The global eCommerce market has grown by 25.7% and in 2020 alone, over two billion people purchased goods over the internet. Suffice to say, it is increasingly becoming the chosen form of trade across a plethora of products and services. Its reach, malleability, adaptability, and ease of access make it a popular choice.
eCommerce hosting is a business that is aimed at catering to the needs of companies in the vertical. eCommerce hosting depends on hosting the site, providing digital security, and building the digital infrastructure foundations. Managed eCommerce hosting is the most popular choice because it comes with a lot of advantages and takes care of a lot of problems.
This UNICHED article will talk about managed hosting for eCommerce in particular and types of eCommerce hosting in general. Let’s get straight into it.
Types of eCommerce hosting
Broadly, there are two types of eCommerce hosting options: self-hosting and managed hosting.
To self-host your own eCommerce site, you will need a lot of infrastructures and a dedicated IT team. The infrastructure for self eCommerce hosting consists of servers, power backup server backup, and a few other things. It provides a lot of flexibility, but to capitalize on those gains, you need to have a lot of IT knowledge and have a dedicated IT team.
A high investment makes this a less preferred option. All the required infrastructure and a dedicated team to look after that is money you will never get back. This is the reason most eCommerce businesses choose the other type of hosting.
In a nutshell, if you choose to outsource everything you need to host your eCommerce website to a cloud-based SaaS company, it is managed to host.
Maintaining your servers, taking care of the legalities, data security, and backup, etc., will be managed by a third-party service provider.
Understanding managed eCommerce hosting
Managed eCommerce hosting takes care of the following business requirements for your eCommerce business:
Hardware requirements for your server: storage, processing, backup
Software setup and configuration: interfaces, plugins, and APIs
Technical support, round the clock in most cases
Security support, at least the basic ones and advanced security features on demand
Performance and insights management
Managed eCommerce hosting provides a lot of advantages to the business that chooses this option. Let’s take a closer look at that.
Advantages of managed hosting for eCommerce
Time-saving: Building your own server, security measures for it, making sure the legality of that is perfect, building the interface, etc., takes a lot of time. This invaluable time could have been invested in other areas of your eCommerce business. By adopting the managed eCommerce hosting option, you can focus on deeper problems easily.
Cost-saving: Maintaining your servers, the IT team with it, the potential security issues, power and data backup, etc., costs a lot of valuable dollars. Again, this is a resource that is better spent elsewhere.
Reliability: If you are doing something for the first time, there is a huge chance that you will make mistakes. These mistakes will cost you a lot in terms of time, money and talent. Managed eCommerce hosting is extremely reliable and low-risk, primarily because the service providers have been doing it for years and have a lot of happy customers.
Updated technology: In the digital world, things change by the minute. Keeping up with those changes is challenging because the regulations keep on evolving. When something changes, there is a huge chance that it will cause you a headache and you have to slice out additional time to address that issue. In the case of managed eCommerce hosting, it is just a software update.
Business requirements: The hosting companies have helped countless businesses set up their shops successfully. Suffice to say, they are more deeply aware of the digital requirements in the present and the future when it comes to your eCommerce business too. Better to trust pros.
Scalability: When your business grows, you need to increase a lot of things to accommodate the new changes. Hire new staff, add more departments, etc., and your eCommerce hosting is no different. Increasing your server’s capacity if you have opted for self-hosting is challenging.
Due to the above noticeable advantages, managed hosting is the preferred type of eCommerce hosting by most businesses. Also, just like most things, it has a few challenges. Let’s take a look at how we can tackle them.
Challenges with managed hosting for eCommerce
Not customized: Unless you are a high-paying customer, your singular feature request or need is not going to be the priority of the service providers. If you are choosing a plan with your eCommerce hosting provider, you better stick to the features provided in that plan.
The risk with plugins: You can most certainly get additional features by installing third-party plugins on your hosted eCommerce website. However, by doing so, you risk your website to a lot of malware attacks. This risk can be averted by only installing plugins from trusted sources and adopting best practices, but it will limit the functionalities you can have.
Reliance on support: Even if you have a webmaster who works with the intricacies of the website, there are some things that require the assistance of your service provider. In most cases, it will be fast, but sometimes it gets annoying.
Analysis paralysis: Choosing the right eCommerce hosting service could be hectic. The package, the features, the functionalities, the permutations, and the combinations are simply too many. It often happens that businesses choose between functionalities and pricing, and the availability of a lot of options on the market doesn’t make it difficult.
If you are starting an eCommerce business, there are a few things you need to be aware of:
Budget: You know how much money you can spare in your business. Be aware that your budget limits your options and choose accordingly.
Ease of use: If you don’t want to go to their helpdesk, choose a service provider whose interface is simple and easy to use.
Feature requirements: What are the must-haves, should-haves, and nice-to-haves? Make a list before you start searching for a hosting provider.
Scalability: When your business will grow, will your website grow with it? How difficult will it be to scale up or down?
Reliability: Read the feedback and reviews of other customers of the eCommerce hosting provider before entering your credit card details.
Before we go, here is a list of some popular eCommerce hosting providers
Shopify: One of the most popular choices, chosen by a lot of people. Starts at $29/mo.
HostGator: Multiple hosting options, good for small businesses. Starts at $2.75/mo.
Bluehost: Multiple hosting options. Lots of plugins. eCommerce starts at $2.95/mo.
Hostinger: Domains, emails, and websites. Starts at $1.39/mo.