This article is part of a series created in partnership with SiteGround. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.
So you’re ready to launch your online store. Can you just use your existing web hosting, or do you need something special?
While eCommerce hosting doesn’t need to cost a fortune, invest the time and money you need up front to make sure you have a solution that is going to work with you—not just now, but take future growth into account as well.
If you’re planning to use a hosted solution like Shopify, and embed it into WordPress, then your hosting requirements are less stringent, since the security and heavy lifting are being taken care of by Spotify.
But if you’ll be hosting your own shopping cart software, the choice of hosting is critical. It’s a key factor in ensuring your customers have a smooth and responsive online shopping experience.
What sort of hosting should you choose? A company experienced in hosting eCommerce, and a plan optimised for eCommerce. Here are some factors to take into consideration.
1. You Need a Hosting Plan with Sufficient Storage Space and Bandwidth
An eCommerce site will need to store shopping cart software, a product catalogue, and a customer database. You need to choose a hosting plan with enough space to store all of this, and enough bandwidth for your customers to access your products, including copy, images and other resources. Err on the side of caution—underestimating your needs may lead to financial penalties if you go over your limits.
Plans with at least 2 GB of disk space and 10 GB/month of bandwidth are common, and will give you more than enough resources for an online store with thousands of products. This is a good starting point for your online store.
2. You Need Hosting that Supports Your Shopping Cart Software
There’s quite a variety of eCommerce software available today. Choose the solution that best meets your needs, then choose a hosting solution that supports the system requirements of that software—or better still, can install it with a click of the mouse.
Two powerful and free shopping carts are Magento and PrestaShop. They are full-featured, and worthy of consideration. There are also plugins for WordPress and Joomla to turn your favorite CMS into an eCommerce platform. How do you choose?
SiteGround lets you choose between 18 popular eCommerce applications, and install them automatically. Their Shopping Cart Guide will help you decide on the right software for your store. Take your time making your decision—it will be a lot of work if you change your mind later on.
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