What makes a good e-commerce hosting platform
Hosting is a huge market these days, and even though there are hundreds of independent hosting companies, not all of them will deliver plans suitable for e-commerce. Let’s see what Bluehost has in store for us (no pun intended), and how e-commerce-friendly their hosting plans are:
- PCI compliance. This is one of the most important things for e-commerce. You can’t process your customers’ credit card data without being PCI-compliant.
- Dedicated IP and an SSL certificate. This is what authenticates you on the web and ultimately confirms your identity.
- Uptime. Uptime is crucially important for all kinds of websites, but even more so for e-commerce. When your store is down, it doesn’t earn you money. That’s why you need the most uptime you can get.
- Good server specs. Fast and optimized servers will guarantee good performance and good response times, effectively making it possible to serve more customers.
- Data center location. You should pick a server that’s the nearest to your audience’s geographical location.
- Good security mechanisms and policies. You don’t want your e-commerce store to fall victim to attackers or any other security-related issue. Your web host should offer good security mechanisms.
Bluehost e-commerce hosting review: in a nutshell
Bluehost offers a variety of different hosting plans and price points:
- Shared hosting. This is the standard offering – basic hosting packages on shared hosting space. Those are the most affordable plans (as low as $3.49 / month), but they also have their downsides. Mainly, you shouldn’t rely on a plan like that when running an e-commerce store, especially when customer data and credit cards come into play. However, those plans will still serve their purpose for simple sites without any e-commerce component to them.
- Optimized WordPress hosting. Bluehost is one of the few hosting platforms openly recommended by WordPress.org – they’ve been recommended since 2005, actually. Their WordPress-optimized plans include a handful of nice elements that make them a possible candidate for your WooCommerce-based store. Those plans are built on VPS technology, and they are managed (this means that the day-to-day management and maintenance of the server is handled by Bluehost).
- VPS hosting. The VPS plans at Bluehost are built on cloud technology, which makes them very reliable. When you choose one of the VPS plans, you can also dynamically increase server resources over time. It’s an affordable solution with good server specs, especially if you want to run your e-commerce store on a platform other than WordPress + WooCommerce.
Features in Bluehost e-commerce hosting
Here’s what you get with Bluehost hosting for e-commerce:
- One dedicated IP address included with Business Pro, VPS Standard, WordPress Blogger plans and up.
- An SSL certificate included with Business Pro, VPS Premium, WordPress Business plans and up.
- As stated by Bluehost: “Bluehost supports PCI compliance on all accounts for A and B compliance.”
- Going for VPS or WordPress plans, you get between 30-240GB of disk space.
- Strong machines for VPS and WordPress plans: 2-4 CPU cores, 2-8GB of RAM.
- Guaranteed server resources thanks to KVM hypervisor implementation.
- Global CDN access for better performance worldwide.
- 24×7 support on most plans.
- Spam protection, site backups, threat detection and site lock … all to make your e-commerce store more secure and less attack-prone.
Who’s Bluehost e-commerce hosting best suited for?
Bluehost seems to have something for everyone, regardless of your requirements, site size, or expected traffic.
That being said, some of their plans stand out a bit more than the others.
In particular, Bluehost looks like a great solution for WordPress and WooCommerce. Their WordPress-optimized plans come configured to do their job well. Plus, like I said, Bluehost is one of the few platforms recommended by WordPress.org.
Depending on the exact plan you select, you also get a dedicated IP address and an SSL certificate included. For cheaper plans, you can buy certificates separately. You also get a nice set of security features here.
And let’s not forget that those WordPress plans are all managed hosting plans. So you don’t have to worry about handling the technical heavy lifting on your own – Bluehost will do all of that for you.
You’re likely going to get the best results if you choose the WordPress Business plan, which is $60 / month.
Alternatively, if WordPress is not your thing, you can also build your store based on another platform under one of the VPS plans available. Bluehost supports platforms such as: osCommerce, Agora, Cube Cart, and Zen Cart.
The plan suitable for that would be VPS Enhanced or VPS Premium, which are $29.99 and $44.99 / month respectively.
Bluehost e-commerce hosting review: pricing
As I mentioned above, there’s a couple of interesting hosting plans available with Bluehost. Let’s look into them one by one:
||Shared Business Pro
|Hosting Plan Type
||up to 600 million visits / month
||$5.95 / month
||$13.95 / month
||$44.99 / month
||$59.99 / month
||$60 / month
|* prices for the first month
The specific plan you end up selecting is, of course, up to you, but remember that going with the cheapest solution on the list can backfire in the future.
In my opinion, and especially with a business like an e-commerce store, it’s worth to start with a quality VPS plan (or WordPress-optimized plan) that your site can grow with. Those plans offer good scalability and reliability – something that is going to become very important for your e-commerce store once it starts growing.
How to set up Bluehost e-commerce hosting
Bluehost has rather nice support sections and guides on how to set various types of sites on their platform. And the support team will also help you sort out any site setup issues you might have.
Like with most hosting platforms these days, you also get access to easy-to-use 1-click installers for various website and e-commerce scripts. Being really honest with you here, launching your site with any of those scripts takes not more than mere 5 minutes (provided you already have your domain name).
That being said, if you have an existing site, and you’d like Bluehost to handle the migration for you, it’s going to be $99.
Review conclusion – is Bluehost e-commerce hosting the right host for your e-commerce store?
Pros of Bluehost e-commerce hosting
Good WordPress optimized hosting plans (nice for WooCommerce).
Recommended by WordPress.org.
24×7 support on all plans.
Good server specs and fast machines (up to 4 CPU cores and 8GB of RAM).
Dedicated IP addresses and SSL certificates included with some plans.
Cons of Bluehost e-commerce hosting
Quality VPS plans are a bit expensive.
Migration of existing sites is $99.