Have you ever asked yourself a question of how many different types of ecommerce platform are available in the ecommerce marketplace?
An ecommerce enabled website is the foundation of every online store business. A key component is how well that online store website performs and how much it costs to maintain the site resides.
At present, in four ways an ecommerce website can be hosted. They are on-premise ecommerce platform, cloud-based ecommerce platform, dedicated web hosting and the Software as a Service (SaaS) ecommerce platform that is already hosted.
Now let's discuss each of these ecommerce hosting to know which one suits your business needs perfectly.
On-premise Ecommerce Platform
The on-premise ecommerce platform is kind of purchasing readymade ecommerce platform to build your online store. This kind of ecommerce platform is very easy to customize and also more secure and reliable in terms of performance.
Here you have to invest some money in server infrastructure and some installation services. Data migration and online store maintenance, as well as yearly fees for software version updates, data storage, security, backups, power & cooling, etc.
Whether your online store business sells the product to individual shoppers or wholesale, you can install ecommerce shopping cart software on your server. This is called On-premises ecommerce platform model.
Advantages of On-premise Ecommerce Platform
Security - If you choose on-premises ecommerce platform, you can have complete control over entire platform security. If your crew is better at encryption or server configuration, then you can also develop a more secure website for your online store.
Performance - Your experienced server and network administrators can optimize your ecommerce website which helps you to boost your overall performances.
Control - If you've chosen open-source software, on-premise ecommerce platform model will give you the full access of your ecommerce platform's code. Some of them will give you more control to optimize and modify your ecommerce website.
Disadvantages of On-premises Ecommerce Platform
Infrastructure - If your company owns or leases it all of the hardware which needs to be upgraded or replaced by every three to five years.
License Fees - You need to pay license fees for your ecommerce software, server software and much more.
Backups - On-premises model requires your business to purchase additional hardware to back up your data in the case of catastrophic events.
Cloud-Based Ecommerce Platform
The term "Cloud" can have much meaning but in the circumstance of an ecommerce platform, cloud describes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). If your business chooses to host your ecommerce platform in the cloud, you will be paying to use virtual servers and other hardware.
An ecommerce platform vendor host and manage the software and customers which is associated with data on the Internet "Cloud", maintain the IT infrastructure and also is responsible for data security, integrating upgrades version and bud fixes and also develop new features and enhancements.
For the customer, initial costs are generally lower because you can simply choose your ecommerce platform as per your requirements. Payment is predictable because it is pay as you go a subscription model.
Advantages of Cloud-Based Ecommerce Platform
No capital Expenses - Your company won't have to buy or lease a server and you don't need to worry about software upgrade or replacement.
Easy Data Backups - Entire server is hosted in the cloud
Scalability - During peak sales time, you can also add a server to manage the additional traffic. With Cloud-based ecommerce platform, you can pay for what you use.
Disadvantages of Cloud-based Ecommerce Platform
License Fees - Server cost will include with a cloud-based ecommerce solution, but ecommerce license fee won't be applicable.
Limited Control - Cloud customers used to face limited control over their deployment. The cloud services run on the remote server which is completely owned and managed by the service providers. This approach will make it hard for the company owner to have a level of control.
Network Connectivity Dependency - Cloud hosting ecommerce platform is entirely dependent on the internet which is directly tie-up with the internet that you need reliable and consistent internet service as well as good connection speed and bandwidth for your business.
Dedicated hosting for Ecommerce Platform
In this type of hosting, you can consider choosing any of these 6 best ecommerce hosting service providers as each one of them are best for some or other features.
- HostGator – Suited for large stores
- InMotion – Suited for VPS hosting
- Bluehost – Suited for WordPress stores
- A2 Hosting – Suited for speed & performance
- SiteGround – Suited for reliability
Advantages of Using an Ecommerce Hosting Service
Server Maintenance - Ecommerce business owner doesn't need to hire an administrator because hosting service provider itself manage the hardware and basic server configuration for you.
Support - If your server or site down, hosting service provider will help. Most of these hosting service has a 24*7 technical support team to help you to reoccur your website and clarify all your queries.
Low cost – When compared to hosting ecommerce platform on on-premise or in the cloud, a hosting service can be very inexpensive.
Disadvantages of using Ecommerce Hosting Service
Less Control over the features - Hosting service offers a lot of less freedom and control in terms of customizing your ecommerce website.
Performance – While a hosting service for the ecommerce platform will take care of your servers, this may not optimize server specification for your particular application or industry.
Expensive - Hosted ecommerce platform is costlier than self-hosted ecommerce platform. The more traffic you get, the larger your store becomes. It means your monthly or yearly fees will increase as your business grow.
SaaS Ecommerce Platform
SaaS (Software as a Service) ecommerce platform can be accessed on the web browser. Your ecommerce system can run on the SaaS provider's hosted server and the service provider is responsible for the platform's security, performance and maintenance.
SaaS ecommerce software is licensed on a subscription basis, wherein the users can pay a monthly fee based on the level of service and number of users.
Advantages of SaaS Ecommerce Platform
Low Cost - When compared with other types of ecommerce platform, SaaS ecommerce platform is inexpensive.
No Server Administrator - Your company no need to hire a network administrator to manage the server, etc.
Ease of Use – Don't need to worry about software installation, server maintenance, etc.
Disadvantages of SaaS Ecommerce Platform
Flexibility - You can't change the layout of your ecommerce storefront as per your desire on a SaaS application.
Customization – SaaS ecommerce platforms work with default themes or templates. If you want to build your unique identity, those changes may be difficult with SaaS.
Choose the best type of ecommerce platform
Not all types of ecommerce platform are the best to start your ecommerce business. It depends on your unique needs. But knowing about these platform types can help you to make the right decision.
We know that selecting an ecommerce shopping cart platform is hard, but it is necessary to achieve success in your ecommerce business. So, we've put together a guide to help you to compare and choose from the most popular ecommerce platform out there.