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HostGator Review: A Simple Host for Simple Sites



HostGator Review: A Simple Host for Simple Sites


  • Easy setup
  • Extra tools for WordPress users
  • DDoS protection included with all plans


  • Inconsistent, frequently poor, customer service, especially for complex issues
  • Low storage amounts on shared hosting plans

HostGator is a popular hosting company that currently powers over 707,000 websites. HostGator offers hosting packages for websites of all shapes and sizes, ranging from shared hosting to dedicated hosting.

I signed up for a HostGator plan and thoroughly reviewed HostGator’s plans, pricing, functionality and security. I also reached out to customer service to establish how effective HostGator’s live chat, email and phone teams are. You can learn more about the process I’ve used for reviewing and testing HostGator by reading how we test web hosting services.

Overall, I found HostGator’s service acceptable for basic websites, especially sites with a North American audience. The tools are easy to use and the performance is decent. Site speed varies a lot by region and isn’t great outside of North America. There are also issues with customer service, so I don’t recommend HostGator for a site with complex needs.

HostGator plans and pricing: You can find the type of hosting to fit your needs and budget

HostGator Web Hosting logo HostGator Web Hosting logo

Sarah Tew/CNET

HostGator offers several types of web hosting: web (shared) hosting, WordPress hosting, e-commerce hosting, virtual private server hosting, dedicated hosting and reseller hosting.

Here’s a quick overview of HostGator’s plans for each type of web hosting:

Hosting type Best for Price
Shared hosting Blogs, for-fun hobby sites and small business websites $3.75-6.25 a month, renews at $10-20 a month
WordPress hosting Users starting a blog, for-fun hobby site or small business website on WordPress $4.50-14 a month, renews at $15-27 a month
eCommerce hosting Online stores built with WordPress $10-13 a month, renews at $25-40 a month
VPS hosting Medium-to-large business websites or sites with complex data needs Starts at $37-96 a month, renews at $86-149 a month
Dedicated hosting Large business websites or sites with complex data/server customization needs Starts at $92-142 a month, renews at $182-291 a month

Shared hosting is the best option for most first-time site owners so I’ll explore those plans in detail and share some brief information about the other types of hosting packages HostGator offers. Reseller plans aren’t covered here, as those plans are intended for users who want to create a hosting company, not regular website creators.

All prices listed here are based on a three-year term, as those plans offer the steepest discounts.

Shared hosting plans

Shared hosting — referred to by HostGator simply as “web hosting” — is designed for sites with low data storage and traffic needs. Sites on these plans are placed on servers shared with hundreds of other sites, sharing resources like processing power and bandwidth.

All HostGator shared hosting plans include:

  • Pre-installed WordPress
  • Free domain for the first year
  • SSL certification for the first year
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat
  • Basic email hosting for one account

The table below provides a detailed explanation of the HostGator shared hosting plans, with cost based on purchasing a three-year plan. 

I was particularly pleased to see that the Baby and Business plans both offer a content delivery network, which uses interconnected servers to store data in caches all over the world so visitors’ browsers can quickly pull data from the cache closest to them. Both of these plans also provide a small amount of dedicated resources, such as bandwidth, via virtual central processing units.

Plan name Storage Security features Additional features Cost
Hatchling 10GB SSD N/A N/A $3.75 a month for first term, $10 a month on renewal
Baby 20GB SSD Malware scanning CDN, 2vCPUs $4.50 a month for first term, $15 a month on renewal
Business 50GB SSD Malware scanning, daily backups and domain privacy CDN, 3 vCPUs $6.25 a month for first term, $20 a month on renewal

WordPress hosting plans

WordPress hosting through HostGator is shared hosting with pre-installed WordPress — a popular content management system, or CMS, for managing content like blog posts — and multiple virtual central processing units — CPUs — to boost performance. You’ll be responsible for maintaining and updating the WordPress software, including themes and plugins, yourself.

The Baby WordPress hosting plan is the most affordable option for this type of hosting, starting at $4.50 a month and renewing at $15 a month. The most expensive option for HostGator WordPress hosting is the Pro Plan, starting at $14 a month and renewing at $27 a month. 

eCommerce hosting

HostGator also offers advanced WordPress hosting with everything you’ll need to start an online store, including the Yoast SEO plugins. Several YITH plugins — independent tools created for the e-commerce plugin WooCommerce — are also included for booking and appointments, gift cards and wishlist creation. These plans are managed, so WordPress updates and daily backups will be conducted for you.

The Online Store plan starts at $10 a month and renews at $25 a month. The Online Store + Marketplace plan starts at $13 a month and renews at $40 a month. 

VPS hosting

Virtual private server hosting or VPS hosting gives you access to a virtual server with dedicated resources, such as bandwidth and processing power. The lowest-tier HostGator VPS plan includes 120GB of solid-state drive — SSD — storage and two-core CPUs.

The most affordable HostGator VPS hosting package is Snappy 2000, starting at $37 per month and renewing at $86. Snappy 8000 sits at the other end of the price range, starting at $96 a month and renewing at $149.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting gives you an entire physical server. You can use all of its storage — starting at 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD — bandwidth and processing power. You’ll also get full control over your server’s digital configuration.

Value Server is the most affordable HostGator dedicated hosting plan, starting at $92 and renewing at $182  a month. Enterprise Server is the most expensive option, starting at $142 a month and renewing at $291 a month.

HostGator ease of use: One of the most user-friendly web hosts

Now that we’ve explored the hosting packages, it’s time to look at what happens after you’ve selected a plan. I used the Hatchling plan for this part of my HostGator review and examined three aspects of using HostGator: purchase process, account management and website and server management.

Purchase process

Buying a plan from HostGator is remarkably easy. You can enter your domain, HostGator account credentials and billing information all on the same page.

There are a couple of things I dislike about the purchase process. The first issue is that you don’t see renewal pricing on the plans page; it’s found instead in small text under your term length on the purchase page. This renewal cost is easily overlooked if you’re in a hurry to buy your plan.

Picking a web hosting plan from HostGator Picking a web hosting plan from HostGator


The other issue is in the Add Additional Services area. Nearly every web host offers some upsells during the checkout process, but HostGator automatically signs you up for the SiteLock Essentials service.

Add additional services HostGator Add additional services HostGator


SiteLock Essentials is highlighted to stand out when you’re scrolling, but I dislike automatically opting users into extra services. Moreover, this add-on comes with its own renewal pricing, jumping from $35.88 to $95.88 a year and it’s billed annually even if you choose a three-year hosting plan.

Account management

When I entered my HostGator account for the first time, I had the opportunity to create a PIN to verify my account ownership during customer service interactions. A personal identification number is a great security measure, except it didn’t work on my first attempt:

Security Setup Incomplete error message with HostGator Security Setup Incomplete error message with HostGator


I was able to move on to the account dashboard without creating my PIN but I received a warning that I could only skip creating a PIN four times. This was concerning, especially since the error wasn’t my fault. Thankfully, I managed to create a PIN on the third attempt.

I liked what I saw once I got into the HostGator account dashboard. The dashboard is easy to navigate, and there’s a guided tour to help you understand what (and where) the important areas are.

HostGator's account dashboard HostGator's account dashboard


Billing and account management is accessed through a drop-down menu connected to the profile image in the top right corner. I’d have preferred these areas to be more visible, but this is a common placement for account management links, so I can’t fault HostGator for it.

HostGator uses a drop-down menu to view billing and account management sections HostGator uses a drop-down menu to view billing and account management sections


There’s one big downside to HostGator’s account management area: Every time I logged in after the first time, HostGator redirected me to a page trying to convince me to buy backups through the WordPress plugin Jetpack. Jetpack is great, but I don’t appreciate being sent to a purchase page before accessing my account dashboard.

HostGator recommends site backups via the Jetpack WordPress plugin HostGator recommends site backups via the Jetpack WordPress plugin


Website and server management

Shared plans on HostGator feature pre-installed WordPress, so I could access my WordPress dashboard from the Websites area of HostGator immediately.

HostGator websites area HostGator websites area


I also appreciated that HostGator automatically set my site to display a Coming Soon page and provided a site launcher with a pre-launch checklist:

HostGator displays a coming soon page on your website before it's live HostGator displays a coming soon page on your website before it's live


This area also provides tools for you to:

  • View your pages and posts
  • Connect WooCommerce and perform basic store management
  • Easily access premium tools and services
  • Control settings for caching, backups and more

I liked how beginner-friendly this tool is and how it lets you interact with several core WordPress functions in one place. You’ll still need to learn how to use your WordPress dashboard, but there’s a lot you can do from this page.

When I started building my site, I discovered that my plan included Wonder Blocks, a tool for creating pre-formatted blocks like FAQ blocks. I didn’t see this listed in the Hatchling features list, so it was a pleasant surprise, as these blocks make it easy to create an attractive web page in minutes.

HostGator makes building a website easy with its Wonder Blocks website builder features HostGator makes building a website easy with its Wonder Blocks website builder features


Overall, HostGator provides solid tools for getting set up with WordPress. What about the server side of things?

Since this is shared hosting, HostGator does the important stuff, like keeping your operating system and security software up to date. You can go years without needing to focus on the more technical side of things (beyond essential WordPress software updates) unless you’re transferring a site from another host.

If you do want to view or manage more advanced settings, you can access them by going to Websites and clicking the Settings button under your site. This leads to an area where critical site information is displayed:

HostGator website advanced settings HostGator website advanced settings


To quickly access the cPanel itself, you can select Hosting in the sidebar and click on cPanel in the Quick Links area.

HostGator cPanel hosting sidebar HostGator cPanel hosting sidebar


Overall ease of use

HostGator’s purchase process is one of the simplest I’ve encountered, and the beginner-friendly account management area makes it easy to perform basic domain, site and account management tasks. HostGator also offers excellent tools to simplify launching and managing your site within WordPress.

I had an issue creating my PIN, but research suggests this isn’t a common experience. What is a shared — and frustrating — is the aggressive attempt to sell you on Jetpack every time you log in. 

Still, HostGator is generally intuitive, so it gets a 9/10 ranking in this category.

HostGator performance: Good enough for basic use

Next, I created a test site using the WordPress theme Total to test three aspects of HostGator’s site performance:

  • Performance tools are software — and sometimes hardware — configurations used to improve site speed and reliability.
  • Uptime is the amount of time a website spends online.
  • Speed is how quickly a site loads.

I conducted these tests over the course of one week to collect enough data to get a good idea of how well HostGator’s shared servers operate.

Performance tools

The Hatchling plan doesn’t offer many performance tools. There aren’t any performance tools listed for Hatchling in the plan comparison table for shared hosting. I was surprised to find caching settings in my site’s Settings area.

HostGator boasts a bevy of performance tools like caching tools HostGator boasts a bevy of performance tools like caching tools


These settings let you set up basic caching to increase your website speed by storing data in an easy-to-access space so browsers don’t need to pull from your site’s server. I also like the option to refresh the cache to ensure that visitors see the most up-to-date version of your site.

HostGator offers additional performance tools at higher tiers of hosting:

  • Additional central processing units for more processing power, increasing the amount of bandwidth you have.
  • Content delivery networks or CDNs to distribute data to global servers so visitors’ browsers can pull information from a server close to their location, improving loading times.

These features can further improve loading speeds and uptime.


HostGator offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, meaning a website shouldn’t be down for more than ten minutes per week. Some web hosts provide the same guarantee, but the best web hosts go beyond this to offer a full 99.99% guarantee, ensuring that a site won’t go down for more than two minutes a week due to server errors.

HostGator’s 99.9% guarantee is on par with a lot of other web hosts, though, so the real question is: Does HostGator’s service live up to that guarantee?

I monitored uptime for my HostGator test site for one week using Better Stack. During this time, my site went down twice, for a total of seven minutes. This does live up to its guarantee, although it’s cutting it pretty close.

Based on these results, HostGator gets a 6/10 ranking for uptime.


I ran several speed tests over one-week using WebPageTest. The test page I created for this purpose had two images and two text blocks to simulate a real homepage. I enabled HostGator’s built-in caching but didn’t add any additional optimization tools.

I conducted my tests at various times of day and performed tests for a variety of locations to determine what the user experience would be like for users in different parts of the world. Ideally, I hoped to see loading times of three seconds or less in most regions, as bounce rates increase by 32% when loading time goes from 1 – 3 seconds.

I used my tests to calculate average loading times — measured in seconds — for the following locations (remember, lower is better):

Location California London, UK Germany India Dubai Australia
Mobile 2.62 2.99 3.09 4.11 4.2 3.73
Desktop 1.71 2 2 3.02 3 2.74

These numbers suggest that HostGator has an average mobile loading time of 3.45 seconds and an average desktop loading time of 2.41 seconds. This earns it an overall speed rating of 7/10 — with a 6/10 for mobile and an 8/10 for desktop — with a couple of caveats:

  • Mobile loading times vary greatly depending on the device you use and the plan you have; the number here is my attempt to create an accurate average, but it may not perfectly represent the mobile experience for all users.
  • If your website is aimed at a North American audience, the 1.71-second average brings the speed ranking up to a 9/10 for your audience.

Overall performance

My HostGator test site had mediocre uptime, but the site speed was pretty good for a website without any additional measures to improve loading times. Overall, HostGator gets a 6/10 ranking for performance.

HostGator security: You’ll get the fundamentals, but not much else

HostGator provides a firewall to prevent malicious software from infecting your site, meeting the minimum security standard for a high-quality web hosting company.

Another benefit provided to all HostGator users is Distributed Denial of Service protection to prevent your server from being overwhelmed by malicious traffic.

Some plans also include automated backups and WordPress updates to increase security.

Overall, HostGator’s security is average for a web hosting company. The one common security protocol HostGator lacks with its base shared hosting tier — Hatchling — is malware scanning to detect and eliminate malicious software that sneaks through the firewall. Malware scanning for HostGator sites is only available through the SiteLock Essentials add-on or a more advanced plan, like the Baby/Business shared hosting plans and the WordPress hosting plans.

HostGator customer support: Great live chat and knowledge base, but lackluster phone and email support

The next stage of my HostGator review involved exploring the two main avenues HostGator offers for customer support: the knowledge base for self-directed troubleshooting and direct communication via live chat, email and phone.

Knowledge base

The HostGator knowledge base offers comprehensive resources on most basic website hosting and creation functions, plus some more advanced topics. The search function is highly visible, making it easy to find the article you need.

HostGator offers a robust knowledge base HostGator offers a robust knowledge base


Individual resource pages use headers, concise text and images to make tutorials easy for even a beginner to follow. Several of the pages I looked at also included video tutorials.

All of this earns the HostGator Knowledge Base a 10/10 rating.

Direct communication

I ran into a minor error during site creation, reached out to HostGator via live chat and was connected to an agent in three minutes. After half an hour of back-and-forth communication, the agent escalated my complaint to a higher level of tech support and told me to expect an email “soon.”

I got a phone call an hour later. I once again asked them to send me an email, since it was the end of my workday. When I didn’t receive an email the next day, I reached out again via live chat. The live chat representative fixed my initial issue within a few minutes.

This fix brought new errors, so they offered to schedule a call with a more advanced tech support team. I asked them to schedule it for 2:30 PM EDT. I spent an hour waiting for a phone call that never came. Once again, I had to reach out myself.

I eventually got my issue fixed, and everyone I spoke to was polite and attempted to help. I also understand that live chat attendants are typically trained on fixing minor issues, and escalating high-level tech concerns to other teams is normal. If they tell me I’ll receive an email, I expect to receive an email, and if they tell me they’re scheduling a call, I expect to receive it at the scheduled time.

Based on the complete lack of communication I received when my tickets were escalated, I’m giving HostGator’s customer support channels the following rating:

  • 10/10 for live chat
  • 0/10 for email support
  • 5/10 for phone support

Overall customer service

I spent a lot of time debating how to rank HostGator’s customer service. The knowledge base is great, and I received excellent support from the live chat specialists, but things fell apart when my issues had to be escalated. They called me when I specifically asked for an email, and when I asked for a call, I didn’t hear anything back at all.

I settled on a 6/10 for overall customer support. The knowledge base and live chat will usually meet customers’ needs, but the failure of email and phone support means you might be out of luck if you encounter a more complex problem.


I may know a thing or two about web hosting, but I’m just one user. The next question becomes: what have other users experienced while working with HostGator?

The answers seem pretty mixed. HostGator has a 4.1 out of 5 rating on TrustPilot, but 24% of the reviews are one star, and poor customer service is a top complaint. There are also allegations on TrustPilot that the company is review-bombing its own page with five-star reviews from employees and other plants, although these haven’t been proven.

There are more red flags on HostGator’s Better Business Bureau page: HostGator isn’t BBB accredited, and there’s a Pattern of Complaint warning citing repeated accusations of deceptive business practices. Specifically, HostGator has consistently failed to honor its money-back guarantee.

HostGator's BBB rating and TrustPilot score leave a bit to be desired HostGator's BBB rating and TrustPilot score leave a bit to be desired


All in all, it seems like HostGator’s customer service is poor across the board. HostGator may even use deceptive practices to keep people on its services.

HostGator value: Middle-of-the-pack prices

Based on the pricing plans and all of the data collected during testing, how does HostGator stack up in terms of value?

There’s one more thing I need to do before I can answer that question: take a look at the competition.

Here’s a quick overview of three popular hosts:

Host Starting plan name Starting plan features Starting plan costs Additional notes
GoDaddy Web Hosting Economy 25GB storage, free domain for first year, free SSL for first year, site migration, automated daily backups Starts at $6 a month, renews at $10 a month (based on three-year term) Lacks key security protocols, lots of additional fees and upsells
DreamHost Starter 50GB storage, free domain for first year, free SSL certificate, WordPress installer and website builder, automated WordPress updates, daily backups, ModSecurity Firewall Starts at $2.59 a month, renews at $6 a month (based on three-year term) Automated system frequently denies signups, live chat isn’t always available
A2 Hosting Startup 100GB storage, free SSL certificate, unlimited email accounts, free site migration, WordPress auto-install, WordPress auto-updates, security tools suite Starts at $3 a month, renews at $13 a month (based on one-year term) Phone customer service can be slow

Let’s break this down a bit:

  • HostGator’s starting pricing is slightly more expensive than comparative plans at DreamHost or A2 Hosting, but notably less than GoDaddy’s.
  • HostGator’s renewal pricing is the same as GoDaddy’s, which sits between the DreamHost and A2 Hosting prices.
  • HostGator’s features are largely in line with what you’ll get from other hosts, including essentials like secure socket layer — SSL — certification and basic security protections. It doesn’t offer much storage — the Baby plan only offers 10 GB, and the most expensive shared hosting plan only offers 40 GB.

As for performance, HostGator’s speed is on the high side of average and the uptime is on the low side of average. The customer service is unreliable, which unfortunately seems common among the similarly-priced hosts I’ve tested so far.

In short, HostGator’s pretty average, providing better value than some hosts — like GoDaddy — and less value than others — like A2 Hosting. Based on these comparisons, HostGator earns a value ranking of 6/10.

HostGator: Is it right for you?

In the beginning, I was excited to dive into HostGator. HostGator is a household name among web hosts, and if you take the TrustPilot rating at face value, it seems like a good company.

I discovered some things I liked during my HostGator review: the easy-to-use account management area, caching settings, pre-installed WordPress and the HostGator WordPress site management tools. Uptime and speed testing were pretty average, and the latter can be improved with free caching plugins for WordPress.

There are some major drawbacks to HostGator. The aggressive upsells are annoying and the customer service is inconsistent across channels, providing extremely limited support for complex issues.

So, what’s the official ranking?

Let’s start with the rankings for each category:

  • Ease of use: 9/10
  • Performance: 6/10
  • Customer support: 6/10
  • Value: 6/10

Averaging these numbers out, HostGator receives an overall ranking of 7/10. HostGator’s a solid choice if you want to create a basic site for an affordable price, especially if your audience is North American. Due to the poor customer service, I wouldn’t recommend it for any site with complex needs. 

HostGator’s reputation is mixed. The TrustPilot rating is 4.1, but a considerable 24% of reviews give the company one star. The Better Business Bureau says HostGator isn’t BBB accredited. There’s also a Pattern of Complaint warning that HostGator has been repeatedly accused of deceptive business practices.

HostGator and GoDaddy both have their pros and cons. HostGator offers better value and easy-to-navigate tools, but GoDaddy has better customer service and site performance.

GoDaddy doesn’t own HostGator. HostGator is owned by Endurance International Group, a hosting conglomerate that merged with to create Newfold Digital in 2021. GoDaddy isn’t part of Newfold Digital.

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Best Web Hosting for E-Commerce in 2024




Web hosting domains for web pages

What is the best web hosting for e-commerce right now?

The best web hosting for e-commerce right now is Hostinger. Hostinger offers both a website builder and WooCommerce hosting plans at affordable prices — starting at less than $5 a month.

Hostinger’s e-commerce plans include a free domain for one year, secure socket layer certification, firewall protection and email hosting for up to 100 email addresses. You’ll also get a good amount of storage — 500 products for the store builder and at least 200GB for the WooCommerce plans — and access to 24/7 customer service.

Hostinger logo

Sarah Tew/CNET

Hostinger is a rapidly growing web hosting company that offers two types of e-commerce hosting: an AI-powered e-commerce website builder and managed WooCommerce hosting. WooCommerce support is also included in Hostinger’s managed WordPress plans.

Both types of e-commerce hosting from Hostinger include a free domain for one year, SSL certification, firewall protection and email hosting for up to 100 email addresses.


Hostinger’s e-commerce website builder offers both an AI-powered site generation process — building a site for you based on simple information you enter about your business — and a self-created website option that is based on 150 templates.

The e-commerce site builder also features SEO tools, marketing integrations, inventory management tools for up to 500 products, appointment scheduling and 20-plus different payment methods.

For managed WooCommerce, Hostinger offers four plans with one-click WooCommerce setup, LiteSpeed caching, auto-updates and automated daily backups. More advanced plans include benefits like built-in WooCommerce integrations and AI content generation tools.


Hostinger’s e-commerce store builder plan starts at $4 a month (plus three months free) and renews for $9 a month if you choose a four-year plan. The $4-a-month introductory rate applies to all plans of one year or more, but renewal costs vary based on contract length.

Hostinger’s managed WooCommerce hosting starts at $4 a month, with renewal pricing as low as $9 a month for the most affordable plan. The $4-a-month introductory rate applies to all plans of one year or more, but renewal costs vary based on contract length.

Ionos’s main e-commerce offerings are an online store builder and WooCommerce hosting. Both include a free domain for at least one year, an SSL certification, firewall protection and access to 24/7 customer service via live chat or phone. 


Ionos’s online store builder includes manual and AI-driven site-building tools, including a customizable checkout with options to add upsells to encourage people to upgrade their products and cross-sells to encourage people to buy related products. A variety of payment processors, shipping rate calculation tools and promo/coupon creators are also included.

All online store builder plans from Ionos include free email hosting for at least one email address and the ability to list at least 500 physical products in your store.

Ionos’s WooCommerce plan includes preinstalled WordPress and WooCommerce, plus an AI-powered setup wizard that builds a site for you based on basic information about your store. 

Ionos’s WooCommerce plan also includes a caching plugin, Jetpack backup, automated WordPress updates, unlimited product creation and email hosting for 10 accounts.

Ionos also offers managed hosting plans for Magento and PrestaShop, two moderately popular e-commerce platforms.


Pricing for Ionos’s e-commerce site builder is complicated. The Plus plan starts at $1 a month for six months but rises to $30 a month after those months, and you must sign up for a year to get the discount — so you’ll pay $30 a month for the second half of your term. The Starter plan, on the other hand, starts at $6 a month for six months but only rises to $24 a month afterward.

As for WooCommerce hosting, there’s only one plan, and it costs $10 a month for the first year and $20 a month after.

Magento plans use cloud hosting and have hourly billing rates with monthly maximums, the lowest being $7 a month.

You can also save money by purchasing one of Ionos’s highly affordable shared hosting plans, with the lowest tier starting at $4 a month and rising to $6 a month on renewal. If you choose this option, you’ll have to configure and maintain your e-commerce store on your own. 

PrestaShop plans are similar to regular shared hosting plans, with the most affordable one starting at $4 a month and rising to $6 a month.

SiteGround is known for its excellent WordPress hosting and award-winning customer service. SiteGround offers a variety of WordPress plans, including three WooCommerce plans.


All of SiteGround’s WooCommerce plans include unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for the first year, permanent SSL certification, WordPress auto-updates and daily backups.

SiteGround also offers top-notch security features, including a constantly updated firewall, AI anti-bot tools and a custom security plugin. Combined with a content delivery network and highly optimized servers, these features ensure excellent site and server performance.


SiteGround’s least expensive WooCommerce plan starts at $3 a month and rises to $18 a month on renewal. The most expensive WooCommerce plan starts at $8 a month and rises to $45 a month on renewal. You must sign up for one year to get the full introductory discount, and there is no option to keep the discount by signing up for a two or three-year term.

Buying regular shared hosting from SiteGround won’t save you money, either — the prices for both regular shared hosting and regular WordPress hosting are the same as SiteGround’s WooCommerce hosting prices. 

A2 Hosting is an independent web host with a 4.6/5 star rating on TrustPilot with over 2,500 reviews. A2 Hosting also performed well in our hands-on review, with excellent ease of use, a good variety of plans and great server performance — even on a basic plan without added caching tools. Customer support via phone and email was slow, suggesting that it may take a significant amount of time to address complex issues.


A2 Hosting offers several WordPress hosting plans and one WooCommerce plan. A2 Hosting WordPress plans include optimized WordPress installation with automatic setup for essential pages and plugins, plus server performance tools like LiteSpeed caching. These plans also include daily backups, SSL certification and an advanced firewall with distributed denial of service and brute force protection.


The lowest-tier WordPress hosting plan from A2 Hosting starts at $10 a month and rises to $26 a month after renewal. The one plan with preinstalled WooCommerce starts at $40 a month, with a renewal cost of $62 a month. Discounts are only available with a three-year plan.

You can save money with a regular shared hosting plan — starting at $2 a month and rising to $13 a month for the lowest tier. These plans still include excellent security and WordPress features, but some of them don’t include daily backups or performance tools like LiteSpeed.

Nexcess offers top-tier WooCommerce hosting and fully managed Magento hosting. All of Nexcess’s plans feature SSL certification, firewall protection, automated daily backups and an above-average 99.99% uptime guarantee.


Nexcess’s managed WooCommerce hosting plans come bundled with plugins like Yoast SEO, Astra Pro and Beaver Builder Lite bundled directly into its hosting packages for improved performance.

Nexcess’s managed WooCommerce hosting plans also include automated updates for WordPress and all plugins, plus a plugin performance monitor to track the impact plugins and themes have on site performance. Object caching and image compression are also included to further improve performance.

Nexcess’s fully managed Magento hosting plans include robust developer tools and caching for accelerated site speed.


Managed WooCommerce hosting through Nexcess starts at $8.40 a month, with the most expensive plan costing $438 a month. There is no introductory pricing.

Fully managed Magento hosting through Nexcess starts at $37.52 a month for the first three months and rises to $67 a month after those three months. The most expensive plan starts at $539.01 a month for the first three months and rises to $1,017 a month in following months.

Factors to consider when choosing a web host for e-commerce

Website builder vs. content management system

A website builder is a visual design tool for creating sites without using code, installing extensions or managing software updates. Most website builders are front-end editors, so you can see what your site edits will look like to the public in real time. Website builders also tend to be proprietary, making it difficult to switch hosts later on.

A content management system or CMS is a tool for creating, managing and organizing content like blog posts and landing pages without needing code. These tools are typically open-source, so you can use them with most hosting companies and plans. They also tend to have more customization options than website builders, but you may need to install extensions to access these options. WordPress is the most popular CMS, powering 43.4% of all websites.

If you want the simplest site building process possible, choose a website builder plan. If you want maximum flexibility and you’re capable of dealing with more complex software, choose a third-party hosting plan with a CMS like WordPress.

Shop management system

The shop management system is the tool you’ll use to create your online store, product pages and checkout experience. If you’re using a website builder, this will be built into the software. If you’re using WordPress, you’ll probably end up using the popular WooCommerce plugin.

Other shop management platforms include Magento — recently rebranded as Adobe Commerce — and PrestaShop. These are essentially content management systems built specifically for e-commerce. Some hosts, including Ionos and Nexcess, offer specialized hosting plans for these tools.

Hosting types

Most website builder hosting plans from traditional web hosts use shared hosting, which involves splitting a server’s resources between many sites. This lets hosts keep shared hosting prices low. Data storage, which includes how much space and bandwidth you have for things like images and blog posts and how much monthly traffic your site can accommodate, is limited on these plans.

If you choose a CMS, you’ll be able to pick between a few types of web hosting. Shared hosting is the most affordable, though basic shared hosting plans will require you to set up your e-commerce software yourself. Many web hosts also offer specialized shared hosting plans that are optimized for WordPress and/or the popular e-commerce plugin WooCommerce. These specialized plans are often more expensive than regular shared hosting.

As your site grows, you might want to switch to virtual private server hosting for dedicated bandwidth and storage. This lets your site accommodate more monthly visitors — often several hundred thousand — and store thousands of large files like images and videos. You’ll also get some server customization options, like the ability to choose your operating system.

Large e-commerce sites can also choose dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting gives you an entire physical server, often including enough bandwidth to handle millions of monthly visits and enough storage to upload hundreds of thousands of large files. Dedicated hosting also offers more server customization options.

Both VPS and dedicated hosting have managed and unmanaged hosting options. Managed hosting tends to be more expensive, but includes server software maintenance. Unmanaged plans are typically less expensive, but require you to maintain server software yourself (or hire someone to do it).

E-commerce tools

A website builder for e-commerce should include:

  • Store design tools, including product page and checkout customization
  • Payment processing capabilities
  • Search engine optimization — SEO — tools
  • Coupon creation

An e-commerce plan from a traditional web host should include:

  • A preinstalled CMS (typically WordPress)
  • Preinstalled plugins or extensions for online store creation, such as WooCommerce


At minimum, your e-commerce site should have the following security measures in place:

  • SSL certification: This protocol encrypts data sent to and from your website, such as customers’ payment information.
  • Firewall: This software attempts to filter out malware attempting to infect your site.
  • DDoS protection: DDoS attacks flood a site with fake, malicious traffic to overwhelm the server. High-quality web servers are equipped with software to protect them from these attacks.

Some hosts may also provide things like two-factor authentication, malware scanning/repair and automated backups to further protect your site.


The best web hosting services for e-commerce provide at least 99.9% uptime, meaning your site won’t go down for more than 45 minutes a month due to server issues. This is important because every minute your site is down is a minute you could be losing traffic — and if you’re running an e-commerce store, losing traffic equals losing money.

Many web hosts also offer tools to improve site speed and other aspects of performance, such as caching tools that store your data in users’ browsers so they can access your site faster on repeat visits.

Customer service

Customer service should be available 24/7 via live chat, email and phone. You also want customer support to be fast to respond and knowledgeable enough to assist you with any problems you encounter.

Reading third-party reviews is important, as web hosting companies will always play up the quality of their customer support. Looking at reviews from real people helps you understand whether or not the host you’re considering follows through on the promises made on its website.


Consider what hosting fits within your budget, as the company and plan you choose will majorly impact your operating budget. Web hosting — especially e-commerce hosting — pricing can be confusing.

Here are four things to look out for:

  • Annual/long-term payments: Most web hosting companies display monthly prices, but you can often only access the lowest price by paying for one to three years at once.
  • Renewal pricing: Many web hosts’ listed prices are introductory rates, meaning you’ll be charged more per month when your service renews.
  • Transaction fees: Some e-commerce-focused web hosting services charge transaction fees on some or all of their plans.
  • Additional fees: Many web hosts provide a domain for the first year but require you to pay for your domain separately in subsequent years.

How CNET tests web hosting

We extensively research every web host we include on lists like this one. We start by reading their websites to evaluate the quality of their plans and pricing. We also read reviews from third-party sites like Trustpilot and check the Better Business Bureau for complaints about the service.

We’re currently conducting full reviews of popular web hosting companies to provide our hands-on, expert assessments. These reviews use our framework for testing web hosting services, including:

  • Uptime monitoring for one week
  • Speed tests over the course of five days
  • Calls and emails to customer support to determine things like waiting time, professionalism and expertise of the customer support teams

Notes from these reviews are included in the listings for the relevant hosts. This page will be updated regularly with new notes as we publish more reviews. 

Other web hosting we’ve tested


HostGator Web Hosting logo HostGator Web Hosting logo

Sarah Tew/CNET

HostGator is a popular web host that powers over 707,000 websites. HostGator’s two WordPress-based e-commerce plans include several preinstalled plugins for e-commerce and marketing, automated WordPress updates and automated daily backups.

HostGator delivers decent security features with all plans, including SSL certification and an advanced firewall with DDoS protection.

In my testing, I found HostGator’s site setup and management tools easy to work with. Benchmarking showed that HostGator’s servers offer decent performance. Customer support was inconsistent across channels, so you might want to avoid HostGator if your site is complex and/or you expect to need a lot of support.

Pricing: Online Store plan starts at $10 a month and rises to $25 a month on renewal; Online Store + Marketplace starts at $13 a month and rises to $40 a month on renewal. You can save money by purchasing a shared hosting plan ($3.75 a month to start, $10 a month on renewal). All of these prices are based on the purchase of a three-year term. 

Read our HostGator review.


GoDaddy logo GoDaddy logo

Sarah Tew/CNET

GoDaddy is the biggest player in the web hosting space, powering a full 15.6% of all websites. You can get many types of web hosting from GoDaddy, including shared and WordPress hosting. The company also offers Managed WooCommerce Stores that include hosting, automated WordPress/WooCommerce updates and shipping discounts of up to 84%.

GoDaddy’s Managed WooCommerce Stores also come with SSL certification, an advanced firewall with DDoS protection and malware scanning. This is notable, as many of GoDaddy’s hosting plans don’t include these features.

During my hands-on assessment, I found GoDaddy frustrating to get started with, but this was balanced out by excellent server performance and customer service. There are a lot of open complaints on GoDaddy’s BBB page, so you might want to avoid GoDaddy if your site is complex or you expect to need high-level support.

Pricing: The most affordable WooCommerce Store plan starts at $25 a month, and rises to $30 a month on renewal. The most expensive WooCommerce Store plan starts at $130 a month and retains this price on renewal. All WooCommerce Store plans from GoDaddy come with 2.9% plus 30 cents card transaction fees in the US and 2.7% plus $0 card transaction fees in Canada.

You can save a lot of money by choosing a regular shared hosting plan — starting at $6 a month for the most affordable option, with a renewal price of $10 a month — but you’ll be sacrificing a lot, including basic security features like a firewall.

Read our GoDaddy review.

Which hosting service is best for an e-commerce website?

Hostinger is the best hosting service for an e-commerce website, with both website builder and WooCommerce plans available for affordable prices. Hostinger offers AI site and content creation tools, email hosting and 24/7 customer service.

Show more

What is the No. 1 e-commerce platform?

Is GoDaddy good for e-commerce hosting?

GoDaddy is a reasonably good choice for e-commerce hosting, offering managed WooCommerce plans with heavy shipping discounts available for some regions and shipping methods. Starting prices for GoDaddy’s WooCommerce plans are high, and non-WooCommerce plans lack key security features.

Show more

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2 Reasons to Buy Shopify Stock Like There’s No Tomorrow




2 Reasons to Buy Shopify Stock Like There's No Tomorrow

It’s not very often that you can buy a potential $1 trillion business at a 90% discount.

Shares of Shopify (SHOP -7.04%), the most popular e-commerce software platform in the U.S., have risen by more than 2,000% since going public in 2015. The S&P 500, for comparison, rose by just 195% over the same period.

The best news is that Shopify stock could rise another 2,000% in the years to come. If you’re looking for stocks with massive upside, this one’s for you.

Shopify has a massive lead on the competition and it’s not even close

There are two critical factors to pay attention to when it comes to Shopify. The first is the competitive landscape. In this regard, Shopify is undoubtedly king.

When most people think of e-commerce, they think of companies like Amazon, which sell products and services online. But there’s another type of e-commerce business, and that’s platforms that allow others to set up digital storefronts of their own. Shopify, for instance, doesn’t run any of its own stores. Instead, millions of merchants run their stores using Shopify’s platform. Small home businesses use Shopify-powered stores, but so do major brands, including Nike, Allbirds, and Red Bull.

Let’s say you want to start selling online. You could list your products on Amazon, but you’ll have to give the company anywhere from 8% to 45% of your sales. Shopify, meanwhile, takes only a small percentage of your sales as a fee, and in return gives you all the things you need to establish a successful e-commerce business. That includes web design templates, marketing and analytics tools, inventory management dashboards, payment processing, and more. You won’t have the immediate reach of a platform like Amazon, but you’ll have more tools, customization options, and functionality, plus you’ll retain a much greater portion of your sales.

According to data compiled by Statista, Shopify has a 28% market share for e-commerce platforms in the U.S. WooCommerce commands an 18% market share, while Wix comes in third with 17%. Total e-commerce spending, meanwhile, is on the rise. In 2019, e-commerce spending in the U.S. totaled $540 million. Last year, it surpassed $1 billion. By 2029, it’s expected to approach $1.9 billion. E-commerce platforms like Shopify, then, are swimming in a bigger and bigger pool of potential customers. As you’ll see, there’s a good chance Shopify will not only maintain its current industry lead but expand on it in the years to come.

Artificial intelligence could put this stock on steroids

The second reason to love Shopify stock right now is that it’s perfectly positioned to benefit from the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). E-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Wix all compete a bit on price. But what they compete on most is functionality and user experience. Whichever platform makes its platform more powerful and easier to use wins.

With the largest market share, Shopify has an early lead. AI should accelerate this lead even further in the years to come. That’s because Shopify has the resources to attract the most AI developers to its platform. Right now, any developer can add more functionality to Shopify’s platform, earning money whenever users decide to incorporate the new tool or service. Developers know that Shopify offers them the largest potential user base to monetize their creations. Already, the company has dozens of AI apps and features that users can implement in a few clicks — everything from chatbots to automated content creation. As AI takes off, expect Shopify to benefit, gaining more market share in an already large and growing market.

How big could Shopify get? After a recent pullback, the company is valued at just $75 billion. Amazon, for comparison, is worth around $1.9 trillion. Shopify would have more than 2,000% in upside if it reached Amazon’s size. To be clear, Amazon is a far more diverse and far larger business than Shopify. It will take years or even decades for Shopify to attain a $1 trillion market cap, let alone a $2 trillion market cap. But it is businesses like this that can sustain growth for long enough to reach this enormous size.

The global e-commerce market is clearly large enough to accommodate a Shopify 10 or 20 times its current size. Keep in mind, this underlying market is still growing by around 10% annually. Much of that growth will be directed to large, consolidated e-commerce sites like Amazon. But independent stores, such as those powered by Shopify, will also take an increasing amount of this new market growth. After a 25% decline in share price over the last 90 days — a drop fueled by short-term concerns over quarterly guidance — this is a great time to back up the truck for a high-quality business with a massive long-term growth runway.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Ryan Vanzo has positions in Shopify. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Nike, Shopify, and The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2025 $47.50 calls on Nike. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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How to Connect to API of eCommerce Platform




connect to api

Since the world has become more digital, it is crucial for eCommerce software vendors to guarantee that their solutions can interoperate with the different eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. These integrations help ensure the flow of continuity of the user experience, data exchange and synchronization, and good business management. The application programming interface (API) is very useful for achieving these integrations. The article is devoted to the specifics of how software vendors can connect to API of eCommerce platforms and marketplaces and how this process can be made easier.

Understanding APIs

APIs enable two or more software applications to exchange data and information. For eCommerce software vendors, APIs are the way to get and manage data from eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. The eCommerce API gives users access to various store information. It often enables GET, ADD, UPDATE, and DELETE data from stores, such as orders, products, customers, categories, etc.

eCommerce API integration refers to the process that enables an app or software to connect to API of an eCommerce platform. Therefore, software providers can provide various valuable features for online store owners. Some are order management, inventory synchronization, product management, and others.


API of eCommerce Platforms

Every eCommerce API is unique and has its own features and way of functioning. Here are some examples of popular eCommerce APIs:

Magento API

This API allows the developers to get and modify the store data on the Magento platform including customers, orders, products, etc. It supports both REST and SOAP communication protocols.

WooCommerce API

When software developers connect to API of WooCommerce, they can get, add, modify, and delete data in WooCommerce stores, such as products, prices, orders, customers, and shipping statuses.

Shopify API

This API allows you to retrieve, create, update, and delete object data in WooCommerce stores: products, prices, orders, customers, and shipping statuses. The API is XML and JSON compliant and uses HTTP requests, including GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

BigCommerce API

BigCommerce RESTful API enables you to integrate your eCommerce applications with BigCommerce and use any code language of your choice. It allows the user to view and manipulate store data, which includes orders, products, customers, categories, shipments, etc. All CRUD operations are allowed via HTTP methods, such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

Squarespace API

Squarespace API has different endpoints, such as the Inventory API, Orders API, Products API, Profiles API, Transactions API, and Webhook Subscriptions API. These allow developers to get stock data, order history, manage products, and much more.

1721219167 357 How to Connect to API of eCommerce Platform1721219167 357 How to Connect to API of eCommerce Platform

Key Considerations Before Connecting to an API

  1. API Documentation

  2. API documentation is the starting point for learning how to communicate with a specific platform’s API. It contains information on the endpoints, the formats of requests and responses, authentication, the rate at which requests are allowed, and how errors are handled. It is imperative to go through the documentation of the target eCommerce platform or marketplace carefully before moving on to the integration part.

  3. Authentication

  4. Various platforms employ different forms of authentication, including API keys, OAuth, and basic authentication. Make sure that you are familiar with the expected authentication method and have the credentials needed to make the API calls.

  5. Rate Limits

  6. APIs usually have rate limits to prevent overuse and misuse of the API. These are the limits that you should observe so that you don’t get throttled or blocked. This information is usually available in the API documentation.

  7. Error Handling

  8. Good error handling is vital for a successful integration since errors are bound to occur at some point. It is also important to know the various error codes and their meanings and how to manage them in your integration to address matters like rate limits, timeouts, and authentication.


Methods to Connect to API of eCommerce Platform

There are two ways of connecting to eCommerce API: in-house integration development or via integration solution like API2Cart.

In-house integration development

in-house integrationin-house integration

Creating eCommerce API integrations from the ground up takes a lot of time and effort and includes stages such as planning, development, testing, and support. This can slow down the time it takes to market your solutions.

In-house development allows more control, but it requires a team of qualified developers, which may prove expensive. Moreover, the costs of maintenance and updates, which are continuous processes, are also included in the resource requirements.

All the eCommerce platforms are different in terms of API, documentation, and prerequisites that need to be met. Managing all these for several platforms can be rather cumbersome and also comes with some mistakes.

Integration with eCommerce platforms via API2Cart


API2Cart decreases integration development time. Data can be easily accessed, and developers can connect to eCommerce platform APIs with minimal effort.

The service helps to decrease the need for a large internal development team, which reduces costs. It also includes maintenance and updates, so you don’t need to waste your time and effort on them.

API2Cart has detailed documentation and code samples, which makes it more convenient to connect to the APIs. This support can help minimize the time taken in the integration process.

API2Cart can process large numbers of API calls, which is why it works for any business, regardless of its size. It’s flexible and can accommodate your business’s growth without compromising performance and reliability.

This API integration solution provides its clients with detailed technical support in case of any questions or problems connected with integration. This support can be very helpful when trying to figure out issues and/or fine-tune your integrations.

API2Cart helps you to integrate with the shopping platforms faster, save time on development, allowing you to concentrate more on other business operations.

Depending on various factors such as business requirements, time and money constraints, and other factors, it is possible to choose between the in-house integration development and the use of API2Cart. If you want to have full control and high flexibility and have the capabilities, developing your own may be more suitable. But if you are in search of a cheap, efficient and easily customizable approach, API2Cart is a viable competitor with its API-based integration.

How to Get Started to Connect to eCommerce APIs via API2Cart

API2Cart provides a simple way to connect to API of multiple eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. To start using the service, you need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign Up and Get the API Key

  2. The first one is to get an API2Cart account with the help of experts. Once you sign up, you will be given an API key that will be used for the authentication process.

  3. Connect a Store

  4. To add a store to your API2Cart account, you need to enter the basic details of the store such as the store URL, the platform, and the authentication details. API2Cart employs various forms of authentication with regard to the platform used.

  5. Explore API Methods

  6. API2Cart contains many API methods, including products, orders, customers, categories, etc. The documentation explains how to use them appropriately.

  7. Test and Optimize

Check that the integration is functioning correctly. Monitor the API calls and responses and modify your integration.



Integrating with the API of eCommerce platforms and marketplaces is one of the most important tasks for eCommerce software vendors. By knowing the critical factors, adhering to the integration steps, and using tools like API2Cart, vendors can make the process easier, shorten the development time, and have reliable connections. API2Cart is a unified API approach that offers a reliable and flexible solution to help vendors concentrate on value-added services. With a single API software, vendors can integrate with over 40 eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. The list of supported integrations includes Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Amazon, etc. You can get more information about API2Cart by scheduling a call with our manager.

Following the guidelines and best practices mentioned in this article, eCommerce software vendors can easily connect to the APIs, improve their products, and provide the best user experience.

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