The Best E-commerce Hosting Providers

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Whether you want to launch a fully online store, or sell products through your website to complement your brick-and-mortar business, you will need a web hosting provider that supports e-commerce. E-commerce websites need specific functionality, like shopping carts, payment processing integrations, product displays, and security features to protect customers' payment information. Choosing the right e-commerce hosting provider can be challenging, so we evaluated multiple platforms to give you our recommendations for the most reliable, affordable, and feature-rich hosts for your e-commerce site.

The 15 Best Hosting Providers for E-commerce Websites of 2020

Best-Ecommerce-Hosting-Badge

A2 Hosting

A2-Hosting

A2 Hosting is a customer-focused website hosting provider. Founded in 2002, they have always been among the highest rated providers in the realm of customer satisfaction. With e-commerce hosting options starting at $2.99 per month, this makes them a quality option for your e-commerce business.

A2 offers two e-commerce optimized hosting solutions. The first being OpenCart, starting for as little as $2.99 per month. The second being Magento hosting starting at $9.99 per month. With each of these highly optimized e-commerce hosting solutions, your server will come preinstalled and preconfigured to optimize whichever platform you decide best suits your needs.

Each plan comes with features such as a website builder, unlimited data transfer, anytime money-back guarantee, easy site migration, free SSL certificate, unlimited email addresses, CloudFlare CDN, and more. A2 Hosting is not natively PCI compliant, but it can be attained through the use of a third-party shopping cart API.

In terms of response time, A2 Hosting has recently improved its performance. With their new turbo boost option, three independent companies found their time to first byte to be 118ms. Various independent auditors found their actual uptime comes in at an average of 99.93%. These first-class speeds combined with reliable servers, ensures you won't have to worry about losing customers due to slow load times.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

OpenCart Startup:
$2.99/month

OpenCart Turbo:
$9.99/month

Magento Turbo:
$9.99/month

Full refund within 30-days

Prorated refund for your unused service after 30-days

>OpenCart & Magento optimized hosting
>Preinstalled & preconfigured e-commerce Platforms
>24/7 live customer support
>More features at A2 Hosting

Pros & Cons of A2 Hosting Web Hosting

A2 Hosting offers useful features such as a free CloudFlare CDN, increased speeds with turbo, and SSL certificates. In tandem with their highly optimized OpenCart and Magento hosting options, you are sure to receive quick and secure service for your e-commerce store.

Pros

Cons

>Preinstalled & configured e-commerce platforms
>First-class speeds
>24/7 phone, live chat, & email support

>One site limit with OpenCart Startup Plan
>Not natively PCI compliant

What Customers Are Saying

Website owners praise A2 for their responsive and reliable e-commerce hosting solutions. One happy site owner writes, "I moved to A2 hosting from another host as my Magento site was running too slow and it's the best thing I ever did. The support is really good and the features that come with the hosting are brilliant."

Cloudways

cloudways

Cloudways is a cloud-based web hosting provider. Offering fully managed and pay-as-you-go e-commerce platforms. There is no set monthly price, instead, billing is based upon server usage. Cloudways supports a variety of e-commerce platforms, including Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Prestashop.

With an estimated starting price at $10 per month, Cloudways offers 24/7 customer support, SSL encryption, automated site backups, team management, dedicated firewalls, and real-time monitoring to keep your site and its users safe. Additionally, they offer one-click installs of all their e-commerce supported platforms allowing for a seamless set up of your store.

Cloudways uses advanced cashes and CloudwaysCDN to ensure faster performance and offers free site migration. Cloudways does not natively support PCI compliance because they do not directly own their servers, however, their customer support team will happily help you find ways to achieve PCI compliance if you ask them to.

In the speed category, Cloudways offers an above-average performance. The average WordPress site loads in just 584 ms. This is first-class speed, beating out many of its competitors. Cloudways' uptime averages 99.99% making it one of the most reliable platforms of all web hosting providers.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Starting at $10/month

*Cost is based on usage. The above prices are estimates.

None

>Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, & Prestashop hosting
>One-click e-commerce Installs
>Pay-as-you-go billing
>More features at Cloudways

Pros & Cons of Cloudways Web Hosting

Cloudways' easy one-click installations, paired with its quality server management make it ideal for the less technical e-commerce site owners. Combine that with its impressive speeds and 99.999% uptime guarantee, they have become a major competitor in the e-commerce hosting scene.

Pros

Cons

>Easy e-commerce installations
>Supports all major e-commerce platforms
>Unrivaled reliability

>Not natively PCI compliant
>Restricted server access
>No refund options

What Customers Are Saying

Clients of Cloudways have been raving about this new model of web hosting and all the benefits it offers. A happy customer confirms the improved response times by stating, "I switched to Cloudways Drupal hosting a month ago and server response time of my Drupal website improved drastically. As I am not a very technical person, I found their support in hosting migration very useful."

Dreamhost

DreamHost Logo

Dreamhost is a well-known web hosting provider that offers the best money-back guarantee on the market at 97 days. Their e-commerce hosting starts at $16.95 per month and is a WooCommerrce optimized solution.

With Dreamhost's WooCommerce hosting, titled DreamPress, you can expect to see many crucial features for running your e-commerce site, such as PCI compliant servers. Additional features include having WooCommerce pre-installed and pre-installed SSL certificates. This plan also comes with the Storefront theme preinstalled, one-click staging, and daily backups.

Dreamhost works hard to ensure your site stays up and running with optimum speed. Their powerful web application firewall and the daily backups ensure your store is up and your customer's data is protected.

Dreamhost offers a 100% uptime guarantee, which is a very important feature for any online store. However, according to a third-party audit, Dreamhost's actual uptime comes in at 99.91%. The average response time is around 400 ms, making them one of the fastest providers around.

Customer service options at Dreamhost includes a 24/7 chatbot, limited live chat support, and if they still can't help you, support phone calls are also available during business hours.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

DreamPress:
$16.95/month

DreamPress Plus:
$24.95/month

DreamPress Pro:
$71.95/month

97 days

>WooCommerce optimized hosting
>Pre-installed and configured WooCommerce
>PCI compliant
>More features at Dreamhost

Pros & Cons of Dreamhost Web Hosting

Dreamhost provides one of the most user-friendly and intuitive interfaces for managing your e-commerce store. Their high speeds and flexible hosting packages make them a great option for all e-commerce sites. The pre-installed and configured WooCommerce platform, paired with easy site migration makes DreamPress a good option for the store owner with little to no technical knowledge.

Pros

Cons

>Pre-configured WooCommerce hosting
>Pre-installed SSL certificate
>PCI compliant

>No 24-hour live support

What Customers Are Saying

Dreamhost is certainly popular with its customers. One happy WooCommerce site owner stated, "Spectacular speed, customer service, uptime, reliability, and tech support. The DreamPress package has worked out especially well for me. Had numerous problems with every other host I tried."

FastComet

FastComet

FastComet is a hosting company based out of California. They focus on cloud hosting solutions and strive to provide quick and reliable service to their users. Like many other e-commerce hosting providers, FastComet offers managed Magento, OpenCart, and WooCommerce hosting options.

Starting at $2.95 for their most basic e-commerce plans, they offer a drag-and-drop website builder, daily backups, SSL encryption, SSD storage, Cloudflare CDN, and BitNinja Server Security. FastComet puts a heavy emphasis on security, offering an e-commerce specific web application firewall, malware scans, and DDoS detection and mitigation.

FastComet's e-commerce platforms come fully optimized out of the box, with an additional option for even better performance with RocketBooster. They also offer website monitoring and provide daily optimization reports to improve your store's performance.

Coming in at 99.98% actual uptime, FastComet is a reliable e-commerce provider. A major concern with this company, however, is its response time and load speeds. Averaging 1372 ms, this puts them as one of the slower providers around, but if you take into account the increased security measures it may just be a healthy trade-off.

Customer support is a strong suit of FastComet, offering 24/7 live support via instant chat or phone call.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

FastCloud:
$2.95/month

FastCloud Plus:
$4.45/month

FastCloud Extra:
$5.95/month

45 days

>WooCommerce, OpenCart, & Magento optimized hosting
>99.98% uptime
>BitNinja server security
>More features at FastComet

Pros & Cons of FastComet Web Hosting

FastComet offers one of the most secure e-commerce platforms, with impressive server reliability. This makes FastComet an excellent choice for handling sensitive data. SSL encryption, BitNinja, and server monitoring also add a lot in terms of security and your online store.

Pros

Cons

>WooCommerce, OpenCart, & Magento optimized hosting
>Reliable servers
>24/7 live support

>Not natively PCI compliant
>Less than ideal speeds

What Customers Are Saying

Site owners are very pleased with FastComet's quick and reliable customer service. A happy customer stated, "Each time support is requested, tech is able to resolve it fast and with a clear explanation."

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks was founded in 2006 to provide clean hosting solutions and they have accomplished just that. Included with all of their plans is a 300% green energy match, meaning they replace three times the amount of energy they use with wind credits.

Starting at $2.95 per month, GreenGeeks supports all the most popular e-commerce platforms, including WooCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, and OpenCart. With GreenGeeks, these e-commerce platforms do not come installed out of the box. They are installed afterwards with their one-click installer.

All GreenGeeks packages include a free SSL certificate and a free CDN for increased security and performance. Using custom security rules, auto-updates, and daily backups, GreenGeeks ensures the security of your clients and your e-commerce business. GreenGeeks is also one of the few natively PCI compliant web hosting providers in the industry.

Just because they are energy efficient, this doesn't mean they have sacrificed speed or reliability. With an average load speed of 866 ms and an uptime rating at 99.993%, GreenGeeks is holding their own against the competition.

Customer support at GreenGeeks is available 24/7 through live chat and email. Phone support is available, but only during business hours.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Lite:
$2.95/month

Pro:
$5.95/month

Premium:
$11.95/month

30 days

>300% energy match
>WooCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, & OpenCart hosting
>PCI compliant
>More features at GreenGeeks

Pros & Cons of GreenGeek Web Hosting

GreenGeek provides the cleanest and one of the most energy-efficient web hosting platforms. Not only that, but they also offer some of the best speeds and uptimes in the field. The added optimization of e-commerce hosting goes a long way in ensuring a stable server for your online store.

Pros

Cons

>Environmentally friendly hosting
>Supports major e-commerce platforms
>PCI compliant

>No pre-installed or configured e-commerce platforms

What Customers Are Saying

The eco-focused users of GreenGeek are excited to have great technology, while also maintaining a negative carbon footprint. "Eco Friendly + Technology. What more could you want, right? In addition to offering just about anything I want from a hosting service, they offer more things that I don't even understand and can't even pronounce. I researched a lot of hosting companies before selecting GreenGeeks. They are simple enough for those without much tech-savvy and robust enough for the big players," wrote one satisfied customer.

HostGator

HostGator logo

HostGator offers a Magento optimized hosting plan, but does not specifically optimize for any other e-commerce platforms. You can, however, install any of the WordPress compatible e-commerce platforms via their one-click installer.

The Magento hosting plan starts at $2.75 per month, ranging up to $5.95 for their business plan. Inside these packages, you'll receive unmetered disk space and bandwidth, SSL encryption, instant backups, one-click installs, and $100 ad credits toward Bing and Google. HostGator does not offer any pre-installed or pre-configured e-commerce platforms. But installation is easy thanks to their one-click installs. HostGator's servers are not PCI compliant by default, however, with the tweaking of some settings and the help of their customer service team, it can be done.

HostGator offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee while maintaining an actual uptime of 99.996%, according to an independent audit. This makes them among the best in terms of server reliability. They do fall a bit short in the speed category, averaging speeds of 1200 ms, according to multiple third-party websites.

Whatever HostGator lacks in speed though, they make up for in customer service. HostGator offers full customer support via live chat, telephone, and email 24/7/365. Additionally, they offer a 45-day no contract money-back guarantee, making them in the top five providers in terms of refund policies.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Hatchling Plan:
$$5.95/month

Baby Plan:
$3.95/month

Business Plan:
$5.95/month

45 days

>Magento optimized hosting
>One-click Installs
>$200 ad credits
>More features at HostGator

Pros & Cons of HostGator Web Hosting

HostGator's Magento hosting is a decent option for your e-commerce site with their first-class uptimes, free ad credits, and attainable PCI compliance. The dedicated IP and upgraded SSL encryption are highly regarded features that aren't always offered by most providers.

Pros

Cons

>$100 ad credits
>Magento optimized hosting

>No pre-installed e-commerce platforms

What Customers Are Saying

The ease of use of the HostGator platform receives high praise from customers. One happy client wrote, "I like HostGator. I am new to making websites so I was looking for an easy solution for my business. I went to HostGator because they had an easy website constructor for those who are not web designers like me."

Hostinger

Hostinger

Hostinger's mission is to provide people with the tools they need to build their site for free and attain affordable hosting. When it comes to e-commerce sites, they offer optimized hosting solutions for platforms, such as Magento, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce.

Hostinger's e-commerce optimized hosting options vary in price based on the platform you choose. The starting plan for PrestaShop is $2.89 per month, while the Woo Starter plan is $3.99 per month and the Magento hosting begins at $9.99 per month. With these plans, you use their one-click setup to install your chosen platform. That means it does not come pre-installed and configured.

Hostinger's e-commerce optimization is first class, and in some cases can offer up to three times improved performance. Expect to receive a free domain, SSL certificates, a CloudFlare CDN, and weekly automated backups with the most basic Hostinger e-commerce plans. Additionally, all Hostinger servers are PCI compliant, so your customers' payment information stays secure.

Hostinger offers truly exceptional speeds, ensuring your customers never have to wait. Hostinger servers provide 469 ms response times on average, often even faster than that. The uptime for this affordable solution hovers right around 99.98%, which is among the best on the market.

The customer support available at Hostinger is accessible 24/7. They offer a live chat option and a ticketing system.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

PrestaShop Starter:
$2.89/month

Woo Starter:
$3.99/month

Magento Cloud Startup:
$9.99/month

30 days

>Magento, WooCommerce, & PrestaShop hosting
>One-click installs
>More features at Hostinger

Pros & Cons of Hostinger Web Hosting

These feature-rich plans put Hostinger on the map as a great solution for anyone in the e-commerce marketplace. The one-click installs, highly optimized servers, and the first-class speeds create a service that is perfect for most small businesses.

Pros

Cons

>Highly optimized e-commerce servers
>PCI compliant
>Top-notch speeds

>No pre-installed e-commerce options
>No 24/7 phone support

What Customers Are Saying

Customers applaud Hostinger for their reliability, ease of use, and affordable pricing. A satisfied customer explained, "Hostinger is surely one of the most cost-effective hosting providers when it comes to e-commerce hosting, they pretty much cover all of the basic user needs and are very affordable compared to what you get with other providers."

Hostpapa

HostPapa Logo

Founded in 2002, the focus of Hostpapa is to provide easy-to-use, sustainable web hosting solutions. They accomplish this with the purchase of wind and solar energy that is pumped back into the energy grid to offset their carbon footprint. Hostpapa supports 10 different e-commerce platforms in total, including ZenCart, PrestaShop, and OpenCart to name a few.

The starter package begins at $2.95 per month, which offers a wide range of features. All Hostpapa plans include a free domain, free SSL encryption, CloudFlare CDN, and free one-on-one training to help you get your store off the ground. With Hostpapa, these e-commerce platforms do not come installed out of the box. They will be installed using a one-click installer. Hostpapa provides faster loading of your e-commerce store by optimizing their hosting plans to suit the needs of an online store owner. Additionally, Hostpapa is a certified PCI compliant merchant.

When it comes to uptime, they fall just short of the target. Third-party auditors have found the actual uptime of Hostpapa servers to be 99.8%, just missing their 99.9% goal. The speed at Hostpapa comes in at a 1025 ms average, making them on the lower end of the spectrum.

Hostpapa's support team, PapaSquad, is available to its users 24/7 via phone, email, and fax. Additionally, they provide a large library of video tutorials to help solve any issues that may arise.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

eCommerce Starter:
$2.95/month

eCommerce Business:
$2.73/month

eCommerce Business Pro:
$7.95/month

30 days

>Supports 10 e-commerce platforms
>PCI compliant
>Eco-friendly hosting
>More features at Hostpapa

Pros & Cons of Hostpapa Web Hosting

Providing its users with one of the most affordable, environmentally friendly e-commerce hosting plans on the market, Hostpapa is the right fit for the eco-friendly store owner. Being PCI compliant, offering one-on-one training, and offering a wide variety of e-commerce platforms makes Hostpapa a great option.

Pros

Cons

>Wide variety of e-commerce hosting options
>Affordable eco-friendly hosting
>PCI compliant

>Modest load speeds
>3-year sign-ups for cheapest pricing

What Customers Are Saying

Site owners on the Hostpapa platform enjoy the proactiveness of the PapaSquad support team. "I am so very impressed with the quality and also the personal support I receive from HostPapa. I have never been phoned before to notify me of an issue with my hosting (my fault as well, way over data) until I changed to HostPapa," One user wrote.

InMotion Hosting

inmotion-hosting

While not the cheapest provider in the industry, InMotion offers feature-rich packages and operates out of the first-ever green data center in Los Angeles, making them an excellent option for green hosting. InMotion offers optimized hosting for WooCommerce, Magento, and PrestaShop. Each of which differ quite a bit in terms of price and features.

The basic Prestashop hosting option starts at $5.99 per month. It comes with Prestashop pre-installed, and pre-configured. However, the WooCommerce option does not come pre-installed but can be installed easily via the one-click installer. InMotion's Magento differs quite significantly. It is not a shared hosting plan, it is a VPS hosting solution which starts at $29.99 per month. Magento does not come pre-installed with this plan, it can be added via the command line. Alternatively, for an easier install, Softaculous can be added for $5 per month which will provide a one-click install option.

All InMotion e-commerce solutions are highly optimized for your selected platform while also providing increased security. They offer a free domain, a drag-and-drop website builder, an SSL certificate, a security suite, and a web application firewall with each package. InMotion's shared hosting plans will not meet PCI compliance requirements, you will need to upgrade to a dedicated or VPS e-commerce solution to acquire compliance.

In terms of response times, InMotion averages around 1233 ms for the average website. This is a bit of a concern, as it is certainly on the slow end of hosting speeds. Their 99.9% uptime guarantee offers users peace of mind. According to an independent audit, their actual uptime sits 99.84%, which is not the worst, though not the best either.

The 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support are hugely beneficial to InMotion's operations. Allowing its users first-class support when they are in need. InMotion also prides itself with one of the best return policies in the market, offering a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

WooCommerce Hosting:
$6.99/month

PrestaShop Hosting:
$5.99/month

Magento Hosting:
$29.99/month

90 days

>Magento, WooCommerce, & PrestaShop hosting
>Eco-friendly hostingPlatforms
>One-click e-commerce installs
>More features at InMotion Hosting

Pros & Cons of InMotion Web Hosting

InMotion offers some of the most feature-rich hosting packages around. They offer 24/7 support, free domains, and an easy-to-use website builder. Additionally, they offer a variety of highly optimized e-commerce solutions with first-class security.

Pros

Cons

>Flexible e-commerce solutions
>24/7 live email and phone support
>Green data centers

>Share hosting is not PCI compliant
>Below average speeds

What Customers Are Saying

A long-term customer praises the customer-first mindset of InMotion writing, "I have used InMotion for many years. I'm very happy with the support I've received and I also appreciate the ease of the dashboard and help articles. They put a lot of thought into the customer experience."

Kinsta

Kinsta

Kinsta is an LA-based hosting provider that specializes in managed WordPress hosting. Their platform is easy to use while allowing you to focus on building the perfect e-commerce store and letting them handle all the backend server work. Kinsta only offers WooCommerce optimized hosting, but makes up for the lack of variety with secure and reliable servers.

Kinsta e-commerce plans do not come pre-installed or pre-configured, but do provide a one-click install option for seamless integration. Starting at $30 per month, the Kinsta starter plan offers a scalable solution, with free SSL certificates and free site migrations. Kinsta's auto-scaling technology is designed to handle any unusual surges in site traffic, ensuring your customers experience no delays.

Kinsta takes pride in being WooCommerce experts allowing them to offer top-notch optimization. With this e-commerce solution, they do not compromise security either. Your WooCommerce store will be monitored over 700 times each day, providing security for both you and your customers. Kinsta's servers do not offer PCI compliance by default, however, they have stated it is easily accomplished with a few minor adjustments by the customer support team.

Kinsta's customer support is available 24/7 via a live chat messaging system. They also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren't completely satisfied.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Starter Plan:
$30.00/month

Pro Plan:
$60/month

Business Plan:
$100/month

30 days

>One-click WooCommerce install
>Auto-scaling technology
>More features at Kinsta

Pros & Cons of Kinsta Web Hosting

Kinsta offers one of the most highly regarded WooCommerce solutions. Taking care of all your server-side optimization and security, they allow you to focus on running your business. Security monitoring, auto-scaling technology, and one-click installs are just a few of the ways they can help with your e-commerce store.

Pros

Cons

>Optimized WooCommerce solution
>First-class security
>Ease of use

>Not natively PCI compliant
>No 24/7 phone support

What Customers Are Saying

Site owners praise the e-commerce expertise of Kinsta's team. One user confirms these advantages stating, "After struggling for years with WordPress hosts, we finally found a host that truly understood the unique requirements of a WooCommerce store. Kinsta offers a modern, best in class platform with unrivaled support and service. They have a stack that can be optimized and tuned to make WooCommerce fly. If you're serious about WooCommerce, Kinsta is the right partner."

KnownHost

knownhost

KnownHost is a Pennsylvania-based hosting company that specializes in Linux based hosting. They have a large variety of e-commerce solutions, supporting over 20 different platforms.

Starting at $3.47, the shared web hosting package is specifically designed for e-commerce stores with smaller product portfolios. KnownHost offers one of the cheapest e-commerce optimized solutions for small business owners. However, KnownHost does not offer a PCI compliant platform. You can achieve PCI compliance using KnownHost by upgrading to their VPS hosting plans.

With KnownHost, you receive free SSL certificates, domain privacy, and unlimited bandwidth. The 99.9% uptime guarantee is a great feature. Even better than that, however, KnownHost has a verified uptime of 99.995%.

The KnownHost customer support functions on a 24/7 ticketing system. Making it one of the less responsive technical support solutions out there, but paired with their seemingly endless catalog of guides and tutorials, you will certainly get any issues that arise handled.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Basic Shared Hosting:
$3.47/month

Professional Shared Hosting:
$9.97/month

VPS Hosting:
$28/month

30 days

>Large variety of e-commerce platforms
>Free domain privacy
>Industry leading uptimes
>More features at KnownHost

Pros & Cons of KnownHost Web Hosting

With one of the best uptimes in the industry, as well as free domain privacy, and a large catalog of supported e-commerce platforms, KnownHost is a reliable solution that also offers flexibility.

Pros

Cons

>Affordable e-commerce hosting
>Wide variety of e-commerce hosting options
>Industry leading uptimes

>Shared hosting is not PCI compliant
>Limited customer support options

What Customers Are Saying

KnownHost offers affordable and reliable e-commerce hosting with great customer support. A long-term customer confirms this by writing, "I've been a VPS customer for over 7 years, and can't say enough about the responsiveness and quality of support I get for my e-commerce website. It's the kind of support I wish I could get for everything I buy."

LiquidWeb

LiquidWeb

LiquidWeb was founded in 1997 and has grown into a major hosting provider with a worldwide presence. They offer managed WooCommerce and Magento hosting for your e-commerce store. LiquidWeb does not offer shared hosting solutions, making them a bit more expensive than many other providers.

The basic WooCommerce hosting plan, Starter, is $19 per month, while the smallest Magento hosting option starts at $49 per month. Both of these solutions run on the Nexcess platform, offering first-class optimization and support.

LiquidWeb's e-commerce solutions are not pre-installed out of the box, you will be installing your chosen platform via their easy one-click installer. With LiquidWeb's auto-scaling technologies, your site will expand as your business expands. You can also expect free SSL certificates, access to their user-friendly site management interface, and automated daily backups. LiquidWeb does offer PCI compliant servers, but they take it one step further by offering a PCI compliance scanning service. Their technicians will not only help you create a PCI compliant store but will also scan your site regularly to ensure compliance. This service is an additional $50 per month.

According to their website, LiquidWeb offers 99.999% actual uptimes, with average load speeds of 941 ms. As with most other fully managed providers, LiquidWeb offers superb customer support. They have 24/7 support via phone, live chat, or email.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Starter WooCommerce Hosting:
$19/month

XS Magento Hosting:
$49/month

7 days

>WooCommerce & Magento hosting
>Industry leading uptimes
>PCI compliance service
>More features at LiquidWeb

Pros & Cons of LiquidWeb Web Hosting

Offering fully managed hosting and excellent customer service, LiquidWeb is an excellent choice for your e-commerce store. The unparalleled uptimes, PCI compliance, and trusted e-commerce platforms make this a good hosting service for e-commerce business owners.

Pros

Cons

>Optimized WooCommerce & Magento hosting
>Unrivaled reliability
>PCI compliance service

>No shared plans
>Limited money back guarantee

What Customers Are Saying

Operating at a higher price point, customers expect the best and seem to be receiving it. A happy WooCommerce store owner wrote, "Every other host is trying to win the game. LiquidWeb keeps changing it. Their WooCommerce platform is incredible."

RackSpace

rackspace

Based out of Texas, RackSpace was founded in 1996 and offers arguably the widest range of solutions out of any of these 15 hosting providers. They have a plan for any business of any size, from the newly started e-commerce business to large scale major enterprises. RackSpace optimizes many different e-commerce solutions including SAP Hybris, Oracle Commerce, and Sitecore Experience Commerce.

Rackspace is a scalable solution ensuring you never outgrow your site. RackSpace's team of experts is there to help you with all your e-commerce needs. RackSpace is a PCI compliant solution, and they offer assistance as well as proactive monitoring to mitigate any security threats to your customers' payment information.

RackSpace is one of the few hosting providers offering a 100% uptime guarantee and is committed to maintaining above-average speeds. Customer service at RackSpace is among the best with live chat, phone, and email support available 24/7 to RackSpace clients.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Managed Cloud Hosting:
$80/month

None

>PCI compliance assistance
>100% uptime guarantee
>Retail experts to help every step of the way
>More features at RackSpace

Pros & Cons of RackSpace Web Hosting

RackSpace offers hosting solutions for any user, from large scale enterprise to small scale e-commerce stores. Their outstanding retail-specific support, PCI compliance assistance, and uptime guarantee make them an excellent choice of hosting provider.

Pros

Cons

>Retail experts to assist with your every need
>PCI assistance program
>100% uptime guarantee

>No money-back guarantee
>Higher price point

What Customers Are Saying

RackSpace is known for working with some major online retailers. An executive at ULTA wrote, "Rackspace's agility and speed in implementing solutions made all the difference in their effectiveness in supporting our growth."

SiteGround

SiteGround

SiteGround is known for offering highly optimized WooCommerce hosting solutions, for an affordable price. Starting at $6.99, the basic Managed WooCommerce plan offers a plethora of features. This package includes a pre-installed and pre-configured WooCommerce and the ability to receive payments out of the box.

Additionally, this e-commerce solution includes a free SSL certificate, daily backups, and a free CDN. SiteGround utilizes WooCommerce specific smart caching to ensure quick and secure services to your customer base. SiteGround no longer offers a PCI compliant service. If you wish to achieve PCI compliance via SiteGround, you'll have to do so using a third-party company such as CloudFlare.

SiteGround offers some of the best response times in the industry. Averaging around 400 ms load times, this makes them one of the fastest around. They don't lack in uptime either, as their average uptime hovers around 99.98%, exceeding the industry standard.

The SiteGround team is very confident in their services, offering a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee, and the support team is available 24/7 to all SiteGround users.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

StartUp WooCommerce Hosting:
$6.99/month

GrowBig WooCommerce Hosting:
$9.99/month

GoGeek WooCommerce Hosting:
$14.99/month

30 days

>WooCommerce hosting
>Pre-installed WooCommerce
>First class speeds
>More features at SiteGround

Pros & Cons of SiteGround Web Hosting

Having some of the most affordable WooCommerce hosting on the market, SiteGround hasn't left out any features from their e-commerce hosting solutions. With superb uptimes, SSL encryption, daily backups, and pre-installed WooCommerce, SiteGround hosting is a very reliable solution.

Pros

Cons

>Affordable WooCommerce hosting
>Pre-installed WooCommerce
>First-class speeds

>Not natively PCI compliant

What Customers Are Saying

SiteGround's support team is held in high regard by their customers. One such customer wrote the following after receiving support from a representative, "The specialist was very prompt and fixed the problem very quickly. There seemed to be a problem with my SSL certificate. It was telling everyone that my certificate expired the day before. But, when I researched my account, I found that my SSL was not expired. When I reached out, the specialist fixed it and my site was up and running again within less than 5 minutes."

WP Engine

wp-engine

WP Engine is a hosting provider offering hosting for small businesses, major enterprises, and everything in between. Their specialty, as the name suggests, is managed WordPress solutions. While WP Engine doesn't specifically optimize for any one e-commerce platform, they do support any WordPress compatible e-commerce solutions.

The Startup plan, which is their most basic option, starts at $25 per month. With this package, WordPress will be pre-installed, from which you will install your chosen WP compatible e-commerce platform via one-click installs. WP Engine utilizes proprietary caching technology to provide impressive speeds and a scalable hosting solution for your store. This package offers a fully managed security solution, so you can rest easy knowing your client's data is secure. Additionally, WP Engine offers full PCI compliance by default, making obtaining your certificate a breeze.

WP Engine maintains very consistent and fast speeds. The average load time of a WordPress site is just 400 ms. This speed beats out almost all other hosting providers. From 2018-2019, WP Engine maintained an uptime of 99.98%, making them one of the most reliable solutions in the business.

This hosting provider also maintains high-quality customer support. With 24/7 customer support and a 60-day money-back guarantee, it's easy to see why customers are satisfied with WP Engine.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

StartUp Plan:
$25/month

Growth Plan:
$95/month

60 days

>One-click e-commerce platform installs
>PCI compliant
>More features at WP Engine

Pros & Cons of WP Engine Web Hosting

Having great customer support coupled with the easy one-click installs, WP Engine is an excellent choice for power users and new site owners alike. Being one of the few hosting providers that offer PCI compliant servers by default makes them a wise choice for the online retailer.

Pros

Cons

>PCI compliant by default
>One-click installs
>First class speeds

>Not specifically optimized for any e-commerce platform

What Customers Are Saying

WP Engines users are thrilled by their specialization in WordPress, allowing them to offer better optimization and customer support. A satisfied customer had this say, "I'm a big fan of WP Engine because of their focus on WordPress. This has allowed them to tailor their support and hosting features purely towards WordPress."

E-commerce Applications

ecommerce applications

E-commerce, or online shopping, was once viewed with skepticism. But with the rise of successful internet retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Zappos and brick-and-mortar stores delivering superb digital experiences, online shopping is now a common, everyday occurrence.

The Growth of Online Shopping

There's no shortage of media documenting the struggles of brick-and-mortar stores.

Predictions of a continued decline might be premature or a bit overblown, but it is not an exaggeration to say that:

  • There is significant growth in the digital marketplace.
  • If your business is not online, it's missing out on a large (and growing) marketplace.
  • Even if you don't have a high rate of online sales, maintaining an online store to complement your brick-and-mortar store is beneficial.
  • People can discover you online, and view your products. Your customers might be more likely to stop by if they know that you have what they want.

It's Not Always Easy to Successfully Launch

However, we understand that launching your online business can be difficult. There are decisions to make on things that you might not be familiar with, such as:

  • Products
  • Platforms
  • Digital marketing and sales tools (often these are included in e-commerce platforms).

Searching online is a great way to start, but how do you wade through all of the information that pops up?

Shopify e-commerce solution
Top all-in-one e-commerce platforms like Shopify provide a treasure trove of how-tos and videos.

Learning How to Start an Online Store

Wondering what you'll learn today?

In this article, we will go over what you need to launch an online store, based on your level of comfort with technology and how much work you are interested in doing yourself.

Features, Tools, and Options

Furthermore, we are going to discuss (at a high level) the products, platforms, tools, and solutions available, from individual options that can be pieced together (such as web hosts, site builders, inventory managers, and shopping cart software) to all-in-one packages where you get all the features and tools you need.

We'll also cover features that you will find useful (or even necessary) when it comes to setting up and configuring your store. These features include PCI compliance, SSL certificates, and dedicated IP addresses.

Platforms and Plans

In addition to features, I'll be providing some platform recommendations for you to get started with. You can tweak these according to your specific needs. The goal here is to get you moving forward on your dream of launching your store.

This sounds like a lot, but do not worry! We will break everything down into bite-sized pieces so that things are less overwhelming.

Read on to learn how to get started with your online store!

what you need to launch online store

What Do I Need to Launch an Online Store?

At a high level, you will need the following 5 points covered to get an online store up and running:

  1. A Product which you can confidently market, represent, and sell.
  2. Display pages for your products. These include product images, descriptions, and other information.
  3. Some type of inventory management, so that your customers cannot order things that are not in stock.
  4. Shopping cart software (so that customers can order multiple products at a time) and some type of checkout process so that you can get paid.
  5. Web hosting, which gets your site online so others can access it.

Beyond the Basics: Adding Value to Your Online Store

These are the bare minimum requirements. Here are some more things you can do to add value to your online store:

  • Additional website pages or a blog.
  • Customer service pages, including detailed write-ups of your store policies for things like shipping and handling, exchanges and returns, and refunds. Consider whether an FAQ page would help your site visitors accomplish their goals.
  • Forums or other methods of interaction available to your customers.
  • A free feedback app (like Hotjar) to capture site visitor feedback.
  • A plan to survey customer satisfaction using a free tool like Survey Monkey.

However, these items are just the tip of the iceberg — when it comes to website features, the sky is the limit!

options ecommerce applications

Options for E-commerce Platforms

When you begin the process of setting up your online store, you will need to think about how much work you would like to do on your own and what tasks you want to offload onto somebody else.

What are All-in-One E-commerce Platforms?

All-in-one e-commerce platforms are user-friendly software applications that bundle most or all of the digital tools you need to launch an online store, including, typically:

  • Web hosting
  • Pre-built, customizable website
  • Shopping cart
  • Easy-to-implement integrations for payment processors like Stripe and Paypal
  • Product display options (e.g. multiple images for one product, image zoom)
  • Product variant options (sizes, colors, etc.)
  • Shipping options
  • Third-party integrations for things like email marketing and invoicing
  • A variety of sales and marketing tools (including the ability to apply discounts, create coupon codes, run sales, flag new products, capture email newsletter signups, and more.)

These platforms tend to be the easiest e-commerce applications to use and to get started with.

What Is My Best Bet?

The specifics vary from vendor to vendor. For example, some companies only offer a free subdomain, while others may offer a free custom domain.

Some will only include a shared hosting plan with their platforms, while others offer scalable, high-performance cloud-based web hosting. Many will come with social media integration.

Some all-in-one solutions, such as Shopify and Big Cartel, take care of pretty much everything for you and make sure that all aspects of your store function seamlessly together.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) E-commerce Solutions

At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who seek to build their stores from scratch. They select and put all the individual components together: including setting up and configuring their own web hosting servers and coding their shopping sites.

Doing all of the integrations required for things like social media, shopping carts, payment gateways, and shipping providers is also part of the game.

For example, someone might use WordPress as their content management system, A2 Hosting for their web hosting services, and create their own checkout solution with PayPal powering the monetary transactions that occur.

While this option is a lot of work, there is no one e-commerce platform that offers you a "perfect" features set — doing this yourself is one of ensuring that you do.

A Hybrid Solution for E-commerce

There are, obviously, also hybrid options that are somewhere in between these two extremes.

Just as the sky is the limit when it comes to the combinations you can create when doing things yourself, it's identical when you are combining some more robust tools with basic options.

ecommerce applications

Understanding All-in-One E-commerce Platforms

When choosing an all-in-one e-commerce platform, where do you start?

Here are some things you might consider when looking through the options that are available to you.

  • Features
  • Platform Cost
  • Customer Support
  • How-tos and Tutorials
  • Service Level Agreements

Features

Above all, you will want to make sure that the product meets your needs.

For example, an all-in-one product should include shipping integration, but that does not mean that it will integrate with the shipping product of your choice. You can choose your store's layout, but are the templates for doing so ones that you find appealing?

There might be a shopping cart, but are there alternative shopping carts in case you do not like the one that is set as the default? Furthermore, though all-in-one products typically come with everything you need, many will include things that you would want — bonus points if there are not any add-on fees for this.

Platform Cost

What does it cost to use the products? Typically, vendors are pretty upfront about the monthly fees but check to see if there are any transaction fees involved.

For example, some platforms will charge you 3% of whatever you earn per transaction — if you are a high-volume seller, this adds up! Additionally, be sure that the features you are expecting with a given package come standard and are not add-ons that cost extra.

Customer Support

How good are the technicians at the other end of the phone, Live Chat window, or email chain? Can you get in touch with someone when your store goes down at 3:00 am on the day important products launch and people are lining up (digitally) to get that item?

The thing with all-in-one apps is that you give up some control over the innards of your software. If things go terribly wrong, you will want to talk to your vendor as soon as possible.

How-Tos, and Tutorials

Good all-in-one platforms will offer a variety of how-tos to get you up and running quickly and to inspire your creativity. These may include online videos, a knowledge base, FAQ, and more.

Service Level Agreements

If your package comes with hosting, you will want to see if the company offers any type of service level agreement (SLA). Basically, these are promises from the vendor that your site is online for a minimum amount of time over the course of a month (excluding times of scheduled maintenance).

Typical values include 99%, 99.9%, and 99.99% — obviously, the higher the level of uptime, the more you will pay. As an e-commerce site, this is not an area where you want to skimp and save money — downtime is the time that your customers cannot get to your site to make purchases.

Furthermore, customers tend to frown on vendors who cannot keep their sites running and will not return at a later date.

shopify theme store
Shopify has its own theme store where you can purchase a pre-built website in almost any design imaginable. You can also customize your selection with your brand colors and many other variables.


web hosting coupon

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diy ecommerce applications

Understanding DIY E-commerce Solutions

When you opt for a DIY e-commerce solution, you will need to piece together the various components yourself.

What Do I Need to Build My Own E-commerce Solution?

Here's an overview of what you'll need to account for:

  • Web hosting and a server on which you store all your site's files.
  • A sitebuilder (though you can always create your own HTML, CSS, and JavaScript).
  • Some type of shopping cart software, check-out, and payment processing solution — you can easily get something for each step, or you can use an integrated tool.
  • Security features, such as SSL certificates and dedicated IP addresses. Your payment gateway will likely take care of encryption-related needs for your payments. Remember, your customers' addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are all information you should be striving to protect as well.

Throughout this article, we have talked about extras, such as blogs (WordPress or no), forums, integrations with tools like inventory management products and the like. If you want these things, you will have to source these out yourself.

Furthermore, social media and digital shopping go hand in hand, so you will likely have to set those up yourself.

DIY E-commerce Platforms: Plenty of Variety

There are many DIY e-commerce platforms available for use, but not all include everything you need to simply get up and running (typically, it is the server/web hosting bit that is not included, though this obviously varies).

There are some that are free-standing, such as Magento, and others that are add-ons (such as WooCommerce, which is a WordPress plugin).

What are Some Features of DIY E-commerce Solutions?

The feature sets of these items vary more than with an all-in-one package. Nevertheless, you can expect to get features and functionality including:

  • Display pages for your products
  • Inventory management
  • Product variant listings
  • Shopping carts and payment processing/gateways
  • Shipping and order management

Pros and Cons of DIY E-commerce Solutions

As with everything, there are pros and cons with DIY options too, so here they are.

Pros

  • The biggest boon might be the low cost.
  • Many of these options are open-source software and therefore free to use.
  • In addition to saving on monthly fees, you will not have to pay per-transaction fees either.
  • Many of these solutions are highly customizable as well. You can get granular control over options.

Cons

  • A downside is that setup and configuration are your responsibilities.
  • If you haven't used this type of platform before, you risk getting bogged down, perhaps experiencing frustration, and delaying the launch of your store.
  • If you need assistance, your best bet will be to reach out to the appropriate community on an internet forum.
  • Since these are open-source software platforms, there often is no vendor, so calling customer service with your questions is not an option.

What Are Some of the Best Open-Source E-commerce Platforms?

Here's a list of some of the most powerful and effective open-source e-commerce solutions available.

Drupal Commerce

Drupal add-on to the Drupal content management system (CMS), which is itself open source and free to use.

Drupal Commerce does everything you expect an e-commerce platform add-on to do:

  • displays products
  • manages inventory on the back-end
  • funnels customers through the checkout process
  • facilitates the payment and shipping processes
  • offers helpful management tools for things like orders, receipts, and invoices.

Like the main Drupal product, Drupal commerce is extensible. This means that you can add to the default functionality by using modules.

Currently, there are over 300 modules (for things like shopping carts and payment and shipping integrations) for Drupal Commerce that are available for free.

Magento Open Source

Magento Open-Source
Here is the Magento Demo for some perspective of visuals and functionality.

Magento (formerly known as Magento Community Edition) is similar to Drupal in that both are open-source content management systems.

However, Magento differs in that the product as a whole is geared toward e-commerce — you do not need add-ons to get the necessary functionality. It was originally supposed to be a fork of osCommerce (which we will discuss next on this list), but the original developers decided to rewrite the entire product.

Magento's strength is its flexibility — because the product is open source, you have full control over how things work. You can respond as necessary to changing trends very quickly.

osCommerce

osCommerce, which is short for "open source commerce," is another open source e-commerce management product. Development of osCommerce began in March 2000; it's a well-established software platform.

osCommerce is a complete e-commerce platform/solution, but there are just under 9000 add-ons available to you free of charge if there are features you would like but do not come with the standard installation (or if, such as with shopping carts, you would prefer a different option).

Furthermore, osCommerce is commonly offered with one-click installation programs that come with many shared-hosting packages, so getting set up with osCommerce can be fairly simple.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is designed to turn WordPress sites into full online stores.

Woocommerce itself runs on the WordPress platform, so you can expect nearly seamless integration if you choose to use this product. WooCommerce is modular, so the product is as lean as possible since you add only the features you need and want (if you want just one display page for your products, a shopping cart, and a checkout process, you've got it).

You'll have access to numerous extensions, themes, and other items to help you create the site you want.

Though Woocommerce is open source, it is one of the larger open source projects with many developers active in improving it (it helps to be a part of the WordPress ecosystem). Basically, you can't go wrong with WooCommerce if you are on the WordPress platform.

Other Things To Know About Web Hosting for E-commerce?

As we mentioned, e-commerce platforms that are not all-in-one solutions tend to not include web hosting. So you will need to find the best web hosting solution for your needs.

When looking for web hosting for an online store, you will want to prioritize the following 3 factors:

  1. Security
  2. Performance
  3. Uptime

Security Factors for E-commerce

Security is of utmost importance, especially since you will face strict regulations when it comes to how you handle your customers' information.

In addition to sensitive, identifying information such as people's names, addresses, and phone numbers, you will be handling (possibly) things like credit card information in the shopping cart/checkout process. (If you are not familiar with laws and regulations regarding e-commerce security, we have a quick overview to help you get started.)

Certain vendors are more amenable to the customization you need to make to secure everything, while others (or other types of hosting, such as shared hosting) can be no-goes in certain cases.

Performance and Speed for E-commerce Sites

Performance is king, and your users do not want to wait while your page loads. If your page is too slow, your users will bounce — or leave your site — and take their business elsewhere.

The digital marketplace is somewhat cutthroat, and your website's performance is one of the things that you can control than actively influences your bottom line.

Uptime and E-commerce

Uptime is kind of an extension of performance, but we want to single this metric out.

Typically, when web hosting providers offer you some type of uptime guarantee, it is in the form of a service level agreement that promises a minimum amount of uptime.

Moreover, uptime is essential, especially during peak shopping seasons where you can expect a lot of traffic — there is no worst time for your website to go down than during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

How Much Does E-commerce Web Hosting Cost?

The exact cost of web hosting for an e-commerce site varies based on the provider you choose, and can start at $20-$150 per month. However, with e-commerce sites, there are typically additional costs to consider, including payment processing fees. This is the percentage of sales that your payment gateway (i.e. Paypal, Stripe, Square, etc.) charges you for using their service. Some e-commerce web hosts also charge a fee. It's important to understand these fees, and factor them into the cost of your website when choosing a host.

E-commerce Platform and Web Hosting Security

We have briefly mentioned things like PCI compliance, SSL certificates, and dedicated IP addresses, as well as the need to ensure that your website is secure.

To be sure, the entire scope of e-commerce security is outside the scope of this article, but there are some high-level points we wanted to make.



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Notable Security Factors

  • At one time, HTTPS was used only on parts of a website where there were shopping carts or where the payments were handled — the trend nowadays, however, is to use HTTPS (which requires an SSL certificate to function properly) for the entire site.
  • Payment processing (and building a shopping cart) is difficult and handling credit card (and other payment information) can be perilous, so one way to make this portion easy on yourself is to simply integrate with a third-party provider that offers PCI-compliant solutions.
  • Set up robust fraud detection, anti-virus, and monitoring tools to actively prevent and manage any threats against your store.

Depending on your level of comfort with implementing such things, you might seek out all-in-one products that can be deployed against your website/e-commerce store easily.

WhoIsHostingThis Team

About WhoIsHostingThis Team

Our writing team comes from all over the world with diverse backgrounds in the arts and sciences. But what links them is their passion for the internet. All together they represent many decades of experience working in all facets of it -- from programming and hardware creation to website design and marketing.
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