eCommerce refers to transactions of goods or services – whether selling or buying – that are conducted online through a website. eCommerce can be added to any website no matter what type of hosting it is on, but eCommerce hosting usually integrates online stores into the site platform (or CMS) itself. Adding an online store to your site can be done from scratch, using one of several popular platforms, or plugins. The following hosts offer plans with eCommerce available as either a platform or feature. Sort by popular names or lowest prices.

eCommerce Plan by HostGator

Disk Space: Unlimited
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Websites: 1
Email Accounts: Unlimited
Operating System: Linux

Promo Price
$9.22

Regular Price: $12.49

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Standard Plan by Webnode

Disk Space: 2 GB
Bandwidth: 10 GB
Websites: 1
Email Accounts: 20
Operating System: Linux

Today’s Price
$11.95

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Profi Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: 5 GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Today’s Price: $19.95

WooCommerce Plan by DreamHost

Disk Space: 60 GB
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Websites: 1
Email Accounts: Contact provider
Operating System: Linux

Promo Price
$24.95

Regular Price: $29.95

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Beginner Plan by Liquid Web

Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Websites: 1
Email Accounts: Contact provider
Operating System: Linux

Today’s Price
$39.00

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Basic Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Today’s Price: $99.00
Dropshipping Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Today’s Price: $125.00
Marketplace Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Today’s Price: $149.00

Essential Plan by 1&1 IONOS

Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Websites: 1
Email Accounts: 5
Operating System: Linux

Today’s Price
$10.00

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Business Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Today’s Price: $20.00
Pro Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Contact provider
Bandwidth: Contact provider
Today’s Price: $30.00

Starter Plan by HostPapa

Disk Space: 100 GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Websites: 1
Email Accounts: Contact provider
Operating System: Linux

Promo Price
$3.95

Regular Price: $7.99

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Business Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Unlimited
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Promo Price: $5.95
Regular Price: $12.99
Business Pro Plan
Websites: 1
Disk Space: Unlimited
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Promo Price: $12.95
Regular Price: $19.99

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How To Build An Online Store On A Website

While services that can be bought or ordered online involve transactions that are considered a part of eCommerce, eCommerce hosting generally refers to features that allow you to add products and a store to your website. There are generally 3 approaches to building an online store as part of your site:

  1. Build from scratch: This approach involves hiring developers and designers to build and create an online store. While this approach offers a level of customization and flexibility unrivaled in the others, it is typically very expensive and time-consuming. It is not recommended for small business just looking to build an online presence and store, but for large stores with custom POS (Point of sales) systems, this could be the only viable option.
  2. Use a platform-based service: Similar to site builders, there are many sites out there where eCommerce capabilities is built into the platform itself used to create your website. The advantage here is that your online store and site can be created in a single streamlined, user-friendly interface. Like site builder plans, these platforms are generally proprietary and will require you to create your online store (and website) from scratch should you decide to switch hosting. However, this can be a great solution for small businesses that currently do not have a website and online store.
  3. Use a plugin or module: the most popular CMS platforms out there have thousands upon thousands of plugins – both free and paid – that can add several features to your site, including eCommerce. In this case, you simply add a plugin or module to your site, configure it, and then start adding items to the store via a user-friendly dashboard. While there may be some limitations with customization, this is a great solution for small businesses due to its low cost and short time period required to deploy.

The Best eCommerce Hosting Plan

Due to the sensitive nature of handling your customers’ personal and financial information, there are a few considerations that go beyond what you normally need to consider with a website when you want to add eCommerce. The best hosting plan will have these readily available – or even free:

  1. SSL Certificate: Creating a safe and secure environment for your customers should be your primary concern with an online store. SSL certs encrypt the data that visitors send to your store, making it unlikely to be intercepted and decoded by hackers looking to steal personal details. SSL certs have some benefit for SEO purposes as well, but they are a must if you want to create an online store.
  2. Easy-to-use and maintain platform: New products are added, old products get discontinued, and current products can go out of stock. It happens. The best eCommerce platforms will allow you to edit and maintain your store with ease, sometimes even integrating into systems used to track and manage your inventories.
  3. Reliable, fast performance: Time is money no matter if it’s spent inside a physical store or shopping online. Your website should load fast and handle the demand of all your customers in order to provide them with a pleasant experience that keeps them coming back.
  4. Allows multiple sites on the same account: While this is not an issue for everyone, many eCommerce plans cover a single site only. If you have another site that you want to add to the account, you may have to start an entire new plan rather than simply adding the site to your current one.

Further Reading