Merchant Account Services

Ecommerce 101

Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Online Store to be Sccessful


Author: Jim Conners ()

Rating: 10.0

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Web Hosting

When it comes to web hosting and ecommerce there really isn't much to know or worry about. The vast majority of web hosts offer almost everything you need for ecommerce by default. But to make sure you know what you are looking for we will outline some of the features you need to make sure you have available to you.

  • Dynamic Programming Language

    It is virtually impossible to run an ecommerce website with HTML alone. Ecommerce websites need to be able to think to be effective at selling your goods. They need to keep track of products, keep track of orders, process payments, and more. Since HTML cannot think for itself a server-side programming language is needed to think for it.

    The most common programming language in use today is PHP and thus it is no surprise that most ecommerce solutions are written with it. It is also no surprise that virtually every web host supports it. But there are other programming languages in use today and solutions that use them. Other possible choices include Perl, ASP, and Java. When you choose an ecommerce solution just verify which programming language it uses and that your webhost has support for it.

  • Database Support

    A server-side programming language alone usually is not enough to power an ecommerce solution. Although it is required to allow an ecommerce store to think it doesn't provide much memory. To allow your store to remember things, like what products you offer and what customers you have, it requires a database. The most common database in use today is MySQL. Just like PHP you would be hard pressed to find a web host that does not support it.

  • Ability to Install a SSL Certificate

    Just as we discussed above you must use an SSL certificate to ensure your customers' data is safely encrypted when being sent to your website for processing. Although anyone can purchase an SSL certificate not every web host can support them.

  • Dedicated IP Address

    To use an SSL certificate your web host must be able to put your website on a dedicated IP address. When a domain name is typed into a web browser it resolves to an IP address. However, usually one server will have one IP address and dozens or hundreds of websites sharing that IP address. The server software then determines what websites to show based on the domain name. But for an SSL certificate to function properly the website must have its own dedicated IP address.

  • Email Accounts

    This is not necessarily a requirement to make your ecommerce store run properly. But it is definitely something you should do to maintain the professional appearance of your store. Many ecommerce stores spend a lot of time and money to create their websites and have them look professional and then send their customers emails from their AOL email account. Talk about ruining the facade.

Because so many of these features are common not only is it easy to find a webhost that supports all of them, but you should not have to pay an arm and a leg to get it all. Make sure you shop around and get some pricing from a few hosts before settling on one you think is a good value.

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