Best Website Hosting For E-Commerce
So, you’ve got a product and you’re just about ready to make the leap to running an online store, but you don’t have the faintest clue which hosting platform to choose.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your online hosting platform for your e-commerce site. Customer experience, available widgets and plug ins, SEO optimisation, themes and customisation, all these factors impact the running of your business.
We’re going to help you find the best website for hosting e-commerce with our breakdown of pros and cons for each of these popular hosting platforms.
When running an e-commerce site your hosting platform needs a few basic abilities – you need to be able to showcase products, you need a functional checkout and a safe process for taking sales and this means an SSL certificate.
What’s an SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, basically makes it safe to take credit card payments
Shopify is a very popular choice for e-commerce sites. This hosting platform was designed specifically with online stores in mind so it’s structure supports all the basics of online shopping. Shopify hosting starts with monthly packages of $29.
Shopify is very user friendly so it’s easy to get started and set up the website. Shopify comes with built-in accelerated mobile pages, to ensure a speedy shopping experience for mobile users, which is a must in the e-commerce world. The look of your site is an easy choice, with more than 170 professional designs on offer. There are numerous ways to customise your Shopify site, with many plug-ins that can help you achieve your business goals.
Unfortunately, the majority of customisations on offer through Shopify will cost you in plug-ins that are often billed monthly. While all these plug ins offer a great variety of ways to track sales, SEO, customer activity and to push discounts and promotions, it can get pretty costly.
Squarespace is a very user-friendly platform, and popular for small businesses of all kinds including service based businesses and businesses with online stores. Squarespace is popular for it’s sleek and elegant designs, and easy to use templates. Starting plans for Squarespace begin at $25 per month.
The biggest pros are in the design style and templates available for Squarespace. You won’t require any coding knowledge to use this website, but it offers a cleaner and more modern look than a WordPress site. Squarespace also comes with a free SSL certificate and a free domain in your first-year subscription.
Squarespace has been criticised for lagging and slow loading times. This is a problem for an e-commerce site because anything holding up the sale could mean that your customer abandons their cart. Speed is a big factor in e-commerce. Another con for Squarespace is that there are limited payment options, and this oversight could cost you a sale.
BigCommerce is a popular choice for online stores and service providers. It combines website hosting with a database of your products and provided your yearly sales are less than $50,000, you can do the standard pricing package which is $29.95 per month.
BigCommerce gives you the option to add up to 600 product variants to products and it has a larger array of built-in tools than other commerce hosting platforms. The platform also natively supports customisations so if your business does a lot of custom pieces, engravings on jewellery for example this would be a great platform to explore.
BigCommerce themes are known to look less modern and sleek than their competitors Shopify and Squarespace. Probably the biggest issue with BigCommerce for e-commerce stores is that there is no built-in Point of Sale system, so you’ll need a plug-in for that.
Wix is a user-friendly hosting platform. It is most popular with small service-based businesses. This drag and drop style editor is great people without any coding knowledge. It’s a very user friendly platform and plans start from only $14 per month.
Wix has a variety of templates and a lot of room for creative freedom with your design. It’s very easy to edit and requires no coding knowledge. There are so many features you can add to customise the experience for your customers.
While Wix is endlessly customisable the design features available can feel overwhelming to beginners making it difficult to navigate. Once you have built the site you can’t switch themes without starting from scratch and that makes it a long and costly process if you decide to rebrand. And if you want to scale the business you will need a lot of additional plug-ins, which gets expensive.
SiteGround is one of the most popular e-commerce hosting platforms for woo-commerce integration. This hosting platform is supported by WordPress and simple to set up. SiteGround is great for beginners. SiteGround is also one of the cheapest options out there with packages starting from $6.99 per month.
SiteGround has a lot of built in features that e-commerce businesses are looking for such as Free SSL Certificate and free shopping carts. It’s known for the daily back ups, 24/7 customer support and out of the PCI compliant system.
But a lot of these features such as the compliant system will cost you extra in add ons in your plan. SiteGround is also not suited to larger stores, and you have many sites on a single server which can cause lag and slow loading times and issues when there is maintenance to be done.
Hostinger is a popular choice for small businesses on a budget. Like SiteGround it is a hosting platform with easy WooCommerce Integration making it perfect for a WordPress e-commerce site. But it’s not your only choice, you can also integrate it with Magento and PrestaShop. Packages start at $1.39 per month.
Hostinger has an easy to use drag and drop builder, so you don’t need to be a coder or designer to use this platform, the builder is very intuitive. Like some of the others on our list, this hosting platform boasts a free SSL certificate and free domain name.
While the price is one of the cheapest our list, it comes with a catch. To get this price you need to commit to a plan for 48 months, which is a long time if you decide you want to migrate the site after a while. Like a lot of the cheaper plans on this list you’ll need to install and pay for plug-ins to be able to perform many of the functions you’ll be needing.
This was our breakdown of the best hosting platforms for e-commerce sites! We hope you found it helpful!
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