There are basically three ways to create and run an online: you can create the store pretty much on your own, you can use a plugin such as WooCommerce that adds ecommerce capabilities to a WordPress-website or you can use an ecommerce platform. If you decide to go with one of two options mentioned first, you will need hosting for your store.
And obviously it is not nice to pay too much for hosting, so below we present, what we believe to be the cheapest hosting that you should actually want to use for an online store in 2021. Following that there is a very cheap alternative for those who would prefer to pay for hosting in monthly basis.
Hostinger – best cheap ecommerce hosting – starts from about $1.5/month
Hostinger can be almost astonishingly cheap if you choose a long-term subscription. And as running an ecommerce store should be seen as a long-term commitment, there should be no problems with being willing to pay for a longer order.
In practice the cheapest Hostinger plan costs, at the time of writing this, only around $1.5 per month. The listed price for the cheapest subscription is $1.39/month but taxes are added on top of that price.
You can get the roughly $1.5/month-price if you are willing to pay for 48 months in advance. From the image below you can see what the prices would be pre-tax, if you opted for a shorter subscription. It is good to note that the 12, 24 and 48 month orders renew at a higher price. At the time of writing this, the mentioned higher price for the 48 month order is $2.99/month.
Standard hosting for ecommerce vs. special WooCommerce hosting
The prices discussed and shown above are for a product called “Single Shared Hosting”. That hosting product is one of three affordable hosting subscriptions recommended by Hostinger for Magento and PrestaShop ecommerce stores, and as such it should work very well with them. Additionally, in my experience even that extremely cheap hosting should work completely fine with WooCommerce.
However, if you are going to build a WooCommerce store, it is nice to know that Hostinger also has special hosting subscriptions particularly for WooCommerce stores. The prices for those subscriptions start from $3.99/month. See more on Hostinger.
Hostinger is not only cheap
I have been using Hostinger for a while myself and have been pleasantly surprised by its quality: the hosting seems to work well and the company seems to have, for example, good customer service. In case you are interested, you can find out a bit more about my experiences with Hostinger from this comparison between Hostinger and Godaddy (which I have also used). Go to Hostinger.
Even cheaper prices with a Hostinger coupon code
While Hostinger is extremely cheap even without any type of coupon code, it is nice to know that with a good coupon code you can actually get an additional discount on the already discount prices. And the best Hostinger coupon code I have come across in 2021 is NY2021 – in the picture above you can see examples of prices applying the coupon code leads to. Go to Hostinger and use the code (opens in a new window).
Hostinger and ecommerce – anything to be aware of?
Even though Hostinger hosts also kinds of websites on its servers, it does seem like they are starting to take special interest in ecommerce. That for example as they are now prominently highlighting their own store builder, Zyro (see review), on their website as well as discussing using WooCommerce with Hostinger. In my opinion those facts likely mean that Hostinger is likely to pay special attention on making sure their service works especially well with online stores. Launch your store with Hostinger.
Bottom line: I believe that Hostinger offers the best value ecommerce hosting.
Looking for cheap month-to-month hosting? DreamHost starts at just $4.95/month
The thing about great hosting deals is that getting them usually requires buying a long-term subscription. That is also the case with Hostinger. And while ecommerce should be seen as something you intend to do for a long time, it does sometimes make sense to pick a month-to-month hosting. And in terms of those, DreamHost offers a very cheap alternative: their cheapest web hosting costs $4.95/month. Go to DreamHost.
My personal experiences with DreamHost thus far: DreamHost seems to offer excellent customer service and good web hosting speed & uptime.
Hallmarks of a good ecommerce web hosting
- Reliable service with no or very little downtime.
- Enough storage space even for a large ecommerce store.
- Gives visitors fast access to the website.
- Easy to use.
- The company behind the hosting offers good customer service.
- Clear pricing.
What other costs are there than hosting when running an online store?
If you can create the whole ecommerce store yourself your costs for creating and just having the store online can, in the ideal case, be pretty much limited to the hosting and the cost of a domain name for your store (typically about $10–$15/year). However, if you need to use, for example, WooCommerce (which itself is free, but usually needs paid-plugins) and buy plugins for it, the hosting can suddenly become just a relatively small part of your costs. And if you go the WooCommerce-route, you should be willing to set at least $150–$200/year aside for making your store as good as it can be.
Are there free web hosting services?
Yes. For example, 000webhost offers free web hosting. However, the issue is that these free web hosting services tend to be extremely limited and/or show advertising and as such they are not really suitable solutions for running an ecommerce store.
Ecommerce platforms include hosting in their prices
While ecommerce platforms, such as BigCommerce, can especially in the long-term be a bit more expensive than creating store on your own and buying hosting for it, it is good to be aware of the fact that ecommerce platforms tend to include hosting (and many other things) in their listed prices. The end-result of this is that the cost difference between using a platform and doing everything yourself might not be very big.
And if you assume some value for the likely difference in how much time it takes to create a store with a platform or yourself, using a cheap platform might actually suddenly become a better deal. We have explored the cheapest ecommerce platforms on this page – there are some really solid and quite inexpensive options.