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Best WooCommerce Hosting Plans – Part 3 – VPS Providers

About Colm: He has been building web stuff since the web was a wee lad. Colm built his first blog with WordPress around 2007 and has been hooked ever since. When not knee deep in hooks and filters you'll probably find him running around a mountain or making pizza.
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31 Comments

  1. I’ve been waiting for your part 3 like forever. Thank God you’ve finally released it. Siteground sounds like a great choice.

    I’m just starting out on ecommerce and chose Woocommerce for its low-entry requirements. But the hosting is killing me. Tried HostGator, GoDaddy, and now looking for something solid. You’ve helped me tremendously by doing the research. I would not have the expertise to evaluate so many hosting companies let along figure out which is a better option. Great job on getting this task done!

  2. Hi Colm, thanks for this great overview. Very helpful!
    I am currently moving my site from Cart66 on WPEngine to Siteground with Woocommerce. The site is not launched yet but there were things that bothered me about Cart66 for my membership sites with many music download files expected.

    Will the Siteground GoGeek plan be a good place to launch my commerce site from or would I need to go with a different plan to start? Thanks again!

    1. Hi there Tobo,

      The GoGeek plan should be fine for smaller eCommerce sites. I would caution though that if you have a lot of music files being downloaded you should check with SiteGround first re: excessive bandwidth usage – better to know that now rather than later 🙂

      Colm

  3. Great review, thank you. I have had multiple hosting issues in the last week and have been digging deep to understand it all. Glad I read your review towards the end of this learning as I wouldn’t have really understood it at the beginning! I also came to the conclusion that Siteground was going to offer me the best solution. We are looking at the Cloud hosting Business Plan. Does that offer a staging site? You mentioned this option but I couldn’t see it offered anywhere. Thanks again. Ruth

    1. Hey Ruth,

      Glad we could help you 🙂 I’m 99% sure the Cloud Business Plan does include the WP staging environment – their sales team will confirm this though 🙂

      Best,

      Colm

      1. Hi Colm, I did the research and took your advice and moved to Siteground earlier this week. I just added up the amount if time I have spent contacting support with them – over 20 hours. They are an absolute disaster. Installed on the wrong servers. Gave me the wrong dedicated IP address, gave me wrong cPanel login details, told me they couldn’t install SSL and then after much kicking and screaming decided they could. The last straw has come with moving email over. Gave me incorrect settings which have taken 2 days to resolve. They think they have great customer service and if you count being easily accessible then yes, they have good support but if good support is about looking at the account, listening to your customers and resolving issues then, no sadly they are totally useless. Let it also be known that they are in Bulgaria. Which is absolutely fine but somehow I thought I was using a US company as my site needs to be based solely in the US. I’m sure others have had great results with them but in this case it has been nothing put pain that has cost me upwards of $20,000 in lost revenue.

        1. Hi,

          Sorry to hear about your bad experiences with Siteground. It certainly doesn’t match up with my own personal experiences – nor have I heard many others have this kind of experience. That plain sucks! We certainly keep a close eye out for any potential drop in customer service and the competence of hosts we recommend and are very grateful for you taking the time to tell us about your experiences. Re: Siteground location – yes we’re fully aware that they are based in Europe (so are we!) but to my knowledge their servers are located in the US

          see here http://kb.siteground.com/where_are_sitegrounds_servers/

          I know they also have servers in Europe and the Far East for customers who require specific locales.

          Re: lost revenue – I would always always recommend taking a cautious approach moving from one hosting provide to another – never leave yourself in a situation where you can lose revenue like that. Only fully migrate from your live servers once you’ve conducted a full trial migration and test period with your new host to ensure that they are up to scratch on what you need.

          Hope you find better luck with your next host.

          Colm

        2. Here is the catch – while SiteGround has easily accessible Tier 1 support, if you have to speak with Tier 2, you are out of luck. They can only be reached via their ticketing system, and you are at their mercy when they get back to you. Having an interactive discussion with someone who actually understands everything and is knowledgeable enough to be truly helpful is not allowed (at least at the “Geek” level for $15/mo). You can not even get a supervisor on the phone.

          I tried to move my site from GoDaddy. They did the copy, but we ran into issues with SSL. I had wanted to test everything before we go live. None of the SSL can be enabled until the DNS A record is moved to point to SiteGround. Catch 22.

          If they can’t understand the need to get a Tier 2 person on the phone, then they can never truly become a world class hosting company.

          1. Hey Lou,

            Thanks for the comment.

            Do you expect access to Tier 2 support via phone for $15/mo?

            I’d probably consider Rackspace to offer the best customer service of any hosting company in terms of easy access to very skilled engineers – but this comes at a price – add at least one 0 on the end of the Siteground price – and possible 2 00’s 🙂

            People cost money and your hosting charges ramp up accordingly when you need access to experts.

            With an SSL move – you can’t simulate an SSL move unless you use an unsigned cert on the new host before you repoint your DNS – so I don’t think that’s unique to Siteground – you’ll have the same issue on any host.

            Colm

  4. Thanks for this great series. I also think there is huge untapped market for a true turnkey (ahh, buzzwords) hosting solution for Woocommerce. I love Woocommerce because of it’s customizability but it’s a pain trying to get the site to load as fast as hosted solutions like Shopify or Bigcommerce which cost less per month than a Cloud VPS server, and with less configuration.

  5. What about Kinsta? I have had a couple of recommends. They run on Linode servers with some sort of special arrangement for WordPress with WooCommerce.

    1. Hey Tom,

      I’ve had one customer migrate a very busy site over to Kinsta the past few weeks with great results.

      There’s no special arrangement WooCommerce 🙂

      They just have a really awesome stack powered by HHVM which supercharges php load times. It’s not without it’s issues but so far they’re proving to be real top contenders in the managed WordPress space. I really hope they can maintain this as they scale and grow.

      Colm

  6. What issue have you experienced with Kinsta? Quote from Kinsta “WooCommerce is fully supported in our environment, we have special rules for caching WooCommerce sites.”

    1. Re: Kinsta issues – Kinsta have gone all in on HHVM – which is great 95% of the time – until you are running an old plugin/code that isn’t HHVM compatible. It’s rare that this happens and is getting rarer – but it does still happen and it really impacted our client.

      Re: WooCommerce statement – the “special rules” are just good caching rules you would expect any good managed WP host to have in place for popular WordPress plugins like WooCommerce. Again some other managed WP hosts DON’T do this or don’t do it v. well so it’s great Kinsta have configured them – but it’s nothing a decent sys admin can’t do themselves if they know what their doing. i.e. Kinsta have no properietary knowledge that Woo have shared with them – it’s just good systems optimization 🙂

  7. Some friendly feedback. I just came across this article. Sure would be nice if you had links to the first two.

  8. I have encouraged clients to use Irish based hosts as their customers are here (generally Blacknight and R365). Did your tests include a distance-to-customer criteria?

    1. Hi Damien,

      I’ve plenty of experience with basically every Irish based host and I no longer recommend any of them. I’ve been on the end of major hard drive failures for no less than 3 of them. Any benefits from lower latency are far outweighted by my concern for the quality of their offering and inferior customer service – and that’s based on actual experience with large enterprise customers – not hear say. I’d love nothing more than to plug an irish based host but none of them are up to it in my experience.

      Colm

  9. Just to follow up on Kinsta…They retired the entry level plan and reduced the resources on all the other plans. The prices also increased. They did this in the middle of me emailing them about the plans and choices. They never mentioned it the change. I had the entry level in my checkout and checked out already but they would not honor it and cancelled my account because I would not upgrade to the more expensive plan with less resources. They said it was a change from their datacenter (linode) and nothing they could do to change it. They also sold me a server location that turned out to be unavailable. Not very connected. Support is slow from what I saw.

    If you can manage your own server Linode offers good hardware, but not Woo specific. I ended up with a managed VPS and I would advise anyone on shared hosting to switch.

    1. That sucks Tom :/

      The challenge with managed WordPress hosting is that unless you’re very well funded or in a fortunate financial position it’s a difficult business to scale I think. I think we’ll see lots of similar price rises from the smaller bootstrapped managed WordPress hosting companies.

      But all that said it would be good customer service if they had have honoured our original checkout session.

      Colm

  10. Thank for your post. I found that SiteGround might be a good choice. But do you have any experience with Dreamhost Managed WordPress or websynthesis.com service?

  11. Great information – Thank you.
    We have found that Rackspace has an issue in processing emails from WooCommerce. They do not accept the method by which Woo sends out emails and customization are needed to get this to work properly. I’m not 100% certain but I believe sites using Rackspace must use a plugin to send emails via SMTP and not the WordPress email function.

  12. I’m curious what you think of using DO and ServerPilot? I have heard that it can be great solution that allows you to have full control of your server but is managed as well.

    I’m currently on DreamPress and I’m having all kinds of issues so looking to move. I keep hearing about WPEngine but you didn’t mention it here. The other option I keep hearing about is DO w/ ServerPilot. My biggest issues are slow load times, “internal server errors, try again” randomly popping up etc. All DreamPress tells me is “you have too many plugins, delete your plugins”.

    By the way, I have to laugh at the comment “I do NOT recommend Dreamhost”. I read that and thought, that’s how I feel! They sound great but good luck.

  13. Hi, Colm
    Great post! I am thinking of immigrating my current website to a reliable hosting, I choose woocommerce and will have more than 1k products. After searched many posts online include yours, my consideration narrow down to siteground(cloud-1) and linode. I have experiences with siteground(shared hosting) and hosted two small e-commerce sites there, the website speed is fine, although still lower than my expectation(Because I am a SEO, I am crazy about speed.) . So my concern is can siteground(cloud-1) handle 1k products? And how about gogeek plan? Budget is a little tight.

  14. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing great information. I would like to switch to managed VPS hosting as well. Do you still recommend KnownHost in 2017?

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