What is web hosting?
Hosting is the shared server responsible for maintaining the resources of your online shop. In colloquial terms, it is the back office that stores the database of your site. In order to prevent anyone from being able to use your site while you are not using a computer to maintain the site, there are computers that act as servers. Such computers run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that’s where your website is hosted and running at all times.
Hosting in the context of an online shop
Hosting allows your shop to operate around the clock, to the benefit of both seller and buyer. People who want to buy your products will not have to wait for your shop to open, they will also do so at night (this is essential in the dropshipping model). If, on the other hand, your shop’s actual opening time is less than 24 hours, you can start processing orders the very next day, which will speed up the process and affect the customer’s waiting time. The simplest example would be someone wanting to purchase an item as quickly as possible. If your shop, after business hours, was ‘frozen’ due to your absence (computer switched off), the customer would not be able to place an order until the following day. Because he or she could have bought the item at a time when you would not have had time to send the parcel, fulfilment would again be postponed until the following day, ultimately reaching the customer’s hands late.
Another reason to have web hosting is technical problems. The network you have in your company is usually not enough to support a given server with an online shop. How many times does it happen that you lose your internet connection or your pages load slowly? Your internet problems will affect the performance of your website, and when you have no internet access, your shop will stop working. Such errors are unacceptable. The host provider is prepared for such cases and if it has a problem, it can solve it in no time.
Which hosting to choose?
When choosing hosting, pay attention to the server settings and other issues offered by the hosting provider:
- Transfer – amount of data downloaded by website users
- Memory limit – amount of memory available for uploading data
- Technical condition – disk and server components are working correctly
- Link speed – the speed at which web pages are displayed
- Security – hacking security, data protection
- Technology – server capability
- Uptime – guaranteed service availability (server uptime)
- Backup – data backup
- Technical support – in case of technical problems, contact with the hosting provider