Building a Better eCommerce Site: Important Hosting Features

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Looking for the right web hosting plan for your e-commerce site? This blog breaks down 10 crucial hosting features - from disk space to SSL support - that every online store needs to function smoothly. Explore how each component plays a vital role in optimizing your site’s performance and security.

Table of Content

What is E-commerce Web Hosting?

E-commerce hosting is a specific type of web hosting platform that's tailored to meet the unique requirements of online stores. Unlike standard web hosting, e-commerce hosting provides the infrastructure required to support commercial transactions, handle high volumes of traffic, and protect sensitive data.

Imagine you have a store, but instead of a physical place, it's online. E-commerce web hosting is like renting a space on the internet specifically designed for online shops. It’s not just any space though; it's set up to handle everything a shop needs - like handling lots of visitors at once, keeping customer information safe, and making sure transactions go through smoothly.

Plus, it comes with special tools that make it easier to manage what you're selling, keep track of your stock, and understand your customers better. So, when you pick a web host that's all about e-commerce, you’re gearing up to grow your business and handle busy times without a hitch.

Why Strong Web Hosting is Essential for Growing E-Commerce

Global e-commerce sales are expected to make up 41% of all retail by 2027, a significant increase from 18% in 2017. Reliable web hosting is crucial because it ensures your online store runs smoothly and efficiently, helping your business stand out in a competitive market.

Let’s say during the holiday season, your online store of handmade crafts experiences a surge in visitors looking for unique gifts. With a strong web hosting, your website can handle this increased traffic smoothly, ensuring that every customer has a fast and secure shopping experience. This is made possible by features like flexible website capacity, which adjusts to handle more visitors without slowing down. Security measures, such as SSL certificates, protect your customers' transactions, building their trust in your business. Regular server backups mean that even if there's a technical issue, your site can be restored quickly, minimizing downtime and loss of sales.

Let's take a look at these features in detail.

Key Features for eCommerce Web Hosting

In this section, we dive into the ten essential features of e-commerce web hosting that empower your site to handle everything from daily traffic to seasonal spikes with ease.

  1. Disk space
  2. Bandwidth
  3. PHP version
  4. SSL support
  5. Robust security features
  6. Server backups
  7. Control panel
  8. CMS software support
  9. Add-ons
  10. Support

1. Disk Space: Why growing product catalogues demand more

Disk space is like the digital square footage for your online store. It holds all your product images, customer data, and website files. E-commerce sites need more of it because every new product listing or high-resolution image consumes space.

How much do you need? If you're just starting, 10 GB might cover your initial needs. However, as your product range and traffic grow, so will your storage requirements. Think of your future needs too - more products, more promotions, and higher quality images all mean you’ll need extra room.

2. Bandwidth: How high traffic influences your e-commerce site

Bandwidth determines how much data your site can handle at once. It's crucial for e-commerce because the more visitors you have, the more data gets transferred -especially during sales or promotions.

How much do you need? Imagine you run an online clothing store. Each page on your site, including product images, descriptions, and videos, averages about 3MB in size. During a normal month, your site receives about 30,000 page views. Here’s how you would estimate your bandwidth needs:

  • Average page size: 3MB
  • Average monthly page views: 30,000
  • Total monthly data transfer: 3MB x 30,000 = 90,000MB or approximately 90GB

Now, consider a promotional event like a Black Friday sale. During this event, your traffic doubles to 60,000 page views. Your estimated bandwidth need would then be:

  • Increased monthly page views: 60,000
  • Total monthly data during the event: 3MB x 60,000 = 180,000MB or approximately 180GB

Choosing a hosting plan that offers sufficient bandwidth saves you from crashing during these critical times.

3. PHP version: What modern e-commerce sites need to perform

PHP is the Internet’s most widely used, high-performing scripting language. It is installed directly on your web server and offers affordable, superior security and quick turn-around time. Many popular websites (like Facebook) use some version of PHP.

For maximum benefit, use the latest version (7.4, 8.0). PHP is constantly being updated and patched for bugs and vulnerabilities.

4. SSL support: Mandatory for secure customer transactions

SSL certificates encrypt the data exchanged between your customers and your website, which is crucial for protecting sensitive payment information. It is essential for any e-commerce site, not just for security but also for consumer trust and better search engine rankings.

SSL for e-commerce

Integrating SSL with your hosting: Select a web hosting plan that includes an SSL certificate as part of the package. This integration often simplifies the setup process, ensuring that every part of your site is secure from the start, which is crucial for new domain registrations.

5. Robust security features: Safeguard your site from cyber threats

E-commerce sites are frequent targets for cyber threats. In addition to SSL support, you'll want to make sure your web hosting plan includes other security features to prevent threats and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service).

A DDoS is a type of attack which involves thousands of requests being sent all at once to your website, overloading its ability to process those requests, effectively, shutting down your site. Firewall, for instance, will filter request activity before it reaches your web server.

6. Server backups: The safety net for e-commerce data

Regular backups ensure that your e-commerce site can recover quickly from data loss due to accidents or attacks.

server back up for e-commerce

Here’s what backup servers will perform:

Daily Automated Backups: Your hosting plan includes daily backups. You restore your site to the most recent backup made just hours before the incident.

Quick Restoration: The restoration process takes less than an hour, minimizing downtime and ensuring all transactions and updates are recovered.

Find a web hosting plan that provides backups as standard. Some hosting providers offer step-by-step guidance to set up backups as per your needs.

7. Control panel: The command centre for e-commerce operations

Your web hosting control panel helps you perform every task associated with your e-commerce site: set up your server configuration, install your SSL certificate, or install extensions that will enhance all aspects of your site.

Choose smartly: Opt for industry favourites like Plesk or cPanel, known for their user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive toolsets, making complex site management feel straightforward.

8. CMS software support: The backbone of your site’s content strategy

The backbone of any dynamic e-commerce website is its content management system (CMS). Support for popular CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla enables you to easily customize, update, and manage your website. Whether you're posting new products, adjusting pricing, or enhancing site features, a CMS-compatible hosting ensures everything runs smoothly.

Look for a hosting provider that offers specialized enhancements for your chosen CMS, such as improved security for WordPress or speed optimizations for Joomla. These tailored features can dramatically improve your site’s performance and user experience.

9. Add-ons: Customize your site for improved performance

Add-ons serve as powerful tools that extend the capabilities of your e-commerce platform. They can speed up your website, let you try out new ideas safely before making them live, and even help you manage more than one website at a time. Each add-on helps you customize your store to meet your specific needs.

What to look for? Think about what your store needs to succeed. Do you need to handle lots of visitors at once? Maybe a tool for faster website loading is a good idea. Planning to expand your brand? Tools for managing multiple websites might help.

An advanced web hosting service with multiple add-ons would be a smart choice. This flexibility lets you add or remove these tools as your business grows and changes, which means you only pay for what you really need and nothing more.

10. Support: Reliable help for continuous e-commerce operations

Reliable support means less downtime and quicker resolutions, essential for maintaining your e-commerce site’s performance. It's vital to have support available whenever you might need it, day or night. Look for a host that offers 24/7 support through various channels like phone, email, and live chat.

Before choosing a hosting provider, test the responsiveness of their support team. Send them an email with a few questions or try their chat service to see how quickly and effectively they respond. A support team that answers promptly suggests that you can expect dependable and consistent service in the future, which is essential for maintaining your site's uptime and overall peace of mind.

Got Questions? Our expert answers dive deep into e-commerce hosting essentials.


1. What is e-commerce web hosting?

E-commerce web hosting is designed specifically for online retail stores, providing the necessary infrastructure to handle commercial transactions, secure sensitive data, and manage high traffic volumes effectively.

2. Why is SSL support crucial for e-commerce sites?

SSL support is vital for e-commerce sites to encrypt sensitive information exchanged during transactions, enhancing security and building consumer trust, which also positively impacts search engine rankings.

3. How often should I back up my website?

For e-commerce sites, regular backups are recommended either daily or weekly, depending on the frequency of updates and transactions, to quickly restore data in case of loss and minimize downtime.

4. What should I look for in a CMS for my site?

When choosing a CMS for an e-commerce site, ensure it supports seamless integration with your hosting, offers easy content updates, and includes specific features for online selling like inventory and customer data management.

5. How does bandwidth affect my website's performance?

Bandwidth directly impacts how much data your e-commerce site can handle at once, especially during peak traffic times like sales events. Adequate bandwidth ensures your site remains responsive and available to customers.

6. What are the benefits of using a control panel in e-commerce hosting?

A control panel simplifies the management of your e-commerce website by allowing easy setup of server configurations, installation of SSL certificates, and management of apps and extensions. This centralized management tool makes it easier for non-technical users to maintain their online store efficiently.

7. How do add-ons enhance my e-commerce hosting?

Add-ons extend your e-commerce platform's capabilities, such as improving site speed with advanced caching, testing changes in staging environments, or managing multiple domains. These tools allow you to customize and scale your site based on specific business needs, enhancing both functionality and user experience.

8. Why is PHP version important for hosting?

The PHP version determines the performance and security of your e-commerce site. Newer versions come with improved features, bug fixes, and security enhancements that keep your site running smoothly and protect against vulnerabilities.

9. What should I consider when choosing e-commerce hosting for high traffic periods?

During high traffic periods, like holiday sales, it's crucial that your e-commerce hosting can handle increased demand. Look for features like scalable bandwidth, robust server resources, and load balancing to ensure your site remains fast and reliable under heavy traffic.

10. How do robust security features protect my site?

Robust security features such as firewalls, malware scanning, and DDoS protection safeguard your e-commerce site from cyber threats and attacks. These measures help prevent data breaches and ensure continuous availability, which is crucial for maintaining customer trust and business reputation.

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