eCommerce sales have topped $200 billion in 2011. Expect to grow 9% in 2016. – Forrester Research
Now $200 billion is no small amount. Whether we like it or not (pretty sure we all LOVE it), eCommerce is here to stay. It has already a part of our daily lives.
Even if you don’t purchase anything directly online because you are oh so paranoid, chances are, you are checking prices, comparing products, and looking up product information online. That’s still part of eCommerce. 71% of shoppers believe that they can get better deals on the Web. And it is true too. Usually items are more expensive in brick and mortar shops, but you can sell at lower margins on the Web. Oh, and those flash deals with significant discounts? Good luck trying to get them outside. That’s just not happening.
Given all the convenience that the internet offers, it’s not surprising that eCommerce has seen explosive growth. Retailers of all sizes are entering left and right. Heck, even if you are just a one-man operation, you can do eCommerce. That’s like a no-brainer! You get to reach a worldwide market with eCommerce, after all. That’s something most other forms of advertising can’t do.
So yeah, you want to start an eCommerce website. Chances are, you already have a self-host solution in mind. Otherwise, why would you be look for best hosting companites for your next eCommerce provider? We have curated the top 5 best hosting companies that will work with most eCommerce solutions, except the ones that are meant for enterprises (but then you won’t be reading this article ;). Check them out after the break.
Winner – Arvixe – From $4/month
While other companies are specializing in one service or another, Arvixe doesn’t. Instead, they opt to offer a wide variety of services and do it well. Established in 2003, Arvixe offers shared hosting and VPS plans. If you haven’t decided if your chosen eCommerce solution should run on Windows or Linux (or already made a choice), then Arvixe will make you happy because they offer both Windows and Linux hosting.
It currently offers two classes of shared hosting plans: Personal Class and Business Class. Personal Class plans are, as the name suggests, for personal sites (also for smaller sites) while Business Class are meant for higher traffic and resource-demanding business sites since Business Class accounts will be hosted on servers with better optimization and share fewer accounts on each server to ensure more resources are reserved for each.
The Personal Class Linux plan costs $4 a month and Personal Class Windows is priced at $5 a month. Both come with unlimited storage and bandwidth and you can host up to 6 domains. Personal Class Plus for Linux is $7 while Windows is $8, and it will allow you to host an unlimited number of websites. Business Class plans also provide unlimited storage and bandwidth. Linux Business Class is $22 a month, while Windows Business Class is $27. You get a dedicated IP address as and an SSL certificate on business accounts.
Even resource-intensive eCommerce platforms like Magento will run fine on Arvixe, provided that you are not looking to host anything too big. For other open source eCommerce solutions, they will work just fine.
2. Web Hosting Buzz – From $4.95/month
eCommerce sites need more than just a hosting space and a domain. You need payment processors to accept online payments, a fixed IP address for SSL, and an SSL certificate for the security of your site. All of that comes at a cost (a lump sum upfront cost), plus it can be hard to install the SSL certificate if you are inexperienced.
This is why we love Web Hosting Buzz. The company has been around since 2002 and it’s known for their higher end plans, like their highest tier shared hosting plan. No, we are not saying their lower-tier plans are shoddy. Heck, much to the contrary, they are really good.
You can choose from three shared hosting plans, with the lowest priced plan at $4.95 a month and the highest priced plan going for $9.95 a month. All plans are backed by their 45 day money back guarantee. You get 400GB of storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and the right to host 2 sites on the lowest priced plan. The remaining two plans offer both unlimited storage and bandwidth. The highest tier plan at $9.95 will give you a Comodo Positive SSL certificate, a dedicated IP address, and a free 2Checkout Merchant account! Now that’s a complete package for your eCommerce site. That plan will be hosted on servers with an Nginx front end which is very well optimized and blazing fast.
3. Site5 – From $4.95/month
Have we said enough praises about Site5 yet? With their own data centers, Site5 is home to 250 servers and around 200,000 domains. Established in 1998, Site5 is one of the top hosting companies and they have an awesome support team. How awesome, you ask? You see, they have this customer support SLA which states that if you don’t get their response within 24 hours, they will credit your account as a token of apology. That kicks ass for real!
The prices for their shared hosting plans start at $4.95 a month. You will get unlimited storage and bandwidth on all shared accounts. Plans are backed by a 45-day money back guarantee, which is 15 days more than the industry standard. And they will honor it without question, in our experience. Your website will need a dedicated IP address for SSL. Since you are running an eCommerce site, you will have to go with the highest tier level in shared hosting plans. It costs a whopping $11.95 a month. Yeah, enough to break your bank ;). If you think you will get significant traffic and want something with better load balancing, then go with their shared cloud hosting which guarantees a load-balanced solution with a really high level of uptime. These plans start from $20 a month and also come with a dedicated IP address.
Site5 is amazing when it comes to customer support. Even if you run into problems for running scripts or installing something, they can help you. Go and try them out if you want to see for yourself.
4. SiteGround – From $3.95/month
What do you do when you are fed up with the status quo of the web hosting industry? Create your own hosting company that kicks ass. And that’s exactly what SiteGround did in 2003. A group of IT professionals got so fed up that they started SiteGround, and it has been awesome since then. SiteGround is now a home for over 150,000 websites, and they are committed to not overselling their resources. That’s their mission actually. In their 10 year history, we can’t find a lot of negative sentiment towards SiteGround. Trust us, we have searched WebHostingTalk and other hosting forums. Sure, there were a few customer complaints here and there but all were solved pretty swiftly and the general consensus is that SiteGround is superb.
Their shared hosting plans are on very well-optimized servers. Those plans have pretty darn good support for eCommerce solutions like OpenCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento and many others. So you won’t be limited in only a few eCommerce solutions that they support. You can just pick one you like. Even with a resource intensive solution like Magento, SiteGround has optimized their servers so you can easily run small eCommerce sites on the Magento platform.
The shared hosting fees begin at $3.95 a month for 10GB storage and unlimited bandwidth. You will have to pay a setup fee of $14.95 for a monthly billing cycle but it’s free for plans 12 months or longer. If you think you need more powerful solutions, SiteGround also offers VPS and semi-dedicated plans. VPS is more powerful than Shared since you get your own virtual server.
5. HostGator – From $3.96/month
If millions of hosted websites is what you look for as an indicator of reliability, then HostGator will satisfy you. It is the home for 8 million domains and 400,00 customers. That’s HUGE!
The company offers offers shared hosting, resellers hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. They offer a 45 day money back guarantee to all of their customers in over 200 countries. You will get cPanel for all accounts too.
Shared hosting plans at $7.16 a month, that is if you go monthly or a 6 month billing cycle. If you want the lowest rate, then you have to pay in advance for 3 years. Then your cost is only going to be $3.96 a month. You get unlimited disk space and data transfer for all shared hosting plans. For eCommerce sites, the highest tier plan priced at $11.96 a month will be best for eCommerce. It comes with a free private SSL certificate, a dedicated IP address, and a free US-based toll-free number for your customers to contact you. The toll-free number is only useful for the US, though.
Although these companies are really good for eCommerce hosting and we think they are among the best, you can still use our hosting services comparison tool to check out others here.