For a long time there has been a very common problem when it comes to running an e-commerce website on WordPress. Where can you find a reliable, secure, PCI compliant, and affordable web host for your online store?
WordPress E-commerce Web Hosting
Traditionally, in order to host a WordPress e-commerce website you would either need to settle with using a clunky 3rd party service like PayPal to handle your e-commerce transactions or pay a hefty sum of money for a PCI compliant web server. Managing PCI compliance on your own is a very tedious and expensive thing to do and includes things like two factor authentication, disabling FTP, and putting your database on its own physical server accessible only via a virtual private network.
Rackspace Cloud Sites Web Hosting
Rackspace has developed a very nice hosting platform called Rackspace Cloud Sites for hosting PHP powered websites – especially WordPress websites. Here is a quick list of the really nice features that set Rackspace Cloud Sites apart from other web hosts:
- FTP Snapshot Backups: FTP Snapshots may not be a commonly known feature, but it tops our list because of how awesome it is. This is not intended as an emergency back up solution and not as your only backup, but it can really be a life saver when you need it. Go to any folder and the hidden .snapshot folder holds an hourly snapshot with 32 hours of history of the contents of that folder.
- WordPress Auto-install: Recently added to the features of Rackspace Cloud Sites is the ability to have WordPress installed for you as you are creating the hosting account. There is a little form to fill out where you provide all the different usernames and passwords for your site and database and the system takes care of setting everything up including your wp-config.php file. As soon as the site is online, you are ready to go. This is a major time savor and a very nice feature overall.
- Easy DNS Management: By default, the Rackspace Cloud Sites management console manages your DNS for you so all you have to do is point your domain name to the Rackspace name servers and you’re finished. Of course, if you’d prefer to manage your DNS through a 3rd part service like DNSimple then that’s fine too.
- Email Accounts: Rackspace Cloud Sites provides easy (but no longer free) access to their Rackspace Email services. This service provides great spam filtering, and nice webmail interface. This is far better than any webmail setup that comes with traditional hosting packages or trying to manage your own email server through cPanel.
- Support: Rackspace has always had very prompt support and that support comes with Rackspace Cloud Sites too. You can call your support team or submit tickets and the response time is very good.
A lot of attention has been given to the Rackspace Cloud Sites platform recently adding support for PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.4 as well as the auto-install of WordPress.
The only problem is that Rackspace Cloud Sites is not a PCI compliant web host. So you will need to use a WordPress e-commerce solution like Cart66 Cloud or a 3rd party off-site solution like PayPal if you want to sell anything on your WordPress site.
PayPal And Off-Stie Checkout
There are several problems with using PayPal that make it a less than optimal solution. Here are a few of the main problems with using PayPal for your store’s e-commerce transactions:
- Your buyers have to leave your site and land on a totally different site that looks nothing like your line store
- Many people assume you have to have a PayPal account in order to buy something through PayPal
- If you only offer PayPal, it makes your site look amateur and somewhat unprofessional
- PayPal is not a bank yet they hold on to all of your money until you request it
Cart66 Cloud Brings E-commerce To Rackspace Cloud Sites
A much better solution is to power your e-commerce store with Cart66 Cloud. Cart66 Cloud handles all the security requirements to meet PCI compliance. You do not even need an SSL certificate when using Cart66 Cloud. All of the secure transactions occur on the fully PCI compliant Cart66 Cloud servers but everything looks just like your WordPress website because Cart66 Cloud clones your WordPress theme onto the Cart66 Cloud servers with 1-click when you sign up for your Cart66 Cloud account. You get all the security benefits just like if you used a service like PayPal, and you also get complete control of the design of your checkout pages. You also get complete control of your money because you can pick from using any of the 40+ payment gateways supported by Cart66 Cloud.
Running your Cart66 Cloud powered e-commerce site on RackSpace Cloud Sites is a winning solution because you get:
- You don’t have to buy an SSL certificate or worry about security scans or PCI compliance
- Powerful e-commerce functionality with Cart66 Cloud
- Solid, reliable, well supported hosting provided by Rackspace
- Pick almost any payment gateway so you can control how your money is managed
- Your checkout pages look exactly like the rest of your WordPress site
Rackspace Cloud Sites is a terrific platform for hosting websites, especially WordPress websites. Now, with Cart66 Cloud, it does not matter that Rackspace Cloud Sites is not a PCI compliant hosting platform because Cart66 Cloud takes care of all the PCI compliance requirements and provides a complete e-commerce solution for WordPress. The day has finally come where you can run an e-commerce site on Rackspace Cloud Sites!