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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    3

    Web Host for e-commerce website

    Hello all. I currently have an e-commerce site that is hosted on Yahoo merchant solutions. Yahoo no longer meets our needs and we are in the process of have a completely new site built.

    I have very little knowledge of web hosting and am having problems choosing a web host for my needs. I hope someone on this forum can help me out.

    Yahoo merchant solutions currently provides 20GB disc space and 500GB Data transfer. We are really only using about 1GB disc space and 15gb/month bandwidth (about 1,000 - 3,000 page views a day).

    I've been recommended pair but want to make sure that I make the right choice. Thank you all in advance for any help you can provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Quad Cities, Iowa
    Posts
    1,597
    The main thing to consider when choosing a Web Host is their uptime and reliability. Using the WHT forums you can search for reviews on potential hosts.

    Another thing you want to consider is:
    Are you using Yahoo's custom shopping cart? If so, you are going to have to find shopping cart software to replace that. There are several free shopping carts available that work on most Linux Hosts. OsCommerce, Zen Cart, CRE Loaded ect..

    Just out of curiosity, how is Yahoo not meeting your needs? Knowing that, we will be able to point you in a direction that won't lead to the same problem.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    3
    our site is currently using yahoo's shopping cart. It is not very customizable. I believe our new site is using oscommerce shopping cart.

    The main thing we do not like about yahoo is that they take a percentage off all sales. Also, the shopping cart and shipping tools are very limited. There are many things that are limited on the yahoo merchant solutions platform. It is also expensive ($100/month + 1% of all sales) which equals over $400 a month for us.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    461
    Probably, a dedicated server would be best for your site if you need a highly customized server. However, even with that being said, I wouldn’t recommend it myself for your site at this time.

    Most shared server should be able to handle a shopping card for your site and your storage and bandwidth needs.

    Whatever you do is make sure you properly research any web host you use and go for reliability and speed to ensure that your business site stays up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    We are really only using about 1GB disc space and 15gb/month bandwidth (about 1,000 - 3,000 page views a day).
    OScommerce with that type of usage, should run OK in a well administered shared hosting environment.

    It is also expensive ($100/month + 1% of all sales) which equals over $400 a month for us.
    Given the amount of money you were paying, I must suggest you don't go too low now, or at least not on purpose. After all, it's definitely better to save "only" $350 (which I think you can easily do) and have good high end service, than to save $395 and have never ending issues.

    Yahoo no longer meets our needs and we are in the process of have a completely new site built.
    Maybe your developer can recommend/help you find a good host.

    Whatever you do is make sure you properly research any web host you use and go for reliability and speed to ensure that your business site stays up.
    Words of wisdom, worth repeating. I'll add that given the nature of his site, I'd go with a host with a long/very long tracking record, as opposed to a brand new one.

    I've been recommended pair but want to make sure that I make the right choice.
    Did you do a search for "pair"? Using the "search titles only" option should point you to the real meat. Just make sure you actually read the threads. The topic titles alone may or may not lead to the right conclusion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    3,109
    Hello, burnsmart and welcome to the Forum.

    I would suggest you switch from osCommerce to http://zencart.com/ as it is a much more secure script and better maintained; updates, features, etc.


    As to a good Hoster, you will find that Features / Price / Support can usually be checked out before signing up. The last point to consider, Service or Uptime, cannot usually be determined until one actually starts using it.

    To help overcome that, there are various places that provide Free or Paid uptime monitoring and the following three provide both:

    http://easymonitor.com/
    http://siteuptime.com/
    http://host-tracker.com/

    Using a combination of all on one Hoster or each on different Hosters, can give you a good idea on their Service before using them. And, as people are quick to complain and slow to praise -- just the way we are I guess -- a Search on a Hoster that returns little to none postings about them, can be a goldmine.

    Overall, research and patience are two important tools when checking most things, Hosting or otherwise.
    PotentProducts.com - for all your Hosting needs
    Helping people Host, Create and Maintain their Web Site
    ServerAdmin Services also available

  7. #7
    Nice post Rob !

    I second Zen Cart - just an overall better solution then osCommerce and still open source

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    3
    Thank you everybody for your posts. I am not very tech savy so excuse me for my ignorance. I outsourced the developement of my new site to a company in India.

    I just asked one of the developers about the the shopping cart, he told me it is uses modules from both oscommerce and zen cart and with additional customization.

    When asked about what hosting company i should go with, he recommended i go with a company that is local. Local meaning, if i had a problem, I could drive to their office.

    What do you guys think?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Your Screen
    Posts
    3,998
    I would only agree with "local" if they actually know something about OSCommerce/Zencart. What will be most helpful to you is someone who can do basic trouble-shooting with your site if there are issues. It doesn't matter where their offices are. What does matter is that they speak your language (English), have 24/7 tech support, and offer beyond-average script support for OSC. Then you're covered.

    For example, you should be able to point them to "error xyz" at a particular URL, and they can confirm/deny whether it is a server-side issue and fix it right away if it is...and if it is not, they should be able to point you in the right direction to get it fixed.

    Ideally you won't have any problems at all I'm just saying, if you pick someone who is well-versed with OSC/ZC then you will have someone "on your side" if it hits the fan.

    For what it's worth, I recently switched my gift shop site from an HTML-based site using Mal's E-Commerce, to a modded-up version of OSCommerce, and I love the new site on OSC. It is wonderful. It is just so usable from my end, as a merchant there's no way I could ever go back!! I hope that you're as happy with it. The savings in fees alone will be a breath of fresh air, I'm sure. Good luck with your new site, and with your search I hope you find the right host for your needs.

    Bailey
    Let's Connect on Twitter! @thatsmsgeek2u || Fighting mediocrity one thread at a time.

  10. #10
    For example, you should be able to point them to "error xyz" at a particular URL, and they can confirm/deny whether it is a server-side issue and fix it right away if it is...and if it is not, they should be able to point you in the right direction to get it fixed.
    Great advise !!!

    Many providers will actually provide script level support for these apps, but, there are costs associated with it (though certainly still a lower TCO then what you are seeing with Yahoo)

    If you decide to go with OSC and CRELoaded in particular, you may want to consider a company like chainreactionweb...

    having said this, I still believe ZC would be a better fit, and lots of similar companies exist that can help you with this one as well...

    Personally, I have never worked with Mal's eCommerce, but the user feedback has been consistantly strong...

    Best of luck with whatever direction you choose...

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