E-commerce web hosting for Australia: The details
Below, we’ll get into some of the nitty-gritty of the required features of e-commerce stores, the different hosting types you can choose from, and which specific web hosting features to look out for when researching eCommerce hosting providers (we also made comparisons for e-commerce hosting for the UK, and e-commerce hosting for Canada). These are the same things we analyse when writing our web hosting reviews for Australia.
What Are the Differences Between E-Commerce and Normal Web Hosting?
There are quite a few differences between e-commerce hosting and standard web hosting. E-commerce is obviously targeted towards online shops, which when compared to building your average website, usually requires more security, more disk space, more databases, more scalability, etc.
There are several features and functions that e-commerce sites need more than normal websites.
- Database support to store the products (though most site now use databases anyway)
- Payment processing services (or you can go through PayPal, saving you time and cost in setting up a custom portal)
- Shopping cart software (you have tons of these and it requires a separate post, but WordPress, for example, has the Woocommerce plugin that can turn any WP site into an online shop)
- Bulletproof security
That being said, most quality web hosting providers have all this built-in to most of the hosting offers, almost eliminating the need to look for an e-commerce specific host. This means that most of the advice below about things to look out for, you can apply to your search for a normal web host as well.
Things to Look Out for When Searching for An E-Commerce Host
Below you’ll find a few things to keep in mind when doing your research, it’s the same stuff we look at when we’re sorting through our list of providers.
There are quite a lot of different hosting types out there. Most people need shared hosting, as it’s the most affordable and can already handle quite a lot of traffic depending on the host itself. Then from there, you can go up in level to cloud, vps, or a dedicated server… these can all handle larger stores and more traffic, though they come with a higher price tag as well. You can, of course, just start with shared hosting, and move up the later when you need to scale.
The most common and cheapest type of plan shared hosting. It is shared among more than one server meaning that business owners must share their resources with others. This includes sharing data, memory, disk space, CPU time, etc. Depending on the size of your business, this can cause your site to slow down.
- Least expensive option
- Easy to use
- Requires minimal technical knowledge
- More than one site per server
- You won’t have full control over the performance of your site
This type of host is offered virtually making it a great option for tech savvy users. Clients of this service can use it as much as they need too and only pay for what they use. This is a cost-effective option especially because unlike normal hosting, you get all your resources and hardware virtually.
- You only pay for what you use
- Requires advanced technical knowledge
A Virtual Private Server is often described as being the middle ground between a dedicated and shared hosting. Very different than shared hosting, this special type of hosting creates several virtual servers all on one physical server. There are usually 2 kinds of VPS hosting offered by companies: self-managed VPS and managed VPS.
The difference between the two is that self-managed gives users complete over the server while managed does not. The hosting company will handle most technical things and business owners can focus mainly on their business. Managed is more expensive.
- You don’t have to share with others
- More powerful than shared hosting
- Better performance
Exactly what it sounds like, a dedicated host is a server made specifically for one website. It is the most powerful selection of the hosts provided above because you won’t have to share any resources with other people giving you a fully functioning server all to yourself.
- Clients have full control over the server
- Remarkable performance
- More responsibility
There are a lot of e-commerce web hosting options for WordPress, through one of its many many plugins (like Woocommerce which we mentioned before). This means that pretty much every host that supports WordPress, can host an e-commerce site, making the search of an e-commerce host considerably easier
Server Location and Speed
You need to look for a high-speed server in a nearby area. If you live in Australia, you want a web hosting provider within or at least close in proximity to Australia. This will give you faster loading times and you won’t experience delays like you would if your hosting provider is in a different country, Singapore is definitely ok, and in a lot of cases even faster than hosting in Australia.
A strong and responsive customer support team is a must when you’re looking for a trustworthy hosting provider. If something is not working as it should or you are having an issue, you want a team of experts who are able to help you any time of the day. Most providers offer live chat, phone support, and 24/7 availability.
The more storage on your server the more files/products you can upload. You won’t need more than a few GB’s of disk space for small e-commerce sites, however for bigger ones you need a reliable hosting plan with larger disk space and storage capacities.
What Is SSL and Why Is It Important for E-Commerce?
Using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a good way to secure your site. This is becoming a requirement rather than an option for all websites. Sites that are not SSL will be marked by search engines such as Google as non-secure. Therefore, it’s very important for an e-commerce business.
SSL is used to establish encrypted links between web hosts and clients. Consequently, it allows personal information to be transmitted securely.
To ensure your online store is running smoothly and always available to consumers, you need at least a 99% uptime along with a generous bandwidth. You want your web hosting company to offer a stable server with maximized server uptime.
Launching an e-commerce site can be a bit pricey considering web design costs along with web hosting fees. There is no way around these fees especially if you want your website to be successful.
And that’s it, it might seem overwhelming to cover all the points, but just take it one step at a time. Maybe even create a spreadsheet and log all the specs for the best e-commerce web hosting providers for Australia, so you’ve got an easy overview.
Pick a host from our top 5