Online businesses are very important customers for web hosting providers. Almost every web host will tell you they are good for ecommerce, but you will need to do a little investigating to find out which ones offer the features you need. The following are some features you should look for in ecommerce hosting.
1. Analytics – This goes far beyond the old hit counters of the 90s. You will have a lot of information going in and out of your online business. You need to be able to process it, aggregate it, and analyze it. Whether your host provides its own analytics or simply integrates with a service like Google Analytics, it is very important to your website’s success.
2. Affordable virtual private servers (VPS) – You want and need scalability. Being able to start small and build up is something that a virtual private server can do. Not all hosts provide reasonable and affordable VPS solutions.
3. SSL Encryption – Every transaction you run and every time a user submits information, it needs to be encrypted. SSL is critical, and your host must provide it.
4. Enhanced Data Security – Since most of your information will be stored in databases, you need a host that offers features like database encryption and layers of security to protect your data.
5. Ecommerce Apps – Even if a host provides all of the above, the only real advantage that would set it apart from any other host is the web application catalog it offers. They should make it easy for you to install and maintain ecommerce web apps.
There are many other features that an ecommerce provider should offer, but these should give you an idea of what to look for and what to avoid.