E-Commerce Newbie

How to start an online business


What to look for when deciding on a web site hosting company.

If you are considering an Online Store please review "How to Build An Online Store" before purchasing a hosting plan , many shopping cart solutions come with hosting included.

Web Site Hosting is an online buisness unto itself, with many of the major hosting providers offering reseller packages. If you are considering a business that could benefit from offering hosting you may want to consider this option.

This was a market I considered when establishing this site as you are obviously looking for a hosting provider. However I decided not to, as this would limit the hosting features you would receive.

So who do I recommend?

You may be surprised that I am not recommending GoDaddy the worlds largest hosting provider, not because I have had any bad experiences with them just that I have never used them.

With a good experience as my criteria I am limited to 2 providers.

  1.  HostGator - My websites have been hosted on hostgator for about 4 years now. I have had no service issues & only required support one  time when I accidentally deleted all our files. I used their Live Support & everything was restored from back-up within 2 hours. 
  2. Bluehost - Prior to Hostgator all my sites were hosted here. It may seem strange that I are recommending them when I changed hosts, but like you they were my first hosting provider & support was excellent. Bluehost has a very strict adult content policy which was the reason I switched over to Hostgator. 

Hostgator has 3 levels of service most people will be more than satisfied with the Baby service plan. Hatchling is cheaper but you are limited to 1 domain. You can upgrade later if you want to start cheap. All plans include access to their Website Builder & Templates.

If you are intending to sell through a shopping cart & accept credit cards you will require an SSL certificate this is $75/year with Hostgator if you are on the hatchling plan not available on the Baby.. SSl changes your address to https:// it encrypts the data being transferred for safe online shopping.

NOTESeveral visitors have commented that Hostgator does not offer Windows Hosting. The referance to Linux & Windows hosting applies to the type of server Hostgator is running not your PC, in fact unless you have any paticular requirement for a windows server I would recommend Linux - Most server side marketing scripts will require Linux.

Bluehost only has 1 plan but the SSL certificate is included. A domain name is also included if you purchase 12 months of hosting at $7.95/month.

I suggest you compare companies, pricing plans & features, you are by no means limited to these 2 but you will find it very hard to beat the price & features.

It is highly recommended that you choose a host with cPanel installed with Fantasticoas the user interface . Both Hostgator & Bluehost offer these features & I will be discussing them in our tutorials.