Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, ecommerce is witnessing an unprecedented boom. Even the businesses that were mainly offline with brick-and-mortar presence are now forced to consider the digital commerce model as lockdowns and social distancing become the order of the day.
Whether you are transitioning from an offline to an online store or want to improve your ecommerce business, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is regarding your choice of ecommerce platform.
This decision is central to the emerging online store scene – the spectrum of existing and potential ecommerce players spans from novice (business owners with little to no technical background) to expert (usually developers and agencies with extensive expertise).
So the main question is a simple one. Is there a single ecommerce platform that caters to the unique requirements of this diverse user base?
In my opinion, WooCommerce is the perfect answer to the question. It is a WordPress plugin with all the underlying power of WordPress – the most popular CMS right now with approximately 60% of the market share.
WooCommerce has all the features that you would expect from an industry-leading ecommerce platform. In addition to out-of-the-box optimization, it offers a readymade ecommerce store that is open for business after a couple of hours of work.
What’s more, its core functionalities can be “enhanced” with extensions that make sure that WooCommerce is the perfect fit for all online commerce business models.
In order to leverage the full potential of this ecommerce solution, you need to make sure that the hosting solution that powers your WooCommerce store is able to keep pace with the platform.
Hosting your WooCommerce Store
This is often the trickiest part of online commerce to get right in general, and WooCommerce in particular. Many first-timers and inexperienced ecommerce store owners opt for shared hosting solutions because of the low prices they offer. However, these shared hosting solutions are often unable to provide adequate server resources, which can give you a difficult time running your online business.
Some store owners go to the other extreme and set up shop on a dedicated VPS, or go to a cloud provider for a cloud server. Very soon, they realize that maintaining these hosting servers takes up a lot of their time leaving them unable to make time for their business operations.
In addition, store owners need to hire (or outsource) sysadmins that add a significant overhead for store operations.
Since there is a chance that you are not technically proficient to handle a VPS or a bare metal cloud server, I would recommend hosting your WooCommerce store on a managed cloud hosting provider such as Cloudways.
Cloudways Managed WooCommerce Hosting
The Cloudways Platform is built to ensure a rock-solid foundation for WooCommerce stores. The idea is to provide flexibility and choice so that WooCommerce stores are able to keep up with the ecommerce boom.
The Cloudways Hosting Stack
Cloudways has built a custom hosting stack for WooCommerce stores. This stack has servers and cache components and offers a powerful environment for the WordPress layer on which your WooCommerce store is built on.
The stack is a combination of Apache and NGINX as servers, Redis, Varnish and Memcached as cache options and MariaDB as the database engine.
Choice of Five Cloud Providers
Cloudways offers you the choice of five cloud providers – AWS, Google Compute Engine, DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Linode. This means you have the choice of selecting the cloud infrastructure to fit your budget.
Every cloud provider offers several combinations of server resources so that you could pick the right combination of processing power, RAM, storage, and bandwidth to give your ecommerce business the perfect start.
Another important benefit of this choice means you have the option to choose from 60+ locations for hosting your store. This is great because experts recommend hosting your store as close to your target audience as possible in order to deliver an awesome experience to your visitors.
The success of your WooCommerce store in the cutthroat competition of the ecommerce world depends on speed. And while the Cloudways hosting stack is fast enough, CloudwaysCDN is a native solution that speeds up content delivery for your globally-distributed audience.
The price is nominal, and the solution is optimized to work with the Cloudways Platform.
Security lies at the foundation of the Cloudways Platform, and every Cloudways managed server is protected by platform-level firewalls. Similarly, every Cloudways account is protected by an additional layer of TFA that restricts account access to authorized users only.
To harden the security of your WooCommerce store, the Cloudways Platform is protected by firewalls. Plus, the platform components are regularly updated and patched to close off known vulnerabilities.
And in order to enhance store-level security, the Cloudways team urges store owners to regularly adapt to the latest security practices
Cloudways is very welcoming to the users who wish to join the family. For WooCommerce stores hosted on other providers, Cloudways offers a very simple migration flow. Just ask the Cloudways team for a managed migration and they will move your store to its new home without breaking anything.
To sweeten the deal, the first migration is on the house, with subsequent migrations at very reasonable charges.
Pay as You Go (PAYG)
The hosting industry is rife with complicated pricing plans that make it difficult to understand the real cost of hosting an ecommerce store. Realizing this, Cloudways offers a simple pricing plan – only pay for the resources your store consumes in a billing cycle.
This simple PAYG model means that you have a clear idea of the costs of hosting your ecommerce store on the Cloudways Platform.
When it comes to hosting related challenges, the Cloudways Support team has your back. In case of any issue, simply reach out to the team through the live chat feature and support tickets. But if you wish to resolve an issue by yourself, the Cloudways Knowledge Base is a great resource you can mine for solutions.
In case you need more close (or prompt support), you can sign up for Cloudways Support Add-ons that ensure closer SLA and response ties from experienced engineers.
By paying close attention to the details involved in building a powerful and highly responsive hosting solution, Cloudways offers the best platform for hosting your online stores. It operates so smoothly that you may not even notice the additional managed cloud hosting server underneath your store.
Should You Use Cloudways to Host Your WooCommerce Store?
With Cloudways, there’s the proverbial Goldilocks “just right” hosting solution for any ecommerce store.
Given its robust features, the versatility of its pricing plan, and performance levels, the platform is a reliable provider for small, medium, and large ecommerce stores. Plus, its scalability features make it an excellent option for rapidly growing websites.