Web hosting is one of the most vital components of eCommerce. Most e-merchants regard it as the backbone or engine of eCommerce. It propels the e-commerce starship to places webmasters have not gone before. Are you part of the crewmembers of the starship? Welcome aboard! Today we explore the practical details of website hosting to discover its benefits to the webmaster.
Here is a head start: The whole aspect of eCommerce web hosting resides in a very vibrant environment that is well-suited for all webmasters. Nevertheless, before we delve deep into the benefits of web hosting, it is safe to explore it from a foundational perspective (for the sake of the crew making their maiden voyage) and have a brief overview of the global state of web hosting.
What is Web hosting for e-commerce Business?
Anyone hearing of e-commerce web hosting will probably ask what it is and what it entails. The e-commerce web-hosting concept can be confusing because there is no one-size-fits-all web hosting solution for e-commerce sites. However, whenever someone talks of e-commerce web hosting, it refers to a service rendered by web hosting companies to e-commerce websites.
In a layman’s explanation, web hosting for e-commerce is where a web host offers a server to an e-commerce site making it easy for a website to store and maintain files. In other words, you can purchase or rent a server from a hosting company. You can use the server to perform various tasks such as optimizing customer security, traffic management, shipping and tracking, processing transactions, and database support, among many others.
The Global State of Web Hosting
Whether you own a large website or are a service provider seeking an online presence, it will pay to understand the state of the web hosting industry.
Ever since NeXT hosted the first website in 1989, web hosting has come a long way to create what is now the gargantuan cyber-sphere. As of 2019, over 330,000 web-hosting providers were available online, pointing out the popularity and dominance of the web hosting industry.
The U.S, in particular, has continued to dominate the web hosting landscape. As of October 2023, there are 134,457,137 hosted domains in the U.S alone. According to figures from Berkaweb, the compound annual growth rate for shared web hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting stands at 10.3%, 5.6%, and 18.3%, respectively.
One would wonder why web hosting has gained so much dominance and significance, especially in recent times (especially among e-commerce stores). The answer lies in the benefits web hosting brings to e-commerce websites. We examine these benefits in the following section.
Why Web Hosting for e-commerce Business Matters - The Benefits
Robust Security Capabilities
To make it in the e-commerce industry, you must take security seriously. Cybercriminals have shifted their attention to e-commerce sites. Online financial frauds are rocking the stage, with Statista estimating a 20 billion U.S. dollars loss in 2021 due to financial frauds. E-commerce security is a menace that should be addressed with utmost keenness. Most e-commerce store owners have done well in addressing the security issues on their websites. Most have installed firewalls and configured their sites with SSL certificates and other security plugins. However, did you know that signing up with a web hosting company could be the game changer in your e-commerce security?
A web hosting service provider will equip your website with an SSL certificate that safeguards all transactions and communications between your web servers and users’ browsers. Your IT expert might have recommended that you buy and install even the lowest or cheapest SSL certificate on your e-commerce website. That is just one way of acquiring HTTPS status on your website at a nominal cost. The other way is to find a web hosting solution that offers the SSL certificate on its package. A good web-hosting provider will also help safeguard your website against malware and viruses.
Poor performance could cause all sorts of harm to your e-commerce store. Your store will most likely suffer from increased bounce rates, reduced conversion rates, and a decline in revenue. According to a Google Industry Mobile Speed report, 53% of website visitors will leave a site immediately if it takes too long to load.
For the success of your e-commerce store, you will have to boost some of the performance metrics, such as site speeds. Choosing the right web-hosting platform could be a step in the right direction when it comes to increasing the performance of your e-commerce store. A hosting solution will handle all performance needs of your e-commerce store. They offer an excellent scalable platform that can be customized to meet your performance needs.
Large Bandwidth and Storage
Your e-commerce site is set to receive much traffic, especially when your digital marketing strategies are working. You will also need a lot of file space to store customer data and other pertinent details. You do not have to incur additional costs looking for external storage. A web-hosting provider will be there for you. Web hosting for an e-commerce site will resolve all storage concerns by offering large bandwidth and file storage options.
Reliable Technical Support
Lags and glitches are a part of the e-commerce world. No matter how much you try to evade them, there is always a chance they will occur and disrupt the normal operations of your e-commerce store. Such hitches might cause dissatisfaction among your customers, which is why you must handle them promptly. Solving technical hitches might not be a thing for everyone. You need a technical expert to solve such issues.
However, you can always count on your web-hosting provider to help you when necessary.
While shopping for a web-hosting provider, ensure you go for one that comes to your aid when facing technical hitches. Most web hosting service providers have a robust technical support team available 24/7 to handle your technical concerns.
High Availability and Scalability
When running an e-commerce store, it is prudent to ensure that your website is available 24/7. The reason is that most customers have varied shopping hours, and downtimes could hinder their shopping experience. No or less availability could result in reduced sales and revenues.
One of the things you have to do to ensure the scalability and full availability of your e-commerce store is to sign up with a reliable web-hosting provider. They ensure that your website is operating 24/7 and will address any downtime issues experienced on your website.
One of the things that makes shopping better and enjoyable is the use of a shopping cart. A shopping cart allows shoppers to pick items they like and review them at checkout before finally completing the purchase. They will eliminate the undesired products from the cart and remain with what is needed.
Most e-commerce service providers offer shopping carts with secure and easy gateways. While looking for a web hosting provider for your e-commerce store, ensure you pick one that offers the shopping cart option for your website.
With Web hosting, the financial Burden Shifts to Someone else
One good reason why we advocate eCommerce web hosting is that it relieves e-merchants of financial and management burdens. The web host becomes responsible for all the financial burdens of managing your e-commerce store. It will take care of tasks such as system configuration, security patches, and system updates. The time, money, and resources you would have rather used when self-hosting are shifted to other aspects of your business.
Web Hosting Comes with Lots of Customizable Features
During the early years of hosted e-commerce platforms, software as a service (SaaS) was a victim of inflexibility. However, whereas that was the case at the time, things have significantly changed today, and e-commerce web hosting platforms now have extreme flexibility.
The advantage of customization with a web hosting company is that the technical experts of the service provider will do all the coding and developing on your behalf. Nevertheless, as with all other benefits, not all e-commerce web hosting is flexible and offers customizable features. It would help if you did your homework to research and choose one that is flexible.
In e-commerce, time is of great essence. Nothing beats the speed-to-market convenience offered by web hosting companies. When hosting your e-commerce store, you can be sure to have your store up and running within no time. It means that web hosting avails your e-commerce websites to prospects and customers as soon as possible. However, the case is different if you take the self-hosting route, as costly delays and downtimes are involved.
You Get to Enjoy the Benefits of Sophisticated Architecture
The good thing about using a hosting platform for your e-commerce store is that it has magnificent infrastructure available to all clients. In other words, hosting your e-commerce store gives your business extra e-commerce capabilities. All you need to do is collaborate with your hosting service provider to help you enable the functions you need for your e-commerce store. Additionally, your hosting service provider will continually develop new functionalities you can leverage with a single click of a button.
You do not have to reinvent the wheel with self-hosting when everything has been done for you with e-commerce web hosting platforms.
This article has explained the benefits of web hosting for e-commerce business. It is now time to go ahead, sign up with one, and enjoy these benefits. Nevertheless, remember to do your homework to pick the web-hosting platform that offers the most benefits to your e-commerce store.