The word “E-Commerce hosting” is formed by using two words E-Commerce and Hosting. In simple words, E-Commerce refers to purchasing and selling of goods and services via online. Hosting refers to assigning space to a website on a server to make it accessible over the web at anytime and anywhere.
So, E-commerce hosting refers to a business in which one service provider offer everything to online companies which they required for running their online business. Online business means purchasing and selling of products and services on the World Wide Web so to conduct the same, whatever need by companies, is provided by a service provider.
It includes a Web server for serving web pages of company, Web site design and some specific capabilities which are required for accepting, processing, and confirming the sales orders. E-commerce hosting comprises of offering of templates to develop online catalogs, providing software to build customized online shopping carts, take the orders from clients and file the same, make arrangements for safe and secure purchasing of a credit card, and providing an inventory tracking and management tools.
How E-Commerce Hosting works
When an organization wish to conduct the business via online mode, first thing it requires, space on E-Commerce hosting providers server to make its business site accessible over the web. For this, both companies enter into an agreement to purchase and sell hosting space on a server. Billing is usually done on monthly basis with leasing of a software to process online orders. Hosting server offered run on any platform, shared, if other clients are also there and dedicated if a substantial amount of traffic is expected by the company.
Payment must be processed in a secure and reliable manner and to ensure the same, e-commerce hosting companies encourages setting up of Web merchant accounts. These are actually bank accounts created with the purpose of processing transactions related to MasterCard, Visa, Discover credit card, American Express. Domain name of the company also gets registered by some of the e-commerce hosting companies as a part of a hosting package.
Technical aspects required building, hosting and maintaining a business site of their clients, and e-commerce hosting companies manage all these. For small size companies, it is considered as cost effective than creating and managing online sites on their own as the cost involved in buying expensive equipments and in establishing web connections with other service providers is shared between two.
Besides above, e-commerce hosting providers may offer other services such as collecting demographic information or other mainly for the purpose of marketing, EDI, B2B transactions (business-to-business e-commerce).
Best Hosted E-Commerce Platforms for Online Store
E-commerce platform comes under two categories: hosted and self-hosted.
Hosted reflects that website will be hosted by the company, while self-hosted indicates that software will be provided by company and web hosting will be done by client himself. It’s a suggestion, go for a Hosted platform as it offers stability with dedicated support and high uptime server guarantee. But on the other side, it incurred a monthly fee, which can be even quite high also, depends on the service provider chosen.
Some of the Best Hosted E-Commerce Platforms-
- Shopify- A famous online tool for shopping cart popular among small shops.
- BigCommerce- A famous online shopping cart popular among small to mid-sized online stores.
- Yahoo Store- A reputed and reliable brand and first one which provides online e-commerce services for small businesses.
- Volusion- After Yahoo Store, a second most famous online shopping cart popular among all size businesses.
- 1ShoppingCart- An all-rounder solution permits setting up of a web store and integrate payment functionality to daily sites.
- Wix- A well known free website builder providing e-commerce features in their packages.
- X-Cart Cloud- An open source product and a hosted version of X-Cart Downloadable.
A list given above does not include all but the best, or top ones are here. They all have some tools common and some tools totally different from each other. So, it depends on the users requirement and budget, to go for which hosted e-commerce platform. After choosing the same, user can purchase the services of a good e-commerce hosting company who is using the same platform and can run his online business successfully.