If you’re planning to run a business and sell products, then you absolutely need an online store. Every year more and more buyers are heading to online stores to purchase their favourite products or services, so it’s crucial that you build an eCommerce presence as soon as possible.
Building and running an eCommerce store may seem like a daunting process, but it really doesn’t have to be. Nowadays there are tons of tools available to help your online store flourish, including eCommerce-friendly web hosts. Setting up any website, even just a personal blog, requires a web host. There are thousands of choices available, with each hosting provider boasting a unique selection of features. Many popular web hosts also cater specifically to eCommerce websites and provide tools and features that can take your online store to the next level. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can benefit from a web host’s simple features to set up and manage your website with no hassle.
So, how do you choose a web host for your eCommerce site? A suitable eCommerce web host will have robust security, a stable uptime, fast server speeds, and a range of features tailored specifically to eCommerce businesses. Since the web hosting market is packed with choices we’ve narrowed them down to just three of the best web hosts for eCommerce websites. Keep reading to discover the best web hosts for your online store in 2022!
Which features do you need from web host for your eCommerce website?
Reliable performance – The digital era is incredibly fast-paced and internet users expect any website they visit to load quickly. In fact, almost half of online consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% will leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Slow speeds can drastically impact your eCommerce store as you’ll have a decrease in visitors and subsequent sales.
Your chosen web host can drastically impact your site’s speed, so choosing a provider that has a reputation for fast and consistent loading speeds is absolutely vital. Ideally, your web host should have an average server response speed of under 200 ms to ensure the best user experience for your visitors. After all, over 70% of users say that the speed of a page affects their willingness to buy from an online store. To see how well your chosen web host ranks, you can check out some websites that track the server response speeds of popular providers.
The only thing worse than a slow website is…no website at all. If a user tries to visit your website but then sees that it’s down, then they’re unlikely to ever return. Regular downtime is probably a sure-fire way to damage your reputation, so try to avoid it at all costs. ECommerce websites will suffer even more from downtime as it can bring your business to a complete standstill. If you want to understand the true cost of downtime, then you can have a look at the revenue loss per minute of downtime for the top largest eCommerce stores. Moreover, having a subpar uptime can also negatively impact your SEO, meaning that you’re less likely to rank well on search engine pages.
Your web host can impact your website’s average uptime as well as its loading speeds. A reliable web host should provide you with an uptime of at least 99.95% which is equivalent to under 5 hours of downtime per year. Many web hosts have an uptime guarantee which is essentially a promise that your uptime won’t drop under a specific number. This is always a good sign when it comes to web hosting providers, so only opt for those that advertise an uptime guarantee.
Overall, fast speeds and consistent uptime are key factors for growing your online eCommerce presence and building trust with your customers. Choosing the right web host will have a direct impact on both these factors, so you should carefully weigh your options. It’s often wise to check the reviews of various web hosts so you can see what their customer’s experiences have been. If there is an abundance of complaints regarding slow speeds and regular downtime, then you should avoid the web host completely.
Robust security – It can take a lot of additional time to not only keep a website up and running but to also keep it secure. Using a web host that takes care of security-related tasks such as updating and patching software will help save you both time and resources. Most reputable web hosts will include additional security features in plans such as DDoS protection, firewalls, and malware/spam detection to help ensure that your website is protected. Not only this, but a web host is partially responsible for the security of your website’s visitors as well as the website itself.
An SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is crucial for any eCommerce website as it encrypts data to help secure sensitive user information such as payment details and passwords. Visitors can easily see if a website has an SSL certificate by looking in the top left corner of their browser, just in front of the URL. If there is a small padlock icon then it means the website you’re currently on has an SSL certificate. SSL certificates are important to have as an eCommerce store as they ensure authenticity, integrity, and privacy. Although SSL certificates can be a costly addition, many popular web hosts include one in their plans. Always opt for a web host that includes an SSL certificate in at least their premium plans as this shows that the provider values security and online safety for customers and businesses alike.
Additional eCommerce features – If you’re running an eCommerce store then you’ll want a web host that provides plenty of additional eCommerce-friendly features. Many eCommerce web hosts have a business option available for hosting plans that provide users with various tools and features that will help their online store thrive. Optimal eCommerce features include SEO tools, payment processing services, inventory management, shipping management, tax calculations, email marketing integration, coupon code generation, appointment scheduling, product reviews, and a currency converter. Most of these are QOL additions, however, they can help elevate your online store into a truly unique website that’s professional, functional, and user-friendly.
Our top recommended best web hosts for eCommerce websites
We’ve selected the best web hosts for eCommerce websites based on their performance, security, and range of features that benefit online stores and larger businesses.
Hostgator is an undoubtedly popular web host that boasts an unbeatable uptime guarantee of 99.99%. This web host is known for being fast, stable, and good value-for-money, making it a fine choice for eCommerce businesses.
Hostgator’s shared hosting plans offer a selection of features that can benefit your eCommerce store including one-year free domain registration, SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. Those with a larger budget can opt for the Business plan which includes additional features such as a positive SSL upgrade, dedicated IP address, and a selection of SEO tools (page optimization, keyword ranking reports, etc.).
Hostgator also has an intuitive built-in website builder available that can help you quickly set up a great-looking eCommerce website. Rather than searching through hundreds of templates, with Hostgator’s website builder all you have to do is answer a few questions and the AI will convert your vision into an optimized web page. From there, you can add or remove various elements using the effortless drag-and-drop interface. You can alter colours, images, videos, fonts, and sizes as well as create a completely unique logo with the included logo maker.
The website builder plans come packed with fantastic eCommerce features such as online payment integration, tax management, order management, inventory management, and a discount/coupon generator. If you opt for the store plan then you can also benefit from an unlimited number of product listings, no transaction fees, and advanced integrated shipping management. You are also able to easily optimize your site for mobile devices and create specialized email campaigns using this intelligent website builder.
Hostgator has a helpful customer support team who are available 24/7 via live chat to help out with any issues. You can also check out the knowledge base where you’ll find guides and answers to common questions. Or, if you’re a visual learner, you can head to Hostgator’s Youtube channel to follow along with easy-to-understand and in-depth video tutorials.
iPage is a high-performing web host that offers extremely affordable and feature-rich plans. Not only does this web host have an almost perfect uptime, but it’s also loaded with eCommerce features to help you efficiently set up and manage your online store.
iPage’s standard web hosting plan comes with unlimited disk space, scalable bandwidth, SSL certificate, free one-year domain registration, 1-click WordPress installer, email virus scanner, detailed site traffic reporting, and a free standard email address. Additionally, this plan provides eCommerce-friendly features such as shopping carts, PayPal integration, email marketing integration, and an easy 1-click installer.
iPage also has an AI-powered website builder included in all hosting plans. This tool can help you quickly set up a functional website without any hassle, so you can spend more time focusing on other important aspects of your business. After you answer several questions, the AI will put together a unique layout complete with images, a colour scheme, and basic content. You can then customize this layout however you like until it looks exactly how you want it to. iPage also provides you with a full library of images and hundreds of different templates to choose from.
The website builder eCommerce plan provides you with several features that will help with the setting up and management of your online store. This includes pre-built sections, page layouts, SEO tools, page revision history, analytics integration, inventory management, product tracking, PayPal integration, a promotions/coupon generator, and an unlimited number of available pages.
iPage has convenient 24/7 live chat and phone support as well as an extensive blog that covers a range of hosting-related topics. Here you can find various tutorials, guides, and interesting articles regarding the set-up, maintenance, and growth of your website. One informative article walks you through the creation of an eCommerce store from scratch, which many beginners will find incredibly useful.
Bluehost is a reliable web host that provides users with fast page speeds and a stable uptime guarantee of 99.98%. This web host also provides a handful of features that will benefit eCommerce websites as well as offering a selection of specialized eCommerce plans. The main eCommerce features offered by Bluehost include free SSL, one-year domain name registration, multiple caching layers (for site optimization), Google My Business verifications, metered bandwidth, and site monitorization.
Bluehost has two eCommerce plans available, standard and premium. The standard plan includes an online store (website and blog), email marketing, a custom store-front theme, unlimited products, product reviews, one-click install payment processing, discount code creation, and 30 days of free Office 365. You’re also granted one free year of CodeGuard backup which is a tool that performs daily automatic backups as well as scanning for changes and detecting malware.
Alternatively, you can opt for the more expensive premium plan which provides you with everything included in the standard plan plus other valuable features. This includes appointment scheduling, subscriptions, tax management, product customization, and free domain privacy. With the premium plan you can also benefit from access to the top WooCommerce plugins, including a currency converter, PayPal integration, shipping options, and calendar bookings.
Bluehost has a knowledgeable customer support team that is available 24/7 for all customers. This team can assist you with the set-up of your website while also ensuring that you’re making the most of all the provided eCommerce features. You can alternatively head to Bluehost’s knowledge base for tutorials, guides, and answers to common questions.
A final note
We hope you now have a better idea of the best web hosts for eCommerce websites. If this is your first time hosting a website, then we recommend that you read our summary of common web hosting questions and answers!