10 Best eCommerce Hosting Providers for Small Businesses
One of the brightest prospects for a person these days is starting an online business. It’s the perfect way to escape the rat race or to take your already existing business to a whole new level. Starting an eCommerce business is a tried and tested by millions, so there’s plenty of info and plenty of cases you can learn from.
Furthermore, there are numerous online marketplaces and eCommerce platforms that you can use to build your site from scratch. You don’t have to learn to code, nor any other tech-based skill. However, it’s impossible to do it without learning something new. You’ll have to learn how to use the eCommerce platform of your choice, online marketing and managing your hosting server. While the first two skills would require two massive articles to get you started, we can help you to make an initial choice that will make your job easier. In this article, we’ll talk about the best hosting companies for running a small online business.
Before getting into details about how to choose a good host for your eCommerce business, here is the list of best eCommerce hosting providers we recommend:
- InMotion Hosting
Choosing the Right Hosting Plan for eCommerce
A business website is a completely different beast than a plain blog or a portfolio website. It requires more horsepower and more attention to user experience. Having your website run fast and smooth will influence conversion rates and how much time users spend on your site. You’ll want to make sure that it’s quick, robust and has smooth navigation.
Numerous studies have proven that the speed of your website is in direct correlation with conversion rates. Slow websites have proven to decrease conversion rates by 20%. This correlation exist simply because people won’t wait more than 2 seconds for a product page to load and they’ll even go as far as to cancel their impulse purchase. So, you’ll want to make sure that every page of your website loads faster than 1 second, or even better, faster than 1 second. But for that, you’ll have to choose the right hosting plan. Furthermore, your website has to be available through every second of the year. For that to happen, you’ll need to build your website on bedrock that’s stable and reliable. That bedrock is the hosting plan you choose.
That is why we want to walk you through the most important factors of a hosting plan. Keep an eye out for these factors and you’ll make the right choice for your business.
Core Factors of a Good Web Hosting Service
There are 5 main factors that make a hosting plan into what it is. By keeping a firm eye on these parameters and making sure they meet certain standards, you can make a choice that will help you build your online business on a solid foundation.
First thing’s first, you shouldn’t even consider a hosting provider that doesn’t have at least a 99.97% uptime. You’ll want your site reachable throughout the entire year without a fail, since you want your shop open throughout the entire year. So make sure that your uptime checks in just right.
As I mentioned, your site’s loading speed is what keeps your business rolling. Hosting providers are continuously improving to meet the newest standards of the World Wide Web. The current industry standard of page loading speed is 1200 milliseconds (1.2 seconds). However, there are numerous hosting providers that offer half that and on a consistent basis. Moreover, some go as far as to make that number as low as 350 milliseconds, which is insanely fast.
So, make sure you always check the loading speed of your perspective hosting provider. If it’s below 1 second, you’re making a good deal.
The third most important piece of the puzzle is customer support, the people behind the service you get. You’ll want to have someone you can always rely on, someone who you can call in the middle of the night when your website’s having a bad day. Those people are who make using a particular hosting service worthwhile in the long term.
So, it’s important to hear the opinions of people who have worked with them. You can find such opinions in our hosting reviews or customer reviews on various forums and other community websites.
A lot of companies offer ‘bonuses’ but you should have a clear concept of what actual bonuses are. Most companies will advertise that they offer security software, free migration and other applications. But the truth is, these things are always in the package, because no hosting service could be called decent without them. The real bonuses are things that other hosting providers or security software companies ask you to pay for, so do your research. Free automated backups and premium security software are such. Furthermore, any service provided through human assistance is always welcome.
Pricing & Hidden Fees
The final piece that decides whether you’re a buyer or not and hosting companies know this. That is why 9 out of 10 hosting providers will advertise impressively low prices and even sign a contract with you with the same prices on them. However, they know you will hesitate to leave them after one or two years of use. So, they won’t be shy to upsell you and ask for even 300% the price of what you initially paid, once your first contract comes to a close. So, always look into reviews that state how much the prices will jump up after your first period.
Of course, you should also consider your budget and whether you find the price of the service justified by quality or bonuses.
Best Hosting Providers for eCommerce
Now that you know what you should be looking for, here are 10 companies that provide it. You’ll definitely come across these during your search for a hosting plan, because they are very popular. But we’ve reviewed some that don’t have as much fame, but still pack impressive performance and eCommerce features. So let’s see them!
HostGator is one of the best on the market for those who are just starting out. Whether you’re just running a portfolio website or starting an online business, HostGator has something special. It’s their cloud hosting plan.
Cloud Hosting is still somewhat new and there are a lot of myths around the world, but the main concept is quite simple. Cloud hosting doesn’t rely on a single hosting server to handle your website. It relies on a whole network of servers to handle it and if one happens to shut down, another will take its place. This ensures that you get an unshakable 100% uptime and a consistent 500 millisecond loading speed. It’s pretty safe and awesome through in and throughout. We were satisfied with it as well, although HostGator’s customer support didn’t do as well as we expected.
They did answer our call but it took them about an hour to do so. It might have been because they were busy or another reason among the many. But we like to get answers as quickly as possible and we think you do too. They are reliable; just don’t expect them to be lightning fast.
Also, you’re new to running a website and managing a server, you’ll be happy to know that HostGator makes things incredibly easy. They have one of the most user friendly control panels we’ve seen and they also have various website building tools. You can put together an awesome website by dragging and dropping its elements together.
Get more information about HostGator’s plans on their official website.
2. InMotion Hosting
If reliability is your top priority, than InMotion has something special in store for you. They are one of the very few hosting providers that we can vouch for. InMotion’s industry leading customer support is always on point and their hosting services are very robust. They have very good hardware for hosting your website and will do so much more in the process.
InMotion is an old dog in the hosting industry, since the company has been around for more than 10 years now. They are currently home to more than 400,000 domains and they continue to get bigger each day as they continuously manage to satisfy customers.
Their uptime is 99.98% on average, which will ensure that your site won’t see any downtime. Our site was only down 38 minutes throughout the whole year, which is understandable. Only the cloud hosting architecture can go on without a second of downtime.
When it comes to speed, InMotion has things in check with a 660 to 800 millisecond loading speed. That is fast enough to handle an online store without a problem. It will also give your users a high-quality experience. Even if you’re choosing the most basic shared hosting plan, you can’t go wrong with it.
There are very few hosting companies that’s customer support team can compare to InMotion. This company is the leader in customer support and has won numerous awards for it. The company claims to have the friendliest humans on the planet and that theory has proven to be true when we put it to the test. It took their representative about a minute to connect with us on live chat and give us all the answers we needed. She even went as far to give us a few other tips on how we can make the most out of their service and boost our website’s speed.
Making InMotion’s services even better is the actual bonuses it provides along with its core services. First off, you’ll get free automated backups, which is quite amazing. HostGator and about 90% of hosting providers on the market charge some sort of monthly fee to give you free automated backups. Furthermore, you also get premium security features that do a much better job at protecting your site than the usual security measures hosting providers take. If you’re running your business website on WordPress, you can use the premium Sucuri plugin for free. The actual price ranges between $199.99 per year and $499.99 per year. But InMotion gives access to this plugin for free, which is an amazing value.
If you’re interested in using InMotion’s hosting services, you can subscribe right away. Their Business plan (shared hosting) starts at $3.99 per month, which is quite an amazing price. You can decide whether InMotion works for you during the 90-day money back guarantee period.
BlueHost is easily the best choice for anyone who is looking for an inexpensive hosting plan. Bloggers, small business owners and anyone with a website on their servers grew fond of this company quite fast. That is why BlueHost currently hosts 2 million websites and is recommended by WordPress.
The company has been around for 22 years (since 1996), but it only started with a few staff members. Now BlueHost has more than 750 people looking after its hosting services 24/7. They have all the manpower and all the hardware needed to run a high-quality hosting service. They even upgraded their servers not long ago, to be able to surpass the industry standard of uptime and speed. The website we used to test BlueHost’s servers had a 99.99% uptime, which is pure awesomeness. We were impressed by their loading times as well, as it was always between 400 and 500 milliseconds, 2.2 times as fast as the industry standard.
They make their service better with quality customer support that you can rely on. During our experiments, BlueHost’s representative connected with us after about 6 minutes, which is pretty good. The answers to our questions were correct so there’s really not much to complain about. However, we found a few negative comments on the forums we checked, so their timely responses could be inconsistent.
You can start using a shared hosting plan for $3.95 only per month, which makes BlueHost’s offer the most inexpensive on this list. You can try BlueHost right now and decide whether it’s the right option for you during the 30-day money-back guarantee period.
SiteGround isn’t as popular as the providers we’ve mentioned above, but they definitely nail the web hosting game. They are among the top recommended hosting providers on the three most popular contend management systems’ websites. These content management systems are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Heard of them?
Furthermore, SiteGround is home to more than 800,000 domain names and for good reason. Their hosting is fast and reliable, which is basically what everyone is looking for. The unshakable 99.9% uptime they advertised and their promise turned out to be true when we tried their service. During our 6 month test, we found that their site loading speed was 700 milliseconds. That’s just about the speed you need to be able to compete in the World Wide Web today. So it will be great for a small online business as well.
SiteGround’s great customer support only makes things better as it’s kept alive with numerous helpful employees. However, they aren’t the fastest, since we had to wait 27 minutes when tested them. Regardless, the answer we received was to the point and the representative we talked to was extremely helpful.
If you’re thinking about trying SiteGround, you’ll be glad to know that SiteGround’s services cost only $3.95 per month. For that amount, you get 10 GB of storage and enough bandwidth for 10,000 visitors per month. However, if you need more, you can always go for a bigger plan that better suits your needs. For more information about SiteGround’s plans, check out their official website.
If you want to crush the competition with an amazingly fast user experience, then one of your best options is A2Hosting. They claim to be 20 times faster than the competition, which is impossible not to deny for any sensible person. However, we chose to try them out and see for ourselves.
A2Hosting has been around since 2001, but their name was Iniquinet back in the day. They made a smart decision with rebranding it. Since then, they have been on a straight route to stand among the best in the business. They definitely have the powerful server architecture for it. In fact, they pulled off something nobody else could, a 357 millisecond loading speed. Also, A2Hosting has a 99.96%, uptime that ensures that your site’s users have constant access to your website throughout the year.
This incredible speed will definitely create a base for your new online venture. Users love speed, so you’ll definitely increase your conversion rates with it. You can also rely on SiteGround’s customer support to help you out when you’re stuck with something. They definitely helped us with our issues and only took 10 minutes to get back to us after we reached them on live chat. According to their promotions, you can reach A2Hosting’s customer support representatives 24/7/365, which means they’re available even on holidays.
However, the only problem with A2Hosting is that you won’t get the most out of it with the entry-level hosting plans. You’ll have to buy their most expensive shared hosting plan for $9.31 per month to get maximum speed out of your service. It’s still a decent deal though, but only if you’ll have a resource-heavy website.
For more information about A2Hosting’s plans, check out their official website!
Hostinger has been around for 14 years now and they did something that very few hosting providers could. They absolutely nailed all three of the most important factors, uptime, speed and quality customer support. They have 29 million clients in 178 countries. Furthermore, they have about 20,000 new clients signing up to their service every day, so they must be doing something right.
As we see it, Hostinger is among the top 3 players in the web hosting industry when it comes to speed. It takes only 384 milliseconds for it to load a website, which will make for a killer user experience. Nobody likes to wait and if your site is at Hostinger, nobody will have to wait for your site to load.
The uptime doesn’t waver either. You can expect your website to be online throughout 99.97% of the year without a hitch. In case you have any problems with your site or your server, you’ll be glad to know that Hostinger’s customer support is amazingly reliable. We tested them and waited about 10 minutes for a customer support agent to get back to us. That’s quite reasonable, since he answered our questions perfectly. Miraculously enough, we found that other Hostinger users didn’t have anything to complain about either. We read numerous forum posts and neither had anything exceedingly negative to say. It seems that this company goes the extra mile to ensure that none of its customers are nagging.
What makes Hostinger even better is the fact that it offers its Single Shared Hosting plan for only $0.80. That’s crazy cheap and you can use it to host a single website, a single email account, 100GB of bandwidth, along with one processing and memory unit. It’s probably not a plan you would choose to host your business on, but it’s great for testing. If you want to host an eCommerce website, you have the Premium Shared Hosting plan for $3.49 and the Business Shared Hosting for $7.95, which offers unlimited space, daily backups, amazing speed and more.
If you want something more serious, you can go for one of Hostinger’s cloud hosting plans. The entry-level one costs $15 per month.
Huge hangars full of servers drain electricity like very few establishments do. That is why GreenGeeks has come up with the amazing idea to use renewable energy to power their servers. The company has been around since 2008 and they are serving 300,000 satisfied customers. So, what can you expect of this wind-powered hosting service in terms of uptime, speed and support?
When it comes to uptime, GreenGeeks has things going really well. Upon testing, we found that their uptime was 100% throughout the entire year, except in August, when it was 99.55%. That’s not catastrophic, but it is something in need of mentioning. Their site loading speed is pretty solid, as it moves between 380 milliseconds and 600 milliseconds. That is twice as fast as the industry standard, so it will definitely make your business website run at the speed you want it to.
GreenGeek’s customer support is good too, because we were connected with an agent within 1 minute. The reviews and opinions we saw on forums were quite consistent as well, but there’s only one problem. GreenGeek’s customer support agents have faulty English. We didn’t have any problem communicating, but we noticed quite a few spelling mistakes which might be bothersome for some of you.
You can start for $2.95 at GreenGeeks and enjoy their Shared Hosting plan with SSD storage. For more information on GreenGeeks, check out their official website.
Just about every hosting provider is trying to lure in inexperienced business owners and just about anyone who is new to managing an online venture. It’s cheap to provide shared hosting plans and often enough, a hosting company isn’t decent enough to make sure they’re providing quality for their users.
As reviewers, we have come to appreciate a company that’s upfront and honest and with good intentions. Those companies are the rarest and we know one when we see one. This is exactly why StableHost made it into this list. They got things right both in terms of quality and in terms of customer care.
StableHost offers shared hosting plans with unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, full CPU cores and great support. Furthermore, their uptime is 99.97% throughout the entire year, so it’s reliable too. When it comes to speed, StableHost isn’t the fastest, but they keep a consistent 500 millisecond loading time, hence the name StableHost.
If you want to use a more powerful choice like VPS or Dedicated hosting, you can do so. However, these options are unmanaged, so you’ll have to have server administration skills or hire an expert to do it for you. There are very few managed and professional options available, but they are a great choice if you don’t know how to manage a VPS or Dedicated Server. If you don’t have a website yet, you can put one together with the Site.Pro builder. It makes thing incredibly easy with drag and drop features.
If you’re considering to buy into a simple shared hosting plan, it will cost you only $3.50 per month. But if you’re going for an enterprise level service, it will cost $28.50 per month. That’s a huge difference, but it’s justified because it’s really packed full of additional premium services that make it easier to run an eCommerce business.
NameCheap is an independent ICANN-accredited domain name registrar that has been around since 2000. They don’t just register domain names, but offer pretty solid hosting services as well. We usually don’t expect much from a domain registrar turned hosting provider, but NameCheap is really legit. It has good third party reviews and it seems that the overall satisfaction of customers is very high.
However, there’s only one problem with the service, so we should start with that. The uptime drops as low as 99.8% from time to time, which isn’t too bad, but it’s important to mention. This means that your website will be down for about 1.5 hours throughout the entire year.
When it comes to site loading speed, NameCheap performs quite admirably. The average loading speed moves between 600 milliseconds and 1100 milliseconds. You can get one of their three shared hosting plans and try it for 30 days. In case you don’t like it, you can abandon it and get your money back. The services come in three tiers: the Stellar plan for $2.88, the Stellar plus for $4.88 and the Stellar Business for $8.88 per month. For more info on these plans, check out NameCheap’s official website!
InterServer is not a very well known hosting provider, although they have been in the business since 1999. InterServer has a really good reputation, having an A+ rating on BBB. They offer a range of hosting plans on both Linux and Windows platforms: shared, vps, dedicated, cloud as well reseller plans.
From our testings resulted that they have a really good uptime, 99.99% on average. The performance of their servers are also very good, having a 300ms response time on average. These are very promising numbers, considering that we performed the tests on their $5 / mo shared hosting plan.
So, if you plan on starting an eCommerce website using InterServer, I can promise you are covered. Their standard shared hosting plan is full-featured. This plan comes with unlimited SSD storage, website builder, unlimited email accounts, security by Intershield Protection, content caching for faster speed through CloudFlare Virtual DNS, free SSL certificate and lot more.
InterServer uses latest hardware (SSD) and software (cPanel) technologies to provide the best service for their clients. I suggest checking out their official website to find out more information about their plans and service.
Better eCommerce Hosting
Shared hosting plans are great for starting out an eCommerce business. However, if your site starts growing, you will run into performance issues. Once you make good money from your eCommerce site, you will know that it is time to upgrade from shared hosting. If you choose one of the above mentioned providers, you will be able to transition to a VPS plan quickly and smoothly.
With shared hosting plans, you’re sharing server space and resources with other users. But with VPS hosting, you have dedicated resources, which ensures that your website runs fast and smooth no matter what. You can set the server to match your exact needs, or have a team of experts set it up for you.
You can also find various eCommerce options that were specifically geared toward small business owners. These make it much easier for beginners to start their own online store. You usually have to handle a bit of administration, changing texts and images. Additionally, these plans give you access to exclusive eCommerce features that make it easier to set up and manage your awesome online store.
So, if you’re considering getting a more powerful hosting plan right from the start for your eCommerce business website, here are few options to consider:
HostGator has some awesome VPS plans in store that are perfect for running a large eCommerce site and more. With each of their VPS plans, you’ll get a set amount of resources that you can run your website on. You’ll find that their plans are quite inexpensive and they’ll get the job done quite well.
HostGator’s first VPS plan, the Snappy 2000 will give you 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 1.5 TB worth of bandwidth and 120 GB of SSD storage. If you need more resources, then you just got to move on to the Snappy 4000 plan. It provides 4GB of RAM, 2 CPU cores, 160 GB of SSD storage, along with 2 TB of premium bandwidth. It costs $29.95 per month, which is quite an awesome deal. At last, if you really need to go all out, the Snappy 8000 will give you 4 CPU cores, 8 GB RAM, and 3 TB of bandwidth. It’s the most powerful VPS plan HostGator can offer and will definitely make any business website fly.
As I mentioned, InMotion is one of the most trustworthy players in the hosting business. They offer quality and consistency, along with variety. Their outstanding customer service appeals to everyone using it, so this company is definitely a win.
Their VPS hosting plans are rock solid, just like the rest of their services, so all of their plans will handle just about any kind of eCommerce website you have in store. The first VPS plan costs $29.99 per month, which will give you 4 GB of RAM, 4 TB of premium bandwidth, 75 GB SSD storage, but only a single IP address. You’ll have full control over these resources and manage them the way it best fits your website.
InMotion’s second plan costs more and has a lot more to offer too. For $49.99 per month, you’ll get 6 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD storage and 6 TB of premium bandwidth. What makes it even better is that it offers 5 IP addresses.
Lastly, InMotion’s most powerful VPS plan costs $74.99 per month and it will provide you with 8 GB of RAM, 260 GB SSD storage, 6 TB of premium bandwidth and access to 5 IP addresses.
The good thing about InMotion is that you don’t have to take on the weighty responsibility of managing the server on your own. You can have InMotion’s team of experts managing your server and even your website too if you need it.
BlueHost is one of the most popular options for WordPress users, as it makes their job infinitely easier. Their server architecture is optimized for this content management system and their employees know every knot and jolt of it as well. BlueHost offers a service called WooCommerce Hosting for $6.95 per month.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, which allows you to create an online store with relative ease. BlueHost’s plan makes it even better by offering a wide selection of themes and by providing their customer support representatives’ help. A WooCommerce theme usually costs about $60, but at BlueHost, you can get all of them for free. The plan itself costs more than usual, but it pays off through the numerous free eCommerce options you’d have to pay for otherwise.
With this plan, you’ll get 100GB of storage, which you’ll definitely need. It requires plenty of space to store all the content necessary for showing off products and adding new ones whenever you feel like it. That is why you’ll have 100GB of storage space. Furthermore, you can have 1 parked domain, 5 sub domains, 5 email accounts, $50 PPC Credit.
But if you would rather have more control, with more server resources, you might want to opt for BlueHost’s VPS hosting plans. For example: you can get a VPS plan with 2 CPU cores, 30 GB of SSD storage, 1 TB of premium bandwidth, along with 1 domain and 1 IP address for $19.99 per month. It’s a decent deal for a decent hosting plan and you can also rest assured that you have BlueHost’s experts behind your back.
There are other companies that offer great eCommerce hosting options and they’re definitely worth giving a shot to. SiteGround is one of them. In fact, they offer premium WooCommerce hosting at a much lower price than all the others. However, there’s nothing new about it.
You’ll be able to start your business website a lot faster because you’ll have WooCommerce and a theme preinstalled. You can change your theme to any of the other available ones. What make this service more beneficial are the numerous premium eCommerce features it offers, such as a free SSL certificate, SEO software, along with easier management. You don’t have to meddle too much, since you can have experts managing your WordPress site, installing updates, creating daily backups and more. Your entire business can be at your fingertips without you having to waste any of your precious time on doing administration or anything else regarding your site.
When it comes to the hardware, you pretty much get the same package as you would get from SiteGround’s basic shared hosting plan. Even the price tag is similar at 3.95 € (4.58 USD) per month, which definitely makes it worth considering.
But you might want to opt for one of their cloud hosting plans if your website is going to use up a lot of hardware space or if you’re looking to scale your traffic incredibly fast. SiteGround’s cloud hosting is more reliable than any other VPS plan on the web, but it’s also more expensive. The entry level plan costs 64.00 € per month (74.26 USD), and it provides 2 CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 40GB of SSD space, and 5TB of premium bandwidth. You’ll suffer no downtime and your site’s loading speed will be incredibly fast and consistent throughout the entire year.
If your website needs the power of a VPS hosting plan, but you don’t want to go overboard with your monthly fees, InterServer has the perfect way to manage it. You can scale your service’s price and resources through a tier system. Each tier costs $6 and you can upscale or downscale whenever you want. Furthermore, there’s no cancellation fee so you’re only paying the amount you set for yourself, nothing more.
For example, if you choose to pay only $6 per month, you’ll get 1 CPU core, 1 GB of RAM, 1 TB bandwidth and 25 GB storage space. But at the 4th tier, you’ll get 4GB RAM, 1 CPU core, 4 TB of bandwidth and 100 GB storage, which will cost you only $24.00 per month.
InterServer’s uptime is 100% and it offers a page loading speed of 200-300 milliseconds. That’s crazy fast and your website will never be down. If you’re looking for a VPS hosting plan that you have full control of, InterServer will prove to be perfect.
Web hosting choices nowadays are way too vast and no article would be long enough to cover all of them. However, when it comes to hosting an eCommerce website, these are the ones that work best, so why not give one of them a shot?
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and that you’ve found a hosting plan that will work well for the business website you want to launch soon.