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An ecommerce business is a great line of work in today’s digital era. There are certain things that, if appropriately put in place, can generate handsome revenue and allow your online business to taste success without any trouble.
Fresh entrepreneurs often confuse themselves with the nitty-gritty like the best platform to use or the best ecommerce hosting. So allow us to help you streamline your processes.
In this article, I will cover everything there is that will help emerging entrepreneurs understand the process of starting and scaling an ecommerce business with the best hosting for ecommerce.
How Do I Launch an Online Store?
The answer is:
- You need a winning product which you can confidently advertise, market and sell.
- A reliable web host for ecommerce so that your online store is available across the globe.
- Product Display Pages – They include everything about your product with HD images, detailed product descriptions, any ongoing offer, or similar products.
- An inventory management tool so that your customers are unable to place orders against products that are out of stock.
- A shopping cart tool so that your customers can add multiple products during their shopping spree.
- A smooth checkout process where your customers pay for your product without a hassle.
- Your very own ecommerce blog so that you can reach a wider audience organically.
- Customer service pages that allow your customers to state their concerns. Their feedback will allow you to rectify the mistakes you’re making and will help in designing marketing campaigns for various online selling seasons.
The Best Open-Source Ecommerce Platforms 2019
There are a number of open-source ecommerce platforms for you to choose from. The best part is the majority of them are inexpensive. Open-source ecommerce platforms allow you to freely customize your website any way you desire.
These ecommerce platforms are developed and managed by a number of people around the world. You can easily find a collection of resources, documentation, and blog posts that can guide you along your entrepreneurial journey.
To give you a head start, following are some of the most popular open-source ecommerce platforms that you can use to scale your business with ease.
This complete open-source ecommerce solution allows you to launch your online store, add or manage your inventory, let your customers use a shopping cart to buy products, and then process their orders with ease.
In a nutshell, OpenCart delivers all the standard ecommerce store functionalities you would need for your ecommerce business.
Being an open-source ecommerce platform, OpenCart scripts are available for free. It means you can conveniently modify this ecommerce platform however you see fit. The best part about it is that you’ll get to enjoy free lifetime support and software updates as well.
If you want to try OpenCart, you must download it first from its official website. You can then install it on a web server provided by your web host company.
However, in order to use OpenCart, the web server must meet certain requirements. It should be:
- PHP (at least 5.2)
- Curl enabled
- Has a database (MySQL suggested)
Image via OpenCart
As an open-source shopping cart, PrestaShop is totally free to use. However, that does not mean that PrestaShop is a zero expense ecommerce solution.
You obviously need to pay for a reliable web hosting provider. You might also have to purchase several, often expensive, modules to integrate different software programs with your online store.
If you lack technical knowledge, you might have to invest in an in-house web developer to assist you through the rough spots. Further on the downside, this ecommerce platform may be appealing at first with its affordable pricing plans.
However, if you aren’t careful, you can end up paying much more than fully-hosted options.
Image Via PrestaShop
Magento is an amazing open-source content management system as Magento gears itself towards ecommerce. You do not need any exclusive add-ons in order to get the necessary ecommerce functionality on your web store.
Magento’s strength is its flexibility. You have complete control over the looks of your online store. You can come up with a design that is elegant and appealing at the same time.
Also, open-source platforms like Magento allow you to respond to the varying trends swiftly and scale your ecommerce business every season.
The best part about this open-source platform is that entrepreneurs won’t have to create everything from the ground up, which makes Magento an ideal solution for ecommerce businesses.
Image Via Magento
WooCommerce can transform WordPress websites into fully functional online stores. It allows you to enjoy seamless integration where you’ll also have access to a number of extensions, themes, and other items to help you create the ecommerce website you’ve always wished for.
It is a massive open-source project with global developers actively contributing valuable insights and resources in order to continue improving its online community. WooCommerce is used by entrepreneurs across the globe and its public reviews speak for itself.
Image Via WooCommerce
osCommerce stands for Open-Source Commerce. This self-hosted ecommerce platform helps you take care of your store’s front-end catalog i.e. your products, as well as your backend management tasks such as adding products or managing sales.
To use osCommerce, you must first download it from the official website, and then upload it to your web server. The installation procedure is web-based and not that hard to get through.
osCommerce allows you to modify things freely without worrying about violating any license agreements. There’s a lively community online that diligently helps you out with any issues you’re facing while using the platform.
osCommerce is a great ecommerce solution with a number of add-ons available absolutely free. Furthermore, osCommerce also offers one-click installation facility along with many shared hosting packages, so setting up osCommerce is fairly simple.
Image Via osCommerce
Drupal is an amazing platform for online entrepreneurs. It can do almost everything you expect an ecommerce platform to do.
For instance, you can:
- Display a variety of products
- Conveniently manage inventory
- Easily create funnels through the checkout process
- Facilitate global payment and shipping processes
- It offers helpful management tools for customer orders, receipts, and invoices.
Image Via Drupal
Things You Should Know About Web Hosting for Ecommerce
Ecommerce platforms are not an all-in-one solution. In order to succeed, you need a reliable web hosting provider for ecommerce businesses.
Once you know which ecommerce platform you will opt for, it is time for you to take on board one of the best hostings for ecommerce sites.
You can do so by prioritizing the three following aspects:
Running an ecommerce business means you would have to deal with sensitive customer information.
Hence, you must ensure your web host provides an immaculate ecommerce security service when it comes to handling your customers’ sensitive information like their names, contact numbers, email addresses, banking credentials, etc.
You need to ensure safe electronic transactions that lets your customer purchase goods from your store through the internet with security protocols in place in order to provide them protection from online threats.
When it comes to ecommerce business, fraudulent identification and authentication are possible. Many entrepreneurs choose a reliable web host for ecommerce to ensure such ecommerce security protocols are in place.
Performance and Speed
Performance is king, and your customers are in no mood of waiting while your product page loads. If your page is too slow, your users will leave your website and search for similar products elsewhere.
You also need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. According to InternetRetailer, more than 60% of consumers spend time shopping online on their mobile devices. In 2014, mobile commerce for the world’s 500 leading retailers surpassed $83 billion i.e. 80% more from $47 billion in 2013.
The performance and speed of your website are one of the core things that you need to have complete control over. They will actively influence your business goals. And the best way to ensure that is by onboarding the best web host for ecommerce business.
Uptime is an extension of performance. It is a metric that represents how fast your product page is loading. An ideal ecommerce web hosting provider will offer an uptime as low as one second.
Moreover, during the peak shopping seasons where you can expect a lot of traffic on your website, uptime becomes very essential. There is no worst time for your website to go down during an online shopping season like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
A reliable ecommerce hosting provider will not only provide a better uptime for your website but will also ensure that the downtime is avoided at all costs. It can cost you a lot more than money.
Business opportunities, team productivity, brand image, and organic ranking are just a few examples of the collateral damage your brand will have to suffer.
Your Ideal Ecommerce Hosting Solution
Cloudways is a developer-friendly managed cloud hosting provider and an excellent solution for your ecommerce hosting. It creates a layer of abstraction and removes the pain of managing and scaling web servers so that you can spend your time more productively.
As its name suggests, Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting services from leading cloud infrastructure providers, including DigitalOcean, Vultr, AWS, Linode and Google Cloud Platform.
You can configure your cloud servers as per your business needs while Cloudways ensures the process remains quick and simple with its user-friendly interface.
Image Via Cloudways
Features & Services
Their console allows you to manage everything conveniently. Their One-Click features such as SSL certificate management and domain mapping will save you a lot of time.
Comparatively, such operations require a live support call which can go up to hours, but Cloudways lets you smoothly carry out the process yourself without investing a lot of time.
With Cloudways, you can set up your ecommerce business on cloud infrastructure within minutes. You get one free migration and alternatively, you can build your online store on popular CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento, WooCommerce, Joomla, etc.
The CloudwaysBot provides real-time notifications about your server status, backups, and upgrades alongside various tips and recommendations. It offers seamless integrations with your preferred channels including Slack, email, API, and HipChat.
That’s the only smart assistant you need to remain updated with the health insights of your cloud servers. Timely updates also allow you to enjoy complete control over their Pay-As-You-Go model.
Image Via Cloudways
You can pay for multiple servers and conveniently scale up to handle high-traffic seasons for as long as you need. The pay-as-you-go model allows you to specify resources like RAM, processor, storage, and monthly bandwidth which means that you only pay for the services you consume.
From storage to memory, you have complete control over their pricing plans. Their managed services are available for as low as $10 per month which makes Cloudways an affordable, simple, and powerful web host for ecommerce.
In a Nutshell
It is important to host your online store on a powerful and scalable ecommerce platform. With your business goals in front of you, it will become easier to identify which ecommerce platform can prove to be a success for your business.
Nonetheless, a reliable web host for ecommerce business is as important as the platform you choose. Both of them work together in order to help you scale your ecommerce business with ease.