Web hosting makes it possible for visitors to view your site's content when they type in your domain name. But a Web hosting service accomplishes much more than that. It can help keep your site up -- and running smoothly -- 24/7. This is especially important in the competitive ecommerce marketplace, where interrupted availability may cause you to lose not only sales but also customers who will leave your site after a negative experience and potentially never come back.
One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we've reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.
An SSL certificate ensures all information transmitted to and from your website is protected from third parties attempting to access it. It is important because browsers, like Google Chrome, mark pages without https and the green padlock in the address bar as not secure. This can have a negative effect on the trustworthiness of your website. Pages that are protected with SSL receive better search engine rankings, and are more likely to be trusted by visitors.
Once you choose your provider, it's time for you to open an account with the monthly plan that fits your needs. If you still have questions about which plan is suitable for you, call their customer support staff and have them assist you through the registration process. Companies will generally charge a credit card on a monthly basis, however, some companies will also offer discounts for paying a yearly payment at once.
Moving to another website consists of transferring the website’s files and databases, configuring your site with the new host, and directing your domain’s DNS to the new host. Once you pick a new site host, they can usually help you out with this process. The cost will depend on the host you’re switching to, but it will probably be anywhere from $150-$400.