Only the best hosting for WooCommerce stores could guarantee success for your ecommerce venture. Now why WooCommerce? The answer is simple! WooCommerce has a 40% share of the global ecommerce platform market. Its array of incredible features makes it a highly preferred platform for setting up a customized and user-friendly online store.
When you find out the best hosting providers, you get confused because there is multitude of hosting types like shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and cloud hosting. It does not only depend on which hosting you choose but also on your budget. So it’s up to you to figure out which type of hosting solution might be best for you.
It is today the most economical hosting solution and is suitable for websites with moderate traffic. In fact, several corporate websites share a single server and the same resources (bandwidth, disk space, and memory allocation). This solution is convenient for individuals who do not master the techniques because the host provides you with a complete administration system and takes care of all the features related to the hosting system (update, security, maintenance, backups, software installation, etc.).
If a company needs specific modules, special languages, or a different MySQL database, then shared hosting is not the best solution.
- Shared hosting is simple and affordable.
- The load time can be very slower.
- There are many websites on the same server.
- You don’t have an option to control the server or improve performance.
For dedicated hosting, a full server belongs to you (whether rented or purchased). This type of hosting is suitable for websites of companies that generate a lot of traffic and require a lot of resources (examples: marketplace, e-commerce). Although no server can firmly guarantee 100% security, a dedicated server remains the best choice to adopt if the security of your website is your priority. As you do not have to share bandwidth with other websites, the dedicated servers are faster and you can host multiple websites, and the traffic is unlimited. Nevertheless, they are more expensive.
- In dedicated hosting, you have full control of the server.
- The performance is great.
- The cost of dedicated hosting is very high.
- Need a lot of technical knowledge.
VPS is a short form of Virtual Private Server. In fact, a VPS hosting creates multiple virtual servers from the same physical server. This type of hosting gives websites the same advantages as a dedicated server but without having to bear the hardware costs. The advantage of virtual servers is that you have complete control of your hosting. You can freely install the software you want, you have all the rights to the folders and you yourself maintain this personal space.
- You don’t share server resources with others.
- The load time is good and faster.
- VPS hosting is also expensive.
- You need to face the technical process as well.
The Cloud is a shared-virtual hosting fairly close to the VPS. The difference is that the VPS relies on a physical server whereas the cloud is based on several servers and the virtual resources are shared between several server computers that work together to create a large virtual network (cloud). The cloud is suitable for all needs.
This allows a small company to rent virtual space to other companies and thus be able to quickly launch a service without any investment in heavy equipment; and it also allows businesses that have peak activity at Christmas and much less activity the rest of the year, to have the resources needed during this peak of activity without having to invest in capabilities they would not use the rest of the year.
Finally, the cloud is very reliable because if one of the servers fails, your website will not crash because it will use the resources of another cloud server.
- Flexible, reliable, and scalable
- Dedicated resources
- It’s requires a constant internet connections.
- No offline usability.
Now that we have a clear understanding why cloud hosting is the best! Let’s start with launching WooCommerce store on cloud servers.
Launch WordPress with WooCommerce on Cloudways
Now, in this section, I am going to launch WordPress with WooCommerce on Cloudways Platform. To do this, you need to see the following steps.
Sign up & Launch Server
First, you need to sign up for Cloudways Platform and launch WordPress with WooCommerce using the following Server and Application Details..
- Select Application: WordPress with WooCommerce
- Server Infrastructure: DigitalOcean
- Server Size: 1GB (you can also scale up the server size later)
- Location: San Francisco (or any other location which is more closed in your country)
After the successful server launch, go to Applications > WooCommerce > Application Management > Admin Dashboard.
I am using the default theme, Storefront. However, if you want to use any other theme, you can install it from Appearance > Themes in the dashboard.
By default, the Storefront provides a set of 12 dummy products, but this is not adequate for evaluating WooCommerce store performance. Therefore, I will import more dummy products so that I could do the stress-test properly.
Importing WooCommerce Sample Products
My WooCommerce store looks empty; no products and no orders.
To add WooCommerce products, I will add dummy data through WooCommerce Product Generator. This plugin helps you generate a sample product on your WooCommerce based-ecommerce store.
Now, navigate to Plugins > Add New, then go to search bar and search for WooCommerce Product Generator. Next, install and activate the plugin. For further reference, see the image below.
After activating the plugin, a tab will appear on sidebar WooCommerce > Product Generator.
Note: “This produces demo products for testing purposes. It is NOT recommended to use this on a production site. The plugin will NOT clean up the data it has created. The plugin will create a product-generator user in the role of a Shop Manager.”
Now, I am going to generate 1,000 dummy products for the testing purpose.
In the following image, you can see that I have added 1,000 dummy products for my WooCommerce store.
Now, let’s move to the performance test.
WooCommerce Store Before Optimization
Note: Varnish is pre-enabled on Cloudways servers.
Let’s Optimize WooCommerce Store
Next, I am going to optimize my WooCommerce store with cache and image optimization plugin.
Add Cache Plugin
At the moment, you could find a number of paid and free cache plugins in the WordPress repository. For this performance test, I have installed Cloudways’ free WordPress cache plugin called Breeze. Its performance is at par with the most popular WordPress cache plugins. All you have to do is install Breeze on your WordPress site and simply enjoy the peace of mind offered by the powerful cache plugin.
Note: By default, Breeze WordPress cache plugin has installed on Cloudways server. So you don’t have to put extra effort to install the plugin.
Breeze Configuration Settings
Breeze offers database optimization, minification, support for Varnish cache, and file level cache system. To install and configure Breeze settings, you just need to follow this knowledge base article.
In this case, I will use the following settings:
On the Settings > Breeze you will see the few settings of Breeze. The Basic Options tab will open by default on your screen. Here you can set the minification and few other settings as well.
Note: “[Breeze] recommend testing minification on a staging website before deploying it on a live website. Minification is known to cause issues on the frontend.”
This is the Advanced Options tab, if you want to group your CSS and JS files, you can do so otherwise ignore this step.
You need to backup your databases before using the database optimization options.
The good news is the CloudwaysCDN is available, so you don’t need to pay to any other provider for CDN services. To add CloudwaysCDN, go to your Server > Selected Application > Application Management > CloudwaysCDN.
Next, add the link of your website and click on the configure button.
Then, it will take a couple of minutes for configuration. Now, you can see that the CDN has successfully activated.
By default, Breeze WordPress cache plugin purge internal cache daily. If you want to purge manually, you can do it from here.
Image optimization is very important for speeding up WooCommerce stores. I suggest using the very popular WP Smush Image Compression and Optimization that allows easy resizing, optimization, and compression of images. I have already installed activated the plugin on my WooCommerce store.
After activating the plugin, WP Smush tab will appear on your sidebar Media > SP Smush.
Click on the Bulk Smush button for image optimization. Next, you can see that the Bulk Smush process is currently running.
WooCommerce Store After Optimization
Now you can see the (pretty good) results that show the power of the best WooCommerce hosting along with an efficient caching and image optimization plugin.
Results of WebPageTest
Why Should You Consider Cloudways Managed Hosting for WooCommerce Store?
Cloudways is the ideal solution for a WooCommerce store because of its Varnish compatible WooCommerce hosting that is further optimized with Breeze, the free cache plugin. In addition, you could avail industry standard features such as free SSL certificates, PHP7, Elasticsearch, free website migration and much more. Security for your stores is built into the Cloudways platform and the backups are handled by an automated process that takes regular backups of your store.
As you can see, I have successfully created my WooCommerce store on Cloudways without any hassle. And my store has been loaded in just a few milliseconds. I would like to invite you to migrate your WooCommerce store on Cloudways.
So what are you waiting for, let’s create your faster ecommerce store by choosing the best WooCommerce hosting none other than Cloudways. Hope you like this article, so are you creating your faster WooCommerce store if yes, then add the comment in the section below.
Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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