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What is 'hosting' and how would that effect my online business and my choice of an online shopping cart?
Hosting is a word that you see a lot of when you read about the web. Properly it is referred to as ‘web site hosting’. This is different than what you might intuitively associate the word with. But there are some coincidental similarities. Hosting refers to where your web site is physically located. This most commonly with a hosting company, or part of a larger company, that specializes in setting up spaces on there dedicated servers for their clients to put there web site code.
Unfortunately you can have bad and good hosts. A good hosting is a company that has significant backup hardware that will keep your web site running under emergency conditions. A bad hosting company is one that does not. When choosing companies that will host their online shopping carts most prospective vendors should ask about ‘uptime’. The answer to this should be frame on an annual level and uptimes of nearly 100% are common. What you don’t want are companies that appear to be lax about this. A good clue are advertised or expressed uptimes of 98% or even 99%. Do the math, a 2% downtime over a year is more than a week!
When prospective online merchants look for hosting companies cost is a factor. A higher monthly charge does not always translate into more reliable service. Be careful. Don’t sign extended contracts until you are sure about how well the hosting company handles high volumes of traffic and of course uptime. Online shopping carts are dependent on hosting companies to be able to handle high visitor volumes and they need to be up. It’s that simple.