Basic web hosting is a service that entails putting a domain and website online. Such web hosting packages include things like space and bandwidth, email accounts, FTP access, and control panels. eCommerce hosting is tailored to the specific needs of those operating an Internet business or web shop. Unlike the average hosting customer, eCommerce businesses need added security to be able to process credit card transactions safely and rock solid uptime to serve their customers’ needs.
What’s included with eCommerce web hosting?
Though each web hosting company offers a different set of options with their eCommerce web hosting plans, the most common feature sets included in eCommerce hosting are:
Shopping carts: These virtual shopping carts give customers a place to store their items while shopping and browsing your website. Much like a regular shopping cart, customers are free to add or remove products from their shopping cart at any time before checkout.
SSL certificates: SSL certificates help to protect customer transactions and data (like credit card numbers and email addresses) by encrypting that data as it travels over the Internet. When you see a little padlock in your browser’s address bar during checkout while shopping online you know that an SSL certificate is in use and your transaction will be a safe and secure one.
Payment gateways or processors: A payment gateway is an eCommerce service that authorizes credit card payments. It works in much the same way as when you swipe your credit card through a reader in a brick and mortar store.
SEO tools: Many eCommerce web hosting companies offer customers valuable SEO tools like keyword density analyzers, search engine submissions and optimization, Adwords credits, and the inclusion of Google webmaster tools. The addition of SEO tools makes it simple for any webmaster of any skill level to optimize their website for search engines.
Payment integration: Some webmasters and eCommerce business owners choose to forgo using a traditional credit card processor and instead utilize the services of PayPal or Google Checkout or a third-party credit card processor. Payment integration is a near instant way of adding those types of services to your website without having to mess around with scripts or plugins.
Storefronts: Many eCommerce web hosting companies have premade storefronts and website templates available for their clients’ use. These automated storefronts and templates make it effortless to add products and services to your eCommerce site and track inventory and delivery.
If you’re considering starting an online business where you’ll be selling products or services there is no safer or more secure way to get your domain online than to invest in an eCommerce web hosting package. eCommerce web hosting companies will help you get online and start making sales long before the competition has set up shop.