11 Best: eCommerce Hosting for Small Businesses  (Feb. 2024) 

Best Ecommerce Hosting For Small Businesses

Online shopping has dominated the commerce industry in recent years. People are shopping online more than ever, and this trend will continue to grow through the next decade. In 2021 alone, more than $360 billion in mobile eCommerce sales were transacted. It’s all too easy to find exactly what you’re looking for from the comfort of your own home. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I personally visited a shopping mall or a department store.

But as this market becomes more saturated, eCommerce businesses need to stay fast and reliable to compete with the other thousands of online stores. As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of having a website for your business. But the web host you choose will ultimately determine whether your website is a profitable investment or a costly mistake. Here’s what we’ve found in our search for the best eCommerce hosting for small businesses.

Most Affordable eCommerce Hosts

Small business owners have many expenses when they’re just starting out. And saving money on an eCommerce hosting provider is a smart way to cut back costs. We’ve tested and reviewed some affordable eCommerce web hosts for small businesses this year.

Take a look at our favorites:

1. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • Drag-and-drop online store builder for $1/mo
  • Quickly sell products, services, and digital goods
  • Cross-platform selling integrations with social media, Amazon, Google, and eBay
  • Built-in metrics, promos, and coupons
  • Track competitors’ Google and social media activity
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★★ 4.9 Our Review»
1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): The online store builder from 1&1 IONOS gives entrepreneurs a full suite of selling and marketing tools at their disposal — and all for a ridiculously low price. The company’s lightning-fast architecture and tools for SEO and marketing metrics will make your customers’ buying experience quick and enjoyable. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days Unlimited SSD FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

2. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.29

  • Fast and secure hosting for WordPress and WooCommerce stores
  • FREE domain, backups, SSDs, and SSL certificate
  • Server-level caching and scalable storage
  • 400+ free and paid extensions to grow your store
  • SPAM Safe™ Email with IMAP support
  • Get started on InMotion now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★ 4.4 Our Review»
InMotion: Our Expert’s Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion Hosting boasts modern NVMe SSD storage, dedicated caching, and scalable resources to deliver blazing-fast page loads your customers will appreciate. We recommend taking advantage of the premium web host’s managed WooCommerce offerings, but new store owners shouldn’t hesitate to check out the cheaper shared hosting options, as well. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
90 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

3. iPage.com

iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • FREE domain, email, and online store
  • Easy website builder with customizable layouts
  • Integrations for email and search marketing
  • PayPal, shopping carts, and site metrics
  • 38% OFF for HostingAdvice readers
  • Get started on iPage now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★ 4.3 Our Review»
iPage: Our Expert’s Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): If you’re looking to sell online, iPage is one of the best hosts you can trust. The company offers all the essentials, plus marketing guides, SEO tools, advertising credits, and more. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

4. SiteGround.com

SiteGround review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • Low-cost managed WooCommerce stores
  • FREE payment processing and adjustable shipping
  • Test changes to your online store in a staging area
  • Pre-installed SSL security and auto daily backups
  • 100% renewable energy match
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★ 4.2 Our Review»
SiteGround: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): The legendary WordPress experts at SiteGround have extended their expertise to online stores delivered through WooCommerce. Enjoy managed updates and industry-leading support with SiteGround’s cloud-driven infrastructure. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD New or Transfer 6 minutes

The whole point of doing business is to make money. Even though having an eCommerce business saves overhead costs of managing a brick-and-mortar store, there are still plenty of ways to save more money (and make more) online. Choosing an affordable eCommerce web hosting provider is a good example.

Contrary to popular belief, eCommerce websites don’t necessarily need expensive features to function as they should. Choosing a budget-friendly eCommerce hosting, e.g., a shared hosting plan, doesn’t mean you won’t like the hosting services offered. Similarly, getting a dedicated or virtual private server is helpful but not the only thing you need to succeed in the digital space.

It all boils down to your business strategy and how you intend to get the most out of the tools available to you, whether you choose shared, dedicated, or virtual private servers or something in between.

In fact, you’ll notice that many affordable hosting providers offer the essential features of a great eCommerce host. Do you want fast server uptime and speed? They’ve got it. Are you looking for SSL encryption for secure transactions, payment gateway integration, or shopping cart functionality? Say no more.

Keep in mind that each of the hosting providers mentioned above is scalable, so when your business grows, you can always upgrade your plan. That means you only spend money on what you need, which is essential in these tough economic times, and one of the fundamentals of running a profitable business.

Premium eCommerce Hosts

If money isn’t an issue, you shouldn’t hold back when choosing a premium hosting company. This option saves you from the stress of scaling up your hosting a few years down the line when your eCommerce business has burst its banks.

Now, let’s go over some of the best web hosting providers in the business.

5. Nexcess.net

Nexcess review

Monthly Starting Price $14.00

  • Code-free design tools for eCommerce stores
  • Templates for retail, food, clothing, and services
  • Custom WordPress integrations and optimizations
  • 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, and email
  • Try StoreBuilder with a 30-DAY FREE TRIAL
  • Get started on Nexcess now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★★ 4.8 Our Review»
Nexcess: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Designing, deploying, and maintaining an online store is best done with a quality host. Nexcess created a one-of-a-kind site builder exclusively for optimizing online stores. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 30 GB – 100 GB New or Transfer 5 minutes

6. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $11.99

  • 20 times faster performance that boosts sales
  • 80+ software options: Magento, OpenCart, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and others
  • Fully managed WordPress and server environments
  • Worry-free migration and 24/7 support
  • DDoS protection and layered security measures
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★★ 5.0 Our Review»
A2 Hosting: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): For those who understand the importance of page load speed and sales, look no further than A2 Hosting. The company boasts premium storage, optimized security, and one of the most diverse portfolios of one-click software installations we’ve seen. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

7. Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • Shopping carts or managed WooCommerce
  • Product reviews, discount codes & manual orders
  • WordPress email marketing via Creative Mail
  • FREE apps for forums, mailing lists, and polls
  • Unlimited storage with FREE marketing credits
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★★ 4.7 Our Review»
Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Trusted by millions, Bluehost is an excellent choice to host your ecommerce-focused website — especially if you’re a fan of WordPress and WooCommerce. The hosting company offers a free domain the first year, with tons of easy installations for shopping carts, web applications, and other advanced features. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

8. Wix.com

Wix review

Monthly Starting Price $27.00

  • Drag-and-drop builder means easy customizations
  • Sell tickets, subscriptions, and bookings
  • Comprehensive dashboard to manage transactions
  • Unlimited products and selling on social media
  • FREE tools for abandoned cart recovery
  • Get started on Wix now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★ 4.4 Our Review»
Wix: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): As a leader in drag-and-drop website design, Wix is unsurprisingly near the top of our list when it comes to easily launching vibrant online stores. Wix’s user-friendly interface includes advanced ecommerce services for dropshipping, loyalty programs, and selling on marketplaces. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
14-day FREE trial 2 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

9. LiquidWeb.com

Liquid Web review

Monthly Starting Price $21.00

  • Premier managed WooCommerce hosting
  • Supports up to 10,000 orders per hour
  • Automated performance monitoring of platform, plugins, and sales
  • FREE abandoned cart and page builder plugins
  • Readers can take 30% OFF the first three months
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★ 4.2 Our Review»
Liquid Web: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Pairing the luxury managed services of the Liquid Web and Nexcess cloud hosting platform with the affordability of WordPress and WooCommerce, this hosting plan enables store owners to build a powerful online business. You’ll have plenty of time-saving tools at your disposal that will boost your bottom line. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 30 GB – 800 GB New or Transfer 6 minutes

So what should you expect from a premium eCommerce hosting platform? I know there are so many different things to look for, but from my experience, I’d go for these six.

  1. I’d start off with advanced security features. We’re talking about the likes of DDoS protection, malware scanning, and intrusion detection systems to protect clients’ websites from cyber threats. The last thing you want is malicious people spying on your client’s financial situation every time they use a credit or debit card on your website – you won’t make any sales.
  2. Next, I’ll want to find out if the host offers great customization options for its clients. These include, but are not limited to, the ability to create custom templates, add custom code, and integrate third-party applications.
  3. Then, multichannel selling will be the next checkpoint. I’m saying that because, with the rise of social media and marketplaces (social commerce), some premium eCommerce web hosts allow their clients to sell their products across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay. This is why experts expect social commerce to grow even further in the coming years.
  4. Let’s rewind the clock back to 2021 one more time. Did you know that 29% of online purchases came from social media platforms that year? As you muse over those numbers, I would also want to find out if the premium eCommerce web host offers advanced marketing tools. I know there is a plethora of marketing tools and software out there, so it’s not possible to name everything, but for starters, I would go for tools that help with email marketing automation, social media advertising, and retargeting.
  5. I should be able to reach the web host’s customer service team quickly and efficiently. I’m talking about enterprise-level support, not just basic support. To be specific, I would need dedicated account managers, 24/7 technical support, and advanced training resources.
  6. Then, finally, I’ll check if the web host offers advanced integrations. The world of eCommerce offers so much, and I want to get the most out of it. Here, I would opt for features such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and marketing automation tools to streamline my operations and improve efficiency.

Here’s a pro tip to keep in mind: review your unique business needs (and those of your clients) before you go shopping for the best eCommerce platform. Let’s say you have such a powerful social media presence that you can still make sales on these platforms if you don’t have a website. If that sounds relatable to you, then you need a web host with powerful social media marketing tools to tap into your social media audience and transform them into buyers.

You may be a little bit concerned about the price, but it is worth every coin for a premium service.

Best eCommerce Hosting Providers with Site Builders

A standard eCommerce website costs between $1,500 to $6,000, according to Shopify. Remember, that’s only the design fees; we haven’t added the domain and hosting costs. When you add everything up, that’s quite a lot of money for a small business. In fact, some small businesses don’t have a website, and it’s not because they don’t know about its importance but because they can’t afford a website designer.

Thanks to eCommerce hosting with site builders, you don’t need to worry about the costs of hiring a web designer. These web hosts have a built-in website builder you can use to design a basic (yet functional) eCommerce website for your business. The best part is you can do all that without writing a single line of code.

Below are two of the best eCommerce web hosts that come with a website builder.

10. Wix.com

Wix review

Monthly Starting Price $27.00

  • Drag-and-drop builder means easy customizations
  • Sell tickets, subscriptions, and bookings
  • Comprehensive dashboard to manage transactions
  • Unlimited products and selling on social media
  • FREE tools for abandoned cart recovery
  • Get started on Wix now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★ 4.4 Our Review»
Wix: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): As a leader in drag-and-drop website design, Wix is unsurprisingly near the top of our list when it comes to easily launching vibrant online stores. Wix’s user-friendly interface includes advanced ecommerce services for dropshipping, loyalty programs, and selling on marketplaces. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
14-day FREE trial 2 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

11. Shopify.com

Shopify review

Monthly Starting Price $29.00

  • Site builder with FREE and premium themes
  • Unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products
  • Easy-to-use dashboard for managing orders, shipping, and payments
  • Tons of features, including discount codes
  • FREE MyShopify.com subdomain or use your own
  • Try Shopify FREE for three days.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
Shopify: Our Expert’s Review

Toby Sembower (HostingAdvice.com): The great thing about Shopify is how the feature set centers around ecommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but most of the company’s plans are significantly more costly than a majority of the shared hosts we’ve come across. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
3-Day FREE Trial Unlimited FREE Subdomain 5 minutes

Hopefully, as your business grows, you can spend a little bit more on getting a professional website.

How Do I Start an Online Store?

The first eCommerce store I built wasn’t anything to write home about. That was back in 2003 when you couldn’t find many payment options. In fact, PayPal hadn’t even introduced its online payment system.

Fast forward two decades later, so much has changed. We can now leverage the power of site builders, eCommerce platforms, and WordPress hosting with WooCommerce to build functional and beautiful online stores.

Shopping cart and packages next to laptop
There are various ways to build an online store, including site builders and eCommerce platforms.

Let’s break down these elements further.

You don’t need any coding knowledge to use site builders; they come with powerful templates and drag-and-drop tools to match your preferred style. I’ve tried different site builders, including the most popular, including Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace — and they’ve been worth every penny. Wix is probably the simplest to use, followed by Shopify and Squarespace, in that order.

Choose the Right eCommerce Platform

These are dedicated software that help businesses sell products online. But users need some technical knowledge to set up and customize.

Most eCommerce platforms I’ve seen have different features and functionalities, including product management, payment processing, inventory management, and CRM. Some will even take it a notch higher with multichannel selling, internationalization, and integration with third-party tools.

You’ll find many options out there, but Magento, BigCommerce, and Volusion are arguably the most popular.

Install WordPress with WooCommerce Plugins

WordPress is a popular open-source Content Management System (CMS). In fact, around 43.2% of websites worldwide run on this system, according to W3Techs.

WordPress.org

WordPress review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • #1 site-building software is FREE
  • Install in 1 click with top hosts
  • FREE themes to customize your WordPress site
  • Works for eCommerce, blogging, galleries, and personal sites
  • Trusted by millions of website owners
  • Get started on WordPress with InMotion Hosting.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
WordPress: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): WordPress hosting is incredibly cost-competitive. The software itself is free, and most shared hosts offer WordPress packages in the $2- to $5-per-month ballpark. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
90 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

On the other hand, WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that runs on WordPress. Its main role is to help businesses sell products online.

These two offer high flexibility and customization for eCommerce websites and come with a large community of developers and users, making it easier to troubleshoot issues along the way.

On the downside you’ll need some technical knowledge to set up and customize them to your liking.

What Is the Difference Between eCommerce Hosting and an eCommerce Platform?

The terms ‘eCommerce hosting’ and ‘eCommerce platform’ can be confusing to people venturing into the world of online business. I must admit that, prior to building my own stores, I didn’t realize that these two terms were actually different.

But now I know better; eCommerce hosting is a service that provides the server space and infrastructure required to run an online store. On the other hand, an eCommerce platform is the software that manages the store’s eCommerce functionality and operations.

keyboard with the word "e-commerce"
You’ll need an eCommerce hosting provider to make your online store available to customers.

You can look at eCommerce hosting as your website’s physical home and the platform as the software that runs that ‘home.’

There’s also another way to look at it. When you sign up for eCommerce hosting, you’re renting space on a server that’s built with everything it needs to host online stores.

It’s like renting an office space in a busy market. You’ve probably seen such a setup before; the hosting provider, in this case, the market owner, offers various features, including security, scalability, and performance optimization, to ensure the store runs smoothly.

What eCommerce Features Do I Need?

An eCommerce site isn’t the only thing you need to compete in the digital space; the site needs to be functional and safe for the user. So how do you achieve that? Let’s go feature-shopping below. We’ll start with multilevel security, something I’ve emphasized many times in this article. This is because eCommerce websites hold sensitive information, mostly financial.

Some of the security features to opt for include SSL encryption, PCI compliance, fraud detection, and secure login authentication. To prove just how serious the security issue is, check out this study I found on LinkedIn:

In summary, it found that 43% of cyber attacks target small and medium-sized businesses.

Your eCommerce website shouldn’t just circle around offering great products or services; no one will even want to shop there if it has a terrible design. Some of these shoppers don’t even know whether your products or services are what they really need; it’s the design that pulls them closer and gives them the confidence to trust what you’re selling.

Nothing bothers me more than a slow-loading website, and I know I’m not the only one on this. Just to show you what I mean, I came across a 2019 survey that shared the same sentiments. The research found that 70% of internet users will leave a website if it takes too long to load, and I don’t blame them.

But the big question is whether the website is really slow or you’re just impatient. Here’s a quick way to avoid guilt-tripping yourself over this topic; in the world of high-speed servers, anything that takes more than three seconds to load will hurt your business.

Computer screen with a throbber
A slow website will hurt your eCommerce sales.

Next, you need various payment options, especially popular ones such as PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the transaction fee — you want it as low as possible.

You can top it off with a built-in marketing tool that supports Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email marketing, and social media integration to promote your products to a wider audience online.

Have you ever heard the term ‘responsiveness’ or even better, ‘mobile friendliness?’ That’s just a fancy way of saying that your clients should be able to access the website across multiple devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. In fact, it’s one of the key factors search engines, such as Google, consider when ranking a website.

Other equally important factors you may want to check include inventory management, shipping and fulfillment options, customer support, and analytics tools.

Meeting Your Customers Where They Are: Online

You now know that launching an eCommerce website can boost your business in today’s digital age by allowing you to tap into the ever-growing online market. As with any other business, you’ll need a little bit of patience to start seeing the results. That said, choosing the right eCommerce web hosting solution is (literally) the first step in the right direction.

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