Choosing the best domain hosting provider can be a daunting, time-consuming task with so many different web hosting companies out there. Many of them are false advertising, with poor customer service, ineffective support services and ridiculously over priced paid plans. In this article we will go over some key points about choosing the right web hosting for your Ecommerce store.
Best Web Hosting Site For Ecommerce
Why It’s Important to Get the Best Website Hosting for Ecommerce
Your web hosting is the backbone of your ecommerce website, so you need to make sure you start with a solid foundation. You could have the best website design with all the features your customers want, but it won’t be effective without a reliable host to support it.
Today’s consumers are all about instant gratification. Nearly half of consumers expect your website to load within two seconds.
Beyond customer impressions, Google’s search algorithm considers site speed as a ranking factor. If the bots can’t discover and index your website quickly, the search engine takes longer to produce results.
Search engine bots branch out from your home page and crawl the links on the site map. They only have a certain amount of time to spend on each page, and if your site loads slow, then the bots may not include those pages.
How customers experience your website is crucial for your business. Customers need to be able to access the information they need, as quickly as possible. If the site loads slow or is missing images or files, the customer will be frustrated and leave.
Security is paramount online, especially for ecommerce sites. If your website isn’t encrypted with SSL, it will identify as “not secure” in the browser. This will decrease consumer confidence in your brand.
Web hosts offer security certificates to encrypt the site. With shared hosting plans, you will likely pay more for the certificate you need for your ecommerce site. If you opt for managed ecommerce hosting, this feature is likely included at no additional cost.
Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Platforms
Hosted ecommerce platforms charge a monthly fee in exchange for managing the technical aspects of your website for you. You can save a bit of money if you commit to an annual plan. Common hosted ecommerce platforms include:
- Wix Ecommerce
With a hosted platform, you don’t have to worry about anything other than your site content and marketing. While that’s a good thing for people who don’t have much technical knowledge, it can be restrictive for developers.
Must-Have Ecommerce Hosting Features
As you evaluate web hosts, make sure you, at a minimum, have the following features included in your chosen plan.
SSL stands for secure socket layer. It’s a security technology that adds a small file to your website. It’s what makes your website secure (HTTPS vs. HTTP).
An SSL certificate encrypts information as it passes from one computer to another. It is necessary to protect your customer’s financial information.
Regular, Automated Backups
Mistakes happen, especially if you have multiple people working on your online store. Having a backup of your ecommerce site is crucial to keeping things up and running if something goes wrong.
Sure, you can manually back things up, but it’s easy to get busy and forget. If the last time you backed up your website was six months ago, you’re in trouble.
With regular, automated backups, you’re always protected if you have to roll back your site. Many ecommerce hosting companies offer nightly backups, though some only offer weekly backups. It’ll be up to you to determine if you’re okay with the backup frequency.
Also known as a stage, it is a replica version of your website that you can use to test and make changes to see how they affect your website before pushing them live to your customers.
This way, you can add products to your online store and push the updates live when you’re ready. If you want to test a new plugin or theme, but you’re afraid it will break the site, or change how it looks, try things out on the staging site first.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN stores copies of your website on multiple server locations. It pulls the content from the server closest to your website visitor, to reduce site load time and provide a better user experience.
If your web hosting service isn’t operational 99.9% of the time, your ecommerce store won’t be accessible all the time. Most web hosting companies have an uptime guarantee these days, but it’s below the industry standard if you don’t see 99.99%. Servers are expected to be operational nearly 24/7.
VPS or Dedicated Servers
With shared web hosting, you share the server with countless other companies. It’s slower and has more frequent downtime. There are also more limitations on the applications you can use.
Shared hosting is the most affordable option when you’re just getting started, but as you grow, you will need either a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hosting.
A VPS is a hybrid of shared hosting and dedicated servers, that comes at a more affordable price. It splits a shared server into separate accounts, giving each account owner more control over the server resources and applications.
Dedicated hosting, also known as a dedicated server, on the other hand, means your website is the only site on the server. It gives you the most control over your server and applications. It is the most expensive hosting option. But until your website has a lot of traffic volume, it’s unnecessary.
Top 11 Ecommerce Website Hosting Companies
With so many ecommerce hosts on the market to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are our picks for the best ecommerce hosting providers.
Nexcess, a subsidiary of Liquid Web, is a WordPress hosting company. Liquid Web provides various hosting types, but Nexcess is the brand that offers managed WordPress and Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) hosting, making it perfect for WooCommerce-based online stores.
The entry-level plan provides 15 GB of storage and 2TB of bandwidth, giving you plenty of resources for a single website.
The dashboard is easy to use, and the platform includes multiple premium freebies, including iThemes Security Pro and Sync, Astra Pro, Ninja Forms, and more.
They also have the Nexcess Storebuilder product, which is built to mimic the hosted ecommerce provider experience. It makes it easy to build your store with builder tools. By answering a few questions about the industry you’re in and the products you’re selling, you’ll get a site design that’s ready to go with your logo. All you’ll have to do is add your products to get started. Read our Nexcess Storebuilder review to learn more.
Pricing: Before discounts and promotions, hosting packages start at $19/month.
- Starter ($19/month): Up to one store with 30 GB storage and up to 500 orders per hour
- Creator ($79/month): Up to three stores with 60 GB storage and up to 1,000 orders per hour
- Merchant ($149/month): Up to five stores with 100 GB storage and up to 2,500 orders per hour
- Standard ($299/month): Up to 10 stores with 300 GB storage and up to 3,000 orders per hour
- Growth ($549/month): Up to 20 stores with 500 GB storage and up to 5,000 orders per hour, plus Glew.io analytics
- Enterprise ($999/month): Up to 30 stores with 800 GB storage and up to 10,000 orders per hour with Glew.io
- Integrated CDN
- Automatic image compression
- Auto-scaling handles high-traffic spikes
- Daily website backups
- No free domain
- No standard moneyback guarantee – monthly options will be refunded if canceled early. Prepaid plans will not.
- A dedicated IP address add on is not available on lower-tier plans
WPMU Dev launched years ago as a plugin, establishing a reputation as a premier source of multisite and network plugins.
As they’ve grown, they added a hosting product. They bundle hosting with their plugins.
WPMU Dev is a hybrid product that combines cloud hosting and WordPress hosting. You get to choose the data center where your website is hosted. There are data centers in the US, Canada, UK, India, Singapore, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Pricing: Starts at $19/month with a 7-day free trial. Annual plans get two months free.
- Personal ($19/month): One site and all 11 pro plugins, 10 GB Smush CDN bandwidth, SEO tools.
- Freelancer ($39/month): Up to 20 sites, and all 11 pro plugins, 100 GB Smush CDN bandwidth, and SEO tools, with advanced features including a white label client portal, teams with up to five users, white label plugins and client reports, with $12/month hosting credit for an additional site for free on dedicated hosting
- Agency ($99/month): Unlimited sites and all 11 pro plugins, 250 GB Smush CDN bandwidth, a white label client portal, teams with unlimited users, white label plugins and client reports, with $12/month hosting credit for an additional site for free on dedicated hosting
- Unlimited 24/7 live support
- Plugins for security, image optimization, speed, and SEO
- Dedicated IP addresses
- Built-in analytics
- Reporting discrepancies in the backend
- Some reps have trouble with resolving speed issues that pop up in Google Speed Insights
If you’re looking to build with WooCommerce, then SiteGround is a great choice. It comes with a one-click installation, so you can get your online store up and running within a matter of minutes.
There’s a staging site available to help you build your site before anything goes public and make changes after the site goes live without affecting the live version.
In addition to WordPress hosting, SiteGround offers shared hosting, cloud hosting, and reseller hosting.
As your business grows, you can scale your hosting without having to migrate your site to another provider.
Pricing: Starts at $10.49/month with a 3-year commitment. Sometimes, the company runs specials that make a 12-month commitment more affordable, with pricing at $3.99/month.
- StartUp ($14.99/month): 1 website with 10 GB storage space, ~10,000 monthly visits, unmetered traffic, free WP Installation and Migrator, WordPress auto updates, free SSL, daily backup, free CDN, free email accounts, enhanced security features, ecommerce functionality, managed WordPress, unlimited databases, out-of-the-box caching
- GrowBIg ($24.99/month): Same as above, except unlimited websites, 20 GB web space, and ~100,000 visits monthly, plus on-demand backup copies, staging, and 30% faster PHP
- GoGeek ($39.99/month): Recommended for ecommerce projects, this plan offers everything in the GrowBig plan plus: 40 GB web space, ~400,000 visits monthly, GitHub, white-label clients, free private DNS, the highest tier of dedicated resources, and priority support.
- World-class support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 99.99% uptime guarantee
- Free daily backups and restores are available on all plans
- Only offers Linux based servers
- One of few web hosts that don’t offer advertising credits to new customers
Hostinger is a web hosting company that began as a free hosting provider in 2007. Over the years, they’ve evolved to offer additional services. They are known for their cheap ecommerce hosting.
Beyond paid shared hosting, Hostinger also offers WordPress hosting with a site builder, a cloud hosting plan, and VPS hosting. One thing that sets them apart is they also offer Minecraft hosting – which is great for gamers.
Pricing: Shared hosting starts at $1.99/month. Clouding hosting plans start at $9.99/month. VPS hosting starts at $2.99/month. Emailing hosting starts at $0.99/month. The lowest prices require a 48-month commitment.
Shared plans include:
- Single ($9.99/month on a month-to-month agreement, plus a $4.99 setup fee): 1 website, 30 GB storage, 100 GB bandwidth, ~10,000 monthly visits, 2 MySQL databases, free SSL, and 1 email address. This plan does not include free domain registration or daily backups, but you’ll get weekly backups.
- Premium ($11.99/month, as above): 100 websites, 100 GB storage, ~25,000 monthly visits, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited databases, free email, free domain, weekly backups, managed WordPress and WordPress acceleration, with GIT access and SSH access.
- Business ($16.99/month, as above): 100 websites, 200 GB storage, ~100,000 monthly visits, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited databases, free email, free domain, daily backups, managed WordPress and WordPress acceleration, Cloudflare CDN, with GIT access and SSH access. You’ll also get access to a WordPress staging environment.
- Affordably priced
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free domain
- Free website builder with Zyro
- No phone support
- Intermittent uptime with shared and WordPress hosting
- Lower tier WordPress hosting plans lack CDN and automatic backups
Dreamhost is another well-known web hosting provider with options for ecommerce businesses. Dreamhost is one of the few web hosts that allow for monthly billing rather than requiring annual commitments.
The monthly billing means that you can cancel your account at any time without penalty. You’ll pay more overall, but it’s great for people who don’t have a budget to invest in a year or more of service at once.
One thing that separates Dreamhost from other ecommerce hosts is the 100% uptime guarantee. If your site goes down at any time, you’ll get a refund for the amount of time it was down.
Pricing: WordPress hosting starts at $1.99/month with promotional pricing (regularly $7.99/month). WooCommerce hosting starts at $12/month with promotional pricing (regularly $19.95/month).
- WordPress Basic Starter ($7.99/month): 1 website with a free domain included on annual plans, unlimited traffic, free automated WordPress migrations, WP website builder, free SSL certificate, add email for as low as $1.67/month.
- WordPress Basic Unlimited ($10.99/month): Same as above, except unlimited websites (only one free domain included) and unlimited email.
- DreamPress ($19.95/month): Built for ~100,000 monthly visitors, unlimited email, 30GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, 1-click staging, on-demand and daily backups, free automated WP migrations, WP website builder
- DreamPress Plus ($29.95/month): Same as above, except it’s built for ~300,000 monthly visitors and comes with 60 GB storage. It also includes Jetpack Professional and unlimited CDN.
- DreamPress Pro ($79.95/month): Same as above, except it’s built for ~1 million+ monthly visitors and comes with 120 GB storage. You’ll also get 24/7 priority WordPress support.
- VPS WordPress Basic: ($15/month): 1 GB RAM, 30 GB storage, unlimited websites, unlimited traffic, free SSL, and unlimited email. You also get reseller and sub-account features.
- VPS WordPress Business: ($30/month): Same as above, except you get 2 GB RAM and 60 GB storage.
- VPS WordPress Professional: ($60/month): Same as above, except you get 4 GB RAM and 120 GB storage.
- VPS WordPress Enterprise: ($120/month): Same as above, except you get 8 GB RAM and 240 GB storage.
- Easy to use dashboard
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free domain name registration with annual plan and above
- 100% uptime guarantee with refunds for any downtime
- Money-back guarantee
- Limited server locations compared to competitors
- Email accounts aren’t included with the starter plan
- No phone support
e-commerce website hosting requirements
If you are a retailer and don’t have an online shop yet, you should consider building one as quick as possible. There are many things to consider when developing an online shop, but there are two very important aspects of a successful eCommerce site: shopping cart and web hosting. Today, in this article I will present you the features you should look at when purchasing web hosting for your eCommerce website:
- An SSL Certificate increases the security and safety of your customers by marking the website safe with a green seal at the link of the website. Practically, a SSL Certificate contains data files of the website that is sent to the browser every time somebody accesses your e-commerce website by activating the https protocol over port 443 and allowing secure connections between the web server that host the website and the customer’s browser so credit card transactions, logins, and other delicate data can be safely An SSL Certificate binds together the domain name, server name or the hostname with the company name and its location so this information are usually showed near the green seal.
- A Dedicated IP is needed for a safe e-commerce website because it gives the website a unique internet address dedicated exclusively to it and it lets you use an SSL Certificate, view the website through its IP address, access the FTP accounts when the domain is unavailable and ensures fast response during high traffic load. A dedicated IP also provides higher stability, access, business identity and it is required by third-party applications and helps you in problems with old browsers incompatibility. With a dedicated IP, you will no longer have problems with sending emails being banned or blacklisted because someone on the shared IP spammed or made another crazy thing.
- A high-performance server with proper resources can really help you boost and maintain your e-commerce website not having any technical difficulties and maintaining your customers happy and very polite. If the web host provides you with a powerful CPU, a well maintained operating system, enough space storage, RAM, bandwidth and also with an SSD instead an HDD to improve speed, even more, you already are on the right way to maximize your revenue. It is also a good idea to have unlimited add-on domains, email accounts, databases, subdomains in case you need them to create other secondary projects around your website.
- Uptime 99.99% is usually guaranteed through a contract, but you need to know for real that your web host uptime is at least 99% and it should have real time statistics regarding their uptime and their server performance. There are different software that can tell you the uptime of a remote or local server depending on the operating system used such as Uptime.exe for Windows servers. Some of this software are online such as the Uptime Robot that send you emails each time your website/ host is down or up again. The software has a powerful dashboard and sends alerts through e-mails, SMS and Twitter, monitoring https, ping, port and keywords and also viewing the uptime, downtime and the response times. It is very frustrating for customers to enter or browse the website but it is unavailable because of the downtime.
- Daily backup with the help of a professional software such as R1Soft or using a simple automatically install script like Softaculous or Fantastico if you use a predefined CMS like WordPress can be created in order to save your website with its text, images, videos, design, databases and other sensitive information like customer accounts and added products. Don’t forget to make a full backup, both the databases and all the FTP content must be saved daily if you have a lot of changes on your website, else you can try making a weekly or a monthly backup for rare changes, but even so there is a possibility for technical issues or hacking problems so you should remain at daily backups.
- Technical support 24/7 should be available on phone, on email both visible on the web host’s website, live chat and ticket system created especially for their clients in case of any technical problems or additional requirements and information needed by you. The support team should be very polite, quick in their answers, precise and clear so you can understand their replies very easy and you can manage the appeared problem or the new information without a headache. Financial problems such as invoices should be resolved by the financial department and not the technical one.
- PCI compliance compatible server is a necessary feature, usually, web hosts offer this one, but they are not configured to do so by default, being the owner of the e-commerce website’s responsibility. If you want to activate the PCI compliance you need to discuss with the support team and you also need to regularly update server software in order to maintain this option available if you have a VPS or a dedicated server. PCI compliance is very useful in the case you accept credit cards online or other financial aspects important for your customers.
- Total control over resources is the best way to manage and maintain your website’s speed and performance. To do this you actually need at least a VPS or a semi-dedicated server if not a full dedicated server that may be too expensive at the beginning for you but sure it’s worth its value, nobody else using resources from the same server you use and you have full control over them using Cpanel and other online software that are able to optimize at maximum the resources you have available.
- Enhanced security can be a real problem if your web host doesn’t offer you the best one! In this case is the possibility that not only hackers can access your website’s passwords and other sensitive data, but also usual users of your website can see private information if the security isn’t improved, updated and enhanced by multiple software installed on the web host’s server. Security is the key of credit cards and other online transactions through a website.
- A cloud backup can help you even more than the daily backup because your website is fully saved on another location accessible by everyone in case of your website’s host is down. CloudFlare offers this kind of services saving your entire website in a cloud and maximizing speed and other technical aspects of the website including security and protection.
In addition to a great web host and shopping cart system, you also need a great web design, good SEO and high quality product images. Depending on the amount of products you are going to have in your online shop, here are some recommendations of great web hosting providers: