Once you have registered your domain, the next step is to decide on the company that will host your website. As an online business owner, there are several things that you need to think about because part of the success of your eCommerce company will depend upon quality web hosting services. The following are among the most important.
The uptime of the web hosting provider
This is usually expressed as a percentage of time that the computer server your website is stored on is up and functioning properly. An online business is selling 24 hours a day, so this is extremely important. Customers can be found in countries all over the world and in every time zone. When you are sleeping, your business is still taking orders. This means that any time your website is down due to web hosting server issues, it can cost you sales. Although every web hosting company will experience problems, you need to look for a company that has a good track record for uptime.
Availability of the features offered by the web hosting company
You need to plan for growth. An eCommerce company that is successful will experience growth in their database needs, and this translates into a need for greater storage capacity. You are likely to need more bandwidth too, as more people will be browsing your store. Naturally, you don't want to spend money on capacity that your business doesn't require, but you need to have the foresight to know your business may thrive. A web hosting company needs to offer increased storage capacity and bandwidth, so you will not be forced to use switch to a new hosting service that may result in a disruption of your website.
Do they offer both shared and dedicated server hosting?
In the beginning stages of your business, you may want to use a shared hosting plan. This is the lowest-cost hosting, but your site will be on the same server as other websites. Although you save money, there can be issues that effect your server because of something that happens to another website. As your business grows, you may want to have your site on a computer server that is dedicated solely to your business. If your web hosting company offers both types of hosting services, migration from a shared server to a dedicated one is usually smooth.
The three types of services listed above are critical for a eCommerce company, but there other things to keep a look out for. The reputation of the hosting company with other businesses is important, especially eCommerce type businesses. Of course, the quality of customer service is important too, and for an online business, you will want them to offer technical support 24 hours a day.
Launching my own business was the biggest undertaking I've ever done. It was a long process of research, development, market analysis, and statistical evaluations. I was so overwhelmed by all of the details that I wasn't sure what to think. Once I got through all of the finer points, I decided that it was time to create a resource for others who wanted to do the same thing. My goal was to build a single resource that aspiring business owners could use to get started. I hope that the consolidated information here helps you to feel more empowered as you venture out into becoming an entrepreneur.