It is not difficult to find a hosting package these days as they are very heavily advertised on the Internet. It is a little harder to sift through them to find the good and the bad ones, but online reputations have a habit of sticking. You can blame this on the happy online nerd community who will not let slights go. And, why should people let slights go? One person sat at a desk has no power in the real world, but is able to set up and stoke the fires of an online hate campaign for months at a time. They are only limited by how much free time they have to dedicate to smearing the company that treated them badly.
Here are five tips to help you choose your eCommerce host. Choosing an eCommerce host is not as difficult as choosing a host for a video library or social media network. The only thing you need to think about is the fact that you need more bandwidth than usual websites because you are expecting a lot of visitors. You may also need less hosting space than regular websites unless you have hundreds of products to upload.
1 – Look for hosting reviews
This means searching out any references to the hosting company you are looking to buy from. There are going to be a lot of positive reviews for the hosting service. This is because the company has written the reviews themselves or has had other people write them. What you need to do is look for negative reviews. Once you have found a few you need to look for patterns or commonalities.
Do they all complain about the same thing or different things? Do they mention how they like the company but they have a problem? The negative reviews are often the most honest. You can tell how bad the service is by how angry the writer is. Sometimes, if a company is good but lets the user down, they complain but you can tell they don’t like doing it. However, when a company really angers a person then they will relish telling everyone about it at every opportunity.
2 – What is their downtime like?
Do they have a terrible downtime score? Are their downtime scores a little too good to be true? If they advertise or promise a certain amount of “up-time” in their agreement and fail to deliver, then you can ask for your money back. There are tools that will check the downtime of a server for a full year.
If your website is down for more than 2% of the year then the search engines will start to take exception to it and start ranking your website down on the search engine results pages. Check the reviews to see if they mention anything negative about downtime.
3 – Can you upgrade your service at a later date?
A very cute trick is to attract and catch you with a very low starting rate for a basic hosting package. The trick is that when it comes to time to upgrade they charge you a fortune to upgrade your bandwidth, tools or hosting space. Some services are so cheap that they max out their capacity and are unable to offer you upgrades until their other customers leave.
You need to research how you can upgrade, how much they charge, and any terms and conditions they have. For example, do they ask that you lock yourself into their hosting service for a year if you want to upgrade? This is going to make it impossible to switch hosting services if the host starts to cause you problems.
4 – Decide how much hosting space you need in advance
Once you have created your website you will be able to see how much memory it takes up. You do not need much more than that amount for hosting space unless you are going to have automatic backups placed on your server too.
You need to decide this in advance because hosting services offer great deals where they charge you a few dollars more for lost more GB of hosting space. But, if you do not need the hosting space then don’t waste your money. Just upgrade later if you need more space.
5 – What is their security like?
Security on a hosting service is a very big deal. The good hackers in this world are able to break into a server, which means they have backdoor access to your website. If your host service is playing fast and loose with security then your website may be inadvertently hacked. On the one hand you will not be able to do a darn thing about it, and on the other hand you may have been hacked years ago and still have no idea.
There is a legal side to it too. If you are completing sales over the Internet then you have a due diligence duty to make sure that security is above and beyond the required standard. This is because if you use an insecure host then you are still responsible for stolen money from your customer’s bank and credit cards.