top 10 best uk web hosting companies

Top 10 ecommerce web hosting companies - the retail a to z

ecommerce websites

If you are looking to sell a product or service online, this list of my top 10 eCommerce web hosting companies may be useful if you are planning or need to move your site. A secure and reliable website is an important consideration to prevent headaches down the line, and the providers here are some of the best web hosts based on my experience and research.

While saving money is important and although for a personal or info site, you can get away with a cheap hosting provider, choosing one of the best becomes more important when you are conducting online business.

eCommerce web hosting

This list of website hosting companies for ecommerce has been updated in June 2017, and takes into account my experiences with providers over the last 2 years in particular. In my last review, I removed one host from the list following issues with their customer service, and am only including a provider if I have had positive experiences or heard good reviews about them from trusted sources.

Siteground
Update: Siteground now offer free SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt

One of the most popular web hosting providers in the world, Siteground e-commerce solutions range from low-cost, shared servers to powerful cloud or dedicated server packages. The company has data centres in the USA, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions and their website offers a great deal of advice about the various platforms you might want to use to set up an online shop. At the time of writing, there are 18 e-commerce apps available 1-click install in CPanel and Magento seems to be recommended by them as it is given particular prominence on the site.

Siteground offers PCI Compliant hosting solutions, 24/7 support, and guarantees 99.9% uptime.

Since our last review, the addition of free SSL certificates with all their hosting packages means that you can have the green address bar and HTTPS – an important trust signal for an online shop to show that customers’ payment details are safe and secure – without any extra expense. This is great as an SSL certificate usually starts at around £40 / $50.

Getting a green padlock symbol and HTTPS at the start of your web address has now become a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have for ecommerce website owners.

Google has publicly stated that websites with valid HTTPS get a small ranking boost, and that in future, all non-HTTPS pages will show a ‘Not Secure’ warning in the Chrome web browser, so most of the web will move to it over the coming months. This warning is already in place in Chrome for any web pages that collect personal information via forms, such as payment details. Therefore, if you are setting up an ecommerce website, ensuring that it has a valid SSL certificate is now a must.

Many hosts are likely to follow Siteground’s lead in making SSL available for free by default.

Learn more about their hosting packages and features on the Siteground website.

Bluehost
In terms of customer service and slickness of operation, Bluehost is one of the best web hosting companies I have used to date. When I first joined them, I signed up and paid online, and not long later (within about 24 hours I think), I received a phone call from them, asking if I was getting on OK. I’ve never experienced this before and was doubly impressed as they took the care to call me during my working hours even though I am based in the UK and they are in the US.

Bluehost were extremely professional and helpful when I needed technical support, and I found them quick and easy to deal with. I have only used quite basic web hosting packages with them so far, but they seem great value and often have special offers running. I would certainly place them on the shortlist when looking at the best ecommerce hosting companies for your online store. Their good reviews seem well justified.

UK Web Solutions Direct
As I am based in the United Kingdom, I often choose website hosts with UK-based servers, as it’s still thought that this can help with rankings for local searches, even though it is by no means essential these days. I have used a few website hosts with servers in the UK and have had no problems to date with this company. My sites with UK Web Solutions Direct have been quick and reliable, as well as easy to set up with 1-Click installs via CPanel and WHM. For those needing more support for ecommerce website hosting, there are managed server and managed VPS options available.

iPage
Highly rated by many website reviews, the ecommerce hosting solutions from iPage are clearly explained on their site. There are specific solutions and advice for the ShopSite online shopping cart system, PayPal for credit card processing, and SSL Certificates for customer security.

Clook
Another website host with UK servers. I have managed a retail client’s ecommerce site at Clook without any problems. Their servers are set up to support a wide range of popular e-store solutions, such as Magento, Zen Cart, OpenCart and XCart systems for online shopping with secure payment processing.

Layershift
Home to many of the world’s leading companies, Layershift offers specific solutions and advice pages for ecommerce web hosting. The Magento open source e-commerce platform is a popular choice for main online retail businesses and Layershift offers easy install, as well as managed hosting services and 24/7 support for this e-shop builder. Among their e-commerce hosting security solutions, there is automated data backup every 6 hours available.

Rackspace
For larger ecommerce businesses, Rackspace online store solutions include a range of managed services and they are specialists in cloud hosting technology. The company offers Linux and Windows cloud servers for sites ranging from fairly low traffic and storage levels requiring 1GB of RAM, right up to intensive requirements of 120GB for massive, high traffic websites. One of my previous employers was using Rackspace to host its own sites, as well as applications for some global, blue-chip retailers, without any issues to my knowledge.

ekmPowershop
This ecommerce website builder offers an easy way to create an eshop and comes with free hosting. It allows you to accept debit and credit card payments, as well as using many other popular online payment processing systems, such as PayPal and SagePay. ekmPowershop charges a flat monthly fee for use of the platform and ecommerce hosting, but there are no transaction fees.

At the time of writing there are over 150 website templates for your estore and there are many useful features that make the system easy for both the customer and the business owner, including social media promotional tools, eBay integration, live chat functionality, customer address verification and multi-currency displays. With this provider, you can host unlimited products on your site, as well as adding blogs, promotional stickers and customer loyalty schemes.

GoDaddy
One of the more well-known, well-established and largest web hosting companies, GoDaddy has a strong global presence and a huge client base. They also offer domain names and a range of additional online marketing tools. You can view GoDaddy Hosting options for ecommerce and other types of site.

Shopify
At the time of writing, this all-in-one ecommerce website software and hosting solution had powered over $4 Billion in online sales across over 100,000 sites. Having a complete online store solution like this ensures that all aspects of your ecommerce system are compatible and work together seamlessly. It is simple enough to set up and use for novice website users, meaning that the e-shop owner does not need to engage the services of expert web developers. Even much of the web design is taken care of, so that all you might want to create a slick experience for your visitors is a graphic designer to help you with a company logo.

Online stores with Shopify are mobile friendly out of the box – one of the benefits of using one of the more modern e-commerce platforms.

For most users looking to create a low-cost, turnkey eshop, this would prove to be an effective, cheap and reliable solution, which can be upgraded as your needs grow. It comes with a range of innovative tools specific to the field of online retail, such as gift cards and purchase journey analytics. Security in the online shopping experience is at the core of its functionality and Shopify is certified as PCI Compliant. There is even a dedicated iPad point of sale add-on to make mobile ecommerce even easier for many buyers.

If an easy to use, integrated solution is a high priority when choosing the best ecommerce hosting company for you, then Shopify could be a great choice.

If you have been looking for reviews of the top ecommerce web hosting companies, then I hope the information above has proved useful. Happy selling!

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