How to Choose the Best WooCommerce Hosting?
When it comes to WooCommerce hosting, one of the first questions people ask is that why someone should choose WooCommerce hosting when you can install WooCommerce on any WordPress site.
Opting for a WooCommerce hosting plan comes with a wide variety of benefits.
1. More Resources
First off, you’ll get more resources to run an online store than you get from a basic shared hosting plan.
For example, with the basic shared hosting plan of Bluehost, you get 50 GB website space whereas with their starter WooCommerce hosting plan, you’ll get 100 GB website space.
As running an online source may consume more resources than a small website or blog, opting for a WooCommerce hosting plan gives you a peace of mind. This way you can rely on a more sophisticated hosting solution from the beginning that is good enough to operate an online store.
2. Get Free SSL Certificate
Almost every WooCommerce hosting provider gives you free SSL certificate when purchasing a hosting plan. SSL is an industry standard security measure that creates an encrypted link between your visitor’s browser and your website.
If you want to integrate Stripe payment into your WooCommerce store, installing an SSL certificate is necessary so that you can securely process credit card payments.
In fact, your customers are more likely to trust a website if you have added SSL certificate because it tells them that purchasing a product on your store is safe and secure.
With WooCommerce hosting, you don’t have to go through the unnecessary step of installing WordPress and WooCommerce because they’re preinstalled on your hosting account.
This way WooCommerce hosting makes it easy to launch an online store even for new WordPress users.
In a nutshell, WooCommerce hosting service comes bundled with all the set of hosting features you’ll need to launch your online store with WooCommerce.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a WooCommerce Hosting
Now you know why choosing a WooCommerce hosting plan can be a great decision when you’re getting started with a WooCommerce powered online store.
Before you choose a random WooCommerce hosting provider, let’s take a closer look at the factors you should consider when choosing one.
As customers around the globe expect your store to be live around the clock, you’ll need to ensure that your online store is always up. This is why choosing a reliable hosting provider that offers an excellent uptime guarantee is important. Any hosting provider that offers less than 99.9% uptime guarantee is not reliable enough to launch an online store.
To test the uptime guarantee, we’ve conducted a test on some of the most popular WooCommerce hosting providers to see whether they’ve lived up to their uptime promise. We’ve created a test WordPress site on these hosting providers with the default theme installed to analyze their performance.
We’ve conducted 2 different speed tests with Pingdom and Load Impact. With these tests, we’ve recorded whether they have any downtime, analyzed how these sites perform during traffic surge.
Reliable Technical Support
24/7 technical support is a standard feature in the web hosting industry. Support is typically offered through live chat, phone and ticket based email.
Before jumping in to choose a WooCommerce hosting service, take a closer look at what modes of support they offer throughout the day. For example, some hosts claim they provide 24/7 support but they don’t explicitly tell you that support via live chat is offered only within a specified time frame every day.
Now, offering email support throughout the day doesn’t make sense because an email support request normally gets resolved in 24 hours. To be useful, the support should be provided 24/7 via live chat.
Some host doesn’t offer free support via phone, so you’ll also have to ensure whether all modes of support are provided free of cost.
In addition, make sure whether the documentation on the site is extensive enough that helps you walk you through every aspect of WooCommerce hosting. An extensive documentation saves your time when in need as you can instantly resolve your issues without having to spend your time on live chat.
Choosing Between Managed and Unmanaged WooCommerce Hosting
When you compare different WooCommerce hosting, you can also notice that some providers offer managed WooCommerce hosting. Managed WooCommerce hosting could be the best choice for novice WordPress users, who don’t have previous experience in using a security and backup plugin for their site.
With a managed WooCommerce hosting plan, you’ll find that a few premium WordPress plugins, such as Jetpack Professional and VaultPress are preinstalled to offer an extra layer of security for your site. If you don’t need such plugins, you might use an unmanaged WooCommerce hosting. This way you’re not enforced to use a certain plugin on your site.
Hosting your store in a secure environment is your first line of defense in making your WooCommerce store impenetrable.
Compare the security features of different hosting providers to see which one offers the best security solution for your site. Some security features offered by various hosting providers are:
Foster trust with SSL certificate: If you want your customers foster trust on you, you’ll have to install an SSL certificate on your site. This way you can display a small green padlock icon in the address bar, which reveals your connection is secure so that customers can make a purchase confidently without worrying about data being misused or intercepted. Most WooCommerce hosting companies offer free SSL with a hosting subscription.
Vulnerability fix: Examine whether your hosting providers offer vulnerability fixes and custom WAF rules to provide proactive security to your online store. While it is always advised to take measures at your end to protect your ecommerce store, having an extra layer of proactive security provided by your hosting company gives you a peace of mind. This way you can resist WordPress specific vulnerability and security threats.
Easy maintenance with autoupdate: Having an outdated plugin can be vulnerable to your site because they can easily be exploited. This is why it’s highly recommended to constantly update your WordPress core software, WooCommerce and other plugins you use on your site. Some hosting providers autoupdate your WordPress core and installed plugins whenever a new version is released. However, keep in mind that latest updates could also have a compatibility issue, so you need to keep an eye out for it.
Daily backup: Some hosting providers allow you to conduct automated site monitoring and take a daily backup of your site. This way in case something goes wrong, you can easily revert it back to normal.
You don’t necessarily have to get a domain name from your hosting providers. But some providers offer a free domain along with a hosting account purchase. Getting a free domain from your hosting provider makes it easy for you to set up your online store. The best thing is that with a single account registration, you can purchase both the domain and hosting.
That said, keep in mind that your hosting company may charge high renewal price if they offer a free domain name with a hosting account purchase. That means in the long run, getting a free domain name isn’t profitable. Instead, you might want to create a domain with a domain name registrar like NameCheap.com. Of course, you’ll have to make an upfront payment to register a domain, but that’s totally worth it considering your renewal price will be nominal.
Money Back Guarantee
The refund policy is an important factor you’ll have to take a look at before choosing a hosting service. Most WooCommerce hosting providers allow you to try their service risk free for 30 days upon creating an account.
There are some hosting companies that charge absurdly high cancellation fees, so our advice is to avoid those companies at all costs.
Some hosting companies, like A2Hosting even offer anytime money back guarantee. The benefit is that you can ask for a pro-rated refund even after your trial period is over.
How many email address you might need to create using your domain name? Having an email address with your own domain name gives you a sense of credibility in the eyes of your customers. Make sure your hosting provider allows you to set up as many as email addresses you want before you subscribe to a hosting account.
WooCommerce hosting companies also limit the number of email storage you can avail with a hosting plan. Some host offers you unlimited storage capacity. While hosting providers usually don’t enforce a storage limit, you’re advised to use the storage and bandwidth for a nominal website operation.
And if you exceed your limits, you’ll get a warning email requesting you to upgrade your hosting plan.
Free marketing offers
When purchasing a hosting account, some hosts give you some cool marketing offers such as free AdWords and Bing Ads credits worth of $100 each.
You can use these credits to get started with advertising and drive new customers to your online store.
Over the years, we’ve helped many users to get the best WooCommerce hosting that fit their needs. In our experience, we’ve found that our users used to ask the same sort of questions again and again when choosing a WooCommerce hosting service. This is why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions, so you can choose the right WooCommerce hosting service for your online store.
What is WooCommerce Hosting?
WooCommerce hosting is the custom built hosting service provided by hosting companies that come with all the set of features you’ll need to get your online store powered by WooCommerce up and running. This way you don’t have to go through the tedious WordPress + WooCommerce installation process.
Even if you’re totally new to WordPress, you can quickly launch your online store within minutes, not hours.
Why choose a WooCommerce hosting when you can set up WooCommerce store with a WordPress hosting?
WooCommerce hosting comes with all the set of features to kick start your online store, like SSL certificate, etc. It also comes preinstalled with WordPress and WooCommerce on your host, so you don’t need to go through one-click installation process.
By purchasing a WooCommerce hosting, you can quickly roll out an online store without having to worry about security, server resources, etc.
What if I don’t need premium plugins that come bundled with some WooCommerce hosting plans?
Some hosting providers give you a bunch of premium WordPress plugins such as Jetpack Professional and VaultPress as a part of their managed WooCommerce hosting account. These plugins could be helpful for novice WordPress users who don’t have experience in providing an extra layer of security and backup options for their online store.
If you don’t need these premium plugins as a part of your WooCommerce hosting account, it’s in your best interest to choose an unmanaged WooCommerce hosting plan. This way you can install the plugins according to your needs. Alternatively, you may choose another hosting provider that doesn’t enforce you to use any addon plugin.
Why does hosting support matter?
Just because you choose a web hosting provider who has a great uptime track record, doesn’t necessarily mean hosting with them will be a walk in the park. You never know when you’re going to get in trouble with your online store.
For instance, imagine that your website went down for some reason but you’re unsure about the reason. Contacting your hosting provider is one of the first things you should be doing to get it sorted out. But if you can’t reach out to them when you need them, you’re going to lose lots of money.
This is why you need to ensure that your hosting provider has a good track record of resolving customer support request and also offers support via live chat and phone 24/7.
Do I need to have domain and hosting from the same provider?
Not necessarily. Many hosting providers offer a free domain along with your hosting account subscription. This makes it easy for you to set up an online store. This way you can manage both your domain and hosting under a single account.
However, if you prefer registering a domain name with a domain registrar like NameCheap, you’re free to do that.
Do I need to get a WooCommerce hosting addon?
In most cases, you don’t need any hosting addons that your hosting provider upsells with your hosting account subscription. To save your money, you can uncheck all those addon options. In case you need it in the future, you can always get them later.
What happens when your site outgrows your initial plan?
You’ll get an email from your hosting provider notifying that you’re exceeding the hosting limit.
If you find that your site outgrows your initial plan often, you’ll likely need to upgrade to a higher plan.
However, when you’re starting out, you can start with a basic plan and as you grow, you can seamlessly upgrade to a higher plan.
How much does it cost to start a WooCommerce powered online store?
WooCommerce hosting and a domain name will cost you around $170 per year. If you need a premium plugin and themes, the cost will go high.