Keeping your eCommerce website running smoothly is essential to prevent lost sales or users from dropping off. Choosing the right hosting for your eCommerce website matters, and for most companies, a shared hosting package is the right way to go.
What Is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting, the most affordable type of hosting, is provided using shared servers, where one computer runs many websites.
This hosting service can be an excellent choice for a starting online store. There’s limited access to server resources and some restrictions on the applications you can run. Still, those are concerns that only apply to eCommerce sites that are dealing with a huge number of products and serve hundreds of thousands of customers.
If you’re considering shared hosting for your eCommerce site, it’s important to understand both the capabilities and limitations of shared hosting solutions. Selecting affordable shared hosting can have a big impact on the growth of your online store.
Unique Hosting Requirements for Online Stores
Selecting the right hosting provider and hosting service plan for your online store is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Without a proper hosting provider, your eCommerce website may be slowed down, causing visitors difficulty in accessing it, browsing your products, or completing a purchase.
Websites that load slowly or don’t load properly within seconds typically have a much higher bounce rate—they drive visitors away immediately.
Shared hosting is ideal for eCommerce sites for several reasons:
- Enhanced Performance—A shared hosting environment is a closely managed hosting environment. Most companies offering this service constantly tune server resources so that websites run fast with zero downtime.
- Solid Security—A quality shared hosting package will include built-in security features, 24/7 server monitoring, and a free SSL certificate.
- Low Cost—eCommerce owners have a bottom line that’s tied to how many products they sell; that’s hard enough to manage, so infrastructure costs should be kept as low as possible. Opting for shared hosting is the perfect way for an eCommerce business to save money on hosting.
Running an online store with a shared hosting service will work for the vast majority of online retailers. There’s really only one way it can go wrong, and for most companies, that scenario is way down the road. Let’s take a look at when it’s right to use shared hosting for eCommerce and when it might be time to take a different approach.
Shared Hosting for eCommerce—It’s Scalable, to a Point
A shared hosting solution is one of the most popular solutions available, as it’s affordable and suitable for both personal and business websites.
Shared hosting costs typically come in at less than $9.99 a month, and a good provider can help you get your site up and running in no time. However, there are benefits and limitations when it comes to choosing a shared hosting package for an eCommerce site.
Value and Performance for Sustained Growth
Before choosing a hosting plan that’s right for your eCommerce store, familiarize yourself with the advantages of shared hosting, which include:
- Affordability: Shared hosting is extremely affordable and allows you to get started right away.
- Easy Admin Access: Shared hosting packages are known for their easy access to admin panels, allowing you to install new plugins quickly, upload new files, and access site data.
- Support: Choosing a shared hosting service is optimal if you’re interested in direct on-call support. Many of the most popular shared hosting companies today provide customers with live chat, ticket, phone, and email support options, as well as a knowledge base.
- Robust Performance: With shared hosting, your website can handle up to 100,000 visitors a month, which translates to roughly over 3000 visitors daily.
Additionally, shared hosting can help grow eCommerce companies’ focus on core business initiatives because it frees them from the time-intensive burden of web server setup and maintenance.
Can You Be Too Big for Shared Hosting?
A shared hosting service is a secure and capable choice for online stores, but some factors could drive a mature eCommerce business to change their hosting package.
Shared hosting comes with limitations to backend control and the management of your server’s overall setup. If you’re interested in more options in terms of managing your server, custom features, and additional functionality, consider dedicated hosting with a VPS hosting package.
Security is another concern. Shared hosting is usually provided with bullet-proof security that keeps customer data safe. Still, there’s no such thing as too safe, so some online retailers opt for a VPS or another hosting solution that allows them to implement even stricter security.
Finally, there’s storage space. With shared hosting, many users share the same server, so space is usually limited. As you expand your eCommerce store, you’ll likely require much more space to store images, graphics, photographs, and videos. While most shared hosting plans can be upgraded to include massive amounts of extra storage space, some eCommerce companies reach a point where a dedicated solution makes more sense.
Other Possible eCommerce Hosting Solutions
If shared hosting is not right for your eCommerce store, have a look at dedicated hosting and VPS. Dedicated hosting provides you with access to your very own server, which can be an advantage for those running larger eCommerce websites.
A VPS hosting plan provides many of the benefits of shared hosting, while still being affordable. However, for some businesses, the best eCommerce solution will be a package that includes an online store and hosting. This will allow you to launch a professional store and upload products much quicker than traditional methods.
An eCommerce Hosting Solution that Grows with Your Business
Shared hosting is the right choice for so many types of businesses and online stores top the list. The affordability, performance, security, and flexibility of shared hosting is a perfect match for most online retailers.
If you’re launching an eCommerce site, a shared hosting service will see you through the early days and provide the foundation your site needs through several stages of growth. Eventually, you may be selling so much that a hosting upgrade is called for, but shared hosting will get you there!