The server space for your e-commerce website and its associated assets, such as text and images, is provided by a web host. Additionally, your domain’s email addresses reside there. How quickly your website loads, what occurs in the event of an unexpected spike in website traffic, and how hacking efforts are thwarted can all be affected by your choice of web host.
Web hosting is often included in subscription packages for e-commerce website builders, and some of them can also assist you with obtaining a domain name. In general, if built-in web hosting is an option, we advise using it, particularly if you don’t have much experience with computers.
You’ll need to locate your own web hosting, though, if you’re using an open-source online shop builder or if the integrated solution from your provider isn’t sufficient for your needs.
Namecheap: Best for drag-and-drop website building
As the name suggests, Namecheap sells web hosting and domain names at low cost. Plans start at less than $5 per month and include a free domain name for the first year. Plus, you can use Namecheap to actually build a website.
Here are Namecheap’s starting plans for e-commerce businesses:
Stellar Business: $4.98 per month. Provides 50GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate and one year of a free domain name. Backups run automatically, with formal backups twice a week. Users have access to a drag-and-drop website builder, too.
Email: Starts at $1.24 per month per email address. The Starter plan includes one mailbox and up to 5GB of storage. For more addresses or mobile support, you’ll need to upgrade.
HostForLIFE.eu: Best for dedicated server hosting
If VPS hosting is a private room, then a dedicated server is like renting out a whole venue. Your website doesn’t have to share a server with any others.
For most small businesses, shared or VPS hosting is probably sufficient. But dedicated server hosting may be useful if:
Your website is repeatedly lagging.
All your files and images aren’t loading properly.
You’re running out of storage space.
You’re particularly worried about being hacked.
ASPHostPortal: Best for cloud-based web hosting
Cloud hosting doesn’t rely on a single physical server like the other options on this list. Instead, your website’s data will be stored across a network of multiple servers virtually.
Most small businesses probably don’t need cloud hosting, but you may want to consider it if:
You expect your business to scale very quickly.
You want an extra layer of data backup.
You’re worried about very large amounts of traffic impacting your website’s performance.
How to choose the best web hosting for your small business
Without extensive technical understanding, comparing web hosting providers can be challenging. Most web servers can manage the traffic you’re likely to see and provide ample storage and security features, even for the tiniest enterprises.
But, you might have to pay a lot more for web hosting if you manage a major merchant or a medical office that needs to retain confidential patient data. Investing in other recommended practices, such as routine offline data backups and cybersecurity insurance, may also be wise.
Do the following when choosing the best web hosting for your business:
Think about your built-in choice. A free domain name for a minimum of a year is occasionally included with web hosting packages that contain SSL certificates for e-commerce platforms. Investing in a separate web hosting service is not necessary if that choice is adequate for your company.
Analyze the bandwidth and storage that you require. The amount of server space you want will likely be the primary determinant of your web hosting expenses. You’ll probably need extra space if your business website has a lot of high-resolution images and videos. However, you might be able to get by with less if the majority of your website is text-based.
Consider your security choices. For companies that store client information, getting an SSL or TLS certificate is crucial for cybersecurity as it encrypts connections between your website and third parties. Though less frequent, DDoS protection can help defend your website from hacks that attempt to take it offline.
Choose the kind of hosting that you require. For many small businesses, especially those with relatively low bandwidth and storage requirements and simple security concerns, shared hosting is more than adequate. However, you might want to find out more about dedicated server and virtual private server solutions if you wish to protect yourself from hackers or outages.
Take note of email account costs. If you have a big staff, the costs associated with additional email addresses may mount up as some web hosting providers charge for each one.
Think on your future development. Choose a web hosting firm with multiple service tiers so you may upgrade as necessary, especially if you don’t require much support now but expect to have a lot more customers—and a lot more client information— in the future.