Which eCommerce Hosting Solution Should you Choose

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Which eCommerce Hosting Solution Should you Choose

In one of our previous posts, we looked at the costs associated with starting an eCommerce website. In this post, we take a look at one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make whilst setting up your online store – choosing the right eCommerce hosting solution. Broadly, there are two categories to choose from; hosted eCommerce platforms and self-hosted eCommerce software.

eCommerce hostingeCommerce hosting

A hosted eCommerce platform is one that provides an all-in-one eCommerce solution. One doesn’t need extensive technical know-how or code knowledge to build an online store using a hosted eCommerce platform. All tools from storefront design, customer service, shipping, and inventory are provided within the platform for a certain fee. The reason it is called a ‘hosted’ platform is that your website is hosted on a server that you do not own or have access to. Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, to name a few, are eCommerce hosting solution providers.

A self-hosted eCommerce site is like setting up a website traditionally. One would need to download or purchase a software, code to build the website, install plugins for certain functionalities such as a shopping cart, buy server space, and host your eCommerce site independently. PrestaShop, WooCommerce, and Magento offer self-hosted eCommerce hosting solutions.

eCommerce hosting - WIX
Wix is a hosted eCommerce platform.

When you look at a well-built eCommerce website on the internet, you’ll almost never be able to tell whether the site is on a hosted platform or if it is self-hosted. Small and large businesses worldwide choose different solutions based on their need.

Why choose a hosted platform?

  • Ease of setting up: If you’re on a budget, or starting out small, a self-hosted platform is your best bet because it is supremely easy to set it up.
  • Tech support: With a hosted platform comes a reliable support team, so you never have to worry about making small fixes.
  • Upgrades: Being SaaS products, hosted platforms constantly improve their products in a bid to be the best in the market. You’ll always be assured of innovative features, industry-compliance, robust servers, and improved functionality.

Why choose a self-hosted platform?

  • Customization: While hosted platforms are great at providing a package deal, they do not offer a high degree of customization. With a self-hosted platform, you can literally add any feature under the sun to boost your online store and provide a unique experience to your customers. This is especially important when you begin to optimize and scale your online store.
  • Complexity: If you’re a large retailer with numerous departments catering to different demographics across different geographies, only a self-hosted software will give you the free rein and the ability to create such a robust website.
  • Independence: By choosing a self-hosted solution, you take full ownership of your online store. You will not be affected by any management decisions to change or delete a particular feature. You can choose to invest as much or as little as you want, and the store will always be completely in your control.
eCommerce hosting - Magento
Magento is a self-hosted eCommerce hosting solution.

Thus, the choice of your hosting platform will depend on your plans for your eCommerce store.

Choose a hosted platform if:

  • You’re starting small and you need to setup your store quickly
  • Have little or no coding knowledge
  • Don’t have a large budget to invest in site development

Choose a self-hosted solution if:

  • You’re a large business or a small business looking at scaling up
  • Have the time and the budget to hire developers to set up your store
  • Need to have greater control, more customization, and a unique customer experience

Starting an eCommerse store? Get your website on a .STORE domain!

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