We get asked a lot where we recommend clients to host their PrestaShop sites at. As a development company with clients all around the world we have experience with hundreds of hosts, we know all of the ins and outs of most of the popular hosting companies. One thing that is important about this article is that is does not included shared hosting. All shared hosts are pretty much equal and not really suited to host a PrestaShop website in my eyes. PrestaShop takes a good amount of processing power sometimes to work and we have seen a lot of PrestaShop sites taken down by shared hosts for using too many resources. These recommendations are purely for VPS and dedicated level hosting.
Who we do not recommend
First before we get into who we recommend, I want to tell you who we do not recommend and why. Could your current host be causing you problems and you not even know it.
Inmotion or A2
Generally I cannot recommend any host that chooses to use a type of PHP called DSO with PrestaShop. It just does not play well with PrestaShop. The speed is not there, which is a main reason in getting a VPS or a dedicated server. Also both companies tend to not give you root access or any freedom on the machine set up. From our experiences with both companies, if you try to use a setup that is not their default, they will no longer support your machine.
I don’t think I can say enough bad about Godaddy. They sell consumer grade machines that were never meant to be dedicated servers. They also use a mysql farm for most of their accounts. Which means even though you have a dedicated machine or account, your database is hosting with a bunch of other clients on a separate machine. This is troubling because their resource usage will affect yours. At the same time this adds a latency in the database requests slowing the site. Also, I have not gotten over them supporting SOPA either.
Bluehost used to not be a bad host, but they have fallen into the hands of EIG which is a company that is known for buying hosts and then lowering the quality of the support. I have see over the last several months that the support quality and also the datacenter quality has dramatically gone downhill. They use a main datacenter out of Provo Utah that seems to have massive failures resulting in days of down time. Also, their staff is less than knowledgeable because of the turn over rate at the company.
AWS, Digital Ocean, and cloud hosting
These seem like a good choice at first and for small site they often work well. But there is no management at all and running cpanel often costs an arm and a leg. But the real issue I have noticed with cloud hosting is the mid level performance is not good at all. If you have a site that is doing more than 100 or so visitors a day, it normally will suffer. It seems the machines might be compute optimized and the storage latency could be the issue. What ever the issue is, they just do not perform without a lot of tweaks and having an expensive setup. Most of our clients that move over to a cloud host after having been on a dedicated machine usually realize a 4 to 8 fold increase in the cost of hosting. For a lot of people that is just not acceptable, so we do not recommend AWS unless we absolutely have to.
So who do we recommend?
We recommend a hosting company called LiquidWeb. They have an outstanding selection of servers and can do some pretty custom setup’s as well. A setup we tend to use a lot with our clients is two SSD drives for the database and 2 spinning drives for the files. With 8gb of ram you can keep a great cache running with all of the executable files stored compiled in memory already. We have several dozen clients with them and everything has always been outstanding. They provide some of the best support in the industry in my opinion. One thing I will note is they are pricier than some of the other hosts. The price comes from the way the servers are set up and the level of support you are paying for. They do support FCGI and APC out of the box, which most hosts these days do not. That is also another major factor that influenced our decision to use them. If you need to upgrade your hosting you should check them out. They are who we use and recommend.
About the Author: Lesley Paone
Lesley has worked in e-commerce for over a decade, and is the founder of dh42. Starting out with PrestaShop and brancing out into other platforms like Shopify. He loves all things e-commerce and loves a challenge, in his spare time he helps moderate several forums on SEO, e-commerce, as well as the PrestaShop forum. If you have any questions for him about any of his articles just use our contact form to contact him.