What to Look For When Choosing a Web Host for Retail Shop Business

Whether you are a restaurateur, a neighborhood retail store, or just a hobbyist who sells bird carvings out of your home, you need a website that will help you market and sell your wares. A good partner to have with your website is your hosting company.

But what do you need in a web host? With thousands of hosting companies doing business in the industry it can be difficult to really determine what is important. That is why we bring you the following things to look for in your website hosting company.

eCommerce Features

If you plan to sell anything online you will need your host to help you conduct online business. Most web hosts worth their salt will offer eCommerce solutions as part of their hosting, or at least as part of a business –class hosting plan. eCommerce solutions usually includes basic shopping cart software to list your products online (any more than 10-20 products usually requires a paid-up version of the software), Paypal integration, SSL security certificates, and possibly merchant account help and support.

Website Builder

Retail business owners don’t want to spend their time trying to figure out web programming or developer languages. They want to focus on improving sales, as well as saving money on a website. A good web host will provide at least a free basic website builder with a wide range of professional-looking templates available. If you do have the budget for web developing, look for a host who also offers professional web design as well.

Easy account Control

Again, trying to manage a website account can be as easy as trying to interpret hieroglyphics. Look for a web host who will make website account management easy. The best hosts will provide top-rated account management software like cPanel, or Plesk. These make it easy for the user to customize their “dashboard” through a simple online connection. All account management tasks such as creating email accounts, uploading website files, creating a help ticket, and even installing helpful plugins like photo galleries or bulletin boards with a few clicks.

Available Technical Support

If things go wrong you don’t want to wait until the next business day to get your website back online. Your web host should be available 24 hours a day, and if not by phone at least via email and/or online chat. Check with your potential host to see if they offer helpful articles, FAQ’s, guides, and tutorials online as well.

Uptime Guarantee

If your website is not online because of a hosting data center issue, you could be losing money. Check with your web host to get assurances of uptime. The industry standard is a 99.9% uptime guarantee. But that isn’t enough. An empty “promise” is worthless. And so is a guarantee that only compensates you for actual lost time, translating into mere pennies. Be sure that if your host does not meet their 99% uptime guarantee that they will refund you a full month’s hosting charge at the very least.

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