Are you ready to start building your brand new ecommerce website? You have a wide selection of platforms to choose from, but one of the most reliable is WooCommerce. This is an open source plugin that works with WordPress, and it requires an ecommerce hosting account to store all your files and secure your website.
Hosting is also required for solutions like Magento and any other opensource system, so it's nice to know which of the hosting platforms are best for building and scaling up your online store. Hundreds of hosts are available for you to play around with, so keep reading to learn about the best solutions for you.
Ecommerce Hosting: Ease of Use
The Bluehost interface is one of the easiest you can find on the market. When it comes to making an ecommerce shop on WordPress, Bluehost provides a wonderful one click installation for WordPress. Not only that, but it has a plan that's specifically made for integrating WooCommerce onto your WordPress site. The Bluehost ecommerce hosting backend is easy to move around in, so you can manage email accounts for keeping in contact with your customers, and all the databases are right on the dashboard. The CPanel offers some quick buttons for creating subdomains and domains, which is wonderful for expanding upon your ecommerce empire and making other websites that may help you along the way.
The WPEngine hosting platform is built for WordPress, so even beginners can get setup on the content management system. You need to install the WooCommerce plugin by yourself, but WPEngine has partnered with WooCommerce to offer a wide range of documentation options and features that are built to make your ecommerce site run smoothly from the backend.
SiteGround has a WordPress one click installation button as well. We think that the SiteGround dashboard is one of the easiest to work with, but choosing an option can seem a little confusing. However this is all about getting up and running with WooCommerce, so we would argue that it's the best, if not the best in terms of the WooCommerce integration. It's actually similar to how Bluehost works in that you can launch your WordPress and WooCommerce website within just a few minutes. It only takes a click of the button, and once you get to the dashboard you can handle domains, templates and subdomains without any problems.
Pagely uses Amazon Web Services to make it easy to scale up your ecommerce website. It's meant to work perfectly with WordPress, as you can install quickly on WordPress. The only problem is that you need to get the Professional plan for it to work effectively for a WooCommerce website. The main reason this is the case is because Pagely assumes you want to scale up quickly, but in general they only offer solid support for WooCommerce with that plan. This is one of the easiest platforms for enabling a DNS, which is solid for making your site run quickly. In addition, you shouldn't have any problems working with the CPanel since tools and buttons for handling files uploads, domains and emails are all organized nicely.
The FlyWheel backend is super simple to manage, however WooCommerce is a little more complex. In terms of integrating with WooCommerce, the platform works perfectly, but getting it all setup still requires you to let the company know that you have the plugin. Why is this the case? Because the company wants to exclude certain WooCommerce pages from the cache to ensure that you get the best performance possible. Overall, you can scale up quite well with your ecommerce site, but you may find the setup process a bit tedious.
Ecommerce Hosting: Pricing
It's worth mentioning that most of the ecommerce hosting platforms talked about below have enterprise plans that we will not cover here. In general, you have to contact the company in order to receive custom pricing for this enterprise hosting. We're going to focus on the smaller shared and managed hosting plans that are best for implementing your WooCommerce site within minutes.
- Basic – $3.49 per month
- Plus – $5.49 per month
- Business Pro – $13.49 per month
- Personal – $29 per month
- Professional – $99 per month
- Business – $249 per month
- Startup – $3.95 per month
- GrowBig – $7.95 per month
- GoGeek – $14.95 per month
- Business – $64 per month
- Professional – $149 per month
- VPS 1 – $399 per month
- VPS 2 – $799 per month
- VPS 3 – $999 per month
- VPS 4 – $1799 per month
- Tiny – $15 per month
- Personal – $30 per month
- Professional – $75 per month
Ecommerce Hosting: Customer Support
Bluehost offers live chat, phone and email support, and the wait lines are usually manageable. I tend to have problems with the chat module, but you can always turn to the extensive knowledge base if anything goes wrong. Send in a ticket if you have your own problem, or complete your own research in the various documents they have available. I wouldn't say it's the best support team on this list, but it's close.
Support is offered 24/7 through phone or email, but you won't have any access to a live chat area. You can also connect via social media or consider going through the award winning knowledge base. Although the company lacks a chat box, we would argue that WPEngine has the most friendly and helpful support team in the industry.
SiteGround support provides help through the phone, live chat and email. Submit your ticket or go through the knowledge base to solve your own problems. Connecting with them on social media isn't that bad, but I would recommend going through the knowledge base first, then trying for a live chat if that doesn't work out.
Pagely provides a support desk that is open 24/7. It's not the easiest of the bunch to work with, but the company has a Live System Status monitor for checking how the servers are holding up. This makes it standout in terms of support. I would recommend creating a ticket when getting started with Pagely support, since the knowledge base isn't as powerful.
When contacting support for Pagely you can look through the help articles, use the live chat, send in an email or call the support team. This is one of the more personable teams, so you shouldn't have any problems with them. We also enjoy that you gain access to a wide range of resources such as eBooks, videos and a fun creative toolbox.
Ecommerce Hosting: Security
The first part of security that comes to mind is with backups. With Bluehost, you don't have to worry much about whether you lose information during a crash, since the company makes daily, weekly and monthly backups for your information. Although the Bluehost servers are super secure for shared hosting, you'll notice that you generally have to upgrade to a higher plan in order to gain the Site Backup Pro service, which is a more advanced way of ensuring that your content is kept intact.
Domain privacy is offered to keep your information anonymous from hackers and spammers, and the spam protection is great for keeping out harmful or unwanted messages through your email addresses. Ecommerce websites are going to need SSL certificates, so this is an option when you go through Bluehost. It encrypts data that flows through your website so that people trust you with their information. Along with unique IPs and Sitelock security, you really can't go wrong with security on Bluehost. The only problem is that you have to upgrade as you scale up.
We like WPEngine in the security category, because the company provides a more personalized approach to potential problems. Not to mention, it focuses most of its security on the WordPress platform, which is not going to be the case with companies like Bluehost. Whenever a minor patch is released or a new WordPress version comes out, WPEngine completes the upgrades for you. This closes holes in your infrastructure and keeps out the bad guys. They also have real-time threat detection, keeping an eye on the health of your site at all times. The enterprise grade infrastructure is used by Fortune 500 companies, and the Enterprise plans use dedicated servers so you don't have to share with others.
Along with security audits, code reviews and a guarantee that WPEngine will fix your site if it gets hacked, we would put this ecommerce hosting provider as the number one spot in terms of security.
Some of the higher ecommerce WordPress plans have SSL security and PCI compliance. An anti-hack and anti-spam system is included with all plans. The company closely monitors the servers for any security risks, and often fixes the problems before you know anything happened. The security is solid with SiteGround, but it's a pain that you have to upgrade to some of the higher plans in order to gain SSL security and PCI compliance.
Since Pagely is another one of those hosts that put most of the focus on WordPress, it's nice to know that the security measures are built just for that platform. They use a system called PressArmor, which hardens the network and hardware to prevent any attacks. Key based access and two-factor authentication is required for protecting ecommerce sites, and the plugin patching and malware scanning is always running. What's more? If you get hacked, Pagely will fix your site for free. Not to mention, all plans get an SSL.
Security with FlyWheel starts with the fact that some plugins are not allowed through the platform. This is because lots of plugins can open up security holes for hackers. A hacked site gets fixed for free, and since the company completes all security at the server level, you don't have to install any security plugins. Password enforcement is strong, and the limited login attempts means that hackers are going to have a tough time. Along with automated backups, Sucuri scanning and intelligent IP blocking, you can't go wrong with FlyWheel security.
Ecommerce Hosting: Speed
Most small to midsized ecommerce websites can work on shared hosting through Bluehost. You get unmetered bandwidth for all plans, and a global CDN with the Plus and Business Plus plans. You can even upgrade to High Performance with the Business Plus plan. If you're really looking for blazing speed, and your visitor counts are increasing drastically, consider VPS hosting, which uses up to 4 CPU cores to handle tons of traffic.
Finally, the most popular websites in the world are going to need dedicated hosting to keep up their speeds. This uses incredible CPUs, going all the way up to 4 x 3.3 GHz. You can't get much faster than that.
WPEngine is known for serving up websites really fast, which is a must have for online shops that expect traffic surges throughout the year. The dedicated hardware spreads out web requests and database queries to ensure that your pages are coming up quickly. The best part is that they use a WordPress-specific Evercache system, which is known to present pages in 150 milliseconds. Compared to Bluehost, you gain better speeds from the start, which is nice for small companies who plan to scale quickly. Bluehost has the speeds as well, but you may have to upgrade along the way.
When you opt for the SiteGround WordPress hosting it gives you state-of-the-art WordPress performance, meaning that you have access to a one-click caching tool, which is ideal for improving your page speeds. Not to mention, the majority of the WordPress plans have free CDNs, which is something you can't find in any of the other hosts on this page. We like SiteGround because it focuses on simplifying speed for you, yet they don't skimp on quality.
Pagely uses Amazon Web Services, which is known to offer fast speeds. A CDN is provided with all plans, which is wonderful for quickly delivering your content to all parts of the world. When you get to some of the VPS plans, you start to gain tons of RAM and space, which is going to support all of your products and media elements. The only problem is that these plans are expensive.
No configuration is required to get blazing fast speeds with FlyWheel. You can add a CDN for a small fee or get it for free when going with the Professional plan. Caching plugins are not required, since it's all done on the server level, and they even have specialty dynamic caching for ecommerce sites, since these types of platforms are usually more difficult to cache.
If you're mainly interested in low price and great value, go straight to Bluehost. If you're looking for the best support team, go with Bluehost, FlyWheel, or WP Engine. In terms of features and ease of use for your ecommerce website, we like solutions with one click installs and support for WooCommerce. Therefore, Bluehost, WP Engine and SiteGround standout. If you have any questions about implementing or choosing an ecommerce hosting provider for your online shop, drop us a line in the comments below.
header image courtesy of Peter Vdovin