Pros and Cons of Self Hosting Your eCommerce Platform

Pros and Cons of Self Hosting Your eCommerce Platform

Are you planning to set up an online store? Statistics show that U.S. online retail stores earned over $256 billion in 2015. It doesn’t matter what your business model is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling children’s toys or fancy clothes. The number one item to first consider is how you will host your eCommerce platform.


Your Options

When it comes to hosting your online store, you have two options. You can either take the bus or drive your own car.

  1. Hosted

This is the bus option. It involves using enterprise eCommerce platforms to host your online store. The advantage of taking the bus is that it will take you where you want to go with little effort or input on your side. You only need to pay your fare and abide by the rules every other passenger is subjected to. Hosted solutions mean that you run your online store on a server that belongs to someone else. Your host takes care of issues, such as bandwidth, security, backups, compliance and other technical issues.

  1. Self Hosted

Opting for a self hosted platform is like driving your own car. You choose where you want to go and what route to take. This option means that you run and manage the shopping cart software. All the responsibilities related to the setup are yours alone. Magento is a good example of a self hosted eCommerce platform.

Benefits of Self Hosting

If you want to have more control over your eCommerce solution, then self hosting is for you.

  1. You can customize your solution as much as you want.

Hosted solutions are easy to use. However, they have restrictions when it comes to customization. When you choose a self hosted solution, you can change anything at any time since the code is open sourced. Or if you don’t have the know how or internal capabilities, you can pay a developer to help you develop an online store that suits your requirements.

  1. You own everything.

It can be challenging to store owners when policies are changed without their consent or prior knowledge. You don’t have to worry about ownership when it comes to a self hosted solution. You own your code, content and everything related to your online store.

Cons of Running The Show

  1. You’re on your own.

Having complete control over your eCommerce solution comes at a steep price. It means that you won’t have anyone to turn to when things go wrong. This can be costly. Anyone who has an online store will tell you that every second counts. Research has shown that factors such as loading time leads to high bounce rates which drastically reduces conversions. .

If you decide to go solo, you’ll have to figure out many aspects on your own. It may take time to get your website back up and running when you have to find the solutions on your own. Having technical support available 24/7 ensures that you can get answers to problems when you need them.

  1. It costs much more to setup.

Going it alone will mean spending much more to get started. You’ll have to spend a good deal of time and money on development before the launch of your online store. A hosted solution is much more affordable and will ensure that you hit the ground running much sooner.

  1. It will take a lot out of you.

Running an online store is a lot of work. You have to promote your store and engage with your target audience. Hosting your own eCommerce website means adding even more tasks to your already full schedule. On top of running the store, you’ll have to worry about configuration of your solution, security, monitoring, as well as optimization. Self hosting may take your attention away from your primary task: Running your online store.

Many entrepreneurs are recognizing the power of eCommerce and the opportunities available. Whether you opt for a hosted or self hosted solution, it all comes down to the value you find in the option you choose.