6 FAQs About WooCommerce Hosting
WooCommerce is a WordPress eCommerce plugin that helps you turn your website into a fully functional online store. It’s one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the web, powering nearly 30% of all online stores.
While WooCommerce is a great platform for building an online store, not all WooCommerce plans — or WordPress hosting plans, for that matter — are created equal.
1. What is WooCommerce Hosting?
WooCommerce hosting is a type of web hosting that’s specifically designed for websites that use the WooCommerce plugin, an extension that turns your WordPress website into an online store. WooCommerce hosting plans usually come with preinstalled WordPress, WooCommerce, and a number of other eCommerce-related features to support online store owners.
Just as WordPress hosting is available in shared, VPS, cloud, or dedicated server hosting flavors, WooCommerce hosting plans are not limited to a single hosting type. Shared hosting plans for WooCommerce are the most popular, and the cheapest, but enterprise clientele may require a dedicated server to meet high traffic demands for their WooCommerce store.
No matter what you’re selling, a WooCommerce hosting provider offers the technical infrastructure in a high-speed datacenter that allows entrepreneurs to sell goods and services online using a variety of software applications.
2. What’s The Difference Between WordPress Hosting and WooCommerce Hosting?
Just as a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not necessarily a square, WooCommerce hosting is a flavor of WordPress hosting but not all WordPress hosts offer plans specific to WooCommerce.
Both WordPress and WooCommerce are free and open-source software; however, WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress while WordPress is a blogging platform or content management system (CMS). This means WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress and needs WordPress to work.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce platform while WordPress is a general-purpose CMS. This means WooCommerce is designed specifically for online stores while WordPress can be used for a wide variety of websites, including online stores.
While WooCommerce can be used with any WordPress theme, there are also WooCommerce site templates that are designed specifically for an online store. These themes are often optimized for conversion rates and include bells and whistles that benefit online store owners such as shopping cart layouts and payment gateway options.
3. Do You Need Hosting for WooCommerce?
Yes, you need hosting for WooCommerce because WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, and a WordPress website needs a web host. While WooCommerce is a free and open-source plugin, it is not a self-hosted platform like Shopify. You need a WordPress hosting plan to use WooCommerce.
The best WooCommerce host for you depends, in part, on the type of hosting service your online store requires:
- Best WooCommerce hosting provider for your budget: Hostinger offers cheap WooCommerce hosting on shared servers starting at $8.99 per month. You’ll find all the popular freebies, including a free domain for your online store.
- Best WooCommerce hosting provider for long-term growth: ScalaHosting and InMotion Hosting each offer a choice of shared hosting or a VPS plan for WooCommerce.
- Best WooCommerce hosting provider for performance: A2 Hosting is known for its Turbo Servers, which yield up to 20 times faster pageload speeds for the sites they power. The hosting company offers managed WordPress hosting plans starting at $11.99 per month and WooCommerce plans starting at $2.99 per month.
- Best WooCommerce hosting provider for developers: You can try out the Cloudways platform for free for three days to see whether the hosting company’s cloud-powered VPS hosting environment is the right fit for your WooCommerce website or application. Cloudways offers your choice of cloud vendor: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Digital Ocean, Linode, or Google Cloud Platform.
- Best WooCommerce hosting provider for managed hosting services: Sister companies Liquid Web and Nexcess boast the most competitive managed WordPress hosting service options for WooCommerce customers. We routinely recommend Liquid Web for managed hosting on virtual or dedicated servers.
- Best WooCommerce hosting support: SiteGround has been a long-time favorite for its best-in-class customer support resources. The company also offers managed WooCommerce hosting plans.
We evaluate the best WooCommerce hosting plans based on price, setup time and ease of use, and the eCommerce-specific perks each service offers. For a dedicated WooCommerce hosting plan, or one running its own dedicated server, we recommend starting with one of the top-recommended dedicated hosting providers. Some hosts, such as InMotion, will preinstall WordPress and possibly the WooCommerce plugin for you at checkout.
4. How Do We Rate the Best WooCommerce Hosting Providers?
When determining the best WooCommerce hosting provider options, we look at:
- WordPress support: Is WordPress preinstalled? What about WooCommerce and other plugins (e.g., TurboCache)? Are WordPress software updates the responsibility of the customer or the hosting provider?
- Price: For a shared WooCommerce hosting plan (unmanaged), we expect pricing to fall within the $5-per-month arena. VPS hosting customers may spend $5 to $15 per month, and dedicated server customers will pay more depending on the number of CPU cores and bandwidth requirements.
- Security: Is TLS/SSL encryption a given? What about DDoS protection, automatic backups, or malware scanning?
- Email and marketing perks: How will the hosting provider support your WooCommerce store’s growth? Unlimited email hosting, a free domain name registration, and Google Ad credits are all examples of competitive marketing perks.
- Premium support: Online store owners are typically not developers by trade. We like to see 24/7 customer support available via live chat, phone, email, and/or support ticket when referring readers to a web hosting company.
Of course, you’ll pay a premium for a managed WooCommerce hosting service, but we find this upcharge to be well worth the price of admission, especially with hosts whose reputation for managed hosting precedes them (cough cough, Liquid Web or InMotion Hosting).
5. What Features Does a WooCommerce Hosting Provider Offer?
WooCommerce hosting is a type of WordPress hosting that comes with pre-installed WooCommerce, a plugin that turns a WordPress site into an online store. The best WooCommerce hosting provider will feature:
- Hosting essentials: Although not specific to WooCommerce, most companies marketing WooCommerce hosting plans will offer a free domain, ample or unlimited disk space, and unlimited email hosting for online store owners.
- Preinstalled eCommerce software: WordPress and WooCommerce, plus other popular scripts and apps available via single-click installation (e.g., shopping carts or inventory management)
- eCommerce security standards: Free SSL certificate, web application firewall (WAF), and routine backups for disaster recovery
- Performance features: content delivery network (CDN) and caching plugins to maximize site speed and deliver an optimal experience for your customers
We also find the best WooCommerce hosting plans include a free domain name registration and unlimited email hosting for your online store. Look for a managed WordPress hosting or managed WooCommerce hosting plan if you’re not comfortable handling plugin maintenance.
6. Which WooCommerce Hosting Company is Best For You?
Choosing a web host is a personal decision; your budget, your customer support needs, and your preferred software and applications are unique to your project.
The best eCommerce hosting is the plan that offers the most features at an affordable price. Shared hosting plans are often the cheapest, but they don’t offer certain high-end features such as a dedicated IP address or automated backups.
If you’re selling digital goods, such as downloadable software products or music files, you’ll need more than what a shared server can offer in terms of bandwidth and file storage limits. A virtual private server (VPS) could be your next step up from shared hosting; however, if you’re expecting heavy traffic to your website on a daily basis — especially during peak sales periods — you may need to upgrade to a dedicated server for optimal performance of your eCommerce store.
Wishing you and your future online store the best WooCommerce experience the web can offer!