choosing hosted eCommerce platformIf you are launching an eCommerce Web site, you will need to consider the same questions as any other new business owner: Who are your prospective clients? How will you attract them? How much should you spend on marketing?

Once you have attracted your initial client base, your concerns will turn to how to effectively maintain existing client relationships and how to expand your client base. As an owner of an eCommerce site, you will address all of these issues with your Web site. Regardless of how much you decide to spend on content management, brand design or Web site development, one of the most important decisions you will make is which Web hosting platform is right for you. Since an eCommerce business is exclusively online, Web hosting becomes a vital feature that must include consistent uptime and give the business owner the opportunity to create the most pleasurable user experience for customers. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

Free Versus Paid Hosting

A free hosting service may meet your needs when you are first starting out, but for extra features, consider a paid Web host, according to the Huffington Post. Paid Web hosts account for free upgrades, personalized domain names, ad control, 24/7 support and increased storage to accommodate for Web site growth — all important features for an eCommerce site. If you are overwhelmed with the amount of hosting options, examine eCommerce sites you are a fan of, and use their Web hosting services as a starting-off point for comparison.

If you’d like to host your site through one hosting service and include a hosted shopping cart from a different host in your site, that option is available. With hosted shopping carts, eCommerce site owners may choose their own content management system and Web host, but the hosted shopping cart will handle payment security, giving site owners more freedom in who hosts the site itself, but creating two services for site owners to manage, according to Vandelay Design. FoxyCart and DPD as hosted shopping cart options, while services such as Shopify, Highwire and BigCommerce are three reliable eCommerce platforms that already integrate shopping carts.

Types of Servers for Hosting

Different needs also affect the type of server that is best for hosting. While an event planner may prefer the root access and customization of a Linux server, a graphic designer may prefer the administrator access of Windows server hosting. Whether you choose the features of a Linux server or the familiarity of Windows hosting, you choose from a range of hosting providers. Examine how a host site handles issues such as customer interface, orders, shipments, payments, security, and encryption before making your final decision, according to

About the Author: Scott is an ardent follower of cloud solution trends and database security improvements. He shares tips and advice with his readers on several business sites.