Online shopping is the most convenient way to buy merchandise and it is not surprising that ecommerce is currently one the fastest growing industries. Running an ecommerce store is a highly complex task due to a plethora of hosting solutions available and wide range of features that can be incorporated in ecommerce sites.

Basic hosting options

Choice of an ecommerce solution is governed by three basic considerations including the budget, nature and number of products or services, requirement of features for running the store.

There are several ecommerce platforms available to build your online store according to your specific needs. You need to understand that there are two different options to consider. You can choose either ecommerce software or shopping cart software. These are designed to support your online venture with help of different functions.

Ecommerce solutions are used to setup exclusive online businesses whereas shopping cart software can be used to add ecommerce functionalities to an existing standard website. Once you have finalized your ecommerce hosting service provider and the software platform, you need to decide the right hosting environment for operating your website.

Small businesses or new online stores are inclined to choose shared hosting for launching their maiden ecommerce ventures. However, there is a word of caution about shared hosting plans that may cause more harm to your business. You need to appreciate that shared hosting plans offer limited resources that may not support ecommerce software that are usually resource intensive.

Unique ecommerce hosting requirements

Moreover, as an online entrepreneur you will always be striving to grow your business in terms of visitors and addition of new features or functionalities to the website. This calls for a type of hosting that offers scalability and stability. Websites are forced to share number of resources including bandwidth, disk space, RAM, and common IP address in shared hosting.

This can be detrimental to your online business because a common IP address does not permit use of SSL certificate, thus compromising security of online payments. It is observed that visitors are not in favor of making transactions on sites that do not offer security of SSL encryption.

Owing to the dynamic nature of an online store, its resource needs and hosting requirements are greater than standard blog sites or other static sites that can be ideally operated in a shared hosting environment.

The basic intention of any online venture is to drive more and more traffic that comprises of online shoppers. Therefore, one needs to allocate sufficient resources for smooth and hassle free running of an ecommerce website.

This leaves us with two choices that include VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. It is recommended that new ecommerce ventures should opt for VPS hosting due to prohibitive costs of dedicated hosting. VPS is the right entry level server hosting option for ecommerce ventures that due to privacy of hosting environment and availability of unique IP address for imparting greater security through SSL encryption. You can always avail security certificate through your hosting provider.

Ecommerce software options

Ecommerce plugins provide the right choice for adding functionalities of online store to a content based website. There are appropriate plugins available for Content Management Software solutions such as Drupal or WordPress.

In order to build an exclusive ecommerce website that is not going to be a portion of any content oriented site, you need to choose from a plethora of dedicated software platforms that are purely developed for ecommerce sites only.

User friendly and relatively simple ecommerce hosting solutions for small online ventures that are going to deal only with a handful of products are available in the form of shopping carts. Another benefit of shopping cart software is that it can be installed with only a single click through web control panel provided by your host.

Full featured ecommerce hosting solutions

These are exclusively created to facilitate building standalone ecommerce store that enable diverse functionalities including payment processing, tax calculation, multi currency and multi linguistic transactions, setting up of storefront, merchant tools, tabs for categories, product search, and much more.

Users can choose from Magento or OsCommerce as these are leaders in ecommerce industry. These provide sophisticated functionalities of inventory management and shopping cart to build customized, secure, robust, and scalable ecommerce platforms exactly as envisaged by you.

Vital attributes of ecommerce host

In entire operation of ecommerce business your hosting service provider is supposed to play the most important role by offering one click installation facility and instant customization of your store as per varying demands of customers. Your host is also able to provide much needed SSL installation for enhanced security of online transactions.

The most vital aspect of hosting service is support of 99.99 percent SLA backed network uptime with round the clock technical assistance. Setting up an ecommerce venture is an intricate job and requires an in depth understanding of multiple factors including business objectives, security concerns, products, target audience, and lot more.