Can You Run an E-Commerce Site on Budget Web Hosting?

March 30, 2011 by  Filed under: Web Hosting 

An e-commerce site is nothing more than a website that sells things. The site can be very simple, with a single “Buy Here” button, or it can be very complex, with a full-featured shopping cart and thousands of different products. Most e-commerce sites fall somewhere in between. If you want to get your site off the ground, you don’t have to opt for very expensive website hosting. You can get good value from budget web hosting, if you know what to look for. Here are some of the factors you need to evaluate when you are choosing your web hosting for an e-commerce site.

Disk Space

Disk space is the amount of space that your site is allocated on the hosting company’s server. You should look for hosting that offers at least 100 MB of disk space. This amount should be adequate for a small e-commerce site, but if you are building a site with many products, or your site contains numerous images or videos, then you will probably need more space. Some budget web hosts will allow you to upgrade your account to get additional disk space when you need it.


Bandwidth is related to the number of visitors that can access your site. Have you ever tried to go to a website and you’ve seen a message like “Bandwidth exceeded”? This can happen when there is a higher than expected number of visitors to a site within a certain time frame. It can also happen when there are many images or videos on the site, because they use up a lot of bandwidth when they are viewed by website visitors. Running out of bandwidth is a disastrous occurrence for any e-commerce website, because if customers can’t access your site they can’t buy your products.

For a small site with a reasonable number of images, you should purchase hosting that gives you at least 50 GB of bandwidth per month. If your site contains videos, you should get an account that allows you at least 500 GB of bandwidth per month. Again, most budget web hosts will let you upgrade your account to obtain a higher amount of bandwidth, should you require it.


Your e-commerce site must be a secure place for customers to shop, and it must also be protected from hackers and viruses. You should look at the various security features that are offered by the web host and make sure they are appropriate for your needs. For example, if you are running a shopping cart on your site you will need shared or dedicated SSL connections to safeguard customer transactions.

Operating System

The operating system used by the budget web host must be compatible with the software you are using on your own site. For example, if your e-commerce site uses a shopping cart based on PHP or MySQL, then you can opt for Linux hosting, which is widely available. But if your shopping cart runs on Microsoft software such as the framework, then you will need to buy Windows hosting, which is usually a little more expensive.

Customer Support

When you are running an e-commerce site, technical problems can cost you money in lost sales and lost opportunities. That is why it’s crucial to buy hosting from a company that provides excellent technical and customer support when you need it. Support should be available seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, and the company should have multiple methods of contact. For example, a simple question is best asked by email, but a chat session with a technical support persona can be useful for walking you through the solution to a problem.

If you are just starting out, it can make economic sense to operate your small e-commerce site on a budget web host. Just make sure that the host provides enough features for what you have planned.

Getting the right budget web hosting is a critical factor in your ecommerce website’s success.

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