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The company you choose for web hosting ecommerce sites should have a high reliability factor. If your website is down you lose sales and money, and when your site is slow your visitors become frustrated and leave. These problems can be caused by a server being overloaded with hosting too many websites or too much traffic to the websites. Additional servers would solve the problem but servers are expensive. Some ecommerce web hosting companies can offer very low hosting rates simply because they overload their servers.
Back up servers are critical in case the primary servers fail. These backup servers automatically and immediately take over without a lapse in service.
Support is an important factor to consider when you choose your ecommerce hosting company. If there's a problem with your ecommerce site you should be able to reach a person at your web hosting company not just a support desk. Your emails should be answered within 24 hours. There should be a phone number available. Emergencies happen and quick courteous communication is a necessity.
Unless you have your own full-time webmaster, maintaining an ecommerce site means you want a web hosting company that has an easy to use control panel. It shouldn't be a difficult or time consuming task to add web pages, change email addresses or set up an auto-responder series.