Top tips for hosting your ecommerce website in Australia

Hosting of an ecommerce website and the speed of that hosting is a critical component in the success of your ecommerce store.

If your website loads too slowly or unreliably, or it’s down regularly, or overloaded, this will interfere with the flow of your sales and marketing activities. We took over an ecommerce site that was overloaded during peak hours over lunchtime. Every weekday the site was struggling at lunchtime, and most of the time wasn’t loading properly, so at the busiest time it was least successful.

Most web hosts will not monitor or advise their clients on the performance (or underperformance) of their plan, so having a proactive provider is important. Sometimes sites can be continually overloaded and in distress, and this can have a major impact on sales.

You get what you pay for

There are many ecommerce web hosting options out there in Australia for $3+ per month. You’ll compare them to higher priced alternatives and maybe that will look something like this:

$3 per month plan

Unlimited space
Unlimited bandwidth
24/7 support

$50 per month ecommerce plan

1GB space
10GB bandwidth
Business hours support

The difference between these two plans is that the cheaper one looks more attractive. Why would you have limited everything when you can have unlimited everything?

This is a common sales tactic. The reality is the metrics are often in some way a false positive. The unlimited space has terms associated with it, the unlimited bandwidth may be at a limited speed or capacity, and 24/7 support just means their email address works around the clock but their response time may not.

Typically the types of excellent benefits spruiked on these cheaper plans don’t have a bearing on performance. It’s like saying your computer at home has unlimited space on it, but when you have more than 5 programs open at once it crashes.

Sometimes though, the cheaper plans work well. And if they do, great – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?

When things go wrong…

Normally we discover there is a staggeringly high correlation between price (to a certain level) and how the provider deals with problems. You see, when everything is running well, you don’t need anyone. But when you run into problems, this is when you’re going to need to rely on your provider. We have a client whose email went down due to a mistake by the provider. We recommended they move away from this provider as the issue went on for a few days without resolution (and as a business, they had no email or website running during that time – in fact the provider accidentally deleted the client’s account it turned out). The client took our advice, moved away, but it wasn’t until 7 days later that a response was received by the incumbent provider.

Ecommerce websites also have different needs than normal websites – they need more grunt or raw power – and this is where a specialist plan comes into benefit. You can have all the space and bandwidth in the world, but if your ecommerce website doesn’t have quality raw power consistently, it’s not going to be reliable.

Your quality ecommerce provider can offer access to a whole bunch of metrics to show how your site is performing, or underdelivering. They can then advise on best course of action. You can see the resource usage across every statistic, and these can be explained. We often find each site has its own nuances and therefore we always tweak each plan for each client rather than use a cookie cutter approach.


If you’d like to ask any questions about web hosting for ecommerce, please don’t hesitate to contact us.