osCommerce, or open source Commerce, is an online shopping cart application, which can be used on any web server which supports PHP and MySQL. It is totally free and open source, so you can utilize and modify it as your desire without the need to pay even one penny. osCommerce provides you with all the tools needed to set up a professional and self-hosted e-commerce website to promote and securely sell products and services to your customers worldwide. It has over 7,000 powerful add-ons that can be used to customize your online store. As estimated, this software now has more than 12,000 registered sites with over 260,000 store owners.
Now, you have known the tremendous popularity and benefits of osCommerce, so here is the question: who is the best osCommerce hosting provider? We have listed the top three options in the following.
Best osCommerce Hosting
In fact, there are a lot of web hosts offering quality osCommerce hosting services, and what differentiate them are the following criteria.
- Level of Hosting Performance: Generally, if your online store cannot load fast enough, people will leave it immediately before all the amazing products are on the screen. After all, people have become more and more impatient nowadays. Also, the frequent downtime and inaccessibility of your website may lead to the decreasing number of your customers, both existing and potential.
- Ease of Use for Store Building: Web hosts need to ensure the easy process for the building and managing of the online stores. For instance, all of them offer the 1-click osCommerce installer, the cPanel control panel and the free site builder, all of which can give you the great hosting experience.
- Security Guarantee: Always bear the security issue in your mind. After all, no one dares to make online deals with you if your website often been hacked by some malicious intruders.
- Website Customization Freedom: When people load on your website, the first thing they will see is not your list of products, but the layout and design of your site. Therefore, the best online store should have the unique and stylish appearance.
- Server Resources: The osCommerce web host needs to offer you enough disk storage and bandwidth. After all, to present your products clearly, you might need to upload some images and even video tutorials. Besides, if your website is popular, and always have a large number of visitors at the same time, then limited server resources will be a disaster.
- Pricing: You are doing business, so the budget can be very essential. Generally, the osCommerce hosting service has been placed around $7 each month, so if the company you choose sets the price for more than $10, you’d better think twice.
Top 3 osCommerce Hosting Companies
Based on the above mentioned requirements, we’d like to introduce you the top 3 osCommerce hosing providers – BlueHost, InMotion Hosting, and WebHostingHub.
BlueHost is one of the best osCommerce hosing company since its inception in 1996, which prices its hosting services at $2.95/mo. It has self-developed the powerful 1-click installer called SimpleScripts, which allows you to install and deploy osCommerce in minutes without doing any complex things like upload osCommerce zip file with FTP. All you need to do is click a few buttons with your mouse.
Besides, BlueHost locates its quality servers in its own data center, and run its own custom Linux kernel, thus offering the best hosting performance to its customers. As tested, the page loading speed of BlueHost Professional Web Hosting is 305ms averagely, and the uptime has been guaranteed up to 99.9%.
Founded in 2001 in Virginia Beach, InMotion Hosting focuses on offering quality hosting solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Its Business Class Hosting is rich-featured with all the latest cutting-edge technologies to help you build your online store successfully such as free SSD, SSH, and PostgreSQL & MySQL databases, and a pre-installation of innumerable applications for osCommerce, etc.
One of the shining features of this web host is its Max Speed Zone, which guarantee you a fast webpage loading and downloading speed. Besides, with this company, you can get up to #300 in free advertising credits with any hosting package, including Google, Yahoo! Bing, YP.com, Amazon.com, and Twitter. Thus you can market your goods easily.
In a word, InMotion Hosting is the leading osCommerce web host for online store owner. Once you are wishing to start a website to sell your products online, this company can get you online and selling in minutes, charging you $3.49 each month.
WebHostingHub is designed for small and start-up businesses. It has 2 word-class data centers, coming with a large number of advanced monitoring technologies and power redundant systems, thus guarantee a short webpage loading time and no downtime.
This web host has a premium Website Builder, which allows you to build your online store without any difficulty, such as piecing together various scripts or e-commerce related software. And you can easily create product categories, add product pictures and descriptions, and track the orders you receive.
What You Need to Know about osCommerce
osCommerce, or Open Source Commerce, is one of the most popular online store management tools and e-commerce platforms. It can be used properly on any server machine that has MySQL and PHP installed. Besides, as this tool is developed based on the GNU license, it can be used as the free software to download, utilize and modify.
At present, this e-commerce tool has more than 7,000 of free add-on tools that can be used to better customize and strengthen your online stores. Note that all of these add-ons are totally free to use and can be downloaded, installed and configured easily via the web-based procedure. Also, they have been categorized into different groups properly, such as Images, Languages, Shipping Modules, Themes and Templates, Payment Modules, Content Modules and many more.
In addition, with about 15 years of efforts, this tool now has a large and fast growing community with hundreds of thousands of active developers, website owners and service providers to ask questions, share their personal experiences, fix some advanced issues and many more. Even, you now can start the direct communication with some professional community members who are available in the live chat room of osCommerce. This is another effective way for you to engage in the large community easily.
At present, the most widely used version is osCommerce v 2.3, which is a completely independent e-commerce site solution that ensures the catalog front-end and the intuitive back-end administrative tool.
To install and run this version properly, you need to make sure that your web host has fully met the following server requirements.
- PHP version 4 and MySQL version 3 are the minimum requirements.
- PHP version 5 and MySQL version 5 are highly recommended.
- suPHP needs to be used for better website security.