Following my previous article on CS-Cart, I received responses that some of you are curious to give the shopping cart a try and was wondering what the next step might be. That’s great. Well, today’s topic will be on the installation of CS-Cart, including finding a compatible web hosting provider.
Why is a Compatible Hosting Provider important
Well, it is always advisable to find software that is compatible. Not just for CS-Cart but for any other software and plugins you may wish to install. A compatible hosting provider helps your CS-Cart shopping cart:
- To work more efficiently
- Have less problems later
- Be easier to setup
- Have feature that complement each other
This allows you to build a more effective website, thus creating better control over your website and a greater surfing experience for your customers and visitors.
CS-Cart compatible hosting providers
Now, while this award winning shopping cart comes equipped with the flexibility to fit in almost all major web hosting providers, there are a few web hosting companies stand out when it comes to being compatible to CS-Cart. Here is a list of them, starting with my two favorite ones, which are also highly recommended by CS-Cart themselves.
Why is SiteGround a favorite of mine? Simple. Because it provides very affordable plans and provides amazingly great e-commerce features such as SSL options, merchant accounts and of course, free CS-Cart installation services.
For many CS-Cart users, SiteGround is a popular choice because it provides free installation, immediate account activation and free files & database transfer if you were migrating from another host.
Besides the usual unlimited disk space and bandwidth, its shared hosting plan also comes with a free domain (selected ones like .com, .org, .net, .biz) as long as you host with them. It also boosts of 24/7 technical support, option to be hosted in US or Europe, redundant resources and even a very special customer portal.
All these for a really low
$9.95$3.95 per month if you were to sign up through our special SiteGround link.
Another great web hosting company that’s compatible with CS-Cart and which I am highly recommending is LunarPages, a leader in the hosting industry!
LunarPages has a number of different plans with varying features and pricing. I would recommend that you choose the Basic Web Hosting plan for small to medium-sized e-commerce websites (cost $5.90 per month) and the VPS Web Hosting for bigger e-commerce websites ($44.95 per month).
Among their features are 24/7 monitoring and support, 30-day money back guarantee, free first year domain name registration and a total of $75 free marketing credits ($25 Facebook Ads Credit, and $50 Google AdWords Credit).
From $5.99 per month, A2 Hosting provides you with a list of good e-commerce features that are suitable for your CS-Cart website. Unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, 99.9% uptime, SSH, CloudLinux OS and 30-day satisfaction guarantee are some of their “all-inclusive hosting”.
Arvixe Web Hosting
Arvixe offers both Linux and Windows hosting from as low as $4 per month for the PersonalClass plan. It is e-commerce ready and comes with automated installation of CS-Cart. However, if you want other e-commerce features like a security certificate or a dedicated IP address, you would need to purchase them. These are really standard in most shared web hosting plans offered by all other web hosts.
If you are in Australia, you might want to give AVS Networks a try. They have been around over 14 years now and certainly have the right quality in order to last this long. Hosting plans ranges from Co-location to Shared Cloud Hosting to Dedicated Cloud Hosting. Under the Shared Cloud Hosting plan, you are given a choice of 4 different packages ranging from $19.95 per month for the Small Business package to $77 per month for their Enterprise package.
As the name suggest, this provider is located in the UK. eUKhost has good features like 24/7 support, Softaculous, daily backups, Shared SSL, supports Flash / Shockwave and unlimited subdomains.
Their Copper plan costs a very affordable £2.50 per month but comes with only 200 MB space and 2GB bandwidth. If your e-commerce site is fairly active, you may want to consider the Silver plan or the Gold plan, which cost £4.17 and £5.42 per month but has much higher space and bandwidth.
Another reliable e-commerce hosting provider is EWDHosting. What is awesome is that they perform backups every 4 hours. For $9.95 per month, you will get the Starter plan, which gives you 30GB of monthly transfer and 1,000MB of storage space. Pretty adequate for the average online business sites.
If you are in New Zealand, you can take advantage of FlexiHost NZ’s plans. Their best seller Business Hosting packages may cost slightly higher starting from $13.45 per month but you get peace of mind with updated security patches and ease of use with the free Softaculous installer.
Martfox offers free shared SSL certificates, 30-day money back guarantee, 99.9% uptime, free 7-days trial and 24/7 support. You would also be given a choice of UK or US based shared servers. Prices start from €2.10 per month.
If you purchase the CS-Cart license from them, you will also get either 30 calendar days or 40 credits of free technical support.
NuBlue is another popular e-commerce web hosting company based in the UK. They even provide free hosting for you to try out their service. Just a quick note that you won’t be able to run CS-Cart on the free hosting plan. You will need at least their shared plan which starts from £7.99 per month.
Here’s my personal advised on choosing the operating system for your CS-Cart website. While the script is compatible with both Windows and Unix-like operating systems, I advise going with a Unix-like operating system like Linux. This is because of the Unix-like systems’ scalability and that they have “better security capabilities and higher performance level”.
CS-Cart installation guide
As indicated, CS-Cart is a fairly easy shopping cart to install, just several minutes and you have a new cart ready on your website. Below is a simplified step-by-step guide on the installation of The Professional, Multi-Vendor, Ultimate and Community versions.
Ensure your web server meets the minimum system requirement of PHP version 5.1 to 5.3 and MySQL version 4.1 or greater. You should have no problem if you are using any of the compatible hosting providers discussed above.
Next, download CS-Cart onto your computer and proceed to extract the file. Then, upload the files to your web server using any FTP client software.
You may then need to adjust the file permissions according to your groups and users. Once that’s done, you can run the Installation Wizard. You will see the following:
Read and confirm CS-Cart License Agreement. Enter Authentication Code if it’s your first installation.
The Wizard will check whether your server meets the minimum requirements. Fix the parameters that do not meet them.
Enter details of your web server, MySQL server as well other information.
Your CS-Cart is being configured with the given information.
Select the skin that you prefer.
Install the chosen skin.
Enter your CS-Cart license number.
Installation Complete. Wasn’t that simple? So don’t worry if you are a beginner with little experience with shopping carts. Just follow the simple instructions and you will soon have a full fledged e-commerce website running on one of the best shopping cart scripts!
So, there you go a review of CS-Cart’s compatible hosting providers and a quick guide on how to install the shopping cart software.
There are quite a number of compatible hosting providers so you do have a pretty good list to choose from. However, I myself have tried hosting CS-Cart on SiteGround and LunarPages and believe that these two are the best hosts for the software.
SiteGround in particular, even provides free installation and expert CS-Cart support if you need any help! Below is a quick list of the special features you get from SiteGround which I really like:
- FREE CS-Cart installation
- FREE CS-Cart Auto-Installer
- Detailed CS-Cart tutorials
- Servers tested by CS-Cart developers
Check out SiteGround’s CS-Cart Hosting on their official website. You can see why I highly recommend them for their dedicated support for the shopping cart software. Take note that their standard pricing is
$9.95 $6.95 per month. However, you can get a special discounted pricing of only $3.95 per month, if you accessed through our special link!
I hope you find the article above helpful and I do hope you will check out both SiteGround and LunarPages as they have really solid hosting features.