Choosing WooCommerce is a big decision. If you’ve made that choice, congrats. But you’re not done making choices. You still have to make a major one: WooCommerce hosting.
Where you host your WooCommerce site can have a huge impact on the success of your store. Of all the back-end choices you make, your hosting is the biggest one. It may not seem like it because you rarely see the impact your hosting has. But your hosting determines just about everything, from how smoothly things run to what you can even run.
So choose wisely.
Remember, you get what you pay for. Cheap shared hosting is rarely the way to go.
Choosing WordPress Hosting
In a nutshell, hosting is storage for websites. It’s where you put the actual files that comprise your site so they’re available on the internet. It’s kind of important.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing WooCommerce hosting. Much of it is the same for any WordPress site—you need to worry about speed, security, reliability, support, and more. Hosting is a common question and we’ve talked about it a lot.
Here are some helpful resources to answer general hosting questions:
- Use this handy checklist for how to find the best WordPress host to find a host that works for you.
- Check out our overview of WordPress hosting to help you understand the basics.
- We’ve also compared WordPress hosting plans to help you make the best choice.
WooCommerce Hosting Issues
But the stakes are always higher with e-commerce, so we should consider some issues specific to WooCommerce hosting.
1. Site Performance
How well your site performs is a major consideration for ecommerce:
- 40% of shoppers will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- 79% of shoppers won’t shop at a site again if they weren’t satisfied with the site’s performance.
- 44% of shoppers will tell their friends about a bad online shopping experience.
You can look at some ways to optimize your WooCommerce setup to gain some speed.
But the reality is that the biggest gains are dependent on your hosting.
Your hosting sets the baseline for just about everything, including load speeds, reliability, and storage space. Certainly, you can do a lot to improve (or worsen) your site’s speed or how reliable it is. But you can only make your site as fast as your host will allow. If you’ve got a slow host, there’s nothing you can do about it (except switch hosts).
If you want good site performance (yes, please), you need to choose the right WooCommerce hosting from the start. Cheap hosting is not going to cut it.
2. Staging Server
One specific feature that might help with WooCommerce is access to a staging server. This is a space where you can test your site and make sure everything is working before rolling it out to the live server. This is the ideal way to do updates because you don’t risk crashing your live site.
Some hosts provide a staging server as part of their offering, so if it’s something you need and you aren’t sure how to do it on your own, make sure your host offers it.
3. Server Configuration
Optimizing a server for WooCommerce is no simple task. You need to consider caching, hits to the database, external calls and more. Confused? Yeah, WooCommerce hosting can get complicated, especially if your store is large and busy.
You want to choose a host that understands WooCommerce, especially if you don’t understand all these details.
Check out Chris Lema’s blog post on WooCommerce hosting for even more detail on some of these ins and outs.
4. A Host That Can Grow
If you have any dreams of growing your shop, then you should pick WooCommerce hosting that can grow with you. It might be tempting to choose a budget option from the beginning. It could save you some money upfront, but it will create more hassle down the road when your site needs something better.
A better option is to choose hosting that can grow with you. Choose a host that offers a variety of plans. Look for beginner options that you will serve you well now, but also more robust options that you might need in the future.
Moving your entire ecommerce site to another host is a big hassle. Choose the right WooCommerce host and save yourself that headache.
WooCommerce Hosting Matters
Your WooCommerce hosting is a foundation for everything else you do. Invest in that foundation. Don’t be a cheapskate. Your customers will be able to tell the difference, and you’ll see it reflected in your bottom line.