Hosting

How to Find the Best Ecommerce Hosting Service For Your Online Store

You are here because you are ready to begin your very own E-Commerce store. You know your niche, your target audience, and by now you probably must have developed your own website. It’s time for you to now take your website live. But in order for that to happen, you need a reliable E-Commerce hosting provider and you have no idea which one to go for.

Honestly, launching an E-Commerce store is not a big deal, anyone can do it these days. The real game changer begins when you need to optimize your website to drive more traffic and sales. This whole process can take a lot of time but a great deal depends on acquiring the best E-Commerce hosting for your online business.

Before we jump into the types of web hosting services, let’s take a look at a few factors that affect your online store, in case of, an unreliable E-Commerce hosting service.

Factors that Affect E-Commerce Hosting Services


While choosing an E-Commerce hosting plan you should keep in mind these factors that can lead to an unsatisfactory hosting experience. Here is a list of some of the essential ones…

Speed

Site speed matters a lot. According to studies conducted on page speed, if a page takes more than four seconds to load then the visitor leaves that website instantly. The best option, in this case, is to optimize the webpage and get faster loading time. Google has provided its own page optimization framework called AMP especially for this purpose. Read more about it in our AMP for E-Commerce guide.

Scalability

E-Commerce store owners should be able to scale their websites as required. For instance, Black Friday sales season begins and you want to promote your products or services during this event. Once heavy traffic comes in, your website will crash. A major reason why this happens is because many E-Commerce hosting services are not scalable. Great news is that many cloud hosting providers offer auto-scaling features that specifically caters E-Commerce owners.

Cache

During your search of a reliable E-Commerce hosting service, don’t forget about caches. Websites with a lot of pages such as social media websites, learning management systems, E-Commerce stores, and news websites can benefit from built-in caches because it loads the most visited pages faster. Cache plugins are a great way to improve user experience and website performance.

Cost

Most beginner E-Commerce store owners have a small budget. That’s why they are looking for a cost effective solution for their websites. There are multiple cheap hosting solutions available but most of them are unreliable. Compare few different E-Commerce hosting providers and the value for money they provide before you make your decision.

Downtime

While searching for a decent E-Commerce hosting service, make sure it offers 99% uptime. You can only check the uptime by reading reviews from other users. Don’t trust the salesy landing pages because they are mostly lies.

Control

Does your favorite E-Commerce hosting solution offers Cpanel? If you are not tech-savvy, you will need a C-panel to manage your online store’s backend development. You should be able to use softwares like Softaculous to install Magento, WooCommerce, or other E-Commerce stores and relevant frameworks in just a few clicks.

CDN

Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a way to get your content seen by interested people in a much faster method. The CDN spreads your content on data centers available across the globe. Signing up for a CDN is free but adding it to your website is a cumbersome task. So, make sure that the E-Commerce hosting solution you choose offers pre-enabled CDN for your domain.

SSL

Google favors websites that have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) installed on them. Let’s Encrypt offers SSL for free but it is not available with most websites. So, make sure that the hosting you choose offers SSL certificate. You can also add it by yourself. But as is the case with CDN, SSL installation is also a tiring task.

Checkout Process Time

Almost 60 percent store visitors abandon their shopping carts at any E-Commerce store because the checkout process takes too long. Moreover, the checkout process time is directly proportional to your website speed. So, make sure you have a quality hosting package in place.

Concurrent Users

If your website is hosted on an unreliable E-Commerce hosting provider, it won’t be able to handle more than a dozen users logged in at the same time. This will impact your store negatively and can even crash your website. Which happens to many online sites when launching a new product or when promoting a yearly sale, think of Black Friday.

Types of E-Commerce Hosting Services


Now that you know what to look for when it comes to E-Commerce hosting services, let’s see what types of hosting solutions are available.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting means a number of websites hosted on a single server. In most instances, almost 300–400 websites are hosted on a single server and all the server’s resources are shared among them. Shared web hosting solutions are cheaper than others but also lack performance comparatively. You can’t host an E-Commerce store on a shared hosting because it is difficult to scale, or even sustain during a traffic surge. Moreover, web hosting companies don’t provide commendable support for shared hosting servers either.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting means you get a server dedicated for your E-Commerce store. These hosts come with all the resources and are great for E-Commerce websites but they aren’t very easy to scale. Each dedicated server needs to be manually upgraded which is a time consuming job. Plus, the expenses of a dedicated server are way more than other hosting solutions.

VPS

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are great for E-Commerce store owners. They are scalable, low cost, and can bear a lot of load. But, as it is built on a single server, so during heavy load, the VPS servers won’t be able to handle the heat.

Cloud

Consider Cloud hosting as the next big hosting technology. It is slowly revamping the digital world. And, unlike shared, dedicated or VPS hosting solutions, cloud hosting acts like cluster of multiple servers at different locations. So, if a single server goes down, others will serve your E-Commerce store keeping your websites live at all times.

Benefits of Cloud based E-Commerce Hosting


  • Cloud hosting offers maximum data security
  • Cloud hosting offers maximum uptime
  • Cloud hosting is cost effective long term

Choosing a Platform Specific Hosting


As an E-Commerce store owner, it is preferred that you go for a platform specific hosting solution. Following is a list of all top E-Commerce platforms and the type of cloud hosting solution they work best with. We will be using the following requirements for all E-Commerce platforms.
  • Between 100 to 200 initial product catalog
  • Around 1000 visitors daily (average)
  • At least 50 (logged in) concurrent users active on the website simultaneously

WooCommerce

WooCommerce powers 30 percent of online websites. It is great for anyone starting his/her E-Commerce store because the setup is quite easy, even for a layman. For a small store owner who would like to have around 200 products in his store with at least 50 logged in customers, a cloud hosting server with at least 4GB RAM, 60GB Storage will be a sufficient solution.

Magento

Magento is specifically built for professional E-Commerce users. It requires a certain level of programming proficiency from E-Commerce store owners before they can start their business.
Those who want to start a E-Commerce store on magento hosting can do so on DigitalOcean or Vultr. They can run a store with 200 products having 50 concurrent users with a minimum server of 4GB RAM, 80GB Storage.

PrestaShop

In comparison with other E-Commerce platforms, Prestashop is fairly lighter. You can easily start on either Digital Ocean or Vultr with 2GB RAM and 50GB Storage. Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting for both of them so using that would be a clever idea, because the server setup and management process can be extremely strenuous.

My Recommendation?


As cloud hosting is one of the most reliable hosting solution for all types of web applications, I prefer Cloud hosting. It’s better at managing cloud servers, such as Cloudways as it releases you from all the complexities involved in managing your servers. It comes with multiple cloud hosting plans that caters to E-Commerce store owners starting from as low as $10 only. Also, it has a custom stack known as ‘ThunderStack’ that offers four cache technologies for improving the performance of your E-Commerce store, irrespective of the platform you use.


Sajjad Shahid, E-Commerce Community Manager at Cloudways
Author Bio: Sajjad is an E-Commerce Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed E-Commerce Hosting Platform. He loves helping out E-Commerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups.