eCommerce WordPress Hosting
Online shopping is becoming more popular by the minute. The convenience and ease of use of shopping on the web appeals to both sellers and consumers alike.
eCommerce is nothing but the process involving buying and selling products or services online. Electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing and mobile commerce are all important facets of eCommerce.
Some more important features of eCommerce or electronic commerce businesses can be put down as follows:
- Participation in online marketplaces.
- Gathering of demographic data through social media.
- Electronic data exchange using business-to-business(B2B) transactions.
- Online marketing.
- Online currency exchange.
- Online shopping websites.
Important Points For eCommerce Web Development
As eCommerce is now a part of our daily lives, for sellers and store owners the prospect of taking their business to the internet opens up a potential for new income. For this they need to develop and launch an efficient website. A website of course needs a web hosting provider.
A good eCommerce website has to be simple to manage and budget-friendly for the business owner. Reputed eCommerce hosting providers help clients with specific business requirements and make it possible of them to launch a successful business online. Following are some important points used to rate eCommerce web hosts:
Efficient Marketing Tools
Strategic marketing plays a very important role in increasing the traffic on a store website. Most reputed web hosts provide their customers with free marketing credits to give them a head start on advertising for the websites. They range from $100 to 200 for most hosts. This helps improve the search engine results for the website.
The higher the products appear in search results, the better the chances of a sale. Certain tools for helping the online store appear higher on popular search engines like Google and Bing are also provided free of charge by the web hosts.
Effective and Easy Management of Product Display Interfaces
A good display of products along with the color, size and other options available is very important in attracting customers to visit and shop at a particular website. Poorly displayed product list or online inventory which is not updated can majorly ruin the chances of success for an online business. The best eCommerce hosts accommodate all these needs and provide easy-to-use product management tools that help you add and update products for creating efficient display lists or catalogs.
Website Builder Tool
A website builder tool that is easy-to-use even for beginners and non-technical people is an important part of an efficient eCommerce web hosting package. New business owners with start-ups or small businesses do not necessarily have technical expertise themselves or an experienced web developer on staff. For them a drag and drop type website builder is an important requirement. This saves both time and money.
Last but not the least, a website that accepts different payment options including PayPal, credit/debit cards and ACH bank accounts is more likely to get good customer traffic compared to one that does not. The top eCommerce hosts often partner with companies like PayPal and make this process simpler for the business owner.
Top Rated eCommerce Website Builders
These are some of the high rated companies in eCommerce hosting according to expert reviewers
Just as the brand name suggests, Shopify is the perfect eCommerce platform that provides its customers with all the above mentioned features. Shopify provides a huge number of design templates, payment options along with drag and drop website builders.
The cost of a hosting package from Shopify is rather high but it usually reflects the good quality service that is provided. A 14-day trial option is also available for the advantage of beginners and first time business owners.
Wix provides its customers with web design themes suited to an eCommerce business and code-free customization at a very affordable price. The performance and security available with this provider is not known for its robustness but, it is ideal for startup owners to get their feet wet in the eCommerce world.
Top Rated eCommerce Hosting Providers
All-rounder In eCommerce Hosting
According to expert reviewers, the best eCommerce hosts are ones that provide functionality specific to help online businesses at a budget friendly price. Most of the reputed eCommerce hosts provide one-click installations of website builder software like PrestaShop along with advertising credits. Reliable customer support also plays a huge role.
Best eCommerce Website Builder
Most high rated eCommerce hosts nowadays provide robust and easy-to-use website builders in their plans by default. Bluehost has Weebly with drag and drop functionality as a part of all the hosting plans. Using Weebly customers get to update their online stores easily with much technical expertise.
Another example is the popular web host InMotion that offers MyWebsite as a part of its hosting plans. MyWebsite is suitable for customers who want to build an online store quickly and get results. SEO Spotlight and SiteAnalytics are some of the other tools offered by InMotion as for their eCommerce customers.
Hugely popular web host GoDaddy provides a custom built website builder that is an addition to the WordPress application. BoldGrid was also a website builder provided by GoDaddy. However, it became so popular with eCommerce customers that it was later launched as its own brand independent from GoDaddy.
Best eCommerce Host For Small Businesses
A small budget and low manpower are the biggest constraints that small/medium sized businesses have while stepping into the world of eCommerce. As a result, low cost and low maintenance are the factors that make eHost popular among small business owners.
Best eCommerce Host For Enterprise Level Businesses
Big enterprises have the budget for pricey hosting plans that provide quality hardware and excellent performance. InMotion is one such eCommerce host that offers SSD powered virtual and dedicated servers and robust security at a good price. Their network monitoring service and customer support is also reliable. This allows the enterprise staff to focus on their business without having to worry about the website management and maintenance issues.
Ecommerce WordPress Hosting FAQ
What is e-Commerce?
E-Commerce is the selling of things online. It can be goods that you manufacture yourself or that someone else manufactured but you are the retailer. The latter is sometimes achieved through being a sales representative with or without multi-level marketing or by using a drop shipper.
What are the advantages of e-Commerce vs other ways of marketing goods?
Some of the advantages of e-commerce are: you don’t have the expenses of maintaining a “brick and mortar” store. You don’t need sales people. You can attract able-bodied as well as those with mobility issues and other disabilities. The customer only needs a computer or their smartphone and a credit card (this can sometimes be a disadvantage as some people do not have computers and/or credit cards.)
What is a “brick and mortar” store?
A brick and mortar store is one with a physical presence. Customers are served by flesh and blood sales people. Customers are able to view, feel, and sometimes try out or try on the products they are considering buying.
How can I start an e-Commerce business?
Every e-Commerce business starts with a good website design. It should include pictures and descriptions of every product you are selling. It should have a shopping cart and must have a way for customers to pay for the products they choose. It also should have an “About” page describing your company with ways customers can contact you if they need help. It’s also helpful to have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
What is a shopping cart?
In real life, a shopping cart is a way to carry what you are buying to the cashier where you will pay for your things. You have the ability, while you are shopping, to add or remove items from the cart at any time before paying for the contents of the cart.
E-Commerce shopping carts work the same way. When you find items, you want to buy, you can add them to the shopping cart which holds them for you until you are ready to check out. The shopping cart should have a prominently displayed “Checkout” button. This button takes the customer to another page to enter their address and billing information.
The shopping cart will figure the total amount due including any shipping and/or handling costs and any taxes to be collected. There is usually a choice to pay with debit or credit card or by e-check. Depending on the shopping cart software, there might also be a choice to pay with PayPal.
What things do I need to have for my shopping cart to work?
First, you need to have a business account with a bank. Then you need to have a merchant account which will allow you to process credit card purchases. To apply for a merchant account, you need your Social Security Number, your Driver’s License Number, and your contact information. If there are other principals in the company, you will need their information also.
To process orders online while the customer waits, you need a third-party gateway which is an outside company that links your shopping cart to your merchant account. There are many third-party gateways to choose from. PayPal is one such gateway. You also need an SSL certificate for your website. This tells the customer that the transactions are going over a secure connection.
What is an SSL Certificate and where do I get one?
SSL stands for Secure Socket(s) Layer. Its primary purpose is to let the user know that they are connected to the right website and not a forgery. It also ensures that any information that is transmitted is encoded and not sent in plain text. You can buy SSL Certificates on the web. Please make sure that you are getting a dedicated IP address and that it is issued to your domain only and not a sub-domain of someone else. Otherwise, it loses its primary purpose of authenticating the identity of your website.
What is PayPal?
PayPal is an online payment service that allows individuals and businesses to transfer money electronically. It doesn’t cost anything to make an account or to send money. When they make a PayPal account, customers input what debit/credit card or bank account they want the money to be withdrawn from. No banking information gets sent to the on-line store.
What is the best way to create a website?
Unless you are a professional website designer, don’t do it yourself. One way is to hire a professional. But, if you go this route you will also have to find a hosting service to host the site.
Another way is to use a full-service on-line company that provides templates for you to choose from for web design complete with apps for adding pictures, adding a shopping cart, and collecting payments. They will also host the website.
Do I need to have a huge inventory?
Not necessarily. You can sell other people’s goods either as a sales rep or use a wholesaler who provides drop-ship services. Being a sales rep sometimes, but not always, involves multi-level marketing.
What is multi-level marketing?
Usually, a sales rep’s commission is based solely on sales the rep has generated. In multi-level marketing (MLM) reps make commission not only on the sales they generate but also on sales their customers generate by selling to others.
Is multi-level marketing the same as a pyramid scheme?
The best way to answer this might be to say that all pyramid schemes involve multi-level marketing (MLM) but not all multi-level marketing is a pyramid scheme. There are many legitimate MLM opportunities on the web.
What is a drop shipper?
A drop shipper is a wholesaler who provides drop ship services (warehousing and shipping) to a retailer. The retailer takes the order and collects the retail price for the item. The retailer then pays the wholesaler the wholesale price of the item. The wholesaler ships the item to the customer.
Where do I get the pictures and descriptions for my website?
If you are selling your own merchandise that you created, you will be responsible for taking the pictures and writing the descriptions. You can also hire a photographer and a writer to do this. If you are a sales representative or using a drop shipper, they will provide you with the pictures and descriptions to add to your website.