Best OpenCart Hosting Services (2018)
OpenCart is a good solution for any online store. It gives you flexibility, which is very important for online and regular merchants as well. OpenCart shops scale really well and allow you to add content on the go. OpenCart also offers more than 20 different payment methods, allowing your customers to pay in their favorite form. It has all the standard online store functionalities, and offers them completely for free.
But, there are things you need to pay for, and one of them is hosting. Your store needs a solid foundation, and you should pick a host that will offer everything your store may need.
Best Type of Hosting for OpenCart Store
It is definitely VPS.
Virtual Private Servers work by reserving a portion of a server just for you, and your website. This amount is guaranteed to you, which is extremely valuable in those traffic spikes. This guaranteed muscle will give you enough freedom to create any type of store you want. And it will not cost too much.
Other two types of hosting are simply not the right fit for online stores. Shared plans are cheap, but are far too weak. They will not be able to handle sudden spikes of traffic some stores encounter. Site performance will drop, and you will lose visitors and Google ratings. On the other hand, dedicated servers guarantee maximum performance. But you will also pay a lot, and pay for something you probably don’t need.
Best of both worlds? VPS, definitely.
Choosing a VPS for OpenCart
Choose a hosting provider that has all of these features:
- Speed and reliability – this is vital. Obviously, if your site is down, your customers can’t reach you, and you will lose money. Also, if your site is slow, your customers get annoyed, they leave, and you lose money. But, there is one more thing to consider. Customers usually find your website using Google. And Google likes stable and responsive websites. It likes them so much that they put them higher up on the search lists. This will result in more traffic, and more money for you. Get a reliable host, that guarantees 99.9% or better uptime, and that is known for hosting lightning fast websites.
- Price – this is simple, as you can’t get something you can’t afford. But, you should not always get everything you can afford. In hosting, bigger is not better. You can easily end up overpaying for resources you don’t need. Start small, and upgrade later if you find the need for it.
- Security – people will buy things from you, with their hard earned cash. If they don’t feel safe, they will find a better store. Make them feel safe by providing SSH, SSL, spam/malware/DDOS/hacker protection, and by getting your website backed up regularly.
- Support and maintenance – sign with a hosting provider that is known for their highly professional support team, that acts fast. Ideally, you want them based in-house, so they can easily fix things on the spot (and speak decent English too). Also, if you are not that tech savvy, get a server that is maintained for you 24/7. And if you already have a store, find a host that provides free migration services.
- VPS specific features – with VPS, you get a portion of a server reserved for you. For the money you pay, you get a number of CPU cores, RAM, storage, bandwidth, etc. It is always good to get as much as you can, but try not to get carried away. You can always upgrade later, so starting smaller is probably a better idea.
Best OpenCart VPS Hosting Providers
We will now give you three great examples to choose from. All three hosting providers have VPS plans optimized for eCommerce, so running an OpenCart website will be smooth.
We have already talked about the importance of having a fast website, and there is no better host when it comes to pure speed than InMotion.
Websites hosted on InMotion run up to 67% faster than those hosted on competition. They also have a 99.97% uptime, which is far better than average. How does InMotion accomplish this? They do it by constant innovations. Their engineers always try to find ways to improve the service. And they upgrade frequently, spending millions each year on new parts. As you can see, results show.
InMotion has excellent VPS plans. All have few great things in common: free SSD (one of the reasons for that awesome speed), cPanel interface, unlocked cores. Also, they provide free maintenance. They have 3 plans:
- VPS-1000HA-S is the cheapest one. It will cost you $29.99 per month. It includes 4 GB RAM, 75 GB SSD storage, 4 TB of monthly bandwidth and 3 IP addresses.
- VPS-2000HA-S is their best valued plan, and it will cost $49.99/mo. For this price you will get 6 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD, 5 TB of bandwidth and 4 IP addresses.
- VPS-3000HA-S is their premium VPS plan, strong enough for even the biggest stores. For $75.99/mo, you get 8 GB RAM, 260 GB SSD, 6 TB bandwidth and 5 IP addresses.
InMotion has one of the best support teams around. They are highly trained, in-house based and known for responding fast, in less than two minutes. And unlike many other hosting providers, they do site migration for free. Free migration, combined with free backups and free VPS maintenance make InMotion support one of a kind.
Try InMotion, with a 90 day money back guarantee, you will have time to check every feature yourself.
Security concerns? Pick BlueHost and don’t worry.
This hosting provider is best known for advanced security features it provides. Spam? Not a thing, BlueHost provides Spam Assassin, Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, so spam will never be an issue. DDOS? Not a thing, BlueHost has CloudFlare, and will stop those dangerous DDOS attacks that cripple your website by draining your data. There are more advanced tools, like SSH, hotlink protection and IP blacklisting.
Also, your data will be safe from physical harm too. BlueHost has custom built servers, and backs them up regularly. For anything unpredictable, UPS and diesel generators are in place. You will get a guaranteed 99.9% uptime.
BlueHost has 3 VPS plans with competitive prices and unlimited bandwidth:
- Standard at $19.95/mo gets you 2 cores, 30 GB SSD, and 2 GB RAM, 1 domain with 1 IP.
- Enhanced plan, costs $29.99/mo and offers 2 cores, 60 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM and 1 domain with 2 IP addresses.
- Ultimate plan is the most expensive, but most powerful. For $59.99 it will give you 4 cores, 8 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD and 1 domain with 2 IP addresses.
BlueHost has terrific support. You can call them not only when you have problems, but anytime you need advice. They are highly trained, kind, and easy to reach, 24/7. BlueHost has a lively community too, and you will be able to get advice and help from other fellow users too.
WordPress recommends BlueHost, and it is their number one hosting company. This recommendation should be enough for you to consider trying BlueHost. And a 30 day money back guarantee is another reason, as there is no risk involved.
If you base your choices on numbers, go for HostGator. This is one of the biggest hosting providers in the industry, and hosts more than 9 million websites. Numbers speak for themselves. If so many people trust HostGator, it must be trustworthy.
Since it has so many users, HostGator has a big reputation to maintain. They chose the right way to do so; they have built one of the finest data centers around. A true marvel is built using only the latest components. Advanced fire detection and power backup systems are in place, and everything is closely monitored around the clock. Results? 99.9% guaranteed uptime. And they hide nothing, HostGator website has a RSS feed where you can check their server status any time you want.
What about their VPS plans? HostGator has three. All of them run on branded hardware, Intel and AMD powered. All have unlimited number of domains, with unlimited number of subdomains. You can create as many email accounts as you want, with no storage limitations. Also, backup is done regularly, on weekly basis, off-site. More advanced users will especially appreciate full root access HostGator provides, as it will allow deep customization.
Here are the VPS plans:
- Snappy 2000: it has 2 GB RAM, dual-core, 120 GB storage, and 1.5 TB bandwidth. Not bad for $19.95/mo.
- Snappy 4000: provides the best value, and has 4 GB RAM, dual-core, 165 GB storage and 2 TB bandwidth, all for $29.95/mo.
- Snappy 8000: is their most powerful VPS plan. It offers 8 GB RAM, quad-core CPU, 240 GB storage and 3 TB bandwidth. All this for $39.95/mo.
Since it is one of the biggest hosting providers, HostGator has one of the biggest communities. On their lively forums you will find tons of useful stuff such as guides, tutorials and how-to videos. And if you don’t like searching for help yourself, HostGator’s award winning support team is there to help. You can reach them 24/7 via phone, chat or email.
Try HostGator, they offer a 45-day money back guarantee.
In this article we have presented you the key features a VPS plan optimized for OpenCart store must have. We have also explained why VPS is the right type of hosting for you, and we gave you three great examples.
Picking any among BlueHost, InMotion or HostGator to host your website will be the right choice, no doubt about that. Each one provides higher than average uptime, speed and at competitive pricing. Also, they have excellent support teams, so you don’t have to rely on yourself all the time. Picking any one of those three will be a great start, and a solid foundation for any type of store you want to build.