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Hosting is just hosting, right?… Wrong.

The type of hosting you choose can have a big impact on the success (or not) of your eCommerce store. Is it enough to just choose any old WordPress hosting for your store? Or should you consider choosing WooCommerce optimised hosting?

Keep reading to find out…👇

What is the difference between WordPress and WooCommerce?

Before we dive into the granular details, we thought we’d begin with some basics.

What exactly is the difference between WordPress and WooCommerce? Put simply, WordPress is one of the quickest and easiest ways of setting up a website (which is why it’s so popular amongst online retailers and other businesses).

To get started, all you need to do is choose a domain name, hire a web host, install WordPress, set it up and you’ve pretty much got a website.

Great! 😎 But, what about the eCommerce part? Well, that’s where WooCommerce comes in.

If you want to add eCommerce functionality to your WordPress website, you simply need to install the WooCommerce plugin.

You’ve now got a fully functioning eCommerce site! 🖥

TLDR – WordPress allows you to set up a website and acts as the Content Management System (CMS). WooCommerce is a plugin that provides eCommerce functionality to your WordPress website.

What is the difference between WordPress hosting and WooCommerce hosting?

Okay, so hopefully you’ve now got a clearer idea of the difference between WordPress and WooCommerce.

But, what about hosting?!

Distinguishing between the two types of hosting can be a bit confusing, but we’ll try our best to explain.

When you set up your WordPress website, you’ll be looking for a WordPress-specific hosting service (which is simply a web hosting service that is pre-configured to host a WordPress powered website efficiently and effectively).

With us so far?

Cool (we knew you would be 🙌). Now, virtually all WordPress hosting is capable of running WooCommerce. That’s because, as we explained earlier, WooCommerce is just a plugin for your WordPress site. If you can run a WordPress site on a host, then it’ll be capable of running WooCommerce too.

So why bother with WooCommerce hosting?

At this point, you might be wondering why you’d bother with WooCommerce-specific hosting if a WordPress hosting service will work.

We don’t blame you. On the face of it, it doesn’t seem necessary to seek out WooCommerce-specific hosting.

But, it is. Let us explain…

The difference between WordPress and WooCommerce isn’t to do with basic server requirements. The real difference is between the additional features, benefits and optimisations you get with WooCommerce hosting that you won’t get with WordPress hosting 💪.

TLDR – Whilst WordPress hosting can run your WooCommerce store, it’s well worth using WooCommerce-specific hosting because of the additional features and benefits you get.

Watch out for WooCommerce hosting imposters!

You’ve made your decision. You want to go with a dedicated WooCommerce hosting service so you can take your eCommerce store to the next level. But, how do you find a genuine WooCommerce hosting service?

The reason we even ask this question is because there are multiple hosting companies (we won’t name any names) that simply set-up WooCommerce landing pages on their websites, but offer the same type of hosting as they do to their standard WordPress customers.

In other words, you’d be paying for WooCommerce hosting in name only.

Instead, when you’re looking for WooCommerce-specific hosting, you should take the time to really dig into the details and find out whether a company’s WooCommerce hosting service really does offer the extra features, benefits and optimisations you want (rather than it just being a basic WordPress hosting service)🔎.

Does a company’s WooCommerce hosting service offer WooCommerce-specific features and add-ons? Does the company demonstrate a real grasp and understanding of WooCommerce? If you can find proper answers to these questions, then you’ll have found a good WooCommerce hosting service.

It’s generally easy to tell a genuine WooCommerce hosting service apart from a basic WordPress one, as it’ll be more expensive (after all, if you want those extra features you’ll have to pay for them!💰).

TLDR – Just because something is labelled as a WooCommerce hosting service, doesn’t mean it is! Do your homework before signing up.

What are the benefits of WooCommerce hosting?

We’ve been extolling the benefits of WooCommerce hosting throughout this article, but what exactly are they?

Well, the exact features and benefits you’ll receive will very much depend on the hosting provider, but as a general rule, you’ll benefit from the following:

  • Daily backups, so all of that valuable customer information and other data remains safe.
  • Increased security, so that your user, order and other information remains secure at all times.
  • Automated WordPress and WooCommerce setup so that you can concentrate on marketing and running your store and not worry about the technical details. Some providers (such as upHost ✋) also provide free migration.
  • Support staff who are experts in WooCommerce.
  • Free SSL certificate.

WooCommerce stores have unique performance needs compared to regular WordPress sites. Today’s eCommerce environment is very competitive, so you need to make sure that your website is running as efficiently and smoothly as possible or else you’ll lose customers to your competitors.

So, in addition to the benefits we’ve outlined above, the other big differences you’ll generally see between generic WordPress hosting and WooCommerce hosting is:

  • Caching.
  • Database optimisations.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what these are (don’t worry we won’t tell anyone 😉), we’ve explained them both below.

WooCommerce Caching

A good WooCommerce hosting provider will provide a caching solution as part of their service.

Caching is a great way of improving your site’s performance and speeding up page load times. With Google making site and page load times key ranking factors as part of their recent Page Experience algorithm update, you should definitely look to improve the performance of your website. 💻💯👍

However, it’s important that your hosting provider doesn’t simply apply blanket caching to your site. Doing so can break important parts of your WooCommerce site including key functions like the shopping cart.

Therefore, a good hosting provider will be able to identify key WooCommerce parts of your site and will exclude them from caching.

Database optimisations

WooCommerce websites tend to be a lot more database-intensive than standard WordPress only websites.

A WooCommerce site not only stores all of its content on the database (such as your site’s theme, photos etc), but also all of the product details, order data, customer information and more.

This can put a lot of pressure on a server, as WordPress will need to query your site’s database on many page loads (this is exacerbated by the fact you can’t cache many of your store’s pages).

In addition to this, many WooCommerce sites, by their very nature, are heavily reliant on search. That’s because of the large number of people using the site’s search function to find the products they’re after. Each search request will generally require a database query.

As you can see, this can all add up to incredibly slow load times, and potentially even website reliability issues. 😭😱

However, a dedicated WooCommerce hosting service will optimise your site’s database so that it’s prepared for multiple queries. Many WooCommerce hosting providers will add additional features and add-ons to lessen the load on your site’s database e.g. by changing the way a website’s search function works, so that it puts less pressure on the database. ✊✌

TLDR – A proper WooCommerce hosting service will provide real benefits that’ll enhance the performance of your eCommerce website.

Choose upHost for your WooCommerce hosting

Not all hosting is created equal. That’s certainly the case for upHost. Founded by two digital agency owners, we understand the requirements of today’s leading eCommerce and other digital businesses.

Our hosting service offers everything you need to ensure your WooCommerce-powered online store is fast, efficient and offers a great user experience. We take care of the technical details, so you can focus on what you do best – growing your business.

Plus, if you ever have any questions or support requirements our UK-based support team are always happy to help!

Become part of the upHost family today

Read more hosting advice and information on the upHost blog…


upHost Tech Team

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