Best PrestaShop hosting of 2021 – TechRadar

Ecommerce

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The pandemic has pushed even hardened technophobes online in search of their needs. Those working in the business-to-customer (B2C) domain space can no longer ignore the importance of having an ecommerce website that best serves the needs of the modern day consumer. At the very least, this means having a website that’s easily accessible across different devices, be it mobile phones, tablets or desktops. Not only that, your ecommerce website must offer useful features such as product search, quick checkout, support for a variety of different payment gateways such as e-wallets, and even credit and debit cards, and more.

PrestaShop is one of the most popular platforms to help you build your ecommerce website or online store. You can gauge it’s popularity from the fact that it powers more than 300,000 businesses which leverage its myriad features to provide optimal service to their customers. 

The platform offers all the functionalities needed to deploy a full-featured online store that can cater to a large number of users. You can use your PrestaShop powered online store to offer both physical and digital products. The platform also boasts of thousands of different modules and themes that you can use to tailor PrestaShop per your requirements to ensure a unique look to your online store. Since the platform is open source, you can easily tailor it to your needs, or even hire professional help to tweak it’s look and feel to present a unique user experience to your customers.

A2 Hosting PrestaShop

(Image credit: A2 Hosting)

1. A2 Hosting

Excellent features ideal for all comers

Reasons to buy

+Choice of server location+Money-back guarantee+24/7/365 phone/email/live chat support+Free site migration+99.9% uptime commitment

Reasons to avoid

Performance features in Turbo plans onlyLow RAM

A2 Hosting claims to be Prestashop’s Premium Preferred Host. As with all it’s other hosting solutions, the provider offers the choice of four plans – Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost and Turbo Max. The Started plan features 100 GB SSD storage, while Drive includes unlimited SSD storage. Although SSD drives should suffice for most online stores, both the Turbo plans offer unlimited NVMe storage space. 

The Turbo plans feature AMD EPYC Servers coupled with NVMe drives to ensure that there is minimal delay in page loads. The setup boasts of 40% faster computing and capable of handling 9x more traffic. If you’re interested in SEO optimization and the ability to handle unexpected spikes in traffic, the Turbo plans are the only real option. This is also because the other plans offer far too little RAM to be of much use for mid-large stores. In fact, at 4 GB, even the costliest plan might not seem to offer enough RAM.

A2 Hosting Offer 4 PrestaShop Hosting plans from as low as $8.99 a month, which should suffice for most new/first time online store owners, while the $22.09 a month  Turbo Max can handle very large stores with a catalogue of thousands of products catering to hundreds of users per month. 

Each plan also includes free site migration, choice of data centre location – Michigan and Arizona in USA, Amsterdam in Europe and Singapore in Asia, and a slew of security measures but automatic backups aren’t available in the Startup plan. 

IONOS Hosting PrestaShop

(Image credit: IONOS Hosting)

2. IONOS Hosting

Lots of features at low prices

Reasons to buy

+Personal consultant available at no additional cost+Economical plans+CDN offered in Expert plan

Reasons to avoid

Basic plan lacks processing power and security featuresNo Money Back GuaranteeNon standard control panel 

IONOS offers three plans for PrestaShop hosting – Essential, Business and Expert. Although it offers even less RAM than A2 Hosting, IONOS claims that the Essential plan can handle up to 50 visitors per minute, while the Business and Expert plans can respectively handle 200 and 500 visitors per minute. This is useful information that can assist store owners in deciding the right plan for them. It’s also quite surprising that more hosting providers don’t offer such clear information. On the other hand, while many hosting providers offer money-back guarantee, IONOS is a rare exception.

Though cheaper in general, the Essential plan lacks protection from online threats. While the plan claims to be able to handle up to 50 visitors per month, this might seem insufficient for established stores, or for those who are looking to aggressively expand their online presence. The plan simply lacks the resources needed to handle spikes in traffic. 

The Expert plan offers up to 19GB RAM, and it’s the only plan that offers security measures such as protection against malware and other online threats. Apart from handling a large number of users per minute, the Expert plan also offers Content Delivery Network (CDN). This means that the content of your store is cached across 150+ data centres located across the globe. Users receive data from the server closest to the them, resulting in faster response in terms of page load time.

IONOS allows you to set up PrestaShop quickly with a few clicks. Thanks to its automatic data backup service, you can restore data from the last six days in the case of any loss. 

Hostinger PrestaShop

(Image credit: Hostinger )

3. Hostinger

A good option for beginners

Reasons to buy

+Economical plans +Customer support+30 day Money Back Guarantee+1-click install for PrestaShop

Reasons to avoid

Lack of transparency on system specsBasic plan lacks security features

At first glance, Hostinger appears to offer a large number of features in each of the three shared hosting plans. These include 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support, data backup, DDoS protection, free SSL certificate, free email account, and more.

The Single Shared hosting plan starts at $1.39/month, provided you opt for a year-long subscription. But the plan lacks security features and worse still, caps the monthly visitors at 10,000. Not only that, you get 30GB SSD storage, and the monthly bandwidth is capped at 100GB. You’ll also have to shell out extra for a domain name, as it isn’t included in the plan. There’s also no clarity on the specs you get with the plan,

Most online stores feature a vast number of images, even if you’re not a fashion store, and this means that the storage space and bandwidth are quite important criteria. If you plan to host a very large catalogue of products, or wish to cater to more users monthly, you’ll have to opt for either the Premium or Business hosting plans. The former offers 100GB SSD storage, allows 25,000 monthly visitors and unlimited bandwidth. By its own admission, the hosting provider suggests that it’s offerings are aimed at small to medium business websites.

The Business hosting plan, priced at $3.99/month offers all that you would require from a security perspective, such as daily backups, free CDN and DDoS protection. 

Scala Hosting PrestaShop

(Image credit: Scala Hosting)

4. Scala Hosting

Professional hosting for large stores

Reasons to buy

+High availability+Brute force protection+Number of security measures+Priority support for the premium plans+24/7 chat/email supports+30-day money back guarantee

Reasons to avoid

No phone supportCostlier than other providers

While Scala Hosting offers a choice of three shared hosting plans, it recommends its Managed VPS hosting plan for PrestaShop. 

A shared hosting server can cater to thousands of websites, sharing all the resources such as bandwidth and RAM between them. The obvious advantage of such a setup is low cost, but this is at the expense of performance of your own website. For large online stores, it makes more sense to opt for a dedicated, or VPS server. At the very least, the devoted resources for your deployments ensures optimum performance and the ability to handle spikes in traffic. 

Scala Hosting claims to cater to over 700K+ clients and promises “Industry leading performance and speed,” which is ensured with the use of Enterprise grade SSD drives for storage and E5 Multi core CPUs on a 10 Gbps Network.

All the shared hosting as well as the VPS hosting plans include free site migration, unmetered bandwidth to cater to unlimited visitors, free domain name, free SSL certificate, free CDN, unlimited email addresses, and backups for the last seven days.

If you also want SEO analysis, priority support, pro spam protection, and SShield, for real time monitoring of your website such that you’re informed as soon as you’re hacked, and protects you from 99.998% of web attacks, you must opt for the Advanced shared hosting plan or the VPS hosting plan. The latter also includes two free snapshots each for the past two days, allowing you to quickly recover your website.

HostPapa PrestaShop

(Image credit: HostPapa)

5. HostPapa

Pocket friendly high-spec hosting

Reasons to buy

+Unmetered bandwidth+Pocket friendly prices

Reasons to avoid

No free backupsUseful add-ons quickly drive-up prices

HostPapa offers a host of unlimited services in the three shared hosting plans it offers. The cheapest plan starts at $3.95/month while the costliest is priced at $12.95/month. All plans include domain registration and SSL certificates, and the Starter plan offers 100GB SSD storage while the other plans offer Unlimited storage. All plans also boast of unmetered bandwidth, but with a caveat. As all system resources cater to all the different clients on the server, HostPapa will inform you if your website demands too many resources and expect you to dial down on your needs.

One of the reasons why HostPapa keeps its basic pricing low is by separately charging for various essential services. For instance, you must shell out $19.95/year if you want automated backups with 1-click restore as well as $49.95/month for the PapaCare+ service if you want priority support or expert advice or assistance from professionals to manage your server deployment. 

With the exception of PapaCare+, all the other services are included in the Business Pro plan, which promises to offer 2x more computing power with faster servers and additional features such as CDN, proactive monitoring of the server every six hours. 

Although the hosting provider has data centres in the USA, Canada and Europe, there’s no information about the specific location. The main advantage of choosing HostPapa as your host is a good value for a price. It offers a decent range of hosting options, a few attractive features, such as a Starter plan supporting two websites, and pocket-friendly prices.