January 2012 - Lightcommerce

Choosing a Reliable Host and Platform

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One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a new ecommerce seller is the hosting platform your site resides on.  Think of hosting as you would rental space in a shopping mall – instead of providing a physical space for your business, web hosting gives you the data storage and bandwidth needed to power your online store.
Since so much is riding on your web hosting account, it’s important to choose the most reliable, cost-effective plan you can.  Here’s what to look for:

  • Up-time – Up-time refers to the amount of time your website is live versus being down for repairs.  Obviously, you want this number to be as high as possible, as down-time means lost money for your web business.  Look for a web host – like the Media Temple hosting service that Lightcommerce and other major companies use – that provides at least 99.99% up-time.
  • Platform code – There are a number of different types of hosting platforms out there, but the most stable, secure accounts are those that are built on the PHP framework.  Facebook and other top websites use this platform (including all sites built through Lightcommerce) – and if it’s good enough for one of the web’s largest sites, it should be good enough for you as well.
  • Data storage space and bandwidth limits – Although your site won’t likely demand a lot of data storage space or bandwidth until it grows significantly, but it’s important to work with a provider that will allow your hosting plan to grow as your site does.  At Lightcommerce, we work closely with our customers to create custom hosting plans when necessary to ensure that the visitors to your site never see the dreaded, “Bandwidth Exceeded” error message.

Remember, if your web hosting account goes down for any reason, your site goes down as well.  So take the time to analyze your different options and select a web hosting and ecommerce provider that’s as dedicated to your success as you are.