Establishing and operating an online business requires knowledge, skill and perseverance. However, even with the right mindset and skill set it is impossible to succeed without tools and resources. In order to ensure the optimal functionality of your website you’ll need access to a powerful web server that can transfer data to hundreds of computers simultaneously without sacrificing performance.
Although most webmasters start with a shared web hosting plan, it is important to note that 90% of successful online business owners will upgrade to a more powerful plan eventually. In order to prevent the unnecessary hassle of site relocation and data migration, it is best to consider the needs of your site and choose a competent plan initially. Dedicated and eCommerce hosting plans are perfect for online businesses, however each one presents unique advantages and disadvantages.
Dedicated hosting is a service in which you can lease a powerful web server that is dedicated exclusively to your web sites. This kind of private server environment is ideal for larger sites that are in need of extensive server resources. Dedicated web servers are synonymous with the most powerful kind of web hosting plans in the world. With a seemingly unlimited amount of disk space and bandwidth it is possible to host sites that have massive product catalogs and thousands of daily visitors. Although dedicated hosting plans provide powerful servers, it is important to note that they are not made for novice webmasters and many of the tools needed to operate an online store are not included.
Although eCommerce web servers are not as strong as dedicated servers, eCommerce hosting was designed specifically for online retail shops. Many prefer eCommerce plans because they are an “out-of-the-box” solution for online store owners that need a plethora of eCommerce tools in an inclusive package. Ecommerce hosting plans come with site building tools, shopping carts, product catalog creation and management applications, payment processing integration, SSL certificates and other resources that simplify, expedite and facilitate the establishment and operation of a secure and successful online storefront.
Both eCommerce and dedicated hosting plans come in various sizes and packages, so the capabilities of each plan will depend entirely upon the hosting provider and the chosen service. In general, dedicated servers are for more experienced webmasters that need a powerful solution for many web sites, or one large site. eCommerce hosting plans are perfect for novice webmasters, or online business owners that do not have the time or technical skills to manage and set up all of the necessary eCommerce tools on a dedicated server.
It is important to note that dedicated servers can host all of the aforementioned eCommerce applications such as shopping carts and product catalogs, however in many cases these tools are not automatically integrated. Ultimately the decision will depend upon your skill level, budget, and needs as a webmaster.