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Ecommerce Web Hosting Reviews

Sean P.

Sean P.

The Difference Between Hosted and Self Hosted Shopping Cart

The Difference Between Hosted and Self Hosted Shopping Cart - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
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com_k2.itemlist
(2 Reviews, 4.50 out of 5 Stars)
The Difference Between Hosted and Self Hosted Shopping Cart4.50 out of 50 based on 2 voters.


A shopping cart can either be hosted or self-hosted and the price varies greatly between both types. A hosted shopping cart attracts a monthly fee which at times can be based as a percentage of gross sales. This may not seem to be much for those with low sales but it can be costly for those who realize high sales when business grows. A self-hosted shopping cart can appear to be costly but this is a once-off fee which does not recur. However, it is important to note that, when you opt for a self-hosted type, after installing the shopping cart program and downloading the license, (which can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars), you are on your own and no assistance is provided.

Why Should You Choose A Hosted Shopping Cart?

A hosted Shopping Cart is suitable for those who do not want to host the shopping cart on their own and those who have no expertise in this field. It is the best choice for companies that have no IT technicians to host the shopping cart for them.
When you choose the hosted shopping cart you pay a monthly fee in return for handling and management of the shopping cart by the technical team of the service provider. They also deal with any problems that arise and answer your questions providing all the assistance you need. Web hosting packages include a hosted shopping cart making it convenient for those using the services for the first time.
If you have no technical know-how or you have no time to fix problems that arise, it is better for you to go for a hosted shopping cart. You just pay the fee and things are fixed for you.

Why Go For A Self-Hosted Shopping Cart?

The self-hosted shopping cart software is usually downloadable. You will pay for the web space and then you download and install the software on your server. This is not difficult. You will learn how to do it from the content or video tutorials available on the internet. After doing this, you will be on your own so this type of shopping cart is suitable for users who have the necessary technical know-how. Websites that offer to install the software for you require that you pay installation fees. Apart from this, there are no monthly fees to be paid since it is an upfront payment which is a once-off and there are no payments made from your earnings as a percentage of your sales. This is a great relief for those who don’t like paying fees monthly.

There are people who like to do things on their own and such people enjoy the freedom, flexibility and control that come with self-hosted shopping carts. If you are such a person, then self-hosted shopping cart is the right one for you. But you need technical knowledge and the time to do it.

Free and Open Source Applications

This is a type of self-hosted shopping cart which requires you as the user to do everything on your own. Some programmers customize the software and re-distribute it but most sources do not offer assistance or guidance so you have to know what you are doing. Although these shopping carts are free and customizable, there is a lot of work that you need to do like downloading the software, configuring and setting up the online store which at times requires an understanding of how PHP/MySQL etc. work.

Most people choose reputable shopping cart solutions which are stable and secure especially if they handle a lot of transactions or receive heavy traffic. The shopping cart you choose can make or break your e-Commerce business. Technical savvy users enjoy the flexibility and control that comes with open source applications and software that do not limit their creativity. However, if you are not a tech person and you have to hire a tech expert to set up and build your online store using these open source platforms it would end up to be expensive than paying for a hosted or self hosted shopping cart.

Conclusion

Choosing the right shopping cart is important if you have to start selling right away. If you are starting an online business getting the right shopping cart is vital for your e-Commerce business. Choose a reputable and secure shopping cart that is well-respected. Although cost of the shopping cart is an important factor, it is not the only factor you have to consider. You have to think about what you want and whether the shopping cart application you have chosen is the most appropriate one for your business. Does it fulfill your business needs and requirements from the layout to the payment processing features?

Every type of shopping cart has its pros and cons which you have to weigh before deciding on the right one. If you have no technical knowledge of running a self-hosted shopping cart or an open source application then choose a hosted one and change when you become more conversant with the others and when you learn how they work.

Finally, when deciding which shopping cart to go for, you should aim at giving your customers the best shopping experience while they are shopping on your eCommerce site.

1. Registering Your Domain Name

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(2 Reviews, 4.50 out of 5 Stars)
1. Registering Your Domain Name4.50 out of 50 based on 2 voters.


The first thing you need to do to get your business online is to register a domain name. Not all online businesses have a domain name but this is important in branding your business.

What is a domain name

A domain nameis also known as a Web address or Uniform Resource Locator URL. You cannot operate an online business successfully without an identity. A domain name is your business identity and this is what will identify it from other businesses. It is your online brand name which your customers will associate with.There are many domain names which are available and you will need to search if the one you prefer is available. If the domain name you have chosen is not available you need to be creative to come up with a unique domain name which will not be confused with those of other companies.

How to Choose a Domain Name

The best domain name is short and simple so it is easy to spell, pronounce and remember. If the domain name is long or complicated it will be hard for your customers to type and remember it.People are attracted to something they can easily remember and find, as they surf the internet. The domain name has to be meaningful so customers can identify it and remember how to get to your website. This will also help them know what your business is about.

A domain name consists of the unique domain name you have chosen and the domain extension or top level domain TLD which follows the URL. The most commonly used TLDs include .com, .biz and .net for businesses, .info for information and .org for non-profit organizations. You can register your domain name with different extensions in order to protect it. There are many other domain name extensions such as .mobi used for mobile device businesses, .int for international organizations, .edu, .co, .tel among other choices depending on the type of business. There are TLDs which are used for countries and regions such as .us, .uk, .au.asia for businesses which operate within those boundaries.

Domain names are registered by registrars and stored in registries. Some of the popular domain registrars include-:

• Go Daddy (http://www.godaddy.com)
• Register.com (http://www.register.com)

Go Daddy is the world-leader in the domain name registration industry. It has registered the largest number of domain names in the world. So far, it has handled over 53M domain name registrations for over 10M customers.eNOM is one of the fastest growing domain registrars today, having registered the second largest number of domain names from Go Daddy. Network Solutions was the first domain name registrar and a pioneer in this industry. It offers registration solutions to its customers.

Prices of registration vary, with some web hosting providers offering free-domain name registration for customers who host their websites with them. There are web hosting providers who provide multiple domain names in one hosting account saving money for customers. If you intend to register multiple domain names you can save money by operating them from one hosting account.You can associate your e-mail address with the domain name for identity and ease of reference.

2. Creating Your Site

2. Creating Your Site - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
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(2 Reviews, 4.50 out of 5 Stars)
2. Creating Your Site4.50 out of 50 based on 2 voters.


Building your e-commerce Website with a fully functional shopping cart from scratch can be challenging if you have no website expertise or experience. Fortunately, there are experts who are available, who can help you create an outstanding website which will attract a large flow of traffic to the storefront. There are also pre-designed templates, online tutorials and step-by-step guidelines which you can follow to create a website on your own. There are easy to use shopping cart software programs which are readily available.

A website consists of a Homepage with hyperlinks to other about, content, contacts etc. web pages. You should build an outstanding Homepage with quality photographs, graphics and web designs but this alone is not enough. You need to sell quality products or services coupled with the best customer service and support so you can retain customers and increase sales.

To create your site and the Web pages, you have many options.

Do-It-Yourself

Business owners who have Web expertise are lucky because they can use their knowledge to create their Web pages if they have the necessary developmental tools to do this. The best thing about DIY is that, you are not limited by templates. Not only will you create a site you are passionate about, you are also flexible to include designs, photographs and content which you intend to use to win the attention of your targeted audience. Although creating a website is a difficult task, it is very rewarding.
You can do-it-yourself if you have the interest and the time to do it. The internet has all the resources you need to build a Web site. There are numerous Website software programs like Adobe Dreamweaver, Expression Web, FrontPage and others. They come loaded with all the features that you require to help you design and develop a site. You can search the internet for other software programs which you can use depending on your business needs, to build your Website from scratch.

Web Store Builders

You can buy web store builders to create your e-commerce Website although there are web hosting providers who offer in-built web builders in their hosting solutions. The web store builders will help you create a Website using readily available pre-designed templates which you can customize to your business needs by using web interface or web design software that provides the features you require. You will be able to build a Website quickly using these resources which are straight-forward and easy-to-use, even if you have no Web expertise.
Some of the web store builders have a wide range of online store management tools which will make it easy for you to get started. These solutions include a shopping cart, web hosting services, inventory control, supply chain management, online payment processing, customer relationship management, e-mail management and traffic analytics among others. Purchase a hosting solution which has an easy-to-use control panel and customize your site as you wish.

Hire a Professional

An e-commerce website is like a retail store. The storefront has to attract potential customers so they can stop-over and browse what you are offering for sale. To create an attractive storefront which will attract customers and to connect your Website to receive or process online payments, you might need to hire a professional designer/developer. These have the expertise and the experience of creating professionally-looking sites which will pull the target audience to the site. The professionals know what customers search for and they can help with search engine optimization and link-building. A professionally-looking Website is a great advantage for any online business but you need to publish it so it is available on the World Wide Web.

Maintaining your website is vital to keeping up with your customers’ goals. You need to update the website daily so it looks good all the time in order to keep the flow of traffic that is visiting the site, coming back over and over again. You can allocate staff particularly for this task and ensure that products, prices, product descriptions and contents are updated regularly. You cannot build a site and assume it will bring sales. You should work at it and use it as a tool for selling your products. That is why it needs to be maintained regularly just the same way a retail store needs to be arranged and organized to attract customers and motivate them to buy.

3. The Shopping Cart

236
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(2 Reviews, 4.50 out of 5 Stars)
3. The Shopping Cart4.50 out of 50 based on 2 voters.


The shopping cart on your Website should be user-friendly and easy-to-use, so you can start selling right away. You need to decide whether you need to use readily available in-built shopping cart templates or you need to develop customized shopping cart applications. The e-commerce software can be downloaded for a fee although some payment processing providers avail free downloads. Web hosting providers offer shopping cart software that can be customized to the needs of the business. Pre-designed templates have their limitations of how you can customize them.

You should purchase easy-to-use shopping cart software for your skill level. This enables you to create an e-commerce shopping cart which allows customers to accumulate the items they wish to purchase by adding to the cart. The shopping cart software should help perform many functions. These include payment processing, storefront design, tax calculations, security, shipping, inventory control and reporting, and marketing among other important functions.

The shopping cart should be able to add the total amount of the order, make conversions and calculate discounts, taxes and shipping and handling costs which include packaging and postage costs. Most shopping carts have additional features which store data on the database which is accessed in real time transactions. These may include the products, their categories, orders, shipping, payments and discounts.

There are many shopping cart designs which you can choose from whether you want to customize a pre-designed template or you want to create your own custom applications. But whichever you use, you should make it easy for your customers to navigate the site to get what they are searching and provide hyperlinks to help them view other web pages and return to the Homepage easily. Arrange products in categories and showcase related products. Provide useful product descriptions and additional readings on other web pages for those customers who wish to read more relevant information.

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