Best E-Commerce Hosting
E-commerce or electronic commerce is the practice of buying or selling goods over the internet. It wasn’t considered the most reliable of businesses not so long ago but with the successes of names such as Amazon and many other international operators, v has become as common as going and buying goods from your local grocers.
If you are in this business, you probably know how difficult it is to pick out the best e-commerce hosting provider because this choice can be crucial in making or breaking your business. If you have a great service, idea or a product, it is quite easy these days to sell it to the masses because of the number of options available on the market. But not all of these hosting providers are the ideally to suited to your business, and to provide your customers with a great experience, you would need something that is solid and dependable.
In this article we will compare a few providers that are considered to be among the best e-commerce hosting services based on their performance, customer support, safety and the features that they provide. These providers are:
Siteground is an independent company based out of Bulgaria and founded in 2004, but provides its services worldwide. The company has more than 400 employees and 1,900,000 domains and claims to process thousands of chat, ticket and phone call requests per day. Siteground offers to host your websites on the best hardware and the fastest web servers with extremely fast load times.
The company offers a volume discount on hosting, which means that the more the number of accounts you purchase, the higher the discount you get.
Siteground offers 3 e-commerce hosting plans:
- StartUp: Suitable for a website with monthly visits of up to 10,000, the plan costs $3.95 per month (down from $11.95 for a special price) it provides a web space of 10GB, 1 hosted website and 1 level of SuperCacher.
- GrowBig: Suitable for a website with monthly visits of up to 25,000, the plan costs $5.95 per month (down from $19.95 for a special price) it provides a web space of 20GB, an unlimited number of websites, all 3 levels of SuperCacher, and free backup and restore.
- GoGeek: Suitable for a website with monthly visits of up to 100,000, the plan costs $11.95 per month (down from $34.95 for a special price) it provides a web space of 30GB, an unlimited number of websites, all 3 levels of SuperCacher and free backup and restore.
All the plans include unmetered data transfer, free CMS install, free email accounts, unlimited MySQL DB, unlimited sub and parked domains, cPanel and Softaculous, free auto daily backups, proactive updates and patches power and hardware redundancy. All your issues are solved with priority with the GrowBig and GrowGeek plans.
Here are some other exciting features that they offer:
- PostgreSQL and MYSQL 5
- Multiple PHP Versions (7.3, 7.2, 7.1, 7.0 and 5.6)
- Unlimited MySQL DB
- FTP accounts
- MySQL & PostgreSQL databases
- Free SSH and SFTP Access
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
- Great, nearly non-existent downtime
- Great pricing plans, suitable for all businesses
- Responsive and timely customer support
- Great security toolkit that includes free SSL and a great anti-bot AI to block millions of brute-force attacks
Founded in March 2010, WP Engine is trusted across 140 countries and over 85,000 business owners for their support in creating an amazing, world-class digital experience. Based in Austin, Texas, the company has additional offices in San Francisco, London, Brisbane and San Antonio. The company claims that 5% of the internet website visits are based on their platform and is key in moving businesses forward.
WP Engine offers 4 plans:
- Startup: Priced at $35 per month (which is risk-free for 30 days and you save $70 by paying for the entire year), it has all the basics for starting a blog or a small website with monthly visits of up to 25,000. It provides a web space of 10GB, 1 hosted website, 50GB of bandwidth a month and 10GB of local storage.
- Growth: Priced at $115 per month (which is risk-free for 60 days and you save $230 by paying for the entire year), it has all the basics for a growing business with monthly visits of up to 100,000. It provides a web space of 10GB, 5 hosted websites, 200GB of bandwidth a month and 20GB of local storage.
- Scale: Priced at $290 per month (which is risk-free for 60 days and you save $580 by by paying for the entire year), it has a higher capacity and site limits with monthly visits of up to 400,000. It provides a web space of 10GB, 15 hosted websites, 400GB of bandwidth a month and 30GB of local storage.
- Custom: As the name suggests, this is a customizable plan for mission-critical sites, large businesses and delivers the highest performance with the fastest support response and managed onboarding. It can handle millions of visits per month, supports local storage from anywhere between 100GB to 1TB, more than 400GB of bandwidth a month and 25 hosted websites.
The first three plans have available add-ons such as additional sites, content performance, WordPress multisite and GeoTarget. The customized plan has add-ons such as 24/7 ticket support, dedicated dev environments, application performance and customer success management.
Here are some features that WP engine offers:
- Automated SSL certificates
- PHP 7.2 ready
- Global CDN
- Page performance
- Transferable sites
- Genesis framework
- 35+ StudioPress themes
- Imported SSL certificates
- Launch readiness assessment
- SSH gateway
- 24/7 chat support
- Fast and responsive 24/7/365 customer support
- Great hosting features
- Consistently high uptime
- Automated backups in case your website runs into trouble
- 27% faster load times
- Global data centers across the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
Founded in 2001, InMotion is based out of Los Angeles, California and has been a 3-star CNET certified company since 2003. InMotion offers a large bouquet of services that include shared hosting, dedicated servers and even VPS hosting, web design services and site hosting tools. The service is fast and reliable and trusted by millions of customers worldwide. Let’s take a look at InMotion’s pricing plans and features.
InMotion provides two types of e-commerce hosting — SSD shared hosting and SSD VPS hosting. Let’s take a look at these:
SSD shared hosting plans:
- Launch: Starting at $3.99 a month (down from $7.99 at 50% off), the plan offers a free domain, 2 websites, 6 parked domains, 25 sub-domains unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email, marketing tools such as a website builder, free advertising credits, visitor statistics, a security suite and free SSL.
- Power: Starting at $5.99 a month (down from $9.99 at 50% off), the plan offers a free domain, 6 websites, 26 parked domains, 100 sub-domains, unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email, 2x performance with enhanced server resources, marketing tools such as a website builder, free advertising credits, visitor statistics, a security suite and free SSL.
- Pro: Starting at $13.99 a month (down from $15.99 at 12% off), the plan offers a free domain, unlimited websites, parked and sub-domains, unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email, 2x performance with enhanced server resources, marketing tools such as a website builder, free advertising credits, visitor statistics and email on any device, pro-level support security suite and free SSL.
All these plans come with a 90-day guarantee, free data backups, business class hardware, safe application rollback and over 400 free applications.
SSD VPS hosting plans:
- VPS-1000HA-S: Starting at $24.99 a month (down from $44.99 at 44% off) these plans come with 4GB RAM, 75GB storage, 4TB bandwidth, 3 dedicated IP addresses and free SSLs.
- VPS-2000HA-S: Starting at $39.99 a month (down from $84.99 at 52% off) these plans come with 6GB RAM, 150GB storage, 5TB bandwidth, 4 dedicated IP addresses and free SSLs.
- VPS-3000HA-S: Starting at $59.99 a month (down from $154.99 at 61% off) these plans come with 8GB RAM, 260GB storage, 6TB bandwidth, 5 dedicated IP addresses and free SSLs.
All these plans come with availability, resource monitoring dashboard, CPU cores, unlimited email accounts and snapshots.
Other features include:
- CentOS with LAMP stack
- PHP, Ruby, Perl and Python supported
- WP-CLI enabled
- SSH access
- Malware protection
- Easy control panel
- Max speed zones enabled
- MySQL & PostgreSQL Databases
- Unparalleled customer support
- Free SSD drives as standard across plans
- Great security features such as DDoS and hack protection
- Free automatic backups
- Unlimited traffic across plans
Since 2002, Hostgator has been providing plans for all kinds of clients including professionals and beginners. The company dominates about 1% of the internet’s traffic and has around 8 million domains and 7,000 servers under management. The company offers web, reseller, VPS, WordPress and cloud hosting and plans for a website builder as well.
Hostgator has 3 plans on offer. Let’s take a look:
- Hatchling Cloud: Starting at $4.95 a month, this plan offers 1 domain, 2 CPU cores, 2GB RAM, local caching, unlimited sub-domains and unmetered bandwidth and storage.
- Baby Cloud: Starting at $6.57 a month, this plan offers unlimited domains, 4 CPU cores, 4GB RAM, local caching, unlimited sub and parked domains and unmetered bandwidth and storage.
- Business Cloud: Starting at $9.95 a month, this plan offers unlimited domains, 6 CPU cores, 6GB RAM, local caching, dedicated IP, unlimited sub and parked domains and unmetered bandwidth and storage.
Here are some important features that Hostgator offers:
- Data mirroring to ensure safety and redundancy
- Allocate and monitor additional resources easily
- Intuitive dashboard
- Optimal caching configuration
- DDoS protection
- Daily automated backups
- Scalability up to 4x
- Automated bot attacks are blocked
- Protection against identity theft
- Unmetered bandwidth and storage
- Great 24/7 customer support
Features You Need to Consider for an E-Commerce Hosting Plan
While researching for the best web hosting e-commerce provider, you need to be a lot more choosy and not just pick one on the basis of performance, but you also need to see if the provider is offering features that are specific to your e-commerce needs. This is because you have to keep in mind that your site’s uptime is extremely important and you cannot afford it to be down even for a short time.
According to a report published last year, e-commerce giant Amazon lost between $72 million-$99 million in one hour of downtime in terms of sales, just to reinforce how important these factors are. True, the impact may not be as severe for you, but the lesson here is that you should not lose a single dollar because of problems such as these,
While deciding on the best e-commerce builder and hosting service that suits your needs, you should look for these key features:
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or simply called the PCI compliance is applicable to a company of any size that accepts credit card payments. The hosting provider needs to be PCI compliant if they are to accept card payments and process, transmit or store your data. The host should provide multiple layers of security and architecture that combine both physical and virtual security systems.
By physical security, we mean the host should provide networking, server and storage cabinet locks and restricted access to your data. Virtual security would include passwords, authentication and authorization.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are digital certificates that provide encrypted and secure communications between an internet browser and a website. These type of certificates are typically required when the end-user wants to submit sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details over the internet.
These certificates are required because if the data is transferred in a non-encrypted or text format, it can be intercepted compromised, stolen or eavesdropped into and can be used for fraudulent activities or even purchases. Also, the presence of SSL certificates also make a website trustworthy, and online merchants and organizations need to secure their websites using these certificates if they expect their users to part with confidential information and make online payments.
A dedicated IP is assigned solely for your hosting account and websites. Having a dedicated IP means complete access to your website, regardless of where the DNS is set up. This, in turn, means that you can view or edit your website from a browser. It also provides increased security and speed when the traffic load is high.
Having a dedicated IP is also great for the email sender’s reputation because having one would isolate your email from the consequences of abuse. Similarly, it also provides greater security for your customer’s data if you are not going to use a third-party for handling payments.
If your website goes down, it will cost you in profits and you cannot afford that. In case of a failure, you need to get help in a hurry. You would be better off with a provider that provides 24/7 customer support, so help is available whenever you need it.
But at the same time, you should also look at customer forums for reviews to find out which provider provides better service and if there indeed is a waiting period. Also, if they do not have good support staff, having a 24/7 service would be useless.
We looked at 4 e-commerce hosts and found that of these, Siteground and WP Engine stand out the most. Our first contender is Siteground, which has great features such including responsive and timely customer support, a great security toolkit and brilliant uptime. Our second contender, WP Engine offers comprehensive plans and features that even the most hardcore nerds will find satisfying, such as launch readiness assessment, automated backups and faster load times compared to the others. In the end, what matters is what your requirements are and we hope this article has helped you in choosing the best e-commerce hosting provider.