Best Website Hosting for Online Store [8 Hosts Compared]

Placeholder Best Website Hosting for Online Store [8 Hosts Compared]

Choosing the best eCommerce hosting site for your online store is not as hard as predicting when the COVID-19 pandemic will end.

You’ll have to work at it for ages as there is a seemingly endless array of eCommerce hosting platforms to choose from, each providing an extensive lineup of services.

However, when it comes to selling online, you have to be pickier than usual, as you’ll want features specific to your e-commerce needs. And, unfortunately, that’s not what every regular hosting company can offer out of the box.

First and foremost, you definitely don’t need shared hosting. It is too risky, and a decent eCommerce host is more robust and secure than a regular one.

So, how do you find the perfect eCommerce website hosting platform for your online business?

You can try and run your online store on various eCommerce hosting plans, but this somewhat mysterious hit-or-miss technique really should not be trusted. It can end up being a waste of time and totally counter-productive. Plus, the money spent on these “experiments” as opposed to a sure thing will never ever be recouped.

To make the path a little clearer, some of the best web hosting providers for small eCommerce businesses and compared them in terms of security, reliability, performance, scalability, and pricing.

I’ve also outlined the pros, cons, and extra features that are offered by each eCommerce hosting solution and articulated the value they could potentially bring to your online business.

Table of Contents:

I. Best Website Hosting Providers For Online Stores

II. What Ecommerce Web Hosting Is And You Need It

I. Best Website Hosting Providers For Online Stores [Comparison Chart]

The following table compares advanced SSD VPS hosting for e-commerce, which is a one-step-up from a shared one.

 
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
A2 best ecommerce hosting
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
HostGator ecommerce hosting
CDN
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
No
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
Yes
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
No
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
Yes
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
Yes
A2 best ecommerce hosting
Yes
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
Yes
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
Yes
Memory
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
4-8 GB RAM
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
4-10 GB RAM
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
4-8 GB RAM
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
2-8 GB RAM
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
1-16 GB DDR4 RAM
A2 best ecommerce hosting
4-8 GB RAM
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
10 GB – 1TB
HostGator ecommerce hosting
2-8 DDR4 RAM
SSD (Disc space storage)
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
75-260 GB
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
up to 120 GB
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
up to 120 GB
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
up to 120 GB
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
25-320 GB
A2 best ecommerce hosting
up to 150 GB
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
up to 400 GB
HostGator ecommerce hosting
Up to 240 GB
SSL
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
yes
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
A2 best ecommerce hosting
yes
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
yes
HostGator ecommerce hosting
yes
24/7 support
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
yes
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
A2 best ecommerce hosting
yes
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
yes
HostGator ecommerce hosting
yes
Dedicated IP
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
yes, free
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
yes, free
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
yes
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
yes, free
A2 best ecommerce hosting
yes
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
yes
HostGator ecommerce hosting
yes
PCI-compliance
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
no
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
no
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
yes
A2 best ecommerce hosting
no
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
no
HostGator ecommerce hosting
no
eCommerce solutions
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
Supports multiple eCommerce platforms like Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, WooCommerce
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
Officially recommended by WordPress
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
Supports AgoraCart, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, TomatoCart shopping carts
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
Made for WordPress and WooCommerce
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
Works with X-Cart and any other self-hosted platform
A2 best ecommerce hosting
Supports such platforms as PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento, and WooCommerce.
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
Supports WordPress only
HostGator ecommerce hosting
Supports Magento, PrestaShop, ZenCart and others
Auto backups
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
Yes, every 24-36 hours
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
Daily backups
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
Up to 5 backups per day
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
Daily backups
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
Daily backups
A2 best ecommerce hosting
Regular backups
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
Automated backups
HostGator ecommerce hosting
Automated backups
Bonus features
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
– discounts for new users
– 90 days money-back guarantee;
– WordPress services;
– referral program;
– free promo coupons;
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
– significant discounts for new customers on holidays

– ability to test your website before going live
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
– runs sales all the time,
– free domain name for one year
– $50 to $100 of Google Ads
– valuable services
– 1GB free cloud space.
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
– free SSL
– updates on the websites they host
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
– free X-Cart license
– X-Cart software, addons, & templates are installed for free
– included 24/7 X-Cart software support
– free yearly SEO audit
A2 best ecommerce hosting
– money-back guarantee.
– referral/affiliate program
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
– ecosystem of partners and developers
– an easy to use staging area
HostGator best ecommerce hosting
– many services
– high-capacity SSDs
– affordable pricing
Price
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
from $34,99/mo
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
from €64/mo
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
from €24,99/mo
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
from $26,70/mo
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
from $27,95/mo
A2 best ecommerce hosting
from $32,99/mo
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
from $35/mo
HostGator ecommerce hosting
from $19.95/mo
Credit score
Inmotion best ecommerce hosting sites
7/10
SiteGround best ecommerce hosting sites
7/10
iPage best ecommerce hosting sites
5/10
Bluehost best ecommerce hosting site
6/10
X-Cart best ecommerce hosting sites
9/10
A2 best ecommerce hosting
8/10
WP Engine best ecommerce hosting
4/10
HostGator ecommerce hosting
6/10

Best eCommerce Hosting Sites as of July 2020

X-Cart eCommerce Website Hosting

Placeholder X-Cart eCommerce Website Hosting

X-Cart eCommerce hosting is the best eCommerce hosting for small businesses. It is built specifically for those looking to speed up their eCommerce stores and ensure that their businesses are 100% safe and secure.

For a moderate price, you get nifty features like daily data backups, SPAM filtering, a dedicated IP address, uptime guarantee, coupled with improved performance and security.

The best price tag you get is when you subscribe to any of the two high-volume hosting plans.

Starting Price: $27.95/mo, $335/yr
CDN: Free Cloudflare CDN
SSD: Up to 320 GB
Memory: 1-16 DDR4 RAM
24/7 Support: Yes, via email, chat, phone, and ticket system. Lucky ones get access to our Slack account.

X-Cart Ecommerce Web Hosting Pros

  • High Performance. The most prominent benefit you get with X-Cart hosting is speed. Our hosting is a high-performance option that’s loved by both internet users and search engines alike. X-Cart’s up-to-date dedicated servers with SSD disks that support RAID provide increased performance. Since Google included website speed as a ranking signal in its search algorithms, hosting your online store with us is also good for SEO.
  • Efficiency. Managed eCommerce web hosting from X-Cart is quite cost-effective, compared to InMotion, SiteGround, and other hosting solutions. You can pay tens of thousands of dollars for other enterprise-level solutions, but why?
  • Huge network of servers. X-Cart has a behemoth network of servers (via Cloudflare CDN) with lots of data center locations worldwide, making it easier to distribute content and push it physically closer to your visitor. This also adds to your store’s speed results.
  • Round-the-clock (24/7/365) support from X-Cart eCommerce platform developers. Executing high-level custom coding or configurations is just common practice for them. Their response is fast and accurate, and they can even advise you on what SEO strategy you should choose.

Having the hosting company employees being intimate with the workings of the shopping cart not only makes sense — it just makes everything work, brilliantly.

Ben Gasking,
Webmaster at Truly Madly Deeply
  • Definitive tutorials. X-Cart’s extensive and in-depth knowledge base has a sustainable number of tutorials — from migration guides to customization examples — which can teach developers to perform advanced tasks on X-Cart.
  • SSH access comes standard, along with advanced security options such as virus scan, bug removal, daily backups, and SSL certificates that will give you peace of mind knowing that your files are safe. Plus, you’ll never lose track of your changes with GitHub version control.
  • X-Cart promises 99.99% uptime guarantee and delivers it. Even when some custom code is causing issues, they go above and beyond to figure it out and fix it.

What problems it solves

  • Boosts website performance
  • Saves money if you pay annually
  • Helps you avoid server downtime
  • Increases the number of happy customers

X-Cart Web Hosting Cons

  • Learning curve. You’ll have to overcome the initial setup associated with the move to X-Cart hosting. It can be explained by the fact that this hosting is fine-tuned to work with X-Cart in the first place. So if you use any other shopping cart platform, you’ll have to set it up a bit.
  • You need to be tech-savvy to use eCommerce features. X-Cart is an open-source eCommerce platform, and it is made mainly for developers. That said, it can be customized inside and out, so it’s easier if you know a little bit about PHP and CSS.
  • Customer support is available in English only, so if you don’t speak it, you’ll have to find someone else who does (or use Google Translate).

X-Cart Ecommerce Website Hosting — Unique Features

There are quite a number of unique features not offered by other hosting companies:

  • Free X-Cart installation. If you host your store with us, you get your X-Cart shopping software installed for free.
  • Yearly SEO audit. You’ll get a full SEO audit once a year. It will help you keep your store ranking high in search results.
  • Crafted with care. Just like doting parents, we take care of your business even at night and do our best to streamline all of your hosting-related tasks with love and care.
  • 24/7 software support is included with both high-volume hosting plans. We’ll help you set up shipping, taxes, or anything that does not require customization.
  • Quick issue resolution. Our hosting team has got full access both to your eCommerce platform and server environment, which allows them to fix issues in the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Works best with the X-Cart shopping solution. Our hosting is fine-tuned to work with X-Cart, so hosting your X-Cart store with us results in maximum performance.

InMotion eCommerce Web Hosting Site

Placeholder InMotion eCommerce website hosting

InMotion hosting is a one-stop shop for your online needs, as it offers pretty much everything you need for running an online business and lets you stay secure as you go.

InMotion is among the best WordPress hosting solutions for small businesses based in the US and informational websites that do not involve large scale dynamic programming. If you are a newbie in eCommerce and have little understanding of the way ecommerce web hosting providers work, no worries — the InMotion support team is always ready to assist.

If you are a newbie in online business and have pretty little knowledge about how web hosting works, InMotion is a good company as well — its brilliant support team is always ready to assist.

Starting price: $29.99/mo, $360/yr for managed VPS hosting plan
CDN: No. They’ve got multiple data centers, but in the US only.
SSD: Up to 260 GB
Memory: 4-8 GB RAM
24/7 Support: Yes.

InMotion eCommerce Hosting Pros

  • Reasonably good support. According to the reviews, the InMotion web hosting provider boasts an outstanding support team that deals with any doubt or issue within minutes. That’s what truly makes this hosting provider stand out.
  • All the necessary apps and services at your fingertips. InMotion hosting provider has all the major applications and WordPress services all in one place.
  • Smooth UX. Unlike GoDaddy and SiteGround, with a misleading and outdated interface, this hosting service features a smooth user experience and convenient navigation.
  • cPanel. Performing all the necessary server administration functions is familiar as many other hosting providers also use this Linux-based web hosting control panel.
  • Account Management Panel (AMP). For ease of use, there’s an AMP where everyone can quickly buy domains, ask for support, or try to find answers in the Knowledge Base.
  • Hosting Management Center (WHM). Also, there is a WHM that allows you to do just about anything on the hosting side of things.
  • Fast servers & free SSDs. The InMotion hosting company has lightning-fast servers with free SSDs that can boost hosting speed by as much as 20x.

What problems it solves

Custom domain registrationEmail managementImproving page load speedLeveling up security through SSL as part of their hosting servicesAchieving peace of mind with a 99.9% uptime

  • Custom domain registration
  • Email management
  • Improving page load speed
  • Leveling up security through SSL as part of their hosting services
  • Achieving peace of mind with a 99.9% uptime

InMotion eCommerce Hosting Cons

This host has a couple of drawbacks that might seem tiny and insufficient for some internet retailers, but can be totally disastrous for others. So take your time and dig a little deeper.

  • No CDN. The first thing that raises a red flag is that InMotion does not offer CDN. Their data centers are located in the US only, which may be somewhat inconvenient for customers from Asia or Europe, as sites will load slower on their end.
  • Limits to SSL usage. The next concern about InMotion is that if you want to add an extra layer of security through SSL, you’ll be able to purchase it from InMotion. That’s annoying, isn’t it?
  • Long periods of downtime. InMotion does not experience downtime very often, only once or twice a year. But if it happens, it usually lasts for days.
Josen Ruiseco

InMotion doesn’t have system outages very often. Maybe twice per year. But when they do, they are very bad and seem to last for days. Which is unacceptable. I host a LOT of websites and have wanted to leave them for months now.

Josen Ruiseco, Internet Marketer and Web Developer
  • A limited number of support channels. You either spend time on the phone waiting for the reply or send emails (and wait even longer — around two days or more!). Moreover, many customers are used to ticket systems, like the one offered by X-Cart or SiteGround hosting providers, which allow you to see the full correspondence history. Also, sometimes it’s just easier to drop a line or two instead of explaining it on the phone.
  • Limited disk space and bandwidth. Some users also claim that InMotion eCommerce website hosting does not have unlimited disk space and bandwidth facilities, but I can’t say that it’s a negative feature. There’s no need to have unlimited everything if you are running a small or medium online business. Their VPS-3000HA-S plan with 8GB RAM, 260GB storage, and 6TB bandwidth is more than enough even for an enterprise eCommerce business.
  • High price tag. While many people are fully satisfied with the price, some customers find InMotion a bit more expensive than other solutions.
  • Lack of eCommerce options. Though it has many eCommerce features, it is still not ideal for selling online as its web builder is quite basic.

InMotion Ecommerce Host — Unique Features

  • 90- day money-back guarantee
  • WordPress services
  • A referral program to maximize benefits
  • Free promotional coupons such as Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, and Yellow pages business listing
  • Lots of other promotional offers

SiteGround WordPress Web Hosting Service Company

SiteGround-managed WordPress eCommerce hosting is the best choice for small and medium businesses running on WordPress or WooCommerce. It is also one of the three hosting companies recommended by WordPress.

However, if you want to host, say, your Magento or X-Cart eCommerce site, you’ll be offered just a standard shared hosting plan that won’t work for selling online.

SiteGround is perfect for people with basic experience using web hosting tools, as it is relatively easy to launch an eCommerce website with SiteGround even if you do not have any technical background.

Starting Price: €64/mo, €768/yr for Fully-Managed Cloud hosting plan
CDN: Yes, data centers in Europe, US, Singapore
SSD: Up to 120 GB
Memory: 4-10 GB RAM
24/7 Support: Yes, via phone, chat, and ticket system

SiteGround Ecommerce Hosting Pros

  • Speedy. SiteGround’s performance has always been high level. Sites hosted on their Cloud or Dedicated server hosting plans, showed super-high page load times. No wonder: They’ve got data centers worldwide in Europe (Milan and Amsterdam), the US, and Singapore. Plus, their robust SuperCacher tool lets you take advantage of multiple speed optimization technologies such as Varnish Cache and Memcached.
  • Robust analytic tools. In addition to speed boost, you get robust data analysis and reporting tools, where you can get speed insights and other useful analytics.
  • Convenient SiteGround cPanel. Clean design and an easy-to-use Control Panel make server management rather convenient.
  • Lots of features for WordPress. Being a kind of WordPress hosting, SiteGround offers a full stack of features for WordPress — themes, tutorials, 1-click WordPress installs, auto-updates, and the like. There are other features every robust eCommerce host should have, such as email management tools, MySQL databases, FTP accounts, a file manager, free SSL certificates with automatic renewals, and so on. SiteGround offers them all as well.
  • Amazing customer service. Many people are amazed by SiteGround’s customer service. Their knowledgeable and helpful 24/7 tech support team of experts understands WordPress like no other platform out there.
  • Backups. And probably the last small but still vital feature. SiteGround offers free and fast backups that allow you to restore lost data and files in case of an emergency.

Additional resources:
SiteGround’s WordPress Security Optimisation eBook

What problems it solves

People love this eCommerce host because it helps them:

  • Boost page loading speeds on their WordPress websites with minimal cost and effort
  • Forget about site downtimes or server errors

SiteGround WooCommerce Hosting Cons

From a rigid pricing strategy to mediocre UX, SiteGround has a few disadvantages that you should know before you go with this eCommerce hosting.

  • No specials even for SiteGround standing users. Compared to InMotion smothering their users with discounts and sale prices, SiteGround does not have many promos. No discounts are offered even for their steady customers and those who want to pay upfront.
  • Some minor issues with their caching option. The caching of sites is a good option that makes sites load faster for returning customers. But this can sometimes be a bit frustrating when you are working on the backend of a website. You have to log in to the cPanel from time to time to clear the cache before you see the change on the storefront.
  • Poor UI. Navigation and UI of the admin area are not the best compared to its competitors, such as WP Engine or InMotion.
  • Problems upgrading. If you want to upgrade to a different plan, the transition might seem a bit harsh. I’ve discovered many reviews where users complained that it took a week to fix their problems.
  • Limits. SiteGround has limits even if you purchase the Super Power plan.
  • Exaggerated renewal rates. Many users are worried about inflated renewal rates. People sign up for SiteGround because the starting price is rather low, but then, 1-3 years later, after your term is up, the price increases by as much as 400%.

SiteGround Ecommerce Website Hosting — Unique Features

  • The SiteGround team is just like having strict but rational parents. They do not spoil their customers with various promos, but they do offer significant discounts for new customers on special occasions, such as Black Friday or New Year’s Eve.
  • Another unique thing is that their advanced plans have smart features such as the ability to mirror your website. Building a website is way more comfortable if you can test various layouts and significant changes before updating them on the live site.

iPage eCommerce Website Hosting

After I analyzed a bevy of reviews, I got the idea that iPage eCommerce website hosting is for bounty hunters who are looking for discounts and the lowest price tags. If you have just launched your online store and have to survive on a trimmed budget, this provider is right for you.

The price can be as low as $24.99/mo, but you won’t be allowed to create a site with more than six pages.

Starting Price: $24.99/mo, $299/yr for VPS hosting
CDN: No
SSD: Up to 120 GB
Memory: 1-8 GB RAM
24/7 Support: Yes.

iPage Ecommerce Host Pros

  • Affordable. The most prominent advantage of this eCommerce host is, as you can see, its price. Compared to WP Engine or SiteGround, iPage is really cheap. They ask you to pay $19.99 for the initial term of 12, 24, or 36 months. Most VPS hosts offer a fixed amount of bandwidth, and if you exceed it, you have to pay fees. With iPage, you won’t have to worry about random charges or extra transaction fees.
  • You don’t have to pay for support if you don’t need it. Most VPS hosting providers charge a lot for server support and maintenance, which, on the one hand, is convenient, as you do not have to do it yourself. What if you do not need this service? With iPage, you can enjoy the ability of the server to be completely unmanaged. Still, you can call their support team and ask them to address the server issues.
  • Smooth onboarding. The onboarding process is smooth — that’s what many new customers say about iPage. The whole procedure is designed to be rather straightforward — from purchase to setting up the server.
  • eCommerce features. iPage also offers free site building tools and support such e-commerce platforms as AgoraCart, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, and TomatoCart. (They do not support the X-Cart eCommerce platform, though. Hard as they tried, our tech guys simply couldn’t install it on iPage.)

What problems it solves

  • You get cheap hosting with basic features.

iPage Ecommerce Host Cons

  • Poor support. I was surprised to see that every second iPage user was irritated by their customer satisfaction team. Some of them got poor support; others didn’t get it whatsoever. Their support guys are believed to be very inattentive. People spend a long time on hold waiting to ask a single question.
  • Limited eCommerce options. Though iPage offers a free built-in website builder, you won’t be able to create a site with more than six pages. This will work pretty well for single product sellers only.
  • The cheapest plan is the most limited. The basic plan is very limited. There is no SFTP or CDN, limited server resources, no custom cron jobs, no auto backups.
  • Billing problems. Some customers complain about problems analyzing billing information and invoices. iPage encourages its registered customers to check the Billing Central to receive their latest statement. Still, it looks like the reports are poorly-described (sometimes even broken!), and often take more time than necessary to verify.
  • The back office is full of annoying ads. There’s an ever-growing number of promo banners on log-in and an aggressively upselling site builder that moves you up to purchasing services you just do not need.
  • Security issues. If you take a look at the iPage homepage, you’ll see that they care about your site’s security. However, I’ve found the review of an existing customer who was enraged that every iPage domain he owned got hacked simultaneously. What’s worse, iPage refused to admit that they had a security breach.
  • iPage Hosting is good for the US user only. iPage hosting servers won’t work for you if the majority of your customers are based in Europe or Asia, or anywhere else outside the US. As of today, all iPage data centers are located in the United States, which means you may experience constant performance drops and hiccups.

iPage Hosting — Unique Features

There are quite a number of unique features not offered by other hosting companies:

  • Unlike SiteGround, iPage runs sales all the time, so you always have a chance to get a good deal and save another penny.
  • You get a free domain name for one year along with $50 to $100 credit for Google Ads. (However, you’ll have to pay a $15 domain fee if you decide to cancel iPage hosting and keep your domain.)
  • Lots of valuable services, such as marketing tools, at an affordable price, or no cost at all.
  • 1GB of free cloud space.

Bluehost Website Hosting Services

Bluehost is a trustworthy provider of web hosting services, with more than 2 million customers worldwide. They masterfully combine moderate prices with a reliable product, which helps them stay competitive in a world of media overload.

Bluehost has all the essential functionality to run a WordPress blog and start selling online. This is why it is considered to be the best web hosting for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small media companies using WordPress.

Bluehost is rather flexible and will allow you to host multiple websites that don’t require very fast loading times. However, you should know a little bit about the technical side of things — Bluehost is for an experienced user, rather than a beginner.

Starting Price: $26.93/mo, $323/yr for VPS hosting
CDN: Free Cloudflare CDN
SSD: Up to 120 GB
Memory: 4-8 GB RAM
24/7 Support: Yes.

Bluehost Web Hosting Pros

  • Robust caching system. As well as X-Cart host, Bluehost uses the superior content caching system through its integration with Cloudflare. This smart system helps balance your traffic across servers located in different parts of the globe, which protects your site from fraud, improves uptime, and boosts speed.
  • 99.97% uptime. The majority of Bluehost customers are happy about the website’s uptime results. Webshops hosted with this eCommerce web hosting company have an uptime of 99.97% and load relatively fast.
Placeholder BlueHost uptime results
  • Moderate pricing. Bluehost is not free hosting, however, according to the reviews, most users are satisfied with the pricing that is quite moderate. Just for the record, SiteGround managed cloud hosting costs as much as $64/mo. However, they also say that to get the best pricing on hosting, you have to purchase at least three years upfront.
  • Email hosting. Bluehost offers email hosting to help you set up an email through this web hosting provider.
  • 1-Click WordPress Install. Just like SiteGround, Bluehost has a dedicated service for hosting your WordPress blog or site and it offers eCommerce features for such users — through WooCommerce, of course, which is simple and easy to install. However, no other shopping cart platform is supported out of the box, including X-Cart.
  • Round-the-clock support. Bluehost’s support team is a dark-horse candidate as it gets mixed reviews. There’s a LiveChat button on every page of their website, which makes it easy to get help 24/7. The team is somewhat helpful and they quickly troubleshoot issues related to WordPress.
  • Unlimited website hosting. Bluehost has unlimited website space which means you can host as many websites as you like.

What problems it solves

  • Bluehost has all of its services in one place — Bluehost domain registration, web hosting services, and the like. And it even sends reminders when your domain names are up for renewal, which is quite handy.
  • It allows you to set up redirects, email accounts, and easily manage multiple domains from a single cPanel.
  • For advanced users, they offer many plugins and options for customization.
  • One lucky blogger even increased his readership by 30% MoM since he started using Bluehost.

Bluehost Web Hosting Cons

  • Outsourced IT support. The Bluehost tech team has a reputation of ‘outsourced non-specialist support.’ Their phone support typically has extremely long wait times, and many problems are not fixed at all, even if two or three people are assigned to the task. That makes me think that their tech guys have feeble technical knowledge, especially when it comes to complicated matters related to the MySQL database. Even their online chat service takes a while to connect with a rep and get things accomplished.
Craig Sellers

My website went down for weeks at a time, and they always told me that it wasn’t them. So I would pay someone to find out what the problem was, and it was always them. This would happen several times a year.

  • Tech skills needed. You should have at least the minimum technical knowledge to build your WP site from scratch. Bluehost won’t help you do that. For some customers, it takes several days to understand some of the nuances. Plus, there are no good video- or written tutorials to give you a hint and explain some of the details.
  • Cumbersome UI design. The dashboard navigation and the UX may seem confusing for those who are not familiar with web terminology.
  • High migration costs. Moving your site to Bluehost costs as much as $149.99, while most hosting companies offer this feature for free. Bluehost team aren’t ashamed of it, either.
  • Risk getting hacked. Despite multiple security tools that Bluehost’s customers get signing up for this service, many customers still get hacked.
  • Hidden fees. The price sounds like a bargain, but there are, in fact, some hidden fees, so you should carefully study what you are going to buy.

Bluehost Ecommerce Website Host — Unique Features

  • SSL is included in your Bluehost hosting subscription, so you don’t have to buy and set it up separately.
  • Tips on business development. Users receive general updates on the websites they host with Bluehost and information on how to improve their business, which helps them be up-to-date on what is happening. That also means the Bluehost team cares about the progress their customers make as a result of using their product.

Additional Resources:

Bluehost Plans Compared
Bluehost Review 2020: Tested them for 2 years. Here’s what we know.

A2 Hosting Company

Placeholder A2 Hosting Company

A2 is one of the few eCommerce hosting providers with 95% positive reviews. It looks like customers are generally happy and satisfied with it, and it has almost nothing wrong with it.

A2 website and email hosting for small businesses is made for those who are looking for stable hosting services, high speeds, a balance of support, hardware, and value.

Their offerings are sturdy enough for small to medium-sized online stores.

Starting Price: $25/mo, $300/yr for Managed VPS hosting
CDN: Paid Cloudflare CDN
SSD: Up to 150 GB storage
Memory: 4-8 RAM
24/7 Support: Yes.

A2 Ecommerce Web Hosting Pros

  • Attentive support team. A2 Hosting’s guru crew support team is known to be kind and attentive to its users. Most members of their team are very patient, friendly, and knowledgeable. They create a fantastic onboarding experience, providing you with prompt answers. They go the distance to provide a level of support that makes their customers happy.
  • Automatic backups are great if you unintentionally delete your database — it’s easy to restore it in just a couple of minutes.
  • High performance. eCommerce sites hosted with A2 web hosting provider load extremely fast. Users say that their sites load in only 3.6 seconds, which is rather fast.

To my surprise, when I tested it, the site opened in just 3.6 seconds.

Eduardo G.
  • Robust security features. In addition to speed boosters, it offers a decent set of security features. Firewalls and server rewind, accessible right from your cPanel, are among A2 Hosting security features.
  • Default SSH access makes some customers happy (I have no idea why, though).

What problems it solves

  • Get a real American in tech support
  • Get hosting issues worked out
  • Compared to other hosting providers, you can get unlimited domain hosting at the best cost and host more websites
  • Resolve problems of slowness and DNS failures
  • Get emails to work perfectly

A2 Web Hosting Cons

  • Support is not always perfect. A2 Hosting support may be a bit frustrating sometimes. That kind and attentive A2 support team I was talking about in the previous section is not always what the customer needs. One rep’s advice may differ from another’s, plus, you may need an interpreter to help you understand the developer lingo if you are a non-technical person. What is more, the A2 chat is always off if you work at night, or you’re in a different time zone, which is frustrating.
  • Outdated tutorials. Some videos are somewhat outdated and are no longer relevant. It’d be better if they uploaded more information on frequently asked questions and updated their how-to guides.
  • Price is above average. The price for A2 Hosting services is above desired, though it can be justified by the number of services offered in return. If you are not a first-time subscriber, you may notice some differences in pricing, which can be misleading.
  • Security breaches. There is no doubt that this security-wise hosting company has a skeleton in the closet — their WordPress websites get infected with malware on occasion.
  • Service interruptions happen almost every single day. Luckily you can monitor the A2 Hosting status on Twitter or right on their website.

A2 Hosting — Unique Features

  • They have a money-back guarantee, which means that if you don’t find that what you are getting with them far exceeds your existing hosting provider, they’ll refund your money — no questions asked.
  • The best thing about A2 Hosting is its referral/affiliate program, which is the best in rewards.

WP Engine eCommerce Host for WordPress Sites

Placeholder WP Engine eCommerce Host for WordPress sites

WP Engine eCommerce website hosting is somewhat controversial.

On the one hand, it’s a one-stop-shop for everything WordPress. If you are running a blog on this site builder, it will make your hosting management workflow super convenient. These guys provide a top-notch environment for hosting WordPress sites.

On the other hand, there are so many negative reviews on the web (check the one from Matthew Woodward, for example), that picking this hosting solution for your eCommerce business is kind of scary.

Let’s dig a little deeper and see what’s hidden inside.

Starting Price: $25/mo, $300/yr for Managed VPS hosting
CDN: Included
SSD: 10 – 100 GB
Memory: Up to 1,000 GB
24/7 Support: Yes, via phone

WP Engine Ecommerce Website Hosting Pros

  • Made right for WordPress. WordPress users are lucky to have all the necessary features on hand. What’s more, there’s no need to look for hosting, as WP Engine works perfectly with WordPress. And it’s made FOR WordPress ONLY. If you have multiple WordPress installs, WP Engine is an easy place to manage them all. Plus, it frees up your internal IT resources from day-to-day management of the WordPress environment, as 24/7 support is included in all WP Engine plans.
  • High-level automation. Software updates and regular backups are executed automatically, so you do not have to keep these technical things in mind. Image optimization to improve site load speed is also included in the price.
  • Wide variety of tools. WP Engine eCommerce web hosting provider has a great choice of tools from migrating to free SSL certificates.
  • Round the clock customer support that is offered via phone, live chat, and a ticket system, are rather knowledgeable and helpful. They go out of their way to make sure they take ownership of your problems. Plus, there is an extensive knowledge base where you can find answers to your questions all by yourself.
  • This eCommerce web hosting is fast. In addition to the advanced caching system, the WP Engine provides you with a great choice of server locations that you can literally choose when you first set up your account.
Placeholder WP Engine server locations
  • High-level security. Many users claim that there have never been any hacks, breaches, or security issues in the years they’ve been hosting with WP Engine. And that’s true — WP Engine masterfully leverages the right technology stack of servers, programming language, and dev tools to keep the environment less vulnerable to bugs, attacks, or human error.
  • Intuitive interface. The dashboard is intuitive and easy to navigate.

What problems it solves

  • Reduce the time managing WordPress installs
  • Prioritizes the security of your website
  • Keeps yourself from spending unnecessary time troubleshooting issues

WP Engine Ecommerce Website Hosting Cons

  • WP Engine eCommerce website hosting is really and truly overpriced. And though their starter plan is on the same level as the other eCommerce hosting providers (around $25/mo), the next level is already almost $100, which is annoying. It would be good to see something in between. According to the reviews, they’ve changed these pricing tiers not long ago. Unsurprisingly, the lower-priced plan includes the basic features only.

Company forced an approximately 25% increase on the basic annual plan this year. They introduced a couple of small additional functions applicable to only users that require multiple websites in an effort to justify it. All plans forced to upgrade to new plans. Price gouging at its finest.

Cody Madi
  • Regular outages. Lots of WP Engine sites experience outages from time to time. One of their ex-customers said that his website was offline for seven hours during main business hours. No good.
  • Too many negative reviews. And probably the worst thing about WP Engine is that Google is loaded with negative reviews about this eCommerce host. No need to go very far to find them, below is a screenshot from the very first page of search results.
Placeholder WP Engine reviews
  • WP Engine technology is no longer novel. There is a sea of available alternatives that exceed the offerings of WP Engine in terms of value and price.
  • Long wait getting through to support. Though WP Engine’s customer care team claims to be available 24/7, the actual tech support comes down to just a couple of email exchanges over the span of a day or two.
  • No email hosting and domain registration. WP Engine doesn’t offer free web hosting and domain registration. And it doesn’t offer email hosting at all. This is baffling, as most of the popular hosting providers offer this service. This makes setting up your eCommerce site more inconvenient as you’ll have to register your domain name somewhere like GoDaddy and jump to Zoho Workplace for email hosting.
  • There is a full list of disallowed addons. For example, most caching plugins are not allowed, as WP Engine has a superior custom caching environment. Also, backup plugins are restricted as WP Engine offers in-house automatic backups, which could be beneficial if some handy SEO plugins were not blocked as well.

WP Engine Ecommerce Host — Unique Features

Though WP Engine deems itself the best hosting for the most widely-used eCommerce shopping cart platform, there are very few unique features.

  • They have an ecosystem of partners and developers that expand the value you gain from WP Engine.
  • They offer an easy-to-use staging area, which most hosting services at this price range do not.

HostGator eCommerce Web Hosting

Placeholder Hostgator eCOmmerce website host

HostGator is one of the cheapest eCommerce website hosting providers, as well as the best web hosting for WordPress eCommerce. Throughout its existence, the company has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared hosting options. 

Unlike Hostinger, this eCommerce host offers full root access with fully or semi-managed options.

Starting Price: $19.95/mo, $239/yr
CDN: 23 Cloudflare Data Centers Worldwide
SSD: Up to 240 GB
Memory: 2-8 DDR4 RAM
24/7 Support: Yes.

HostGator eCommerce Web Host Pros

  • Seamless interface. According to the reviews, the HostGator cPanel and dashboard are quite user-friendly and easy to navigate. The dashboard shows the status of all services and it could be a perfect instrument for analytics, if it didn’t log out every now and then, which is rather inconvenient.
  • An above-average performance. HostGator is known to be a bit faster than other hosting providers. However, given that it’s a shared hosting provider, page loading speeds can suddenly slow down at times for no apparent reason. 
  • Moderate pricing. HostGator VPS hosting is a contract-free hosting provider, known for moderate pricing, which makes it quite affordable for small businesses. Conversely, their prices are not always affordable when it comes to additional services or options. Sometimes you have to pay a lot to get a little.
  • Built to work with WordPress. HostGator is automatically integrated with WordPress Cloud, which makes websites load much faster.

What problems it solves

HostGator keeps customers up-to-date on what is going on the hosting side of things.

HostGator eCommerce Website Hosting Cons

  • Poor customer service. If you’re choosing HostGator to host your eCommerce store, be prepared for terrible customer service. They claim to have 24/7 support, but still urge their customers to use their ticket platform that has an estimated response time. It takes quite a while to hear back from them, and even when you eventually get to communicate with one of their team members, be ready for the aggressive upsell.
  • Won’t fully protect you from hackers and spam. You’ll have to purchase an extra layer of security to protect your eCommerce store well enough from hackers. Tools offered by default still leave your site exposed to cyberattacks. Also, if you don’t pay extra, you will constantly receive spam emails through their secure servers.
  • Outages may happen from time to time. The uptime of this website host is okay, however, expect your website to be down for at least a couple of hours if their server happens to be down. 
  • Expect hidden fees. Make sure to read the small print before subscribing to HostGator’s plans. All the prices you see on their pricing page are limited in time and valid for new customers only. Don’t be surprised if the renewed fee will be different from the initial one. Also, if you register a domain through HostGator and decide to cancel your account, you’ll have to pay a fee to retain your domain.
  • Expensive domains. HostGator domains are more expensive than the ones offered by GoDaddy.

HostGator eCommerce Host — Unique Features

  • Many types of services to choose from. HostGator offers a full range of web-related services, such as domain and email account registration. For a fixed price, you can also extend the amount of web server space.
  • High-capacity SSDs. Unlike other eCommerce web hosting services, such as SiteGround, iPage, and Bluehost, HostGator allows you to host as many websites as needed, as the storage is relatively large.
  • Affordable pricing. The pricing for most HostGator plans and services is generally competitive and can often be discounted using promotional codes found online or through emailed newsletters.

Additional resources:
Best Free Web Hosting Services For eCommerce Sites

II. What Ecommerce Web Hosting Is, and Why You Need It to Set Up an Ecommerce Site

To put it simply, eCommerce hosting is essentially a box where all the files of your website live, including your shopping cart, product photos, templates, and more.

Here’s pretty much what an average hosting server looks like.

It’s like a house for your website that has an address — and that address is called a domain name.

  • SaaS eCommerce platforms, such as BigCommerce or Shopify, store all website data on their eCommerce hosting servers, which means you have restricted access to the files on it and can hardly set your rules there.
  • If you choose to use downloadable software like OpenCart or PrestaShop, you’ll have to host your online shop elsewhere.
  • And there’s another category of eCommerce website builders like X-Cart that provide both shopping cart solutions and hosting services.

eCommerce hosting is invisible to your shoppers, but it matters a lot for their experience. Here are the must-have features any robust e-commerce hosting plan should include:

1. Stability

A good eCommerce host is stable. It prevents your site from going down, which, as you can imagine, would be frustrating for your customers.

Even two minutes of unexpected downtime may cost you thousands of dollars, especially if your eCommerce website is down during the holiday season or a major sale period. According to Gremlin, each minute of downtime costs a well-known eCommerce retailer such as Macy’s as much as $11,082.

Placeholder Revenue loss per hour

The downtime for Walmart costs four times as much — they would lose $40,771 per minute.

But none of the above eCommerce online shopping retailers will beat Amazon, which would likely suffer a loss of $220,318 per minute of downtime.

2. Regular backups

What if something unexpectedly goes wrong? We are only human, after all, and everyone makes mistakes.

If you lose some crucial data or your shopping cart gets hacked, having a recent backup may help you fix the problem in just a couple of clicks.

A reliable hosting provider sets up daily or even hourly backups and offers simple restore options to quickly recover the lost data to your store.

They usually keep at least two complete copies of your data, and they often take full copies of the server and store them on separate devices in the data center.

Safety first!

3. 24/7/356 support

Every business owner should have a ‘red button’ to alert the hosting support team in case of an emergency.

What emergency am I talking about? Black hats, for example.

You never know when you will have to fight with hackers sending DDoS attacks to overload your web server. That’s why a good e-commerce host neither sleeps at night nor has holiday breaks.

And just so we’re clear, cheap or free shared hosting plans won’t have those round-the-clock support services.

4. Dedicated IP address

If you care about the performance of your website and want to have a direct connection to your e-commerce site without interference, it’s vital to register a dedicated IP address.

This way, the server won’t have to sort through which website loads first. That also means the load time of your website is not affected.

Plus, you’ll have complete access to your website even if DNS is not set up.

5. PCI-Compliance

If you are planning to sell your products or services online, that means you’ll most likely have to protect your customers’ sensitive data.

For this reason, your hosting provider must keep the connection between a user and a merchant encrypted. You can do it through HTTPS, which prevents hackers from stealing information like sensitive credit card data.

Then, no doubt about it, both your eCommerce platform and hosting should be compliant with the PCI standards.

6. SSL certificates

You’ve seen this green padlock, haven’t you?

Placeholder SSL certificates

It is an extra layer of security that not only encrypts your customers’ data but gives HTTPS pages a massive bump in rankings.

Most online businesses, especially small and medium-size ones, totally ignore Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. You shouldn’t.

Find hosting that offers SSL or can assist setting it up for you.

***

What you see above is just the list of must-have features every robust eCommerce hosting should offer.

Good news — many modern eCommerce web hosting companies offer this list of features.

Bad news is that this makes selecting the right hosting solution for your small businesses even more complicated. Luckily, some hosts find unique ways to stand out.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve made it this far, it means you’ve taken the first step to choosing an eCommerce hosting for your online store.

Now that you know that the most expensive hosting is not always the most robust, and that 24/7 support is worth nothing if you have to hang on the phone for hours to tackle a simple issue, it’s time to grab a spade and dig just a little bit deeper.

Pick a couple of hosting sites that feel right for you. Read the reviews on such sites as PCMagTechRadarHostingFacts, or any other review hub out there. As for me, I prefer using G2.

Then, try to install your eCommerce site and see how fast it is. Drop a line to their support team to find out how helpful they are. Check if the chosen eCommerce hosting provider offers eCommerce features. All that should help you pick the best hosting for your online store.

What is the best eCommerce hosting site for you?

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    Helen Golubeva
    Helen Golubeva
    Storyteller at X-Cart

    Addicted to yoga, interested in philosophy, and totally mad about copywriting. She loves using the power of words to inspire people and help them grow their eCommerce businesses.

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