When it comes to the sale of products online, it becomes highly important to make sure a merchant chooses the best ecommerce hosting company available. Ecommerce sites are becoming more and more prevalent as the industry expands, as has the sheer number of companies available that can host the stores. Moreover, ecommerce sites depend on the sustainability and accessibility of their site in order to provide sufficient revenue for their operations.
In effect, sites based online are completely and utterly tied to whether or not their website is capable of making money. A site that has crashed or is otherwise inaccessible to the public is a useless site, and a company that has operations only online will not find it possible to conduct business when their only source of customer purchases is either slow, offline, or otherwise inaccessible.
In general, there are two broad types of companies and services that allow for hosting services online. These can be lumped into two categories of stock or generic stores and customized stores. Stock stores are usually offered by cheaper services that sell a kit, or a set of software and other utilities that will enable a prospective site owner to use the programs and create a generic electronic store for his or her own business. These ecommerce hosting companies use cheap, and at many times free, pre-created electronic stores and code for use for smaller companies that do not have a real need for customized work based on their market share and popularity. Overall, these prefabricated sites are great for companies that need a simple, easy, and cheap site established quickly and with minimal hassle.
The second type of hosting is customized work, which is typically reserved for clients who require more specific and unique needs in their sites, or want to really push the quality of their online site as much as possible. In contrast to the generic and prefabricated stock sites put forth by many ecommerce hosting companies, custom sites are coded by individuals and experts in the field and can include any number of advanced features that will make a site stand out in terms of quality and overall functionality, Moreover, custom sites allow “back-end” access, that is, access to the root server and other important administrative functions that cannot be found in generic, prefabricated sites.
This is in large part due to the fact that custom sites typically come with own personal hardware and infrastructure support, whereas generic sites are known for sharing hardware and other resources between many different sites. This is done, again, simply because people using free sites probably do not need advanced hosting techniques and customization options. As a matter of pricing, custom sites are naturally far more expensive, as they require actual individual human labor in order to create them.
The first site on this list is iPage. iPage offers software development tools and a broad package of support for their clients who choose to host their webpages with the company. iPage offers individuals the opportunity to establish generic stock sites at a competitive price and, more importantly, offer long-term support in terms of marketing and search engine optimization support. Even better, iPage guarantees unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk storage space, an impressive and valuable commodity in an industry known for valuing its storage place capabilities online. Moreover, iPage offers constant customer service support that can be contacted 24/7, which is a much-needed addition to ecommerce hosting companies, as a simple error that causes a site to go offline can cost potentially massive amounts of lost profit.
The second site is BlueHost, which has a long and proud reputation of online web hosting. Though they do not offer anything that is particularly remarkable, they come across as a professional, efficient online hosting company and offer a variety of benefits to their customers. Some of these features include MySQL databases, impressive script functionality, domain name customization and the ability to change at any point in the future, and perhaps most importantly, email addresses that correspond directly to the domain name. No longer will business owners have to worry about sending emails from random Gmail accounts—instead, BlueHost offers website-based email services that greatly enhance the professionalism of the merchant.
The third site is HostMonster. HostMonster is another site that has been established for many years and is perfect for small and up and coming websites interested in looking to bolster their online presence with effective and competitive hosting. Ecommerce hosting companies like HostMonster focus on offering a low-priced, but fully fleshed out package of benefits and tools for small developers and people interested in launching and maintaining a website or ecommerce store. Even better, HostMonster is renowned for its incredible 24/7 customer service, which is famous for its quality of help and its accessibility. Lastly, HostMonster offers an impressive range of services and benefits, going as far as to offer clients unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains, unlimited data transfers, and five times the number of MySQL databases offered by iPage.
The fourth site is Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting. It offers quasi-unlimited bandwidth and storage, but it important to note that unlimited in this sense is often modified by other preconditions and qualifications, so it can be slightly misleading to assume that Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting actually offers unlimited features in this regard. That said, Yahoo stands very little chance of having serious server downtime, as their infrastructure and support system is second to none. As such, Yahoo earns the fourth spot on this list for their reliability and overall quality, even if the actual utility of their software development tools are somewhat lacking.
The fifth site is HostPapa HostPapa’s major selling point is that all of its hosting abilities are powered by renewable green energy, which is an impressive feat for an online webhosting company in an industry where turnover and changes in industry leaders can be rapid and high. HostPapa has worked hard over the years to develop an environmentally friendly image which is built around making sure customers are able to access the goods and services of their host without fear of environmental repercussions. Even better, HostPapa is not only growing rapidly, but offers a very competitive benefits packages at a good rate.
The sixth site is GoDaddy, an ecommerce hosting company famous for its impressive pricing plans and incredible offerings of service to its clients. GoDaddy offers incredibly generous benefits and services to its clients, with the standard plan allocating each client a whopping 150GB of storage and 1500GB of bandwidth per domain name. This, and many other features, comes at the price tag of only $6 a month, and it is clear that GoDaddy is probably the best value and bang-for-your-buck on the market today. However, the performance is somewhat less than its competitors, and it makes up for that with being incredibly generous with its service plans.
The seventh site is HostGator, which is a company founded in 2002 with the intent of being a quality commerce hosting company that focuses on customer service and overall development aid to newer businesses and ecommerce stores. HostGator is one of the most rapidly growing companies in the industry along with PapaHost and shares a similar focus on environmentally-friendly solutions for its clients.
The eight site is JustHost, which bases its impressive reputation on the fact that customers are guaranteed to walk away satisfied. As such, they offer money-back guarantees and 24/7 customer service, something that web hosts are viewing as increasingly important with the spread of online-only companies and stores. However, JustHost does not offer the option to break contracts early without fees, but the low cost of the hosting plan makes it unlikely that customers will be terribly worried about engaging in a long-term contract with them. Moreover, JustHost is probably the best example of a jack-of-all-trades web hosting service for online merchant needs.
At number nine is CoolHandle, a web hosting company that is based out of Los Angeles and tends to focus more on in-depth support and development of companies rather than sheer volume. CoolHandle has a competitive services package for its clients, and is one of the best web hosting services that has a strong emphasis on Linux integration for its back-end operations. Moreover, CoolHandle is renowned for its impressive reliability and has a great track record of customer service and rapid response to issues that can arise.
Last but not least is FatCow Hosting, which is another online web hosting company that prefers an environmentally conscious approach to their hosting capabilities. 100% of their energy used is supplied by green energy sources, primarily wind turbines, and is known for its rather quirky, but professional nature. FatCow’s “HeiferCratic Oath” is a commitment to quality and service for its customers, and FatCow is a great choice for electronic stores looking to establish themselves with quality hosting.