WooCommerce is one of the world’s leading eCommerce solutions. It’s a beginner-friendly platform that helps small business owners create online stores, build their brand identity and grow their businesses.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that WooCommerce powers 23% of the top one million online stores — more than any other platform in 2023. And as the number of global eCommerce sales continues to rise annually, it’s not unlikely that WooCommerce’s popularity amongst small business owners and consumers will also increase.
You can set up your WooCommerce store in two ways: Using a shared hosting plan or opting for a WooCommerce-specific hosting package that gives you the features and the support you need to expand your online business.
We’ll cover why WooCommerce hosting is the better option, how it helps you build a robust online store and what factors to consider when choosing a WooCommerce hosting provider.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns your website into a fully-operational online store. The platform comes with a shopping cart, payment functions and numerous options for you to create landing pages, product pages and special events.
But what really sets WooCommerce apart from other popular eCommerce solutions like Shopify is that it’s open source. This means that you retain complete control over your store’s data. It’s your website, after all, not “leased space.”
Plus, the open-source nature of the platform ensures that experts all over the internet are continually updating and improving its functionality. As a result, the eCommerce plugin is highly customizable, so you can build exactly the kind of online store you want for your brand.
For instance, WooCommerce has everything you need to:
- Sell physical and digital goods
- Handle dropshipping for printables and other custom products
- Run affiliate sites
Now that you’re familiar with what WooCommerce is, let’s take a closer look at WooCommerce hosting and ways it can support your business.
What is WooCommerce hosting?
WooCommerce hosting is a type of WordPress hosting with additional server configurations to handle the unique performance needs of WooCommerce stores. In other words, the servers your eCommerce store is hosted on are reserved and optimized for WooCommerce stores.
You could still use shared hosting to host your WooCommerce store. However, doing so means you’ll have to share server space with hundreds of other WordPress websites built for different purposes, which could result in poor website performance depending on the size of your online store.
If you decided to use a shared hosting plan, you’d also be responsible for installing and managing the WooCommerce store plugin. This means you’d have to download extensions, themes and other plugins to make your WooCommerce store have the right look and functionality.
WooCommerce hosting plans, on the other hand, typically come with all the essential features already built in and calibrated.
Benefits of WooCommerce hosting
Curious to learn more about what the advantages of WooCommerce hosting are? Let’s look at a few of them in more detail. You can read more about the benefits of the WooCommerce plugin here.
Pre-installed themes and templates
As mentioned above, WooCommerce hosting packages have a pre-installed WooCommerce store with compatible themes and templates. They also include all the essential elements you need to run an online business.
For example, Bluehost’s WooCommerce plans provide shipping options, payment processing and calendar bookings. They also include Yoast SEO, an effective and easy-to-use tool that gives your store more visibility on search engines.
You can also add capabilities with powerful eCommerce plugins in the Bluehost marketplace.
Some tools you can use include Product Add-Ons that let visitors add more products to their shopping carts without leaving the checkout page. Others integrate with Amazon Pay, FedEx Shipping and Xero.
Another benefit of WooCommerce hosting is enhanced security. WooCommerce hosting plans offer the protection your eCommerce store needs to safely process payments, manage customer profiles and capture visitor emails.
They typically have a pre-installed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a dedicated IP address and a certificate for secure management of customer data and transactions. The hosting plans also work with WooCommerce’s core elements to maintain and regularly update security features.
With WooCommerce hosting, you typically have dedicated servers for your WooCommerce store. That translates to more uptime, more bandwidth and more storage space. As a result, your store loads much faster and smoother than if you used a shared hosting plan.
24/7 access to a technical support team
Like with server reliability, quick access to expert support can make a big difference to the success of your WooCommerce store.
When experiencing issues like downtime, you want the problem to be resolved immediately. And while email support can work for most WordPress websites, waiting too long to receive a reply can hurt your eCommerce business.
You’ll want to look for WooCommerce hosting packages that have 24/7 access to customer support reps with WooCommerce functions and features expertise.
Factors to consider when choosing the best WooCommerce hosting provider
With so many web hosting providers, it can be challenging to select the best, as each web host provides different features, support and pricing options.
To help you narrow down your choices, we’ll cover five factors to consider before choosing your business’s WooCommerce hosting provider.
Ample storage space
Disk space is crucial to an eCommerce store. Every product you upload will require multiple high-resolution images. And when your store grows, you may quickly fill up the allocated disk space.
That being the case, you’ll need a web host that offers enough storage resources for your WooCommerce store. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to pay additional fees for more disk space.
Track record of high performance
Your eCommerce store’s loading time significantly impacts your conversion rates. According to Portent, a website that loads in one second has a conversion rate that’s three times higher than one that loads in five seconds.
To that end, you should only consider a web hosting company with a solid track record of offering and maintaining high-performance WooCommerce plans.
Scalable server resources
Unlike other WordPress websites that grow predictably and steadily, an online store’s traffic can vary greatly. Holidays often trigger a surge of traffic and growth tends to be exponential.
Therefore, it’s essential that you look for a web host that offers server resources that can scale with your business and are easy to switch between when you need to.
Above-average customer support
It’s always a good idea to search for company reviews online, especially when it comes to customer support. What’s the reaction of most people? Do they have challenges getting assistance or is the support team easy-to-contact and efficient?
The web hosting service should have 24/7 direct contact via live chat and phone so you can resolve any issues regardless of the time.
The hosting provider should also have a comprehensive knowledge base where it provides articles, guides, how-tos, and instructions that answer its customers’ most common questions. These guides should be up-to-date, beginner-friendly and easy to navigate.
Best value for money
When it comes to web hosting, your first instinct might be to go for the cheapest option. However, you shouldn’t assume a WooCommerce hosting solution is a deal just because of its lower price.
Before purchasing a hosting plan, you should dig into the features and optimizations the hosting company offers for WooCommerce stores. Then, choose one that provides the best value for money based on the needs of your business.
For example, Hostinger’s WooCommerce plans start at $3.99/month. However, you’ll still need to install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website and ensure it functions properly.
In contrast, a web host like Bluehost offers a slightly higher monthly plan starting at $9.95/month. But with the added cost also comes a pre-installed WooCommerce store with all the necessary features to run it efficiently.
Final thoughts: What is WooCommerce hosting? (And what are its benefits?)
If you don’t mind installing and configuring everything yourself, then a standard shared hosting package may be all you need to start selling with WooCommerce, especially if you just want a small store with a few products.
That said, if you plan on growing your eCommerce store into a full-time business, you should consider a dedicated WooCommerce hosting plan. It’ll provide the resources and tools you need to start building your online store and expanding your brand’s reach.
Of all the WooCommerce hosting plans out there, Bluehost offers the best value for money. Its affordable, feature-rich plans are perfect for small business owners who want their online stores to stand out from the crowd.
Check out our WooCommerce Hosting plans today and start building your online business with confidence.
WooCommerce hosting FAQs
The main difference between WooCommerce and WordPress hosting is that WooCommerce hosting comes with specific performance features that WooCommerce stores need. In contrast, you can use WordPress hosting for any type of WordPress-powered website.
You can add unlimited products to your WooCommerce store since the platform has no product limitations. However, adding too many items could affect your site’s performance, loading time and website speed, particularly if you’re on a shared hosting plan.
A dedicated WooCommerce hosting service is better if you plan to set up a large eCommerce store.
WooCommerce hosting isn’t free. Most WooCommerce-specific plans cost more than a regular shared hosting plan because they offer dedicated and optimized server resources for WooCommerce stores.
That said, installing the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website is free. So if you’re on the fence about whether WooCommerce is the right platform for your business, this is a good way to test out its features with no strings attached.
Yes. You can sell on WordPress without WooCommerce.
WordPress has other plugins that can convert your website into an online store. They include Easy Digital Downloads, a good option for selling downloadable and digital products. Another alternative is MemberPress, which is great for selling online courses.
Since your WooCommerce store is installed on your WordPress website, migrating it to a new hosting platform is similar to how you’d migrate any other WordPress website to a new hosting provider.
Depending on your Bluehost plan, you may be eligible for a free WordPress site migration. Once you’ve initiated the migration, Bluehost’s team of experts will be there to guide you through the remaining steps.