Just as they do with a physical storefront, first impressions matter when it comes to online stores. It’s vital to purchase the best web hosting for your ecommerce website to ensure that your customers get the best service and you benefit from the most sales for your business. A good quality web host ensures that your website loads speedily and safely while giving you plenty of tools to make your site look great.
Web hosting for ecommerce is a little different from regular web hosting, in that there are more things to consider and more features you’ll want. It tends to include features like an SSL certificate and other security features so that you’re able to sell directly through your website. A good ecommerce host appreciates those challenges and makes such features simple for you to implement while also offering easy-to-use web builder tools.
Read on as we check out the best providers for ecommerce hosting and explain precisely what to look for when finding the best ecommerce platform your business needs – no matter how big or small your firm may be.
What features should a hosting provider have for ecommerce?
No one hosting provider is quite the same as another. That’s because they all provide different features. Broadly, they can also be divided up into four main categories of hosting — shared hosting, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting. Shared hosting is the cheapest option out there because your website is hosted alongside other websites, meaning it’ll run slower than on a dedicated server, and you typically won’t have as many advanced features available to you.
VPS and cloud hosting is an in-between option. You’re provided with a virtual private server which gives you more options, albeit at a price. There’s also web hosting such as Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace, which aims to provide an ecommerce platform in a simplified way that still proves fairly powerful.
Generally, shared hosting will be fine for an ecommerce website for smaller businesses, with Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify also great options for the less tech-savvy.
Whichever you choose, it’s essential to look for key features such as an SSL certificate for security, along with easy-to-use interfaces for adding shopping cart functionality and other ways to help customers easily shop in your store. If you have limited experience with web design, a user-friendly web builder tool is immensely useful too, so you can focus on listing your products rather than trying to design a site from scratch. Pretty much all web hosting offers these tools now, but their quality definitely varies.
Don’t need to sell products on your business’s website? Check out our best web hosting for small businesses for more on that.
Are there web hosting providers just for ecommerce?
Only Shopify exclusively offers ecommerce web hosting. All the other web hosts listed here also provide conventional web hosting alongside their ecommerce features. Shopify focuses on making it simple to set up an online shop, but its fee system can work out to be quite expensive for the privilege.
What should I expect to spend on web hosting for ecommerce?
It’s possible to spend relatively little on web hosting for your ecommerce business. It’s also possible to spend a lot, depending on what you need from it.
If you own a small business with only a handful of customers, then you can spend less than a thriving online business that has many more customers each day. That’s because, generally, the more visitors you have or expect to have, the more bandwidth you’ll need, and the more you’ll pay to give your customers a speedy and effective experience. Page load time is very important for ecommerce websites. (Think of the last time you wanted to visit an online store, but the site wouldn’t load. That retailer probably lost a sale! Speed is also important for SEO.)
Spending more can also make more features available to you, with some web hosting companies adding additional tools such as an online booking system, tax management, or simply 24/7 online support. You might not need all of these features, though, so it’s worthwhile thinking about what you’ll need before hitting the buy button.
How does the size of my store affect what web hosting I should buy?
As mentioned, it’s crucial to buy according to the size of your business. If you only stock a few artisan items online, then a small ecommerce package will be sufficient. However, if you plan on selling many dozens of items and have hundreds of customers, you’ll need to purchase a package that reflects that.
The key things to check when making a purchase is in terms of the bandwidth made available to you each month, as well as if there are any visitor limits tied to your web hosting. It’s wise to buy accordingly. A heavy-duty package is excellent for a busy company, but it’s not a great idea for a firm that needs to count pennies and focus on a small user base.
All web hosting companies allow you to increase the package you’re on and grow with you, so if your business suddenly expands, you can always switch up to the next package available to you. Don’t be afraid to play it safe financially when starting out.
What is the easiest ecommerce website builder?
Companies like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are most designed with novices in mind. Typically, they offer the most uncomplicated website building experience, allowing anyone to drag and drop on a computer to design a website that can be easily accessible on both computer and mobile. Besides offering some great-looking templates, they often allow you to manipulate every element of the site in a straightforward way which means you never have to deal with the code behind the design.
However, these services also tend to cost more than other web hosting firms so you may need to factor that into your budget.
Pretty much all web hosting companies now offer some form of website builder, whether it’s a little rudimentary or involves picking from a series of templates. There are also many tutorials online for those that want to get more hands-on.
Without further ado, here are the best web hosts for ecommerce in 2021: