Category: X-Cart Help and Advice
Posted: 23-03-2010 09:06
The most important thing with running an x-cart shop is to find the right hosting company. This is absolutely imperative and can make or break an e-commerce shop. X-cart software can be particularly fussy with hosting technology and you therefore need someone with experience of hosting x-cart.
Sometimes you will be lucky and a "general" hosting company and server will run your shop ok, but the majority of the "big boys" hosting companies tend to not meet X-Cart's requirements, particularly on shared hosting.
For example, hosts are always updating software on their servers, but if they don't know the impact that could have on X-Cart then you will get problems and the host won't know how or why. That is why there are always lots of technical support questions after such an upgrade, particularly people wanting to know why their x-cart shop has stopped working, which of course means they are losing money. With an X-Cart specialist host, these problems are rare. However, over a period of time, there are going to be questions and problems and you will get quicker resolution (different to quicker response) with a specialist.
Many people move to X-Cart having run a normal, who/what/why kind of website for years, and have been very happy with the host in terms of performance and support. But running an ecommerce shop, and in X-Cart, one that requires a lot of resources, is totally different. To get the best out of it - ie have it run quickly, so customers aren't hanging about waiting, and thinking about looking elsewhere - the server needs to be set up correctly. This is virtually impossible to achieve when the server has to meet lots of different possible uses - but with an approved host, it's doing nothing but serving x-cart shops, so it can be tweaked exactly. A general shared server is going to be running all kinds of different applications, and if you are sharing with lots of other hungry database applications - then your shop is going to suffer because of what other people might be doing. Including if their shop is wide open to being hacked. On an approved host, with nothing but X-Cart shops, the load can be balanced, and resources shared out evenly.
So you need to find someone experienced in hosting x-cart, not only to give you the performance you need, but to give you the support when you get problems, as you probably will encounter. At Lumino we don't get involved in hosting - for the reasons mentioned above, it requires specialist companies; people who spend all day every day managing servers. Any recommendation we make is based on support - as specialist hosts will all give you good performance.
In the USA we have worked with several hosts; there are really only 2 main ones though. However, both give very different levels of support. Of course when things are fine, support is easy, but when we had an extremely difficult issue with a payment gateway, one company buried its head in the sand and simply avoided the problem hoping it would go away. In the end it did, along with many other of our clients, ending up at EWD Hosting who approached the problem tenaciously and professionally ensuring the problem was soon resolved. For that reason we recommend EWD Hosting now part of Total Server Solutions (TSS) who also now have servers in the UK.
In the UK we can also recommend Clook Internet, although not X-Cart approved, X-Cart shops run very well and they have outstanding, very quick customer support.
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