Hosting Your Ecommerce website 

Hosting Your Ecommerce website

Hosting Your eCommerce Website

Anybody who wants to put a website on the Internet must decide where and how the site will be hosted. To better understand what hosting is, it first helps to understand what a website truly is. In basic terms, a website is a collection of files stored, or hosted, on one or more computers (generally called servers). Most of all, what you are looking for in web hosting is mainly on security, reliability, speed, etc.

Understanding what you are planning to put on Internet helps you in deciding a suitable hosting providers. For personal usage, free hosting service is the right thing to do as he/she doesn't need to care about traffic. On the other hand, if you planning to gain an earning through selling products or services online (ecommerce), then you must find a hosting solution that offers a high level of security, reliability, traffic accommodation, and more. Budget preparation is needed as it will also incur dramatic expense to acquire enterprise-level equipment, facilities, software, and networking – not to mention highly trained IT personnel and monitoring systems.

To run an eCommerce website, you need to pay careful attention on several key issue as it has a direct bearing on the success of your business. Website downtime and insufficient security can cost your business significant amount of money.

Ensuring maximum uptime is essential when choosing a hosting provider because uptime is time that Internet users can access your website, browse through its pages, and place orders. Generally uptime is measured by percentage according to time a web site is up and available to Internet visitors. In industry terms, the more “9s” a hosting provider can achieve in uptime performance, the better. It really makes differences for a provider who achieves 99.99% uptime compare to 99.9% uptime. According to monthly calculation, 99.99% uptime would have 4.32 minutes downtimes however another will have 43.2 minutes downtimes. That’s nearly 40-minutes difference! Furthermore, a good hosting provider – one that can provide the uptime and the security your business needs – will have systems, safeguards, and backups in place to protect its hosting environment – and your site – from external threats such as unwanted intrusion by hackers and virus.

Doing transaction online involve great risk and thats why security is play important factor. A secure site gives confidence to customers to proceed with business transaction. Security is also linked directly to uptime. Some things to look for if you consider running ecommerce.

SSL certificate
This is required if your site is to comply with privacy and security requirements. It also ensures that order and payment information submitted through your website is secure and provides authentication for your site to tell your customers that your business is a verified entity.

Physically Secure Data Center
Allowing only authorized personnel access your hosting provider’s data center proven to be more secure.

Firewall Protection
It purpose to prevent outsider to access to hosting provider’s network and private data. Multiple firewalls on a network provide additional security and backup should one of the firewall fail.

Regular Updates/Patching
Your hosting provider should regularly obtain the most up-to-date security patches and updates for its operating systems and software.

Visa/MasterCard Standards Compliance (CISP/SDP)
One of the best indications of a secure hosting provider is its compliance with the guidelines set forth by Visa and MasterCard in their Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) and Site Data Protection (SDP) standards. CISP/SDP compliance is required of all merchants and service providers that process, store, or transmit Visa or MasterCard Cardholder data. If you are operating an eCommerce website that accepts credit card payments, your hosting provider must be CISP/SDP compliant. The requirements set forth by the CISP/SDP programs are stringent enough that compliance with them is a good indication that a website or service provider is relatively secure.

Redundancy simply mean more than one. Having multiple servers, firewalls, databases and storage units, etc can increase uptime because if one server goes down another can take over and do the work of the first without losing website performance. With hosting, a general rule is that more redundancy is better however maintaining a high level of redundancy gets to be very expensive.

No hosting infrastructure is completely fail-safe. Performing a daily backups of all data stored on its systems is necessary. There are two way of doing it, one is onsite and another is offsite. Onsite to ensure quick recovery if a system fails, and offsite to ensure that data is not lost should the entire hosting facility be damaged by some sort of disaster.

Facility Maintenance and 24/7 Monitoring
Hosting provider also need to maintain a locked, temperature-controlled data center equipped with fire protection and an alternate power source. The facility should be monitored on a 24/7 basis, as should performance details such as server uptime, load, traffic, etc. IT staff also should be on call 24/7. Plus, monitoring should better include an established intrusion detection system to guard against security breach.

Bandwidth affects the speed with which your website loads on your customers' browsers. For a hosting provider, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted to and from the Internet in a fixed amount of time. A good hosting provider will have enough bandwidth (and more) to accommodate the websites it hosts during peak load times.

Getting a reliable, high-speed mass data storage ought to be one of your greatest concerns. If your host's storage system goes down, it goes down with all of your website's files. A good hosting company will store your data in a clustered environment (again referring to the concept of redundancy) using top-quality hardware, software, and RAID technology.

The speed and reliability of your hosting provider's network affects the speed and reliability of your eCommerce website. Hardware and software, including switches, routers, networking cables, etc., as well as adequate network security, bandwidth, and data transfer speed play important role here.

Technical Support.
The amount of technical support you receive from your hosting provider is often contingent on the amount you are willing to pay in monthly hosting rates.

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