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Best eCommerce Hosting in 2020: Top 3 Comparison & Reviews

Finding a decent web host is hard enough if you’re running a regular website – never mind if you’re looking for one that can power an online store. To make your life simpler, we took it upon ourselves to look for the some of the best eCommerce hosting solutions out there. (Hard data inside)

Not all hosting solutions are made equal, however. If you’re in the field of eCommerce, you need something more robust and safe than regular hosting plans can give you. That way, you can provide a top-notch experience for your customers.

In this article, we’ll compare three of our favorite eCommerce hosting solutions.

Best eCommerce Hosting Solutions Compared

We’ll cover the features these hosting solutions offer for online stores, the state of their support and security systems, and their performance. We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s jump right in and find out the best eCommerce hosting for small business!

The best eCommerce hosting compared (in a nutshell)

If you don’t have time to read an in-depth comparison right now, check out this summary of our results (and come back later for the full story!):

Company Price
SiteGround $6.99 / mo
InMotion Hosting $2.49 / mo
A2 Hosting $2.99 / mo

If you’re involved in the field of eCommerce, then you know how important picking the right web host can be. It’s a choice that can have a severe impact on the success of your online store. With that in mind, we’ve selected three hosts that stood out in the results of our own hosting survey.

To get a more complete picture, we set up a simple WooCommerce store with a handful of products using each host. We used the same setup for all three eCommerce hosting solutions – including the store itself and all the other plugins we used – and tested their performance using Pingdom and Load Impact.

 

The best eCommerce hosting for small business compared (in full)

Here’s what we discovered about each host, in no particular order:

1. SiteGround (www.siteground.com)

SiteGround

Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all eCommerce plan, SiteGround offers tailored hosting for several major eCommerce platforms. These include WooCommerce (as seen above), PrestaShop, and Magento.

eCommerce specific features

Support and security

During our tests, we found that SiteGround’s support team was highly knowledgeable and quick to answer any questions we had via live chat. Furthermore, they offer a nice set of security features that go well beyond what you’d expect based on their low prices.

Page speed tests with PingdomBasic load testing with Load ImpactChart
  • Load Generator: Ashburn, US
  • Test Server: Ashburn, US
  • Minimum Response Time: 0.73 seconds
  • Maximum Response Time: 0.89 seconds
SiteGround's Load Impact test results.

Final thoughts on SiteGround

Much like our first pick, SiteGround offers a great eCommerce hosting experience for small business at very reasonable prices. Their support team is fantastic, and their security features are a boon for both growing eCommerce enterprises and those just starting off. That said, their eCommerce performance is pretty good, but they offer little in terms of scalability (due to a limited selection of plans).

2. InMotion Hosting (www.inmotionhosting.com)

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting is renowned for its low prices and comprehensive feature set, and its eCommerce hosting solutions are no exception.

eCommerce specific features

  • Dedicated IP addresses for some of their plans (those that don’t fall under the shared hosting umbrella)
  • Various SSL options
  • Supports multiple eCommerce platforms including PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento, and WooCommerce
  • PCI compliant
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Automatic backups

Support and security

InMotion Hosting’s eCommerce Hosting plans offer a stable hosting solution on a budget. You get access to a decent set of security features and regular support options, although the host doesn’t excel in either area. However, for this price point you’ll be hard pressed to find a better alternative.

Page speed tests with PingdomBasic load testing with Load ImpactChart

To gauge each host’s performance, we ran the same two tests. The first measured regular loading times, and we checked them using three different servers:

For our second test, we checked how our online store fared under a bit of stress – namely, a simulation of up to 25 concurrent users:

  • Load Generator: Ashburn, US
  • Test Server: Ashburn, US
  • Minimum Response Time: 0.27 seconds
  • Maximum Response Time: 0.37 seconds
InMotion Hosting's Load Impact test results.

Final thoughts on InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting’s eCommerce Hosting plans are a decent pick for small stores and those new to the field of eCommerce. You get a good set of scalability options and blazing performance at a low price. At the end of the day, however, you’ll probably want to upgrade to their more expensive VPS plans once your store starts growing.

3. A2 Hosting (www.a2hosting.com)

A2 Hosting

Rounding off our list, we have A2 Hosting. This web host offers eCommerce hosting for small business that support most popular platforms, such as PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento, and WooCommerce.

eCommerce specific features

  • Dual firewall system
  • One-click setups for most major eCommerce platforms
  • Automatic backups and server rewind functionality available for some of their plans (beyond the lowest tiers)
  • Dedicated IP addresses available for a small fee (approximately $2 per month)
  • Free SSL certificates

Support and security

When it comes to support response times, A2 Hosting outshone both our other picks. In most cases, we were able to get in touch with a support specialist in under a minute.

Security-wise, they offer a decent set of features for their price range. Their firewalls are par for the course, but their server rewind feature does come in handy since it functions like an advanced backup. Best of all, this feature is accessible right from your cPanel, which means you can use it to regain control over your site in the event you can’t access it directly.

Page speed tests with PingdomBasic load testing with Load ImpactChart
  • Load Generator: Ashburn, US
  • Test Server: Ashburn, US
  • Minimum Response Time: 0.21 seconds
  • Maximum Response Time: 0.45 seconds
A2 Hosting's Load Impact test results.

Final thoughts on A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers excellent performance (especially within the US) and reliable support at low prices. It’s a great all-around pick, with a decent set of security features. They don’t have a lot of variation in terms of plans, but their offerings are sturdy enough for small to medium-sized online stores.

The key features of eCommerce hosting for small business

When choosing the best web hosting for your eCommerce site, you need to be a bit pickier than usual. We’re not talking strictly about performance either – some hosts simply offer more features specific to eCommerce needs.

Let’s not forget, it’s your eCommerce business that we’re talking about here … having the site down for even a relatively short period of time can be brutal on your wallet.

For instance, it’s estimated that Amazon loses $2 million for every minute of downtime!

Granted, the situation is probably not as brutal for you, but still any dollar lost due to website problems is something you shouldn’t have to deal with.

As far as we’re concerned, these are the key features you should keep an eye out for when looking for the right host:

  • PCI compliance. If your online store will accept credit card payments, it’s crucial that your host is fully compliant with PCI standards. This is a requirement. Don’t dismiss this as something you “don’t need yet.” Here’s the crucial part: “PCI applies to ALL organizations or merchants, regardless of size or number of transactions, that accepts, transmits or stores any cardholder data.”
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. SSL certificates enable you to encrypt your customer’s data for added protection, and they’re quickly becoming the standard even beyond eCommerce. Ideally, you should look for a host that facilitates the setup process for you. And if the host works with Let’s Encrypt – which is free – then even better.
  • Dedicated IP addresses: Dedicated IP addresses are reserved for non-shared hosting plans. These may be a bit more expensive, but a professional eCommerce site usually warrants the cost. Furthermore, having your own IP address ensures that you can access your site even if your domain is down, and lets you opt for a private SSL certificate.
  • Backup functionality. There are plenty of ways to set up scheduled backups for any platform, but it’s always nice when a web host takes care of that aspect for you. A comprehensive hosting plan will include regular backups and provide you with simple restore options.
  • Firewall solution. This is hardly a groundbreaking feature, but it’s still nice to know that your host has its own firewall solution set up. That way, it can protect you in case your website gets attacked by some bot network or another kind of automated DoS attempt – meant to prevent genuine users (in this case, your customers) from accessing your online store.
  • Around-the-clock support. Downtime is the stuff of nightmares for any online store. Not only do you lose out on potential sales each time your store is unavailable, your customers may get the impression your operation isn’t professional. That’s why a good eCommerce host will take all necessary measures to minimize downtime.

Throughout this article, we’ll let you know what web hosts offer each of these features, which should help you make an informed decision. If you don’t see a particular feature listed under the host’s eCommerce specific features section, then that host doesn’t offer it. We’ll also let you know when a key feature is only available on certain plans.

That said, we recommend you don’t make your choice based solely on a list of features. After all, each web host has unique strengths that you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing the best option among eCommerce hosting for small business.

Conclusion

Your choice of eCommerce web host will have strong repercussions throughout your store’s lifetime. Your host can impact your website’s performance, its security, and the quality of support you have access to. It’s not a decision to be made lightly, but if you follow our advice you should end up on the right path.

If you’re having a hard time making up your mind and picking from these eCommerce hosting for small business, here’s a direct comparison of our performance experiments:

(Charts by Visualizer.)

As you can see, A2 Hosting stays consistently below (read: they’re faster than) all the other players, with the exception of SiteGround for Stockholm (which makes SiteGround possibly a better choice for an EU-based online store).

Before we wrap things up, let’s take one final look at the three eCommerce hosting solutions for small business we’ve covered:

  1. InMotion Hosting: A great budget option for small online stores that offers good performance.
  2. SiteGround: A solid option for modestly-sized and security-conscious stores.
  3. A2 Hosting: A great all-around option, with an excellent support system and decent scalability.

Here are all the basic details of each platform again:

InMotion SiteGround A2 Hosting
eCommerce plans start at ($ per month) $2.49 $6.99 $2.99
Support knowledgeability and response times 3/5 5/5 5/5
Security features 4/5 5/5 3/5
Minimum page load time (in seconds) 0.27 0.73 0.21
Maximum page load times (in seconds) 0.37 0.89 0.45
Performance (taking into consideration the scores above) 5/5 4/5 5/5
Overall score 4/5 4.6/5 4/5

What do you look for when considering eCommerce hosting for small business? Share your criteria with us in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

 

Original text by John Hughes. Layout and presentation by Karol K.

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and then purchase the product, we’ll receive a commission. No worries though, you’ll still pay the standard amount so there’s no cost on your part.

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