Finding the Best Ecommerce Hosting Provider

With the many existing eCommerce hosting providers today, you won’t be having any problems finding them. What you are going to have a problem with is choosing the right one. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered before choosing the best ecommerce hosting provider for you. Of course, the following tools should be readily available in the features of the provider: ecommerce software, website templates, secure card processing order, inventory management, SSL and more. Aside from those, here are some other things that need to be considered:

Reputable Company

Being in the business of providing ecommerce is one factor to look at. This is how you’ll know if the provider you selected is reputable. Usually, provider’s who have been around for quite some time have more customers because they have more experience about how it works and can easily provide solutions based on their experiences. You can also check out the reviews that were given by their customers. Do not stop at checking the reviews, though – also check who their customers are so you’ll know who they claim to be.

Reliability

Uptime is one of the most important factors that the provider must guarantee.  Uptime plays a major and critical role in ecommerce. If your website is down, it always means loss of sale. Not just sale, but loss of potential customers. Always bear in mind that when a customer accesses your website and it is very slow, they will get upset, because they will feel like you have wasted their time.  This means lost business.

Security

In ecommerce, security is vital. This is because during payment processing vital information is being processed. Make sure that the provider can guarantee real-time security against fraud. You can ask them what you can do with the security configuration to protect the data of the website.

Customer Guaranteed Satisfaction

The provider should be able to give 24/7/365 support. It is important that you will be able to contact them, especially in case of problems. If your provider is an international hosting provider, make sure that you have all the contact details you need like the support number, email address, and Skype ID for chat. If possible, opt for a provider that can personally speak with you for urgent matters.

Ecommerce Hosting Plan and Budget

It is important to select a plan that best suits your requirements. Do not just go for a plan that is cheap but lacks some specifications you need. For example, if you need just a simple ecommerce service for starters, don’t go directly to the plan with higher specifications because you may just waste the functionalities. Better go for a plan that is just good for what you need. Budget is also an important thing that needs to be considered. There are plans that have very cheap cost and there are also plans that are over priced. Make sure to select the plan that has all the features you need with a reasonable price.

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The Best eCommerce Hosting Providers

If you are planning to expand your business over the internet or start a business online, then you are probably going to need an eCommerce hosting provider, which will help you with hosting your website. However, with the many existing web-hosting providers today which will be the one that best suit your needs? There are a lot websites conducting reviews for the different types of web hosting hosts including eCommerce providers. One of them is hostlibrary. Get to know the three Top eCommerce Hosting Providers according to below.

Ranked #1 is HostGator. They offer different services such as web hosting services, email-hosting services, and VPS hosting services. The eCommerce add-on is included in all their web-hosting services. With their software, you can display your catalogues without online transactions; start your first online shop; expand your existing business to online sales; or move existing shop from another eCommerce provider. Their eCommerce software includes Zen Cart, CubeCart, and Magneto that can be installed easily and quickly thru their one-click installation feature. All of them have menu-based configuration, which means there is no need for programming. HostGator offers a variety of money-saving coupon codes and 24/7 customer support.

The second on the list is FatCow. It has received several awards already, which include The 10 Best Hosts Award Winner and Best Budget Hosting 2008. Their plans have the following features: unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited POP mailboxes, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited domains hosted, unlimited FTP users and sub-users, free domain name, free simple-to-use site builders, free shopping cart, with SSL secure server and a lot more. They support PHP 4 & 5 and the applications WordPress, Joomla and a lot more. For customers who have existing domain already, they also offer free domain transfer service.

InMotionHosting is ranked #3. They provide different levels of solutions for eCommerce websites. For eCommerce hosting, they offer three plans. First is the Launch Plan, which is good for starters, as it has an easy builder-shopping cart as well as free setup. Second is the Power Plan, which has free setup also. Third is the Pro Plan. Just like the other two, it comes with a free setup. InMotion has been awarded as the Best Ecommerce Web Hosting Provider. It also earned 3 out of 3 from CNET to become a CNET Certified Service Provider. Based on 425 customer reviews, they got 4 stars out of 5. Some of their reviews say, “Novice webmaster rating of InMotionHosting”, and “Great php hosting”.

Given the three eCommerce web-hosting providers, it will not be hard to select which from them you will buy the service. All of them are reputable and have been in the business for quite a long time. So, just take note that whatever plan you choose, it should be able to cater your requirements. Moreover, if you have questions, make sure to list them all before talking to them so you will not forget anything that you need to ask.

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Advantages of Ecommerce Hosting

If you are a small, medium, or big business owner and you want to promote your goods and services on the internet, take advantage of what an ecommerce hosting provider can do for you. It gives you a lot of benefits, making you more competitive in the market. Here are some benefits that you should know about:

Increase in Brand Awareness

Having your business on the internet allows it to be accessed by millions of people, not just from your town or country, but from across the world. Since your website is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you are also making your goods and services available anytime. With that, people will become more aware of your products.

Business is Open 24/7

Your business is literally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, giving your customers more time to shop. Whether you are sleeping or in a vacation, your customers can still go to your website and purchase your products. This is unlike in a physical storefront, which is usually open only 8 hours a day, limiting the potential of having more sales. In addition, your cost is less because you don’t have to pay for a sales person or phone operator to provide customer service.

Expand Customer Reach – Geographically

Owning an ecommerce business allows you to reach a broader audience. Since it is over the internet, it will be accessible to millions of people all over the world – Unless you limit the range by geographic targeting. Compare this to a physical storefront, where your business is limited to the city where it is located. Reaching more people means a possibility of reaching more potential customers.

Demographic Targeting

If you want to attract a particular audience, you can do demographic targeting. For example, if you only want to reach women ages 20 – 30 years old, who have two or more interests in common like reading books and watching movies, you can do that by controlling your promotions.

Potential Increase in Business Sales

For those who have a physical storefront already, internet stores can boost sales by extending their business online. Selling products and services online gives you more potential to increase in sales.

Potential Decrease in Cost

Running a physical storefront gives you a lot of expenses, including building or space leases, phone bills, utility bills, salary of sales persons and a lot more. But if you have a website, your costs are lesser because you have less employees, no lease to pay, no customer service representatives and other staffs. As to marketing, you no need to pay for TV ads or newspaper ads. This is because all the information the customers need will be presented on the website already.

Easy Delivery of Information

Once you have a website, providing information about your products and services are easier, as it is already available on your site. All the information that your customers will need is there like, product information, company information, promotions, and other things that they can easily access anytime of the day.

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The Birth of Ecommerce Hosting

In past times the marketplace, including real marketplaces conducted in town squares under stalls and awnings, relied exclusively on the use of physical money, coins and notes. This was slow to change, even after electronic payments were being used in stores and other businesses.  Many traders were resistant to the new technology – largely because it incurred cost to the trader, and some even tried to pass this on to the customer as a deterrent.  A key difference between ecommerce and shopping or trading in the physical world is that ecommerce systems deliberately make it efficient and effective to process small transactions rather than setting minimum transaction values.

Even today, most stores have a minimum spend for credit card transactions, which has prompted the introduction of alternative ecommerce solutions for small High Street purchasing such as the London-based Oyster swipe-card.

In the 1970s the first ecommerce solutions, electronic transaction facilities like Electronic Funds Transfer and Electronic Data Exchange were introduced, enabling companies to transfer funds or send documents such as invoices and purchase orders electronically.  By the 1980s the widespread introduction and use of automated street cash machines (ATMs), credit cards and telephone banking were further steps towards universal acceptance of ecommerce hosting. In 1981 the UK travel agent Thomson Holidays became the first company to use online reservation facilities – the first online shopping as we know it today.  By the mid-80s Tesco, the UK-based superstore was offering online shopping, and the car dealer Nissan was providing online credit checking facilities from the seller’s site.

The advent of the Internet in the 1990s brought such facilities as Amazon.com and eBay on to the scene, along with enterprise resource planning, data warehousing and data mining.  The development of proper security protocols was the next step, combined with DSL, or Broadband, allowing always-on connections to the Internet with the bandwidth to browse sites filled with content such as hi-res photos of products.  Internet shopping had arrived!

By the Millennium many US and European companies were offering their services on the Internet and the word ‘ecommerce’ began to be heard to describe Internet shopping, trading and online payment methods.  In a world where almost every household already had a PC and some kind of Internet connection, albeit in many cases only dial-up, the ecommerce revolution was just waiting to happen.

By 2000, companies were seeing their stocks rise if they simply added an e- prefix to their company name, culminating in the Dot.com bubble burst after traders abandoned caution and became over-confident after seeing huge growth over a short time in the e-trading sector.  But this was a temporary setback, and by 2011 ecommerce and Internet shopping in the US alone was projected to reach $197 billion.

Nowadays, ecommerce has become part of our way of life and seems set to eventually replace physical trading and non-virtual premises altogether.  Absolutely anything can be ordered and purchased over the Internet, from pizza to real estate, from printer cartridges and postal stamps to access to dating sites which can provide you with a life partner.

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How Does Ecommerce Hosting Work?

When one considers the mighty IT mechanisms used in making a payment to someone, perhaps on the far side of the world, it may come as a surprise to a new Internet shopper when he sees items for sale on eBay for as little as one cent.  Obviously the seller makes his profit somehow, if it is only through charging extra for posting and packing, but traditionally it has not been easy or even possible to send tiny payments through international systems.  But with the huge increase in buying and selling over the Internet by individuals using facilities such as eBay, this plainly had to change.

Ecommerce hosting has changed it, making possible marketplaces where sales are aimed specifically at the very small buyer.  If someone were selling it, you could buy a pin over the World Wide Web and pay the tiny amount asked for it using multi-million dollar technology!  Businesses carrying on marketing over the Internet have become known as e-tailers, and the method itself as e-tail.

Most ecommerce transactions involve the purchase and shipping of actual physical goods, whether this is a book bought on Amazon, or tons of small machine parts ordered by a manufacturing business. Of course, ecommerce can also be used for virtual items, such as access to specialized content or information on a website.

So what happens when you buy something on the Internet? You firstly enter your payment details, such as a credit card, or login to a payment system such as PayPal, and your creditworthiness for the proposed transaction is checked instantly. If your bank signals that your credit is sufficient for the transaction, or if your credit within the payments system is sufficient for the transaction at hand, then the payment is authorized.  After the various players in the chain have taken a small percentage of the transaction, total payment is made to the vendor of the service or product which you want to buy. The transaction is completed electronically in real-time while you sit at your PC, with no more effort required from you than a click of the mouse and remembering your credit card number and passwords.

Key issues with ecommerce are privacy and security.  Because ecommerce systems handle people’s credit card details and personal details such as bank account numbers, financial status and telephone numbers and addresses, they are extremely sensitive systems which need to be protected as far as possible against intrusions of various kinds. The most obvious threats come from external sources such as hackers; however, theft of information or credit by corrupt company employees is also a significant factor which needs to be guarded against.

Whilst we most commonly think of ecommerce as being the vehicle by which a transaction between an end-user customer and vendor takes place, it is also a mechanism whereby companies can do business with one another via the Internet. For example it may be that an Internet ecommerce server is involved in one company automatically requisitioning manufacturing parts from another company. So ecommerce can equally apply to company-to-company (also known as business-to-business, or B2B) transactions as well as to company-to-individual transactions.

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What is Ecommerce Hosting?

Ecommerce is what makes the Internet such a valuable outlet for business. The Internet allows customers to find the businesses which have the products or services which they are seeking, but what happens then? A transaction of some monetary kind has to occur. In a conventional shop the customer would pay using a variety of means including cash, but on the Internet, because of its nature, completely different payment systems and methods are required.

Ecommerce systems allow customers to access and pay for the services or products they require from online businesses. On the Internet, because it is not possible for the customer to pay using cash, the customer’s identity and their payment method have to be verified.  A number of systems and entities have emerged to service Internet payments, some of them run by completely new entrants to the market such as PayPal, which never existed before the Internet age.  However, all the major banks have some kind of Internet payment system which they use for their own customers, and these same systems are often retailed to business customers of banks for processing payments from their own end customers.

One of the strangest effects of the Internet on the world of finance was that it made possible the notion of micro-payments. In pre-Internet days the cost of processing a transaction through the banking system was dictated by the amount of human attention which the transaction had to be given, and the number of processes which were involved. Once the Internet proved to be a valuable route to market for a large number of businesses it became apparent that the existing payments model was not sufficient and carried high overheads.  As one entrepreneur put it at that time “we’re moving from a world with tens of markets of millions to millions of markets of one “. To meet the needs of this seismic shift in how markets were organised clearly required a new kind of transaction processing.  Furthermore, this new model was an international one which had to operate seamlessly across international borders and currencies without delay.  To fill these needs businesses such as WorldPay and PayPal sprang up and their success was quickly followed by existing major financial institutions wanting to get in on the act.

Whilst we most commonly think of ecommerce as being the vehicle by which a transaction between an end-user customer and vendor takes place, it is also a mechanism whereby companies can do business with one another via the Internet.  Ecommerce can equally apply to company-to-company transactions as well as to company-to-individual transactions.

In summary, ecommerce systems offer a fast, low-cost way for companies and individuals to exchange payments. Ecommerce engines based around popular database products, such as Oracle, are complex and therefore expensive pieces of software. There are a number of open source ecommerce systems but these have tended to be implemented in relatively low profit areas.  A key difference between ecommerce and commerce in the physical world is that ecommerce systems deliberately make it efficient and effective to process small transactions rather than setting minimum transaction values – as has often been the case in the conventional banking payments world.

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