It is now easy to launch an online store unlike in the past when there are several complex things to deal with. The easy availability of a large number of hosting platforms and plans now makes starting an online business relatively simple and hassle-free. As opposed to the days and weeks of effort of the past, launching an online store takes just a few hours now.

However, just because it is now amazingly simple to start an ecommerce store, you should not be tempted into launching one without putting in all the precautionary systems in place. Choosing the right server hosting platform is extremely critical. Hasty decisions may end up in you choosing the wrong server host which can complicate things.

While setting out to select right ecommerce platform from a plethora of available options you need appreciate that the platform is going to serve as a foundation for all activities related to your online venture.

Before you are plunging into the vast pool of ecommerce platforms for picking up the right one, you need to decide whether a hosted or self-hosted platform is suitable for your online store.

Exploring self-hosted ecommerce platforms

There are number of open source applications that are designed to perform with support of web hosting service providers. You can choose one of the open source ecommerce platforms for creating your online shop by selecting an appropriate hosting package.

Ecommerce solutions that belong to pen source categories are highly sought after by developers and owners of online stores because one can make any change to these solutions for customizing the features. Users are offered amazing control while using self-hosted platforms than the hosted solutions.

Self hosted platforms offer amazing level of freedom to users since these are easy to setup anywhere and therefore users can choose their preferred hosting services as per their priorities. They are also free to move to another provider if they face resource crunch or any other issue with the present host.

Demerits of self hosted platforms

The most significant demerit of self hosted ecommerce platforms is the difficulty of setting up without an expert assistance. Users can get assistance from hosting service providers to follow the process of installation. Since there is an absence of a centralized support for the open source solution, users are forced to manage issues by themselves or through technical experts available with some of the reputed hosting services.

It is also observed that hosts tend to jack up the costs of their hosting plans following growth of ecommerce stores.

Having understood pros and cons of self hosted ecommerce platforms, let us look at the leading self hosted solutions.

WooCommerce- designed for customizability

Although WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it is extensively used on thirty percent of existing online enterprises. It empowers users with a responsive team of technical assistants via help desk and can support variety of ecommerce ventures of different sizes.

Magento- robust and intense platform

Magento is an extensively used ecommerce platform that is regarded for stability and performance. It is also known to be a highly complex platform that helps developers build an ecommerce store from the scratch

Hosted ecommerce platforms for end to end support

These platforms are reckoned to be all in one ecommerce solutions. Users can look forward to comprehensive support right from hosting, shopping cart functionality, to technical assistance. Users of hosted solutions can focus on their business without having to worry about management of their ecommerce platform. It offers an easy access to technical support team that looks after technical glitches if any.

In essence, hosted ecommerce solutions help users remove all technical blocks and offer highly customizable services at reasonable costs.

Demerits of hosted ecommerce platforms

These platforms are slightly costlier than their self hosted counterparts and can go on becoming expensive in response to store’s growth. There are very limited customization attributes and users are forced to access limited resource of plugins and themes. In addition, you will find it difficult to shift your store to other ecommerce platforms. We would like to look at the two attractive examples of hosted ecommerce solutions.

Shopify- versatile and popular

In terms of popularity, Shopify leads most of the ecommerce hosting platforms that belong to the hosted category.

BigCommerce – feature rich and robust

BigCommerce aims to target small as well as large ecommerce enterprises. It boasts of powering large brands including Toyota and provides excellent customizability and rich resource of functionalities.

Conclusion

Whether you select self hosted or hosted platforms you are going to be supported optimally for realizing your ecommerce venture. Self hosted ecommerce platform offer outstanding control and economy. They can be more demanding in terms of technical support and time required for setting up your store. Hosted platforms provide you freedom and convenience of hosting but can be costlier and less customizable.