New e-commerce businesses are popping up every day, with brick-and-mortar operations rapidly joining the digital marketplace. This flurry of growth has massive economic implications: eMarketer recently reported that global e-commerce sales will experience double-digit increases through 2020, topping out at an astounding $27 trillion.
It comes as no surprise that WordPress, which powers 28% of websites worldwide, is used by ecommerce sites both large and small. Here are some hosting essentials for WordPress e-commerce site owners.
E-stores have a huge advantage over brick-and-mortar ones in one key area: They’re always open, allowing customers to shop anytime, anywhere.
As such, and to ensure that their site stays up 24/7, every e-shop should be looking for web hosting that provides the maximum amount of uptime. Web hosts often boast about having at least 99% uptime, but what happens after the initial 99% is critical and can make a big difference in terms of maximizing transaction value during a peak shopping period. For example, while 99.8% uptime gives leeway for a site to be down for up to 17.52 hours per year, 99.99% is barely an hour per year.
Amazon learned this lesson the hard way when a service outage impacted Amazon.com for 20 minutes in March 2016. While the incident didn’t occur during the holiday shopping season, the effect was palpable to the tune of $3.75 million in lost sales, according to Digital Commerce 360.
Security may seem like a no-brainer, and that’s for good reason. While WordPress core is extremely secure, that doesn’t mean every WordPress site is immune to malware, DDos attacks, phishing, or ransomware.
It is ideal to take a multi-pronged approach, which includes:
- Automatic software updates: Potential attackers can find chinks in a site’s defense when WP core or plugins are not regularly updated. While updating and patching manually is a worthwhile but time-consuming affair, a managed WordPress hosting provider should automatically update WordPress core and other critical plugins.
- Security monitoring: Awareness of an attack is the first line of defense against it. Around-the-clock security monitoring can provide real-time notification of any security breaches.
- Backup and restore: As always, backups should be scheduled regularly to provide roll backs to functioning versions of a site. And when disaster strikes, a hosting provider’s restore capabilities can rescue the day.
Developer Features, Staging, and Cloning
Certain hosting companies will include developer friendly tools in their WordPress plans, like Git version control, phpMyAdmin access, WP-CLI, and staging and cloning capabilities. These features can provide developers the hands-on control needed for their application environment.
Critically, cloning and staging software can prove to be a fertile testing ground for new coding elements or site redesigns. Testing out a new functionality on a staging site can not just spare blushes but also ensure that the rollout will go as expected.
Any issues with a site can lead to a drop off of business opportunities and customers. Having reliable, 24/7 expert help that’s just a phone call away can provide the peace of mind that top-notch support will p Additionally, notifying a support team about any upcoming high traffic events can let them take a proactive approach to any possible hosting issues.