Every business needs a website; thanks to the complete saturation of the internet, an online presence can play a key part of your business’ success. And, just like you need to know if you will build your website yourself or will have a professional web designer build it for you, it’s important to decide if your site will be an eCommerce site or not.
“eCommerce” is a fancy way of saying “includes a shopping cart that allows customer to buy online.” This plan lets you accept credit cards through the web, and is the most convenient way to accept money (since no “time” needs to be spent helping a customer when they’re shopping independently in your online store).
If your business is a service (dog grooming, counseling, lawn mowing, etc) and doesn’t need to ship products, then you probably don’t need an eCommerce site. But, if customers buy goods from you, chances are you do need your site to include a shopping cart.
And yes, eCommerce web hosting plans cost more than standard hosting plans, but the ability to sell online often far overshadows that cost with profits.
As a bonus, EarthLink includes many additional services in its eCommerce Web Hosting packages, outlined here:
- StoreCreator Pro – Easy-to-use, professional ecommerce shopping cart builder. Includes links to help you sell with eBay.com and Amazon.com
- Rapid SSL Certificate – Allows secure online transactions, increases customer confidence in your website.
- One-Page Mobile Website – Get customers who are online with smartphones and tablets.
- Call Tracking – Call-tracking and analytics service helps you improve your online and offline marketing. You get a unique toll-free or local phone number so you can track and record customer calls. Includes click-to-call and other features.
- Advanced Website Template Gallery – Choose from more than 5,000 templates.
- Announcer Pro – Send your customers engaging email newsletters using graphic-rich HTML email templates. Includes contact management and reporting tools. Includes 500 contacts; our standard web hosting plans include up to 250 contacts.
- 1,000 Business-Class Email Accounts – Allows for comprehensive email system as your business grows. Standard website hosting plans include up to 200 email addresses.
- 500 GB Website Storage – Standard website hosting plans include up to 300 GB of storage.
- 5,000 GB Web Transfer Limit – Standard website hosting plans include up to 3,000.
- 50 Domain Names Supported – Standard website hosting plans support up to 10 domains.
- Microsoft SQL – Get 2 SQL databases with 200MB of storage. Business Website Plus hosting plan includes 1 SQL database with 100MB of storage. Microsoft SQL is available as an upgrade with Website Plus.
(BONUS: If you chose to have a professional EarthLink designer take on your site, there are even more benefits offered with our website design ecommerce package!)