It’s a pretty small company—though it was founded in 1998 and has therefore been around as long as some of the best in the biz, FatCow’s name hasn’t exerted as much pull as its other, larger, competitors.
And yet, FatCow has managed to stay afloat in a very competitive area of online business for two decades—so clearly, it’s not too shabby despite its size.
And this leads us to wonder—what is up with FatCow?
Is it staying alive by luck, or is it a hidden gem in the hosting world?
In this review, I’ll take a look at FatCow and discuss my experience using it.
I’m happy to report that this underdog is a solid hosting company, but there are a few caveats to look out for.
So—let’s get to it!
FatCow: The Cons
FatCow is one of the more nuanced hosting companies that I’ve reviewed.
I like it, or at least I want to, especially because it’s a relatively small contender in a large pool of hosting companies.
However, there are a few things that FatCow doesn’t do the most competitively, and it’s my job to highlight those flaws.
It’s inexpensive for its first term, relative to the features you get, but once it renews, it’s quite costly.
Moreover, it’s just one package—you can’t opt for a cheaper package with fewer features, just the one package that may be above your ideal price point.
Other competitors certainly offer shared web hosting packages for lower prices and similar amounts of features, which makes this unfortunate.
Another downside is FatCow’s customer support: I found their knowledge base to be a little shoddy.
A redundant link here, a how-to article that uses another hosting company’s video there, and so on…all things considered, their customer support isn’t terrible, but far from the most robust, I’ve seen.
The good news is that’s about it for FatCow’s flaws.
The pricing structure is a little too simple for shared web hosting, and a bit expensive for shared web hosting depending on what you’re after.
Its on-site documentation could be revamped.
Other than that, it’s decent—so let’s get into that fun part!
FatCow: The Pros
Thankfully, FatCow does have some good things going for it. The first thing I want to look at is the simplicity of the pricing structure.
Yes, if you want to get shared web hosting, you might find FatCow’s pricing a little too restrictive to get something tailored for your needs, especially if you’re trying to save money.
However, if you want WordPress, VPS, or dedicated hosting—well, FatCow’s structure actually makes things very easy.
WordPress hosting has two tiers that are both well-featured and not significantly priced apart from one another.
Dedicated and VPS hosting have the same features, and getting a different package really means getting more server accommodations than tools.
It’s very streamlined and makes it hassle-free to get those options.
The other thing is also related to its shared web hosting package: if you want a cheap option that doesn’t need to have every feature, FatCow isn’t the place for you.
But if you’d get the highest tier of shared hosting for a heavier toolkit on another platform, then FatCow’s price is actually not so inexpensive.
If you want all those tools and accommodations, it’s not overpriced.
It’s overall a well-featured platform, so I give them credit for that.
Moreover, their security is pretty solid. It’s not the best—I do think they might be able to employ a harder security infrastructure and more cyber-defenses—but I appreciate their on-site transparency.
Finally, their simplicity can drag them down with shared hosting prices and customer support, but overall, they are a very easy to use service. It’s streamlined: as mentioned, the pricing is simple, but so is the actual software itself.
It certainly has an easy learning curve and a pleasant user interface.
Combining that with a good set of features is a worthy accomplishment that every hosting company has to hit, and I appreciate FatCow’s success.
Now, let’s look into pricing a little more.
Something I like a lot about Fatcow is the simplicity of its pricing.
Everything is extremely straightforward; you don’t need to dig around too long to figure out how many services you can buy.
So let’s keep that simplicity going, eh?
First off we have the option most of you will be looking at: shared web hosting, which FatCow calls “The Original FatCow Plan.”
The Original FatCow starts at $49 a year—this is a special introductory rate that will increase after your first term—which evens out to roughly $4.08 per month.
The renewal prices are $14.95 a month for a year-long term, $13.95 for a 2-year term, and $12.95 for a 3-year term. Frankly, these are very pricey—I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t for a different hosting package.
But nope, that’s for its standard, shared web hosting service. Of which, by the way, there is only one option—it’s not a tiered product from which you can choose packages with fewer features for a lower price.
WordPress hosting, a staple hosting product for most services, starts at $3.75 a month and ends at $6.95 a month.
Yes, there are only two tiers, WordPress Starter, and WordPress Essential—but hey, they’re decently priced and WordPress Essential seems to be fully featured.
Virtual Private Servers start with a Basic plan, for $19.99 per month for the first term ($24.99 afterward), and end with Optimum at $79.99 ($99.99 regularly).
For those looking at heavy-duty options, dedicated hosting with FatCow starts at $119.99 a month and ends at $191.99.
Of course, these are discounted for the first terms; once that period is over, you’ll pay $149.99 for the Startup (first tier) package and $239.99 for the Enterprise (third tier) package.
Overall, WordPress hosting is pretty cheap on FatCow, and VPS and Dedicated server hosting with FatCow is also well-priced.
The only issue is shared web hosting: it’s $49 for the first year isn’t too overpriced, but it’s still much more expensive at over $4 a month than what many other leading providers offer—which is more in the $2-3 range.
When you renew it, however, the price rises dramatically. If you commit for three years, you still pay $12.95 a month. To put things in perspective: GoDaddy and Bluehost renew at $7.99 a month, and that’s for a year-long package.
So overall, I would say FatCow’s shared web hosting option is overpriced, but its other options are very fair and still worth considering.
So let’s talk about features—the thing that will really determine how well-priced a package is!
Usually we focus on the features for shared web hosting, because it’s typically the most sought-after hosting option.
As FatCow’s shared web hosting is overpriced, however, we’ll try to talk a little more about every other service they offer.
Shared hosting has a decent set of features—decent insofar as it might mediate the price a bit.
Of course, there is the actual hosting itself, as well as an easy site-builder, application installation wizards, and online store tools, email, SEO and marketing tools, and customer support.
It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, a free domain name, unlimited mailboxes, unlimited disk space, and no caps on bandwidth.
It’s easy to view these as generous—however, you could also get these features for simply upgrading to a second or third-tier shared hosting package on a different platform.
This is really only worth it for your first term of use; after the renewal causes the price to rise, you might as well go elsewhere.
The WordPress hosting packages offer free domain registration, unlimited disk space, and unlimited bandwidth as well. More interestingly, they offer free search engine marketing credits, which is pretty neat for the Starter package’s low price.
The features for VPS hosting are more or less the same between tiers: the increase in price basically accounts for an increased number of cores, RAM, storage, and bandwidth. You can calculate the price yourself here.
Overall, I would say dedicated and VPS hosting plans with Fatcow are about as fully-featured as on any other platform, and competitively priced (or at least normally priced).
WordPress hosting seems to be a pretty good deal with FatCow, regardless of which tier you get, although it’s not necessarily the best deal for WordPress hosting out there.
Shared web hosting has a pretty good set of features—the only problem is it’s a bit pricey.
You might be getting a good deal for that first year, paying around $4 a month for what could be twice that on another platform, but after your first term, the renewal price is so significant that I’m not sure it’s worth it.
That being said, it sounds like FatCow doesn’t really struggle with having the right amount of tools or having a good amount of the right tools—just price.
How does being able to juggle these features pan out for the user?
Having a combination of ease of use and flexibility is pretty essential. FatCow markets itself as a platform for small-to-medium businesses.
One would, therefore, expect FatCow to offer enough power to satisfy business needs, but a service that is streamlined and simple, to make things easy and efficient.
This is how every popular hosting company markets itself, but FatCow specifically names simplicity as one of the company’s founding premises.
The good news is that FatCow does indeed succeed in this regard. You might have seen it a little bit in the pricing and features sections: even when you’re looking at what to buy, there isn’t really an overwhelming amount of choices.
Shared hosting has one package with every feature. WordPress hosting has only two packages. For VPS and dedicated server hosting, the tools you get are the same—the only thing you pay more for is extra accommodations and space.
Even if you’ve visited their site, everything is extremely simple and easy to navigate. The same is true for the site once you’ve logged in. You won’t need to dig around much for anything.
All website builders are easy to use—that’s their goal, after all—but FatCow’s is no exception. This video, from their help page, is a good demonstration.
Managing your account, email, domains, and so on, are about as easy as that website builder. As a matter of fact, the website builder is probably one of the more complicated things you’ll have to deal with.
All things considered, FatCow does great with ease of use, without sacrificing your ability to control your account or site.
Something that adds to FatCow’s ease of use factor is its solid customer support. As with most platforms, FatCow offers educational and factual material on-site for searching, browsing, or onboarding.
In addition, it has customer service representatives available to answer questions by live chat, phone, or ticket/email. I tested out their live chat as a guest, to see what any anonymous visitor could get.
Note: the times in the bottom left corner of the screen are accurate within a minute of the most recent message being sent.
It took a couple of minutes, but I did get a response.
This is certainly not the type of question a customer service representative normally gets. I still got a response—even if it could have been worded better.
I had to clarify, but it was overall helpful. Note that the representative says the video on their help page is “almost” the same as their website builder.
In my message, however, I asked if the website builder in the video/that iPage uses is the same as FatCow’s—not similar, but same.
The FatCow representative then affirmed my answer, which leaves me wondering—is it the same builder, or similar?
Now, I understand I’m being pretty anal about a very trivial and unorthodox matter. The representative was overall helpful, understood the question, and tried their best to answer.
And before you ask: yes, the website builder they use is pretty much the same as iPage’s.
The larger question is about their knowledge base.
Why couldn’t they use a video of their own builder, and put it on a FatCow YouTube channel?
Are they so strained for resources that they must use other hosting platform’s screengrabs and pass it off as their own?
Now aside from that, the knowledge base is good. It’s simple and straight to the point.
One last grievance is their contact page, which has two links: one to their knowledge base, and another to their user guides. Both links redirect to the same help page/knowledge base.
I get this seems like minor stuff by itself, but when it all comes together, their on-site documentation looks a little shoddy; hasty, to say the least.
I can’t read every article they have on-site, and neither can you—so how much of it is actually helpful and specific to the FatCow platform?
Is any of it misleading, outdated, or copied from other platforms?
It’s tough to say, but I’m left a bit skeptical of FatCow’s customer support for these reasons.
FatCow’s a small company though, and maybe we can forgive them a bit.
Overall, their knowledge base seems comprehensive, and their representatives respond in a timely manner. That they offer 24/7 phone support at their size is an added bonus.
But if the security is good, you won’t really need to deal with customer support too much—so let’s take a look at that!
You don’t need me to tell you that security is essential. As FatCow is a smaller service, it’s easy to wonder if maybe they pinch pennies on security, or fail to be transparent.
This is not the case. FatCow is more transparent about its security than many other big names in the hosting world, which is quite comforting.
As a matter of fact, this page is dedicated to describing FatCow’s servers and their security. They only have two servers, and both in the Boston area—proof they really are a small contender—but those servers seem well-guarded.
Of particular interest, they offer a “pooled server environment.” This is a nontraditional structure that basically lets the first available machine serve a customer’s pages, giving faster loading times.
If one machine crashes, another unit will be clustered nearby to take over immediately.
So far, this makes FatCow’s security look pretty good.
Now, I still think they could have a little more infrastructure in place to protect from hackers and cyber attacks, but given that they only have two servers in the same area, it’s more understandable.
In my experience, the uptime has been pretty good. Aside from a few minutes during the off month here or there—nothing unusual even for the bigger platforms—I’ve had reliable uptime.
I wouldn’t say FatCow has the best security I’ve seen, but it’s very solid for its size. I am sure FatCow is reliable enough for anyone worrying about their uptime or information.
Do I Recommend FatCow?
In conclusion, FatCow presents a few drawbacks and quite a few benefits—all of which likely stems from its small size and/or its focus on simplification.
On one hand, pricing is simple in a way that makes buying a plan from FatCow painless. For some types of hosting, the simplicity means that you’ll get a really good deal.
On the other hand, for shared web hosting, it’s only a good deal for the first term. Afterward, simplicity might limit your ability to get a package properly tailored to your needs.
The features are good, it’s very easy to use service, and the security seems pretty solid even if it might be able to do with a bit more.
The customer support is alright—nothing major, but a few things here and there give me the sense their knowledge base could have outdated or shoddy articles.
Overall, I would recommend FatCow for small to medium businesses who want VPS, WordPress, or dedicated hosting solutions.
I would not recommend FatCow for anyone looking to make a cheap personal website—if you want to do shared hosting but with full features, either FatCow or a high-tiered shared hosting package with another company would be good.
Let’s admit it: Everyone wants their website to have that ‘wow’ factor. One way to accomplish this is with smooth animation that make it come to life! And that’s why Animated WordPress themes are where it’s at!
But when you’re running WordPress, choosing a good animated theme comes with its own problems, like loading speeds, compatibility with plugins, and design limitations.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best 15 animated WordPress themes so you can create your dream store, blog, or portfolio today.
Let’s dive in:
Being one of the most popular WordPress themes on the planet, Divi is our top choice for building intuitive, responsive, and visually-appealing websites. Its drag-and-drop builder is simple enough to be used by a second-grader and allows you to view changes in real-time.
Divi is also loaded with a range of highly-customizable animations that transform as you scroll and interact with them. You can build each webpage from scratch using its 200+ elements or choose from 2,000+ pre-made website designs and edit your way to perfection.
The theme is also fully search-engine-optimized and fine-tuned by Divi to load up within seconds.
Impreza is our top pick for online businesses that want to stun their customers with brilliant visuals and buttery animation effects. It’s used by 90,000+ websites and has 50+ demos for e-commerce stores, freelancers, and blog owners. Like any great WordPress theme, Impreza also uses a drag-and-drop builder called ‘Visual Composer’ for effortless real-time design.
And that’s not all. The multi-purpose theme also comes with a library of 100+ elements to build an interactive site full of features. Niche site owners will also be pleased to hear that the theme is full of SEO options, including built-in meta tag editors and support for Yoast SEO. Impreza is the highest-rated theme on ThemeForest and is sometimes recognized for having the strongest page builder in the business.
Jupiter is one of the best alternatives to Shopify and all-around themes for creating aesthetic yet powerful e-commerce stores. You can build your dream website from scratch using their exclusive Layout Builder or choose from 450+ ready-to-publish templates to kickstart your business.
One of the best features of Jupiter is its sales-funnel builder — an intelligent tool that allows you to design a lucrative purchase process and boost conversions.
You can also add a variation selector, create pop-ups, and send ‘out-of-stock’ notices within the theme — features typically missing from free WordPress themes. Jupiter is trusted by 160,000+ customers and is a worthy investment for online retailers and dropshippers.
4. Ultra Theme
The first multi-purpose WordPress theme on our list — Ultra from Themify can convert any blank webpage into a piece of art. You can create mesmerizing portfolios, e-commerce stores, magazines, or agency sites by choosing one of their 30+ pre-built demo sites.
Or, if you want more design independence, you can use the Live Page Builder to tweak each element to your preference.
Ultra also comes with 12+ bonus add-ons with captivating animation. This includes a slider, typewriter, price table, counter, and image grid — all of which come to life with user interaction.
Additionally, the powerful page builder also allows you to add a silky-smooth parallax effect and even animate colors. Above all, Ultra is fully search-engine-optimized, is compatible with WPML, and seamlessly integrates with WooCommerce so you can design your dream website.
Movedo is a game-changer for people that love animations and smooth parallax effects. This multi-purpose theme is crafted for a fully-immersive experience and comes with 17+ pre-built website templates. You can personalize your pages using Visual Composer drag-and-drop builder and integrate beautiful banners using Revolution slider.
One of Movedo’s best features is their Ultra-Dynamic Parallax scrolling that moves with the motion of your cursor. It also comes with various clipping animations, hover effects, and a ‘safe button’ that flows down to reveal an additional menu. Even with so many animations, Movedo offers full search engine optimization, translation readiness, lightning-fast loading speeds, and lifetime updates for customers.
Parallax by Themify is all about fluid animations and elegant web pages. It’s a lightweight WordPress theme that comes with super-smooth parallax functionality, gorgeous sliders, and even animated progress bars. You can select from 60+ pre-designed layouts and customize the theme using an intuitive drag-and-drop builder.
Additionally, the theme comes with 11+ cool header layouts and an option for setting custom background images to make your website truly unique. All the images/graphics will be super-crisp and adapt to different devices while retaining your website’s appearance. While Parallax certainly lacks features, it’s the perfect animated theme for website owners with simple websites or building dynamic single webpages.
Zephyr is a highly-underrated gem on the ThemeForest marketplace that’s perfect for building dynamic blogs and business sites. It’s loaded with hundreds of customization options — 6 blog layouts, 1300+ icons, and 657 fonts, being just a few of them. Each element can be easily adjusted using their built-in Visual Composer — a drag-and-drop tool worth $34 on its own.
But animations are where the Zephyr theme really shines. You can add smooth parallax scrolling, hover effects, and eye-catching slides using Slider Revolution (also worth $19).
On top of that, Zephyr is coded with SEO in mind and optimized for WPML to support multiple languages. It loads up super-fast and is fully responsive, with support for ultra-sharp retina graphics.
Every magazine and online publication knows the value of a beautiful front page, quick loading speeds, and subscription revenue. Newspaper is a best-selling WordPress theme loaded with features trusted by brands like Uber, Bitcoin, and United Nations. It comes with 150+ pre-built designs and a huge library of animated templates that makes websites come to life!
Newspaper also includes smart pop-ups — a feature that lets you place ads, offers, and subscription prompts without disturbing visitors. The Opt-in Builder lets you create compelling paywalls and increase memberships. You get an intuitive contact form builder in the back end to streamline the customer database and user-review system to boost your credibility.
One of the most revered creative portfolio themes for WordPress — Helion is an easy recommendation for artists, photographers, and design professionals. It runs on the Elementor page builder and has a collection of built-in modern layouts. Helion also comes with some of the most impressive 20+ animations we’ve ever seen in a theme.
Additionally, it allows extensive color customization to make your site truly unique. The theme is also loaded with hundreds of fonts, shortcodes, and over 750 other personalization options.
Helion is fully-responsive and supports retina images, and is WooCommerce-ready, so you can monetize your artwork whenever you like!
When it comes to building minimalistic sites with smooth animations, Remake by Codeless takes the win. You can choose from their 10+ pre-made skins to kickstart your agency or use Elementor to drag-and-drop your favorite elements in real time. It also produces some of the best parallax effects and hover animations, making your portfolios look awesome.
Despite using heavy animated effects, Remake has blazing-fast loading speeds and is highly responsive to different devices. It offers a sleek and modern layout and seamlessly integrates with social media accounts — an essential feature for budding artists/freelancers. All of this comes with free lifetime support from Codeless and compatibility with popular WordPress plugins.
11. The Gem
Loaded with over 400 beautiful pre-built templates — The Gem has a little something for everyone. This multi-purpose theme has a demo site for photographers, agencies, online stores, magazines, cryptocurrencies, and just about any business you can think of. It’s also super-quick, highly responsive, and fully optimized for search engines.
But that’s not all. The Gem comes with WPBakery and Elementor page builder for free, so you can conveniently tweak each element of your website.
You can also add ultra-smooth parallax effects and CSS3 animations to enhance user experience. The Gem is also compatible with many mainstream plugins and is translation-ready, so you can take your website global!
Impress your clients with highly-aesthetic agency and personal portfolios using Ohio theme. This animated WordPress theme comes with 39+ layouts and hundreds of customization options — all powered by Elementor and WPBakery.
You can quickly create responsive portfolios using Ohio’s vast demo library or personalize everything down to the fonts and colors (there are more than 13,000 of them!)
Whatever you design, the theme’s flawless coding will consistently load your site within seconds. You can also integrate fluid CSS3 animations with all of their 326+ elements to make the site more interactive. Agencies can introduce products using WooCommerce plugin or create beautiful blog sections with 190+ pre-made pages — all of which are included in the package.
Flatsome is the #1 best-selling WooCommerce theme on the market. And over 200,000 customers seem to agree. It’s the ideal theme for building your dream online store — featuring a proprietary drag-and-drop tool, rapid loading speeds, and free lifetime updates. It also comes with tons of cool animations, including parallax scrolling, hover effects, and more.
But that’s not all. Flatsome has also partnered with Cloudways Hosting, so your visitors never have to suffer delays. Moreover, the animated theme offers in-depth customization of checkout pages, fonts, menus, and product pages. It’s also fully responsive and optimized for the best mobile shopping experience.
Amos is a complete package for agencies/freelancers that want to build highly-responsive animated portfolios. You can create a full-scale website within hours using the theme’s 28+ homepage designs and 60+ essential page layouts. It also has drag-and-drop functionality via Visual Composer, mega menu templates, and the ability to add fluid CSS3 animations to make your websites interactive and dynamic.
Moreover, Amos is fully compatible with WPML so that you can reach out to foreign clients. MailChimp and Contact Form 7 are also included for free to make email marketing easier for agencies. Plus, the animated WordPress theme rocks super-fast loading speeds and is fully responsive to tablets and smartphones for convenient browsing.
Hello is a lightweight, responsive, animated WordPress theme for people who love designing sites with Elementor. It occupies just 6kb of space and acts as the perfect blank slate for Elementor’s drag-and-drop builder and its 100+ widgets. The theme itself is fully optimized for search engines and seamlessly adapts to mobile phones and tablets.
The animated theme costs $0 and offers over 100 website kits for freelancers, blog owners, and even e-commerce stores. Once coupled with Elementor (pro works even better), you can fine-tune its widgets with various fonts, color palettes, and cool animation effects without overburdening your servers.
And if you ever run into technical troubles, you can always retreat to Elementor’s supportive community to solve your queries.
How To Choose The Best Animated WordPress Theme
Choosing the best WordPress animated theme for your website can be challenging. You must impress your visitors with a beautiful design while prioritizing both performance and accessibility.
When you’re hunting for your next animated theme, consider the following factors to make a better decision:
Simple and Minimalistic Design
Fast Loading Speeds
Flexible Customization Options
Responsiveness and Mobile Compatibility
Support For Plugins
Optimized for Search Engines
Frequent or Lifetime Updates
Compatibility For Different Browsers
Good Customer Support Team
Adorning your WordPress website with parallax effects and animations can significantly improve session times and leave a lasting impression on potential customers.
eCommerce websites need to be fast, easy to use, and great at conquering search engine results on sites like Google. But how can you achieve this without any web development experience?
Finding good eCommerce development companies is one of the best ways to solve this problem, but this creates the challenge of finding the right provider for your project. To make this easier, we’ve broken down 10 of the best web development companies across the US.
1. eFlair Webtech
Building a successful eCommerce website takes experience and expertise; two things eFlair Webtech offers in abundance. This company makes the first entry on this list thanks to its sterling reputation, an impressive portfolio, and affordable pricing, but it doesn’t stop here.
eFlair’s engineers and developers work with some of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world. This includes WordPress (WooCommerce), Opencart, Magento, and Shopify, but it isn’t limited to these platforms. You can build just about any type of eCommerce website you need with the help of eFlair.
Alongside the company’s skills, eFlair Webtech also offers comprehensive support and aftercare for each of its projects. This means that you can get help with your eCommerce site whenever you need it, including out-of-hours thanks to eFlair’s international team.
Price is one of the most crucial factors when embarking on an eCommerce development project, and this is one area where eFlair stands out amongst its competitors. You can build your website for as little as $25 per hour with eFlair Webtech, making this the most affordable option on our list.
As well as offering excellent eCommerce development services and unparalleled customer service, eFlair can also help with app development, UI/UX design, and much more. You can book a consultation to get your development project off the ground using the contact form on eFlair’s website. This eCommerce development company boasts an impressive 4.9-star average review rating on Google.
Atlanta (USA), Vijayawada (India), and Bangalore (India)
eCommerce web development, app development, UX/UI design
$25 to $40 per hour
Founded back in 2015, Bachoo is a great example of a modern website development company. While this company’s website is a little busy and complicated, it serves as a great showcase of the broad skillset found at Bachoo.
While Bachoo offers eCommerce website development services, this company specializes in launching new products online. This means that they can handle market research, marketing, and every other stage of your product’s launch.
Unlike other eCommerce development companies, Bachoo projects are usually built from the ground up, rather than using an existing CMS system. This makes projects more expensive, but the results are backed up by a 5-star Facebook review rating.
Los Angeles (USA)
Product development, eCommerce development, Data analysis
$50 to $100 per hour
3. Elogic Commerce
Elogic Commerce, as its name suggests, specializes in online commerce platforms. This company works with platforms like Adobe Commerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce to offer rapid development services at a relatively low price point.
This company has been in the market for 13 years and has launched more than five hundred projects. While Elogic works fast, the quality of your website will not be compromised, with each step of the development process being carefully managed to ensure the best results. Elogic Commerce has an average Google Review score of 4.8 stars.
With page after page of eCommerce websites in its portfolio and 23 years of work behind it, Absolute Web is truly a veteran of the industry. This company works with Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce to create eCommerce websites that promise to convert.
Working from the USA and Europe, this company can provide flexible support at times that suit its customers. This is great for eCommerce website owners, as it ensures that you never risk losing sales thanks to website outages. Absolute Web has an average 5-star rating on Google Reviews.
USA, Portugal, and Ukraine
eCommerce website development, Web development
$100 to $150 per hour
5. Magneto IT Solutions
Having worked with the likes of HP, Hyundai, and ESPN, Magneto IT Solutions creates high-quality eCommerce websites that are made to scale. This eCommerce development company uses Magento to build its websites, alongside a range of other useful tools that make it easier to get a steady stream of sales moving.
USA, Saudi Arabia, UK, Australia, Bahrain, and India
eCommerce website development, Marketing
$50 to $100 per hour
ITGeeks specializes in working with Shopify. While this can be limiting for certain eCommerce projects, it is great for those looking to use this platform. ITGeeks can make unique Shopify themes, develop add-ons for your website, and work to maintain the store you build.
This company is pricier than many of the other options on this list, but this cost comes with an average 4.8-star Google Review rating. Many eCommerce development agencies struggle to reach a review score like this.
USA and India
Shopify website development, Shopify management
$100 to $150 per hour
Alongside providing eCommerce web development services, PurpleFire also works to optimize the conversion rate of the sites it builds. This means that you can get a beautiful online store on Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento, all while enjoying rapid sales growth. Like other eCommerce development agencies, PurpleFire has offices in a range of different countries.
USA, UK, Denmark, Canada, and Singapore
Shopify website development, Marketing
$50 to $100 per hour
8. Dedicated Developers
Dedicated Developers is one of the USA’s top eCommerce development companies. Alongside making online stores, this company can help with app and software development, as well as offering full-stack web development.
Dedicated Developers boasts an impressive 5-star average review rating on Google Reviews. Alongside the wide range of successful projects under this company’s belt, this shows that it is a good choice for anyone looking for an eCommerce website that is developed from the ground up.
USA, UK, and Australia
Full-stack web development, app development, software development
$50 to $100 per hour
GoMage has an impressive website that serves as a showcase for the company’s attention to detail and design standards. Like many top eCommerce development agencies, GoMage specializes in a single CMS platform; Magento.
As well as securing a 4.9-star average review rating on Google, GoMage is also an Adobe Solution Partner. GoMage can also work on web design, consulting, website optimization, and PWA development. This company operates from Austin and Amsterdam.
USA and Netherlands
Magento eCommerce Development
$50 to $100 per hour
10. Caveni Digital Solutions
Caveni Digital Solutions is the most expensive option on this list, but it also covers an extremely wide scope. This company can design and build your eCommerce website, develop a brand to go with it, and help with all of the marketing work it takes to make it popular. This is great for projects that require a full-service approach.
Based in Philadelphia, Caveni leaves a trail of positive reviews in its wake, and the company has a dense portfolio filled with great websites. This company has an average 5-star review rating on Google, making the price tag well worth it for many businesses.
Full-service eCommerce design, development, and launches
$200 to $300 per hour
Exploring Top eCommerce Development Companies in the USA
Choosing any service provider takes research, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it for yourself. All of the companies on this list have a 4-star or higher average on Google Reviews, while also providing excellent value for the services they provide. This makes them great choices for any company looking for eCommerce development services.
You need a website. Every web hosting (opens in new tab) provider in the world tells you it’s so easy to make that happen. But then you look down their product and feature lists, and they’re crammed with cryptic jargon, obscure technologies and services that you don’t fully understand.
Do you need WordPress or WooCommerce (opens in new tab), for instance? Is it worth paying extra for NVMe? Is an Uptime Guarantee a feature worth having? And what is a vCore, anyway?
This matters, because you can’t make sensible buying decisions until you know exactly what each hosting plan offers. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. In this article you’ll find explanations of all the most common web hosting jargon, and details on why they could be really important for you.
Web hosting glossary
Apache HTTP Server is a hugely popular open-source web server application used to serve websites across the internet.
Although Apache is most web host’s server of choice, it’s not the only option. Windows servers typically use IIS, for instance, while some hosts offer specially tuned NGINX or LiteSpeed servers which they say deliver better performance.
When a visitor views a page on your website, the server may have to load text, images, scripts and other database content, then convert all that data into a page ready for your browser. There’s a lot to do, and the real problem is that when the next visitor arrives, the server has to do it all over again.
Caching is a feature where the server saves some or all of the page (often into a CDN) for reuse later. Then, when a browser accesses the same content, the server can retrieve it from the speedy cache, reducing server load and (potentially) drastically cutting download times.
All web servers come with basic caching, but some web hosts boast about having their own hand-tuned performance-optimized caching setups. That’s good news, but don’t take claims like ‘pages load up to 300% faster!’ as a guarantee. Caching benefits vary hugely depending on your website, and the only way to find out for sure is to try that host.
Even if your web host doesn’t have a special caching scheme, you can add some yourself. If you’re using WordPress, for instance, then there are a bunch of excellent caching plugins ready to accelerate your site. Check out WP Rocket, WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache to get started.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN (opens in new tab)) is a collection of servers spread around the world which is used to help speed up the delivery of web content.
If your website is hosted in the US, for instance, then a visitor from Asia sees slower loads times as your content must travel around the world. But use a CDN and copies of your content are hosted in countries around the world, allowing your Asian visitors to download files from a speedy server far closer to them.
Some web hosting plans list a free CDN as a feature, and if your website has a global audience, this could be an advantage. Keep in mind that some CDNs (including Cloudflare (opens in new tab)) already offer free plans, though, and even if a host doesn’t explicitly support CDNs, experienced users can set one up themselves.
Buy standard hosting, and your website is usually hosted on a single server. But with cloud hosting (opens in new tab), your site uses the resources of multiple servers.
Advantages of cloud hosting include improved reliability (if one server fails, the others take over), and the ability to easily cope with increased demand. If your site goes viral and suddenly you’ve ten times more visitors, for instance, you can add extra cloud resources to help you cope.
This extra power means cloud hosting is more expensive than the shared hosting competition, but it’s still very affordable. For example, Hostinger (opens in new tab) has plans from around $10 a month, and DreamHost’s basic DreamCompute plan starts at a monthly $4.50.
A Content Management System (CMS (opens in new tab)) is an application which makes it easier to design, build and manage a website. You don’t have to know about HTML, CSS, scripts or any of the other usual low-level web technology, because the CMS has all the tools you need.
WordPress is the most commonly-used CMS by a very long way, but other popular platforms include Drupal (opens in new tab), Shopify (opens in new tab) and Wix (opens in new tab).
Many web hosting plans give you access to cPanel, a powerful but easy-to-use web dashboard which gives you everything you need to manage your website. Upload or browse files, create email accounts, set up domains, manage databases, there’s a tool for every big task you can imagine (and most of the small ones.)
CPanel (opens in new tab) is our preferred hosting control panel, not only for its features, but also because it’s supported by so many hosts. GoDaddy, Bluehost, A2 Hosting and SiteGround (opens in new tab) all use cPanel, for instance, so if you sign up with one host, but later move to another, you won’t have to learn a new control panel from scratch.
If your hosting needs are simple, though, you might spend 15 minutes in a control panel when you set up your site, then barely look at it again. We would still prefer a web host to offer cPanel, but it doesn’t make much difference, and it’s likely that any control panel will deliver what you need.
Sign up for a simple shared hosting (opens in new tab) plan and you’ll share a web server, and that server’s IP address, with perhaps hundreds of other websites. If some of those are engaged in dubious activities, such as sending spam, that IP address could be blacklisted, and that could impact on your own (your emails may be more likely to be flagged as spam, say).
Buy a plan with a dedicated IP and it’ll only be used by you, ensuring other websites can’t hurt your reputation. And there are plenty of other benefits, too, like the ability to access your website by IP address alone, or to run your own FTP or gaming servers.
Dedicated IPs don’t have to be expensive, either. HostGator’s Business Plan throws one in for free, and is priced from $5.25 a month.
The premium product in the web hosting world, buying a dedicated server (opens in new tab) gets you an entire physical server allocated just to your website. There’s no resources shared with anyone else, no other accounts or websites to get in your way, ensuring you get full control and the maximum possible speeds from your hardware.
The main downside is the price. Shared hosting can cost less than $5 a month; dedicated servers (opens in new tab) can cost hundreds.
Running a web server can involve handling more complex tasks, too, such as setting up a firewall or installing software updates. If you don’t want to do this, look for a ‘managed’ hosting option, where the web host looks after these details for you.
The name used to access a website, such as techradar.com, is a domain name.
Sign up for web hosting and many plans give you a domain name (opens in new tab) free for the first year. If you’ve had an idea for a great business name but don’t need web hosting yet, you can also buy a domain name alone from a hosting provider or a domain registrar (opens in new tab).
Expect to pay somewhere around $10 to $20 a year for the most common top-level domains (.com, .org), although some of the more recent TLDs can cost $40-$80 a year, or even more.
Buy a domain and your name and contact details are normally added to a public register. Sounds like a good idea, as it allows everyone to see who’s behind a website, but there’s a problem. Scammers harvest email addresses from the register, and then send domain owners endless spam about their app and web design services, SEO and other ‘offers.’
Pay for a domain privacy service when you buy a domain and the privacy service details appear in the register, instead of yours, keeping the flood of spam at bay. We think it’s a feature well worth having, but look out for the price. Providers including IONOS, DreamHost and Namecheap (opens in new tab) offer the service for free, but others might charge $10-$15 a year.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP (opens in new tab)) is a standard method used to transfer computer files between a server and a remote computer.
If a host supports FTP, the chances are it’ll also support SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), an extended version which adds more security features.
Most users don’t have to learn about FTP or any of the other low-level technical file transfer details. If your web hosting plan includes cPanel, for instance, you can use its File Manager to upload or download files in a couple of clicks.
Businesses, though, might use FTP to allow employees to securely access or share potentially huge files from their own web space. It’s very old technology, with minimal security and few features, but it’s simple and you can have an FTP server up and running in minutes.
HTTP, HTTP/2, HTTP/3
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a standard set of rules for transmitting data across networks and the internet. The most commonly used version is HTTP/1.1, but some hosting plans go further.
HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 are the latest versions of HTTP/3. They’re optimized for speed, and choosing a hosting plan with HTTP/2 or HTTP/3 support can make a real difference to your website performance (HTTP/3 can be three times faster than HTTP/1.1 in some situations).
Web hosts don’t all support HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 yet, but there are good value deals around if you’d like to try the technology out. A2 Hosting’s Turbo plans support HTTP/3, NVMe SSD and other high-performance technologies from under $10 a month.
A hugely popular WordPress plugin (opens in new tab) which comes in many versions, each absolutely stuffed with features: backups, malware scanning, a free CDN, anti-spam, website stats, site search, even cloud-hosted video streaming.
Jetpack is often bundled with WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) platforms, but the exact features you’ll get depends on the version your provider supplies. Check its feature list for the details.
Most web servers are powered by Linux, a popular family of open-source operating systems renowned for its reliability, configurability and performance. Your web server operating system doesn’t make any real difference to simple websites, but if you’re signing up for a VPS, dedicated or other high-end plan, most hosts will offer you a choice of Linux flavors, or even Windows (see ‘Windows hosting’).
Buy a dedicated server (and sometimes other products) from a web host and you’ll typically have two support options.
Unmanaged hosting (opens in new tab) is cheaper, but gets you support for the hardware only. Your host will replace a faulty server component, but it won’t configure the operating system, install patches, or monitor it to confirm everything is running smoothly.
Managed web hosting (opens in new tab) is relatively expensive, but your provider supports the hardware and core software. It might configure a firewall or tweak server settings to provide the best security, then install server updates as necessary, and watch key server processes for problems, detecting and fixing issues as soon as they appear.
In hosting terms, ‘migration’ generally refers to moving your website from one web hosting provider to another – providers may also call this a ‘site transfer’.
Some web hosts offer free migrations, and these usually make your life much easier. Sign up with your new host, and they’ll give you an easy way to move your site from the old provider to your new web space.
Beware, though. Providers may not migrate sites from all hosts, and there are usually all kinds of complications and issues (you might not be able to migrate from sites which don’t use cPanel, for instance, or move a site from one domain to another). Check the small print carefully before you sign up.
An open-source database management system, commonly used to create and manage the databases used by WordPress and other top apps.
There are plenty of MySQL alternatives which might work better in some situations – MariaDB, MongoDB, PostgresQL, more – but unless you’ve very specific website needs, this isn’t an issue to worry about: MySQL will deliver everything you need.
Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is an ultra-fast standard for accessing solid-state drives. A hosting plan which offers NVMe SSD storage should allow a server to read and write your website content at very high speeds. That may not help much with small or simple sites (if there’s little content to load, storage speeds are unlikely to be a bottleneck), but it could make a real difference with more heavy-duty, high-traffic projects.
Shared hosting (opens in new tab) is a type of hosting where multiple websites are stored on the same physical server.
The main advantage of shared hosting is you’re spreading the cost of the server across many accounts, which can make for rock bottom prices.
The big issue is you’re sharing the server’s hard drive, CPU and network connection with all these other sites, too, potentially cutting your website speeds to a crawl. If you need more power, consider upgrading to VPS (opens in new tab) or dedicated hosting for the best results.
SiteLock (opens in new tab) is a security platform which uses multiple technologies to protect your website from harm.
The basic SiteLock plan offered by some web hosts usually includes automated backups and malware scanning, where the service checks for malicious content and raises an alert if anything crops up.
The high-end SiteLock plans add the ability to automatically remove malware, an option to detect missing website security patches, a content delivery network to accelerate website speeds, and even a Web Application Firewall to block malicious traffic before it can cause any harm.
There’s a lot of power here and the backup feature alone may be worth having. Web hosts vary in the features they support, though, so check carefully before you add SiteLock as an option.
A service-level agreement (opens in new tab) (SLA) defines the service you can expect from a web host, and what you might get if that level of service isn’t delivered.
Budget shared hosting plans typically don’t have any significant SLA. Check the small print and you’ll probably see something like ‘we promise to do our best to keep your site up and running, but if it goes down, that’s not our fault and we’re not liable.’
Dedicated hosting plans from high-end providers can be very different. Liquid Web’s SLA promises a live chat or phone response time of under one minute; a ticket reply within 59 minutes; faulty hardware to be replaced within 30 minutes, and its network to be up 100% of the time. If this doesn’t happen, the company pays: if your ticket reply takes three hours instead of one, your account is credited with 20 hours hosting time (that’s 10x the overrun).
Although an SLA is a good indicator that a host is serious and knows what it’s doing, there’s no way to guarantee your site will always stay up. If the web server needs maintenance, for instance, then it might be down for a while, and that probably won’t be covered by an SLA.
A clever tool which many web hosts provide to help you install popular web applications on your site. In a click or two you can have Softaculous (opens in new tab) install WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, ecommerce apps, image galleries, calendars and more, with no special technical required.
Some web hosts specifically list ‘Softaculous’ in their hosting plan feature lists, but if you don’t see it, look for something like ‘1-click installer.’ That typically refers to Softaculous or a competing product which does much the same thing.
Web hosts sometimes give you a choice of the type of storage device used to store your website.
An SSD (Solid State Drive) is fast, but a little more expensive; an HDD (opens in new tab) (Hard Disk Drive) is slower, but cheaper, and usually allows you to use higher capacity drives.
Most shared hosting users won’t get this choice, but you might see ‘SSD’ included in the hosting plan feature list somewhere.
If you’re buying a dedicated or other high-end hosting product, though, it could be relevant. For instance, at the time of writing Hostwinds (opens in new tab)‘ starter dedicated server plan is priced at $152 a month with a 1TB SSD, but $122 a month with a 1TB HDD, and even switching to a huge 3TB HDD only lifts the price to $137.
A data file which allows website visitors to make secure encrypted HTTPS connections to a website, giving them that reassuring padlock in their address bar.
If your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate (opens in new tab) (sometimes called a digital certificate), visitors will see ‘Not secure’ messages on every page, which won’t give them a good impression. Fortunately, many web hosts offer free SSL, and they’ll automatically set up and manage the SSL certificate (opens in new tab) for you.
A feature commonly used in WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) which allows you to test changes on a copy of your site before making them visible to everyone.
When you update WordPress and your site’s various extensions, for instance, there’s always a chance of problems. You might find a WordPress change breaks your site search tool, say. If you apply the updates to a staging site, first, you can confirm everything works properly before you make the changes live.
A subdomain is an additional part of a domain which comes before the main domain name. Subdomains are often used to help organize your website. For example, if your domain is mysite.com, you might use the subdomains blog.mysite.com, account.mysite.com or support.mysite.com.
Most web hosting plans allow you to use as many subdomains as you like, but this isn’t always the case. If you’re planning some heavy-duty subdomain usage, make sure your plan gives you as many as you need.
Top-level domain (TLD)
The part of a domain name which follows the full stop. The top-level domain (TLD) for techradar.com is .com; the TLD for archive.org is .org. and so on.
Web hosts often advertise plans as supporting ‘unlimited’ storage or data transfers, but this generally doesn’t mean what you think. We checked the small print of one host and found its ‘unlimited’ plans didn’t allow ‘very large’ photo galleries’ or ‘large audio or video content’, for instance.
As a general rule, ‘unlimited’ means ‘there is a limit, but we’re not going to tell you what it is’. If you need to know more about what a particular host offers, scroll to the bottom of its home page, click the ‘Terms and Services’ link and scan the small print for clues.
See Managed hosting.
A web host ‘uptime guarantee (opens in new tab)‘ is a measure of the minimum amount of time your website should be available to visitors.
Uptime guarantees are usually expressed as a percentage. A 99.9% uptime averaged over a month means your site could still be down for 44 minutes, for instance, while 99.99% of uptime over a year still allows for more than 52 minutes of unavailability.
Check the small print, and you’ll find most hosts include a bunch of exclusions. Server maintenance typically isn’t included, for instance, and many hosts exclude circumstances outside their control.
While you’re digging into the details, look for information on any compensation you’ll get if the host misses its target. Some providers don’t offer this, which makes the whole ‘guarantee’ effectively worthless.
VCore and vCPU are measures of CPU resources, typically used by hosting providers in descriptions of their Virtual Provider Server (see VPS) plans. The more vCore or vCPUs a plan gives you, the more CPU time your website will get.
(Don’t assume that more CPU resources always means greater speeds, though. If your site is small, simple, maybe low traffic, and it only needs 4 vCPUs, then you could buy 8, 16 or more, and it won’t get any faster.)
Virtual Private Server (VPS (opens in new tab)) is a type of hosting where a provider splits a physical server into multiple virtual servers and allocates specific server resources to each.
This is a little like shared hosting, in the sense that several accounts are sharing the same server. But there are far fewer accounts on a VPS server, than a shared equivalent. Each gets their own CPU, RAM and storage space, so they’re not competing with other sites for resources. And a VPS is completely isolated from the other accounts, so everyone gets full control of how their server works, without affecting anyone else.
A Web Application Firewall (WAF (opens in new tab)) is a powerful security tool which can protect your website from hackers, bots, and a whole bunch of common exploits and attacks.
Although WAFs are mostly focused on business needs, some are affordable enough for home users. Cloudflare’s Pro plan gives access to the same rules engine used to protect millions of websites, for instance, but it’s reasonably priced at $20 billed monthly.
A website builder (opens in new tab) is an easy-to-use tool which provides the simplest possible route to creating a website.
Most builders come with a library of template sites. At a minimum, all you have to do is choose a design you like, then customize it with your own text, images and other content.
Website builders aren’t just for small or simple sites, though. Quality builders such as Wix have comprehensive business tools, website analytics, social media integration, you can even create and run a busy ecommerce website (opens in new tab) to match the best of the competition.
Most hosting providers use Linux servers, but a few support Windows hosting (opens in new tab). This could be vital if you’re looking to run a site using Windows technology, such as ASP.NET. If you’re aiming to buy a dedicated server, and you’re unfamiliar with Linux, then using Windows could make it easier to maintain.
For most users, though, the Windows down sides outweigh any positives. Prices are higher, because you’re paying for the Windows license, while Linux is free. And you’ll miss out on Linux tools such as cPanel, which aren’t available on Windows.
A free and open-source system which allows you to add an online store to any WordPress site.
You could use WooCommerce (opens in new tab) to sell one or two items or services from a personal blog. But it’s also powerful enough to build a full-scale global e-commerce site to match the best of the competition.
Bluehost, Hostinger, SiteGround and many other providers offer custom WooCommerce plans. These typically come with WooCommerce pre-installed, specialist WooCommerce support, and sometimes include other business tools and features.
If your hosting plan supports installing WordPress, though, you can install and try out WooCommerce yourself, at any time. Just go to Plugins, Add New from the WordPress dashboard, search for WooCommerce, click Install Now and activate it.
You won’t get the same level of support if you take the manual route, but it will save you a little cash. And if WooCommerce isn’t for you, there’s no need to change accounts: just uninstall it and try something else.
A hugely popular free tool for building and managing websites, and suitable for everything from tiny personal projects to huge international corporations.
You can create a decent WordPress site in minutes using the standard tools, but the app really wins out for its configurability. In a click or two you can add support for social media, image galleries, video streaming, newsletters, contact forms, customer management, even create a top-quality web store.
WordPress (opens in new tab) comes for free in most hosting plans. Typically, these include a 1-click installer such as Softaculous, which automatically sets it up for you, and even newbies can have a very basic site up and running in minutes.
If you’re building a business-critical or other more demanding site, though, you might get better results from managed WordPress hosting (opens in new tab). Typically these plans come optimized for WordPress, deliver extra speed, have specialist WordPress support, and sometimes include other useful business tools.