Finding a perfect host for an eCommerce site is even much more difficult because your host ultimately determines the success of your online store. Your host determines how fast your website will load and its overall uptime.
Most site owners would be eager to jump into the most affordable host they spot. For an eCommerce site, though, you have to consider several factors to avoid making the wrong choice. Below we discuss how to find the right provider, why finding the right provider is important, and the best eCommerce hosting providers.
In a glance here are our best picks:
- A2 Hosting
Major considerations for an eCommerce hosting
Speed is everything when it comes to hosting an eCommerce site. Statistics show that most site visitors will leave your site if it takes too much to load. They’ll prefer moving to a site that loads faster rather than waiting for your site to load when shopping online.
Statistics also show that customers also likely to come back and shop from your site if they get a good experience. In addition, speed contributes to SEO, and we can’t stress how much ranking higher than your competitor means in eCommerce.
More than a hosting provider
For personal and other small businesses, the hosting service from the provider is enough. However, for an eCommerce site, things are different. You need a provider that not only offers hosting but also other extra features such as 24/7 customer support and top-notch security. In other words, you need a partner that you can rely on when you have issues with your site.
Room for growth
The right provider for your eCommerce should be able to offer all the services you need without making it appear you have no control over the site. Don’t settle for a provider that will take away control of your site because the online store belongs to you.
Every eCommerce site owner hopes their site will grow in the future and get more traffic. As such, you have to consider a scenario where you need to change plans or providers. Your provider should give you the freedom and room for growth i.e. switching providers or moving to advanced plans anytime you want.
The Best eCommerce Hosting
Here is a detailed discussion of the top hosting providers. Each comes with varying features and strengths but ultimately excels in eCommerce hosting.
1. A2 Hosting
A2 comes out as the best overall hosting provider and deservedly so, seeing what the company offers. The company offers several eCommerce hosting solutions that support platforms like WooCommerce and Magento. A2 hosting’s specific eCommerce features include free SLL certificates, automatic backups & server rewind functionality [limited to some plans], 1-click set-ups, and a dual firewall system.
We like that the company allows users to access the server rewind functionality feature from the cPanel. A2 also has a knowledgeable and very responsive customer support team, The Guru Team. The company has great speeds & fast loading times owing to its Turbo servers and SSD storage.
A2 hosting also comes with some of the best security features in the hosting landscape, like HackScan protection. Although there isn’t much variation in their offerings, the plans are good enough for small and even medium-sized eCommerce sites.
Uptime is also good (99.95%), but we feel that it’s just not enough considering other competitor providers have as an uptime guarantee of up to 99.99%. However, what A2 lacks in uptime, it makes up for it in other aspects.
Over the years, SiteGround has proven to be one of the best hosting companies in the world. It comes as no surprise the company takes a spot on our list. It packs the best eCommerce hosting features and much more.
SiteGround uses PCI compliant servers on some of its plans and features the SuperCacher technology that explains its fast loading times. Other features include auto-install of eCommerce apps, web application firewalls, daily backups, and free let’s encrypt certificates.
The provider has custom hosting for major eCommerce platforms, including WooCommerce and PrestaShop. The customer support team is reliable and highly knowledgeable. Their responses are also timely. SiteGround also offers a number of security features for their plans, such as advanced spam protection.
SiteGround has an uptime guarantee of 99.98%, which is more than A2 but lower than HostGator. Still, the uptime is enough, considering you’ll only experience a downtime of about 1 hour and 45 minutes in a whole year. Under 2 hours downtime in a year is acceptable for an eCommerce site.
The company employs an eCommerce optimized server for its eCommerce plans. Speeds are great on account of multiple servers spread across three continents. On the downside, the plans aren’t very scalable, but eCommerce performance is good nonetheless. You get a 30-day money-back guarantee when you first sign up with the provider.
If you’re looking for a host with the best eCommerce scalability, look no further than InMotion. The company features PCI compliant servers, 1-click installation for eCommerce apps, and supports multiple payment methods. Other features include a dedicated IP address for plans above shared hosting, automatic backups, and support for several eCommerce platforms.
InMotion plans have budget-friendly pricing as well. At the price point of its plan, you can hardly find a better alternative than InMotion when it comes to eCommerce plans. The plans, particularly shared plan, is ideal for small online stores. Once your site starts having more traffic, you can upgrade to the VPS plan.
We like that the company throws in features like unlimited web space and free domains on their lower shared hosting plans. Speeds are decent as the company uses SSD storage drives. You also get free advertising credit upon signing up with InMotion to promote your store on search engines.
Customer support is reliable – the support team is knowledgeable and available all around the clock. Security-wise, InMotion does fairly well. The provider employs the necessary security measures such as malware protection and offers a free SSL certificate.
Bluehost’s main selling point is the high uptime score. The company has an uptime of 99.98%: it only gets a little better than this. Their best eCommerce features include a dedicated WooCommerce hosting plan, automatic backups, and domain privacy on some plans. The mid-tier plans come with a decent set of features, making them perfect for budding online stores.
The shared hosting plans come with unlimited SSD storage, bandwidth, and domain, which is a rarity in the hosting world. Bluehost is recommended by WordPress when it comes to hosting WP sites, which speaks volumes of the company’s credibility. 1-click installations are a breeze.
The WooCommerce plan features 100GB SSD storage, a free 2-hour call with WooCommerce experts to help you set-up your store. There are multiple ways to reach customer support, including a 24/7 phone support option.
Bluehost gives you a free SSL certificate and other security features like Spam Assassin Protection. You can also buy a premium SSL certificate, and SiteLock Find to enhance your site’s security. The provider has a 30-day money-back guarantee for risk-free testing.
Of all the hosting companies we reviewed, none has better uptime than HostGator. The US-based provider has an uptime guarantee of 99.99%, which is as good as it gets. At this uptime score, your site will have a downtime of less than an hour in a year.
Some of the eCommerce features that stand out include 1-click installation for eCommerce apps, shopping carts, and payment gateways. Plans come with unlimited email & FTP accounts, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain for the first year.
Customer support is great, and live chat is available 24/7. You can also use telephone support or look up for solutions in the knowledge base. Bluehost offers a free SSL certificate, flood protection against DDoS attacks, and all around the clock server monitoring. Some plans also come with private SSL for enhanced security.
HostGator comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee [with some conditions], which is longer than the industry standard 30-days.
Hosted eCommerce platforms
If you don’t have an online store yet but intend to build one, you can alternatively skip creating the site phase and go for a hosted eCommerce platform. This way, you don’t have to worry about finding the right hosting provider.
With hosted eCommerce, the platform hosts the store for you. It is much like a combination of a hosting provider and a website builder. These platforms are easier to deal with and save you the time you’d otherwise spend on creating a site and looking for a host. They are ideal for beginners.
The best overall eCommerce platform is Shopify. Other options include Wix eCommerce and BigCommerce.
There’s no right or best choice in hosting. Your hosting provider choice depends on your site’s needs and budget. That said, you can’t go wrong with any of the above choices. If your priority is uptime, HostGator is your best bet. On the other hand, if you want an all-around eCommerce hosting provider, A2 will meet your needs.