Best E-commerce Hosting Services for 2011
|Rank||Ecommerce Host||Ecommerce Features||Starting Price|
|• Accept Credit, Debit, and PayPal Payments
• Low 0.75% to 1.5% Transaction Fee
• Shopping Cart and Inventory Management Tools Included
• Customizable Store Design
• List Up to 20,000 products in 2000 Categories
• Inventory, Coupon, and Order Management Tools Available
• Shared SSL and Dedicated SSLs Available
• Paypal, Credit and debit cards, cash, COD and Money Orders
• ShopSite Shopping Cart
• Free Domain and Site Building Tools
• Process Credit Cards Using iPayment
• Anytime Money Back Guarantee, 24 hr. US Phone Support
- OSCommerce, ZenCart, and Cube Cart Shopping Systems
- Unlimited Diskspace and Bandwidth
- Private SSLs and Dedicated IPs Available
- 45-Day Money Back Guarantee, 24 hr. Phone Support
About E-commerce Hosting
The term E-commerce Hosting is used to refer to any plan that offers the tools necessary to host an E-commerce site. The typical components needed to run an online store / E-commerce site are:
- A shopping cart system: Most hosts offer either the OS Commerce (open source) PHP-based shopping cart system, Agora, or Shopsite Shopping Cart systems. You may also buy more sophisticated shopping systems and install them on your host's server, but it's best to check with your host first to make sure the software you are buying is compatible with their hosting service.
- A method of payment: This can be anything from your own merchant account, to services such as Paypal. Typically, the shopping cart system you use will have a way to support merchant account transactions from most merchant account providers. When obtaining your merchant account, you should make sure the provider supports your chosen shopping cart system.
- Secure Socket Layers (SSL): SSL is the standard technology used to create secure transactions. Any transaction occuring over SSL cannot be viewed by third parties. SSL is not required to run an E-commerce site, but all legitimate businesses employ SSL in order to protect the information a client provides. A "shared SSL," if provided by your host, will allow you to use an SSL certificate owned by your host, at no cost. Most online stores prefer to get their own SSL, which requires you to pay an annual fee to a certificate authority (a company that issues SSLs). Having your own SSL makes the site appear more professional, since SSL transactions are conducted over the same domain as your Web site.
When selecting E-commerce hosting, make sure your host has a way to support all three of these components. Try to select a host that already hosts many E-commerce sites, and offers support for E-commerce related issues, such as shopping cart and SSL installation. Setting up an E-commerce site is complicated, and you are bound to run into some issues. You want a host that will work with you in resolving these issues, so good customer support is a must for E-commerce hosting.
In our opinion, the easiest way to set up an E-commerce store, especially for beginners, is to use Yahoo Merchant Solutions.