As WooCommerce has continued to grow and dominate the e-commerce landscape more people are starting to question their hosting choices. And for good reason.
“What goes into Hosting? If WooCommerce is just a plugin, and a plugin just sits on top of WordPress, can’t you host WooCommerce on any host managed or unmanaged that supports WordPress?”
The answer is of course! You can totally host WooCommerce anywhere you host WordPress. But should you?
There are a lot of shared hosts out there that host WordPress. The model around that is you don’t need a lot of complexity to host WordPress if you were hosting a blog, especially a low traffic blog.
Not only was there not a lot of taxing on the systems, but they could put you on high density shared servers and fill up those servers with a whole bunch of customers running WordPress.
For most hosts, they would enhance the performance of the servers so you wouldn’t hit the database for the site very often. And if you didn’t post very often, there wasn’t a need to write to the database, so hosts could introduce heavy caching layers to their system and you’d never know about it.
This lead people to the notion that because WordPress works so great here, that you must be able to install WooCommerce anywhere too. But WooCommerce isn’t one of those applications that allows you to write a post and then leave it there, cached, and visitors look at it. It’s different.
Why is WooCommerce Different than other Plugins?
WooCommerce is a highly transactional application. WooCommerce is an online store, where visitors are going to add products to their cart and interact with the site more than just view your posts.
This means you should think through your hosting options again. Many hosts have plans for higher traffic, more transactional applications.
This puts us in a different conversation.
And you should be aware that this different conversation is going to come with a different price point.
There are a lot of players out there, some are Managed WordPress hosts. Some suggest that you don’t need a managed host.
You don’t have to go with a managed WordPress host. You can manage the server yourself. Many of the people that are suggesting this are the people that likely can.
If you’re into that kind of thing. If you’re into putting your DevOps hat on during the weekends and you want to manage your own server, go ahead. It will be inexpensive…very inexpensive from the monetary perspective.
But you’ll pay in other ways.
You’ll pay with your own time, your own effort. If you don’t know something, you’ll pay to educate yourself how to do something, such as tweaking and configuring the server.
This is why managed hosting is so intriguing. You are trading payment to the host for freedom of schedule. You are willing to pay someone else that knows what they are doing to handle the learning, the tweaking, and the late night emergencies.
So when it comes to hosting WooCommerce, the plans that are $1.00, $3.00, $5.00 aren’t really made for WooCommerce. They are good for hosting some types of WordPress sites.
If you are looking for a host that is fast and reliable for your WooCommerce Store, they aren’t for you.
There are several players out there that handle Managed WordPress hosting, including Liquid Web. Have a conversation with these folks. Talk to them about what your store is doing revenue-wise. Tell them the traffic metrics. Tell them what your goals are to grow your business.
And when you get into that conversation, you’re going to realize that you need to think through the infrastructure and the database.
Do you need a load balancer? Do you need multiple web heads?
You’re going to want to spend some time thinking and talking through these. You want to make sure you’re setting up for success so that you’re not having to make infrastructure and migration decisions down the road. You want to think about what you can do to reduce risk so that as you grow, you aren’t adding risk into the equation at the inopportune times.
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