December 28, 2007, Newsletter Issue #126: Affordable e-Commerce Hosting Fees

Tip of the Week

Affordable e-commerce hosting is based on several factors. The set up fee,
if any, should be reasonable. Many e-commerce hosting companies don't charge
any set up fees. The monthly fees vary based on the amount of data storage,
data transfer and bandwidth your site uses.

Data storage is the disk space your site uses on your host's servers; it includes any downloadable products. Data transfer is the amount of data that is transferred from your website to the visitor's computer. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transfer allowed at any one time. Data transfer can vary based on the number of visitors to your site, how long they stay, what they purchase and the products downloaded.

Consider the surcharges that may be imposed if you go over the data transfer or activity levels of your account. If the hosting company has a low monthly fee but high overuse fees you might be better off with a company that has a higher monthly fee and generous bandwidth and data transfer allowances.

If your business model calls for more than one website, make sure your
e-commerce hosting company allows you to host more than one domain without additional charges. Consider that different domain names could be considered separate websites.

Another factor to consider is whether email accounts, shopping carts, and secure payment processing are included in the base monthly fee or whether there will be additional charges. Some web hosting companies specialize in e-commerce and are more attuned to the challenges faced by firms conducting business online.

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