the package you choose offers you with enough disk space to support the size of your website and also enough bandwidth to enable the level of site traffic you are anticipating on receiving to access your site without any problems. The cheapest eCommerce web hosting solutions typically impose quite limiting restrictions on bandwidth and disk space (with few opportunities to upgrade in the future), which could seriously inhibit your chances of running a busy and successful online business, so you must make sure you balance cost with functionality.
Reliability is another key issue when it comes to running an online business, as every minute of downtime (when you website is unavailable to view because of technical issues) could cost you money. Therefore you will need to look at the guarantee uptime for each eCommerce web hosting package you are considering and make sure that it provides at the very least 99% uptime. Online business should ideally be looking for 99.9% guaranteed uptime, which would give you just 53 minutes of downtime per annum. Be very cautious of any web hosting company offering 100% guaranteed uptime as this is virtually impossible, as all servers will need maintenance at some point, and there are also a number of other unavoidable issues that affect uptime which cannot be controlled by the web host such as security breaches, environmental problems and power outages. Speed is also important as the more customers sharing a server the slower its responsiveness and the slower it is for both you and your customers to access your website.
Customer and Technical Support
It is essential that your eCommerce web host provider offers you quality 24/7 support, so that if something goes wrong with your website you can get quick, professional help to get up and running again, minimising the risks of losing customers and profits. Make sure that the web host your pick offers both online and direct contact 24/7 support from customer services representatives that are fully trained and actually know what they are talking about, and preferably with a toll free number so it doesn’t cost you a fortune to call them.
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