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Who Should Host Your Online Store?

by Alex Johnson

The increasing development of sophisticated website content management systems has allowed small businesses to create rich, dynamic online stores, which used to be impractical for anyone without a large programming budget.

Before choosing a web hosting provider, small business owners and individuals who wish to sell online should make sure their host is capable of supporting some of the various e-commerce software solutions. For example, shopping cart software such as Magento or Zen Cart have very specific requirements that not all web hosts are able to meet.

There are dozens of popular shopping cart systems, both commercial and free, each written for a specific database structure or programming language such as PHP or ASP. A host's flexibility and willingness to change your server configuration for optimal performance of your e-commerce software is a big consideration for a would-be online retailer.

For those wishing to offer their products on the Web, Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting offers the best of both worlds -- attractive and functional e-commerce capability built into your account, or the freedom to choose a third-party e-commerce package.

Many small businesses use Yahoo's web hosting to create online stores at low monthly rates. Yahoo makes set up and maintenance extremely easy, a factor that attracts many users who don't want to get bogged down in the technicalities of running a dynamic site. Yahoo's e-commerce solution is integrated seamlessly with their Small Business Web Hosting, and is a great option if you want to get your store off the ground quickly.

If you prefer to use another e-commerce system, some of the most popular include CubeCart, Zen Cart, osCommerce, and the new Magento. With the exception of CubeCart, these programs are free, and all can be completely customized by a competent programmer or designer. Thousands of successful online sellers utilize these content management systems to do business online.

Whether you choose Yahoo's Small Business solutions or another provider, be sure that your web host is able to meet all the system requirements for a particular software package. Some hosts meet some, but not all. And while this is usually "passable", your site's performance and reliability may be affected if it is not being run in its optimal environment.

It's easy to see if a web host supports a given package. E-commerce systems list their requirements, and you can usually compare these against those displayed by a host. Or, you can simply contact the hosting provider and ask if they support the software you want to use.

Content provided by Cheap Hosting 101, a free resource offering web hosting reviews and information. Visit today for more web hosting tips, or to learn about Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008