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As everyone already know, no website can exist without a web host unless you actually run and operate your own dedicated server at home or office, which can become quite expensive, which would cause some problematic set up later on when your website and traffic grow.
What is a web hosting? Basically, it is a home for storing your website, images and content. All websites need a web host because it’s only way to get your website online and be seen by anyone who is surfing the web, seeking for the information they need or buying your products online. Without a web host, your website just sits there and looking all good but there is no one to see it because it’s not online. Imagine web host as a car engine while your website is the exterior body of a car. Can a car that looks good run and function normally without an engine? Not really, right? All cars reply on engine to run and get them moving, otherwise, a good looking car would just sit there, just like a good looking website without a web host.
Next, let’s go over some basics and options that almost all web hosting companies offer. The most common hosting choices are Shared, Cloud, VPS and Dedicated Server. Most web hosts provide these to website owners looking to get their website online so they can start promoting and marketing their businesses or organizations. What are Shared, Cloud, VPS or Dedicated Server?
The most affordable choice to get your website up and running quickly is SHARED WEB HOSTING. Because it is the most affordable, you are sharing your website with hundreds or thousands of other websites on the same storage space on the server. The traffic may be impacted, causing your website crash because of this if there is high traffic or hits from online visitors and other sources. Shared web hosting is ideal for small or very simple websites with minimal or small content including few images which would use storage space very little.
Next up is CLOUD HOSTING, which is gaining popularity with many websites because it offers cool technology where websites are hosted in the cloud rather than on a single server tied to one location but have access to multiple servers which means more resources for websites hosted in the Cloud. It may be a little faster than Shared option depending on the type of servers the company use. The costs to upgrade to Cloud Hosting may be a little more expensive than Shared Hosting but not so much if you need to additional resources and storage space for your website but still is an ideal choice for businesses that have grown from Starter phase to the next level while being budget friendly.
Third option is VPS HOSTING. This is considered a premium version of web hosting because it is ideal for larger websites and businesses that need much more resources and bandwidth. It is deal for high traffic websites that deal with a lot of management, interactivity, online shops and other purposes beyond a simple brochure style website. What is cool about VPS is that it means your website is on its own hard drive within a server not shared with other websites which means it will free up more bandwidth and space for your website at much higher speeds compared to Shared hosting option. However, normally most VPS Hosting require you to have some technical knowledge of running or operating a server especially on the back-end so this option is not suited for non-techies unless you have hired a IT person to take over running VPS hosting then you have something less to be concerned with. It comes at a higher budget so keep this in mind.
Lastly, there is the DEDICATED SERVER, the behemoth of all web hosting options. It is also the most expensive option out of all other hosting options due to the fact it is the top kind of server that can do almost everything a website or couple websites can come up with! With almost unlimited power, space and speed, Dedicated Server will give you the high performance and security you seek. It is perfect for websites that are mission critical or handle highly secure materials that require higher level of protection and security from any hackers and the like.
There are many excellent web hosting companies you can choose from. Most of them are highly reliable and have world class business services to cater to all kinds of website and business needs. This is why we can’t live without our awesome web hosting company to host our website and offer web hosting to our clients who sign up with us. In exchange you get very fast and efficient hosting with excellent performance and security especially those who handle security issues like HIPAA and also eCommerce sites. You can check them out below:
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Whether you are brand new to eCommerce or a veteran running an online shop, there is always this important consideration of how your current or choosing a right platform is performing at least 95% of the time as your sales grow.
I’m going to do a simple breakdown of eCommerce platforms to being your search and narrow down your choices to find the best fit tailored for your business.
Is there such the Best eCommerce Platform out there?
While there are familiar and widely used platform leaders in eCommerce ecosystem, there is *no “best” platform at all because it all comes down to your specific needs. However, it is possible to find the right platform to fit your eCommerce business model and needs.
There are many options to choose from a variety of eCommerce platforms but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when doing an audit of your eCommerce business needs.
Your Own Shop or Marketplace
If you choose to go with your own shop, it gives you more control over your brand and develop personal experience for potential customers. However, designing a custom shop can take long time to get started while building one can carry high price tag in the beginning but becomes less expensive as you maintain the shop in long term.
If you choose to join a marketplace such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy, they already provide you the tools to get started quickly and easy to use so you can concentrate only on the products you upload and let the marketplace do the work when visitors use search tool to look for a product they desire or need. They also have traffic built in compared to standalone shop which would require different methods to bring traffic and customers. However, the marketplace put more value on their brand rather than your own plus they withhold customer information therefore any customer who purchases your product isn’t fully your customer but through the marketplace.
Next question to consider…should you go with either Hosted or Self-Hosted solution?
Hosted or Self-Hosted Comparison
- Hosted shopping cart software
- Self-hosted source shopping cart software
Hosted eCommerce Solutions
Going with a hosted eCommerce platform makes your life much easier because they usually take care of everything like security, PCI compliance, backups and preventing downtime should the website crash unexpectedly. Most technical details and management are in one place by the eCommerce platform provider. This solution is the best if you only want to focus on your business and customers and not having to deal with technical details where you are forced to make time to learn and manage those details.
Some well known eCommerce platforms:
Going with a self-hosted eCommerce platform it means you are virtually responsible for buying web hosting, download the necessary software and install it to your hosting account. You’re also responsible for security such as SSL and PCI compliance to gain a customer’s trust when shopping on your website. Last thing any customer wants is to have someone’s credit card number stolen or being hacked by third party which should be managed by you as well. This is ideal solution for a small or mid-size business that already have staff in place that can handle this overly complicated process which can be time consuming to learn the technology on top of selling products, servicing customers and building your shop brand. If you already have someone who can handle this part while you focus on selling your products, then you’re in a good place.
Some well known self-hosted eCommerce platforms:
- Zen Cart
However, if you are solo entrenpreneur, like most people who start out their businesses, it may be a wise idea to go with hosted eCommerce platform rather than a self-hosted eCommerce platform but you can always make the switch when your situation changes at any time.
If you need help choosing the right method for your business? Wish to get more information to narrow your choices?
Pink Crown Media, as a marketing consultancy, can assist you with your brand intelligence and digital marketing needs by doing an audit of your business, your website, and go over your short-term and/or long-term goals. Let’s talk about how Pink Crown Media can help your digital marketing needs.
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