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How to Optimize the Customer Journey for WooCommerce Store

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How to Optimize the Customer Journey for Your WooCommerce Store

Are you looking to improve the customer experience in your online store?

When you take time to understand your customers’ needs, you can improve their journey from first discovering your site to making a purchase. By optimizing the WooCommerce customer journey, you can increase conversion rates, improve customer satisfaction, and boost profits.

In this article, we will show you how to optimize the customer journey for your WooCommerce store, from beginning to end.

What Is a WooCommerce Customer Journey?

‘Customer journey’ refers to a customer’s entire experience when they visit your WooCommerce store, including all of their interactions with your brand.

Optimizing the customer journey involves understanding each stage and ensuring that the customer has a seamless and enjoyable experience throughout.

These are the five stages of the WooCommerce customer journey:

  1. Awareness stage: Make it easier for potential customers to find your online store and learn more about your business.
  2. Consideration stage: Make it easier for your customers to find and learn about the products they need.
  3. Decision stage: Optimize your checkout to encourage your customers to make a purchase.
  4. Service stage: Improve your after-sales communications, express your appreciation for the sale, and better support your customers.
  5. Loyalty stage: Build long-term relationships with customers through excellent customer service, personalized recommendations, and loyalty rewards.

In short, you should simply look at your online store from your customer’s point of view and then make it awesome.

How to Optimize the Customer Journey for Your WooCommerce Store (12 Tips)

With that being said, let’s take a look at how to optimize the customer journey for your WooCommerce store.

We will share actionable tips on how you can improve the customer journey at each stage. You can use the quick links below to jump to the different parts of our tutorial:

Build Customer Awareness

Here are some tips for optimizing the WooCommerce customer journey during the awareness stage.

1. Understand How Your Customers Find You

The first thing you need is to see the journeys your users take before they make a purchase in your online store. This is where customer tracking can help.

The best way to set up WooCommerce customer tracking in Google Analytics is using MonsterInsights. It is the best analytics solution for WordPress and has a User Journey addon that can help you plan how to improve the user journey in your online store.

You can learn how to install the MonsterInsights plugin and addon in our guide on how to track user journeys in WooCommerce.

After that, you can see the path each customer took before buying your product. You get to view the pages they visited, where they clicked, and how much time they spent on a page.

User journey in MonsterInsights

This is really useful information to better understand your customers. You can see which product categories are performing the best and where customers are leaving your store during the purchase process.

Using the data, you can then fix these issues and optimize your site for more conversions. For example, you can use the tips in our guides on how to convert WooCommerce visitors into customers and how to make a high-converting sales funnel.

2. Make Your Store More Visible Online

It’s important to do search engine optimization (SEO) for your online store so that it ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This will make it easier for potential customers to find you when searching for products and solutions that you offer.

Improving SEO involves writing SEO-friendly product titles and descriptions, using product categories and tags, adding alt text to product images, and much more.

We recommend using All in One SEO because it’s the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market and is used by over 3 million websites. It will help you to optimize your entire store for SEO and get found by more customers.

You will find step-by-step instructions in our guide to WooCommerce SEO made easy.

Help Customers Consider Your Products

Here are some tips for optimizing the customer journey in your WooCommerce store during the awareness stage.

3. Design an Eye-Catching Product Page

When a visitor clicks on a link to your website on Google or Facebook, you want to give a good first impression. You can do that by creating product pages and landing pages that are optimized for sales.

This is where SeedProd comes in. It is the best WordPress page builder on the market that allows you to easily create landing pages, sales pages, product pages, and even completely custom WordPress themes.

SeedProd's professionally-designed templates

SeedProd comes with dozens of ready-made templates that are already optimized for higher conversions. Plus, it has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that you can use to customize your landing pages.

SeedProd also includes a WooCommerce integration that allows you to add eCommerce elements to any page.

For example, you can display featured products that you want to upsell, product grids, add-to-cart buttons, and more.

An Add To Cart button on an online store

You can see how easy it is to use SeedProd in our guide on how to customize WooCommerce product pages.

4. Make It Easier for Customers to Find Products

You can also customize your WooCommerce product search results to help your customers find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

By default, WordPress and WooCommerce have a limited search function. That’s a problem because if your customers can’t find what they are looking for, then they may not come back to your online store.

We recommend using the SearchWP plugin. It’s the best custom search plugin for WordPress and is used by over 30,000 websites.

Add Custom Fields and Taxonomies to the Search Engine

We show you how to use this plugin to give your customers the best product search in our guide on how to customize the WooCommerce product search results page.

You may also want to learn how to enable search by product SKU in WooCommerce.

5. Keep Your Visitors Coming Back With Push Notifications

Push notifications are automated messages that show up in your customers’ browsers even after they have left your WooCommerce store.

You can use drip campaigns with multiple push notifications over time to promote products, build a relationship with your customers, increase sales, and get visitors to return to your store.

The easiest way to set up automated push notifications is with PushEngage. It’s the best web push notification software, and it is used to send over 15 billion push messages every month.

Push notification abandoned cart example

We take you through the whole setup process in our guide on how to set up automated drip notifications in WordPress.

6. Show Off Your Positive Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are a powerful form of social proof that can make your business seem more trustworthy and encourage people to buy from your online store.

But collecting, managing, and formatting customer reviews takes a lot of time and effort. That’s why we recommend using a customer review plugin to add different types of reviews to WordPress.

Smash Balloon Reviews Feed Pro allows you to show reviews from Yelp, Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor. That way, you don’t need to install any extra plugins.

Example of customer reviews using the Smash Balloon Reviews Feed Pro plugin

For more details, see our guide on how to show Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews in WordPress.

Help Customers Complete Their Purchases

Next, you will want to help customers get through your checkout and buy your products. Here are our tips for optimizing the WooCommerce customer journey during the decision stage.

7. Improve Your Checkout

You can easily personalize the purchase experience in your WooCommerce store using FunnelKit, a WordPress sales funnel builder and optimization plugin.

For example, it comes with a One-click Upsells feature, which allows users to add products to their carts on their way to the checkout.

WooFunnels One Click Upsell

You can also add one-click order bumps to your checkout for increased conversions.

FunnelKit lets you customize the user journey with pre-checkout offers, custom checkout form layouts, beautiful templates, and more.

WooFunnels Order Bump for WooCommerce

We have written a detailed guide on how to create a custom WooCommerce cart page that’s full of ideas for how to personalize your shopping cart for more conversions.

8. Show Custom Offers to Your Customers

On average, 60 to 80% of people who add items to their cart don’t actually buy the products. This means that if you have an online store, then you are losing out on a lot of sales. 

Often when a customer has added a product to their shopping cart, they will need some reassurance that they are making the right decision. This often leads to cart abandonment.

That’s why we recommend using OptinMonster. It is the best WordPress lead-generation software and has an Onsite Retargeting feature that can help reduce cart abandonment.

It allows you to create beautiful popups, countdown timers, slide-in forms, and more to nudge users in the right direction.

For example, OptinMonster can tell when a customer is about to leave your website and display a popup offering free shipping or a discount before they do.

Edit your campaign template

You can learn how to grab your customers’ attention with targeted messages at just the right time in our guide on how to create a WooCommerce popup.

Provide Great Customer Service

After customers have bought items from your WooCommerce store, you will want to give them great customer service to keep them coming back. Here are some tips for optimizing the service stage of the customer journey.

9. Follow Up With Your Customers

When running a WooCommerce store, your customers will receive different transactional emails. These emails help them get order confirmations, track their order statuses, get invoices, learn about how to return a product, and find more information about your online store.

By default, the design and layout of emails sent by WooCommerce are plain and generic. When you customize these emails, it helps to build trust with your customers, boost brand awareness, and get them to return to your store.

You can set up smart, automated follow-up emails and workflows using FunnelKit Automations, which is a popular WooCommerce plugin for marketing automation.

It includes a growing library of pre-built WooCommerce email templates that are proven to get results. And you can use the visual email automation builder to make any changes that you need.

What makes FunnelKit Automations really powerful is the custom goals-driven email automation builder. It shows you in-line analytics for each email.

For example, here is a screenshot of a workflow for sending out a thank you email after a customer’s first order.

Autonami Marketing Automation Email Analytics for WooCommerce

For more details, you can see our guide on how to customize your WooCommerce emails.

10. Engage With Customers in Real Time

As your online store grows, it’s important to provide good customer service. This leads to repeat sales, which means more profits for your business in the long run.

One way to do that is to add live chat to your website. This will let you interact with the people who visit your website, answer their questions, and solve their problems in real time. This can get you more sales and encourage existing customers to stay loyal to your brand.

The easiest way to add a live chat feature to your website is by using LiveChat Inc. It is one of the best live chat solutions for WordPress, and we use it on our own OptinMonster site.

The LiveChat WordPress plugin is free, although you will need to buy a paid subscription to the LiveChat service.

Another option is to automate live chat by using Chatbot.com, the best AI chatbot software for WordPress. You don’t need to do any coding or have any special technical skills to use it.

ChatBot live chat

For more details, you can see our guide on how to add live chat to your WooCommerce store.

Build Customer Loyalty

Finally, it’s important to turn your users into long-term and happy customers. Here are a few ways to optimize the WooCommerce customer journey for the loyalty stage.

11. Reward Loyal Customers

Creating a loyalty program can keep customers coming back to your online store and keep them away from your competitors. It can also be a great way to reward your best customers and make them feel valued.

You can give customers points for buying products and services, but also for creating an account, placing their first order, signing up for your email newsletter, and spending over a certain account.

It’s super easy to create a WooCommerce loyalty program using the Loyalty Program for WooCommerce plugin. It allows you to set up a loyalty program in just minutes and reward customers for buying products, leaving customer reviews, and more.

Loyalty Program for WooCommerce

You can also inspire loyalty to your brand by:

12. Automate Your Store and Focus on Your Customers

There’s a lot to keep track of when running an online store. Luckily, you can automate tasks to save time and money so you can focus on your customers while growing your business.

For example, you can use automation tools and plugins to send SMS messages to your customers, automate your payment processes, use social proof to increase conversions, automatically display your best product reviews, and much more.

You can see our complete list of tips by visiting our guide on the best WooCommerce automations to increase sales.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to optimize the WooCommerce customer journey for your online store. You may also want to see our guide on how to add wholesale pricing to WooCommerce, or our expert picks for the best WooCommerce WordPress themes.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Limit Purchase Quantity in WordPress (Step by Step)

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How to Limit Purchase Quantity in WordPress (Step by Step)

Imagine that you are running a WooCommerce store, and suddenly, one of your products goes viral. Orders start flooding in, and you are super happy! But then you realize some customers are buying up your entire stock in one go.

This might sound great at first, but there’s a problem. This leaves other customers empty-handed, creates stock shortages, and can even lead to unfair market practices like reselling and price-gouging.

In this article, we will show you how to limit purchase quantity in WordPress to help balance inventory levels.

limit-the-quantity-of-products-purchased-in-WordPress-OG

Why Limit Purchase Quantity in WordPress?

Stock management can make or break your store’s reputation. Limiting purchase quantities makes sure that all customers will receive their orders and you never sell a product that isn’t in stock.

You ensure a more even distribution of your products by setting a cap on how many units a customer can purchase at once. This way, more customers get a chance to buy what they want, you avoid going out of stock, and you maintain a fair shopping environment.

It’s all about balancing the scales to keep your store running smoothly and your customers happy.

Without this limit, you risk a few big buyers dominating your sales, which can lead to frustrated customers who miss out and might not return. It also helps you manage your inventory better and prevents anyone from not getting the products they want.

That said, let’s take a look at how to limit purchase quantity in WordPress. We’ll cover three ways to do it, and you can use the quick links below to jump to the method you want to use:

Method 1: Limiting Purchase Quantity in WordPress With WooCommerce

Chances are, if you are researching how to limit purchase quantity in WordPress, then you have an online store.

Most store owners who sell physical products need to restrict the quantity to avoid out-of-stock purchases, which would simply lead to refunds.

For WooCommerce store owners, you’re going to need to buy and download the Min/Max Quantities extension.

If you need help with this, then please see our ultimate WooCommerce tutorial.

Then, go to Products » All Products. From here, you need to click ‘Edit’ under the product to which you want to add restrictions.

edit productedit product

From here, scroll down to the Product Data section. In the General tab, you’ll see the option to enter the minimum and maximum quantities.

The ‘Group of’ field means that you can enter the quantity that the product must be purchased in multiples.

minimum maximum quantity woocommerceminimum maximum quantity woocommerce

From here, all you have to do is save the product, and the purchase limit will be in effect!

Method 2: Limiting Purchase Quantity in WordPress With WP Simple Pay

If you don’t have a complete eCommerce store, then WP Simple Pay is the best solution for selling products in WordPress.

WP Simple Pay is the best Stripe payments plugin that allows you to accept one-time and recurring payments without setting up a shopping cart.

For example, here’s a few use cases where WP Simple Pay could be helpful for limiting purchase quantity:

  • Event tickets: You can allow more people to attend by limiting ticket purchases from each individual.
  • Service bookings: You can use WP Simple Pay for appointment bookings like consultations or personal training sessions. Limiting the number of bookings per customer ensures fair access to your time and services.
  • Membership fees: When selling memberships, you can limit the number of purchases to prevent abuse or fraudulent signups for your membership site.

You will first need to install and activate the WP Simple Pay plugin. For more details, please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once activated, you’ll be taken to the setup wizard. This wizard guides you through the process of integrating Stripe, making it easy to connect your Stripe account with your site.

Click on ‘Let’s Get Started’ to begin.

The WP Simple Pay WordPress payment pluginThe WP Simple Pay WordPress payment plugin

Continue with the setup wizard to link your WordPress site to Stripe.

You then need to click ‘Connect with Stripe.’

connect-stripe-to-wpsimplepayconnect-stripe-to-wpsimplepay

Next, you’ll need to create a new Stripe account or connect an existing one to your site.

All you will have to do is type in your email and password for your Stripe account.

From here, you can select your account and hit ‘Connect.’

Connect Stripe to WP Simple PayConnect Stripe to WP Simple Pay

Once you’ve successfully connected Stripe to your site, it’s time to create an order form and set purchase quantity limits for your products.

You’ll go to WP Simple Pay » Add New. From there, you’ll see a variety of pre-built templates to choose from.

While this works for any form template, we will use the payment form template for this tutorial.

Hover over ‘Payment Form’ and click ‘Use Template.’

create payment formcreate payment form

After choosing your preferred form template, you will be directed to the General settings page, where you can tailor your payment form to your needs.

This is where you can adjust the title, description, and form type to meet your specific needs.

If you prefer to host the payment form on your own site, select ‘On-site payment form’ under Type. Alternatively, if you want to host the form on Stripe’s checkout page, then choose ‘Off-site Stripe checkout.’

Event tickets payment formEvent tickets payment form

Next, click on the ‘Payment’ tab, where you can configure Price Options. Here, you can offer multiple price options within a single form.

By default, you’ll see one price option set at $10.

For this tutorial, we’re adding two price options, which we will label as “Premium Access” and “Standard Access.”

standard access and premium accessstandard access and premium access

In this case, Premium Access is our top-tier product with very limited availability and a price of $100, while Standard Access is our most affordable option at $10.

Next, let’s set limits on the purchase quantities for the price options we have added.

To do this, click on ‘Purchase Restrictions’ on the left. Under ‘Inventory,’ you’ll be able to create the purchase limit.

WP Simple Pay offers two ways to restrict purchases. You can either set a default limit for all price options on your Stripe payment form or configure separate limits for each price option.

In this example, we’ve set a restriction of 10 for all ticket purchases.

restrict purchase limitrestrict purchase limit

You can also configure a specific limit for each price. Just select ‘Each price option has its own limit’ and set the purchase limit for each option.

So here, we’ve limited the Premium Access to 5 and the Standard Access to 10.

restrict purchase quantityrestrict purchase quantity

Once a product’s purchase limit has been reached, customers won’t be able to buy it.

Now, if your payment form is ready to go, you can hit the ‘Publish’ button on the right side of the screen.

publish payment formpublish payment form

All that is left to do is add your new payment form to your website. To embed the form, navigate to the post or page where you want to publish it.

Click on the + icon and then add the WP Simple Pay block.

WP simple pay blockWP simple pay block

Next, just select the payment form you’ve created. The form should appear in the block editor.

Finally, just click ‘Publish.’

publish event tickets formpublish event tickets form

Finally, you’ll want to preview the form to see how it looks on the front end.

You can even make a test payment to make sure the restriction works as intended.

preview event ticket formpreview event ticket form

Method 3: Limiting Purchase Quantity in WordPress With Easy Digital Downloads

Generally, digital products don’t require stock control. However, for situations like selling virtual tickets or other “digital” items with limited availability, the ability to limit the total number of purchases can be very useful.

Adding a limit can also add FOMO and create real scarcity without having to use a countdown timer.

If you sell digital products such as courses, ebooks, or templates, then you’ll want to use Easy Digital Downloads. The core Easy Digital Downloads plugin doesn’t include stock tracking by default, but you can easily add this functionality with a simple extension.

Note: You can purchase the Purchase Limit extension separately, or if you have the Professional Pass subscription plan, it’s free to download.

First, you’ll need the Purchase Limit extension.

After purchasing and installing it, navigate to the edit screen of the product you want to set a purchase limit on.

You can do this by going to the Downloads » Downloads page and then clicking ‘Edit’ on the digital product you’d like to make changes to.

edit digital downloadedit digital download

If you haven’t created a digital product yet, then just follow our beginner’s guide on how to sell digital downloads on WordPress.

Next, scroll down under Download Details. A new option titled ‘Purchase Limit’ should appear.

You can set the number to the quantity that can be purchased. If you leave the number at 0, customers can purchase an unlimited quantity. But if you set it at -1, the product will be marked as sold out.

purchase limit eddpurchase limit edd

You can also set the purchase limits if you have multiple pricing options. Simply click ‘Show advanced settings’ and then the ‘Purchase Limit Settings’ will appear.

Then, add the purchase limit you’d like for each pricing option.

variable pricing purchase limit eddvariable pricing purchase limit edd

Then, simply update your digital product page.

There you have it! You now have three methods for restricting the purchase quantity, and you can use the preferred solution based on your needs.

We hope this article helped you learn how to limit purchase quantity in WordPress. You may also want to see our expert pick of the best WooCommerce plugins for your store or our tutorial on how to increase WooCommerce sales.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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Best Web Hosting for E-Commerce in 2024

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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.

Plans

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.

Pricing

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. 

Plans

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

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.

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.

Pricing

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.

Plans

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.

Pricing

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.

Plans

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.

Pricing

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

Security

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.

Performance

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.

Pricing

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

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

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.


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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.


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

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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 Wix.com. 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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