In this article, I am going to discuss the best web hosting for photographers. More so, I’ve prepared a list of what to look at when picking one for yourself.
Have you decided to make your photos known to the world? Great! But what is the best way to do so?
Sure, you can turn to social media, but having a website of your own allows you to post what you want, how you want, and when you want. The layout and the content are entirely up to you, with no restrictions in terms of policies.
After conducting research and testing quite a few hosts myself, I came up with a list of the best providers for photography websites specifically – some offer generous storage for big portfolios. Some are very fast, so don’t have to worry about reducing image quality to get a fast website.
However, there’s one thing in common that all the providers on this list share. They provide high-quality services and ease of use for comfortable and worry-free website management.
So, after testing providers’ ease of use, extra features, prices, and performance, here’s what I came up with.
6 best web hosting for photographers: ranked
- Bluehost – WordPress-focused and ideal for beginners
- Hostinger – best cheap web hosting for photographers
- SiteGround – very powerful premium option
- HostPapa – easy to use and best for small sites
- HostGator – best beginner-friendly provider
- A2 Hosting – powerful and fast host
If you’re not quite sure what to look for in a provider, at the end of this article, I’ve prepared a list of criteria that could help to pick the most suitable one for your needs.
|Features||Free SSL, domain, website builder, and CDN|
|Best for||Beginner-friendly hosting for smaller photography sites|
Bluehost is a popular web hosting provider mainly focussing on WordPress hosting. Most plans apart from the entry offer unlimited hosting. This makes it a very tempting web hosting option for photographers that are looking to host quite picture-heavy sites.
Bluehost is very easy to use too. To use its native hosting management panel, you can have no knowledge of website creation. Bluehost will facilitate your entire experience:
- It has a checklist for you, so you don’t miss anything when setting up a website,
- WordPress is automatically installed,
- For professional communication with your clients, Bluehost allows you to easily set up email accounts,
- Free domain is included and set up automatically. You can also easily manage additional domains from the dashboard.
Alternatively, if you’ve never created a website before or an abundant amount of templates on WordPress intimidates you, you can turn to Bluehost’s native website builder.
The builder is very simplistic – it asks you questions and designs a unique template. You can then add your content and customize it a little. But there’s a surprise waiting for later. This builder is actually a WordPress integration – when you feel confident enough with web development, you can turn to WordPress to make your site even more functional.
Overall, Bluehost’s main attraction is the ease of use. The setup and management are basically automated for WordPress. Plus, there’s a simplistic builder too.
At the same time, ease of use comes at a price. Bluehost has 4 plans for shared hosting priced from $3.95/mo to $13.95/mo.
Except for Basic that comes with 50GB storage and 1 site limit, all other plans include unlimited websites, domains and subdomains, SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth. You get a free domain and SSL too, so there are no other expenses.
Choice Plus and Pro deliver more in terms of privacy and security, but their renewals are quite steep.
For a single photography website, Basic might be enough. At the same time, Plus gives more wiggle room.
To get more storage for a reasonable price you should consider the Plus plan. With a 36-month billing period, it would total $214.40.
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In sum, Bluehost is very easy to use – the site’s setup takes no longer than a few minutes. The plans, while not the cheapest, also provide very generous resources to fit in all of your beautiful photography.
When it comes to performance, Bluehost does a great job. In two months of examination, it had 6 outages which totaled in only 11 minutes of downtime. This, overall, resulted in a very reliable 99.99% uptime.
The average response time of 361ms is also quite impressive too. This means that the server is well and capable of delivering the site’s content to the visitor quickly.
Bluehost was slightly less powerful when it came to handling increased traffic on the site. The provider did not handle the full 50 Virtual Visitors (VUs) test. The first win was at 15VUs.
You can see that the blue line (response time) wasn’t very stable and increased alongside the grey line (number of visitors.) This means that the server’s speed depends on the number of visitors on the site. The more visitors, the more likely the server is to slow down.
However, 15 VUs is relatively good traffic that could round up to 15 000 monthly visits.
One thing to know is that Bluehost has data centers (server locations) in the US alone. This means that the site will load the quickest for US audiences. The closer a visitor is to a server, the better.
All in all, Bluehost is a reliable and speedy host for websites getting low to medium traffic levels.
The bottom line is that Bluehost is an excellent choice of photography website hosting. It’s user-friendly, reliable, and you have some great plans to choose from.
- All plans include and automatically set up a domain
- Functional website builder
- Automatic WordPress installation
- Servers located in the US alone
|Features||Free SSL and speed-oriented tools|
|Best for||A budget hosting for the ones seeking good performance|
Hostinger is on the list of best web hosting providers for photographers because of its high-quality services at incredibly low prices. It’s one of a few providers that are very performance-oriented and deliver nothing but the speediest services.
Additionally, Hostinger offers a very clean and intuitive control panel called hPanel. From there, you’ll manage your hosting and site’s setups.
But what makes Hostinger ideal for photographers?
- Hostinger is highly performance-oriented. By keeping its hardware up to date, Hostinger allows you to enjoy a very speedy website no matter what. So you don’t have to worry about reducing your pictures’ quality to maintain a fast-loading website.
- It is also optimized for WordPress websites. Hostinger uses the latest PHP version and LiteSpeed web server with a built-in caching engine. It’s currently among the fastest web technologies available for boosting website loading speed.
- The prices are so low you can buy and forget it.
In sum, Hostinger offers up-to-date hardware, LiteSpeed web servers, and WordPress optimization options for a very speedy and reliable performance. It all comes at a very attractive price too.
Hostinger has 3 available shared hosting plans priced from $1.39/mo up to $4.99/mo.
The entry plan is the cheapest, but it also offers the least in terms of resources. For double the price (Premium $2.59/mo,) you can get triple the storage (100GB) and double the bandwidth (25 000 monthly visitors) to support your high-quality images.
While Business has the most storage and allows the highest traffic on the site, it is simply too expensive when compared to Premium and what it has to offer.
To comfortably store your high-quality photos, you may consider going with the Premium plan. The best price is with 48-month billing - $124.32 in total.
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Overall, Hostinger guarantees great performance at a very low price. Many optimization tools will leave you worry-free when it comes to managing picture-heavy sites.
Hostinger demonstrated close to perfect performance. In 2 months, it had no outages resulting in a perfect 100% uptime.
An average response time of 511ms, however, could be better. While it’s nothing to frown upon, it is quite close to the market’s average of 600ms.
However, Hostinger does not disappoint when it comes to handling traffic. The provider managed to uphold the full 50 Virtual Users on the site.
Apart from a couple of jumps, the response time (blue line) was as flat as the water surface. This means that the provider does not slow down if more users (grey line) come to the site. If you expect high traffic, Hostinger got you.
More so, if your audience is not from the US alone, Hostinger also has servers in the UK, Lithuania, Netherlands, Brazil, Singapore, and Indonesia. So for better performance, you can choose the location closest to your visitors.
So, in short, Hostinger delivers great and reliable performance. Simple as that.
To sum it up, Hostinger is an excellent photography website hosting provider. It’s cheap and easy to use. Not to mention that it’s fast.
- The plans are the cheapest in the market
- Performance-enhancing features
- Easy to use control panel
- You need to pay in advance to get the cheapest price
|Features||Free SSL, CDN, daily backups, managed WordPress|
|Best for||Powerful and speedy hosting for larger pages|
SiteGround is a premium provider that offers exceptional ease of use and performance, no matter the plan. And while the prices are slightly higher than any others on this list, you get many additional tools to optimize and manage a successful photography site.
While you pay slightly more, SiteGround offers you fast and feature-rich hosting:
- The host highly focuses on WordPress. You get automated CMS updates, preinstalled caching options, and a staging environment.
- SiteGround has improved security. Tools like web application firewall, bot protection, daily backups, and advanced monitoring system guarantee protection against the most common threats. Especially if you’re looking to make a penny from your pictures.
- To guarantee the highest quality performance, SiteGround uses top-of-the-class hardware and software solutions. Most of which is developed by the provider itself.
More so, its user management interface is made with simplicity in mind. You are free to customize the dashboard as you like by pinning your preferred tools at the top of the dashboard for easy access.
Simply put, if you’re a professional photographer looking to monetize or sell your works online, secure and performance-oriented SiteGround, it’s best for you. It is easily managed, secure, reliable, and very fast.
Now talking about plans and prices, SiteGround has 3 plans priced between $6.99/mo to $14.99/mo.
Regardless of the plan you choose, you’ll get unmetered traffic, free SSL, emails, CDN, and daily backups. As per usual, the entry plan is the most limited one in terms of websites and storage. It also doesn’t include site staging.
All the benefits are available with GrowBig and GoGeek that also offer more storage for visually heavy websites. At the same time, GoGeek might be overkill if you’re just getting started.
The best-suited plan for a photography website is GrowBig. To get the lowest price you should go with a 1-year subscription. To get even better value for money, keep an eye out for seasonal discounts.
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Overall, SiteGround has premium prices, but for that, you get enhanced security, guaranteed power, and easy to navigate panel. The plans are well equipped with all the necessities for a beautiful photography site.
Talking about SiteGround’s performance, the provider proved to be trustworthy and very powerful. In almost 2 months of examination, SiteGround had 3 outages or 7 minutes of downtime in total. This rounded up to 99.99% uptime.
The uptime is not the only reliable measure with SiteGround. Its average response time of 217ms is also very impressive. For reference, it’s only a third of the market’s average response time.
Furthermore, SiteGround handled the full 50VUs test without any problem.
The response time (blue line) remained stable and speedy, no matter how many visitors on the site (grey line.) This proves that the provider does not slow down and loads the site just as quickly as if there was only one visitor.
SiteGround’s great performance doesn’t come as a surprise when you know that it uses Google Cloud servers. More so, you can choose one of the 6 available server locations (the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, and Australia) to host your site closest to your visitors.
Simply put, SiteGround is very reliable and fast. The performance, without a doubt, is of the highest quality.
All things considered, SiteGround is a premium provider. But while the prices are higher than average, you get exactly what you paid for. The host includes many performance and security-oriented tools for a photography website looking to monetize.
- Very speedy and reliable performance
- 6 server locations
- Native and easy to use panel
- Premium prices
- Free domain is not included
|Features||Beginner-favored cPanel, free SSL, and free domain|
|Best for||Reliable hosting for smaller portfolio sites|
HostPapa has been around for quite a while, yet it’s not as popular as Bluehost or Hostinger. While some HostPapa’s reviews are conflicting, this provider makes it to the list of the best web hosting providers for photographers due to its ease of use and quite inclusive plans.
For website management, HostPapa uses a standard cPanel that’s very organized and well-sectioned. It is very easy to navigate, and all the necessary tools are there. From cPanel, you’ll be:
- Installing WordPress using a Softaculous installer,
- Setting up your emails,
- Setting up your domain,
- Activating SSL certificate,
- Tracking how much of the resources your site is using.
If at any point, the setup process seems to be too complicated or something goes sideways, you can book a 30-minute training session. It’s a free, one-on-one session with a professional. They will answer your questions or solve your problems. HostPapa is quite unique with this, as I’ve never seen any other host offering such training for free.
Simply put, HostPapa uses a standard cPanel that is very simple and easy to use. Alongside that, it has free training sessions for users with any level of experience.
Talking about prices, HostPapa has 3 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $3.95/mo to $12.95/mo.
Every plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, free SSL, and free domain.
The entry plan is slightly more limited as it allows hosting only 2 sites and 100GB storage. The other two, however, offer unlimited websites, storage, and emails.
As you can see, Starter and Business cost the same for the first installment. Taking this from the photographer’s perspective, a Starter is more than enough to host a high-quality photography site. Especially since its renewal price is much lower than Business. But for the short term, you can opt for Business, as it has a few extras for the same price.
To get the best long-term value you should opt for the Starter plan. However, for the same price, for the first 3 years, you can get the Business plan. Either will cost $142.20 in total. Just keep in mind, that Business renewal rates are much higher.
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In summary, due to cPanel integration, HostPapa is very easy to manage. The plans are quite well priced, especially for the resources you get with them.
Now looking at the performance, HostPapa did a good job overall. In more than 2 weeks, it didn’t have a single outage and maintained a perfect 100% uptime.
Looking at the average response time of 1.19s, you can probably tell it’s not the speediest out there. And while this result is nothing to stress about, it sure could be better.
When it came to traffic, HostPapa did not pass the full 50VUs test. The first pass was with 15 virtual visitors.
While 15VUs is not small traffic (roughly ~15 000 monthly visits,) just looking at the graph, it seems like this might be the max HostPapa can handle on its cheapest plan.
The response time (blue line) is highly dependent on the number of visitors (grey line) and increases alongside it. There are also 8 requests that failed to get delivered. This means that the provider will slow down faced with higher traffic or fail entirely.
To improve the page load time for your audience, HostPapa allows you to choose one of the 3 server locations – the US, Canada, and Europe.
All in all, HostPapa is incredibly reliable. However, the servers slightly lack the power to handle traffic in a speedy manner.
Overall, HostPapa is very reliable, and the cPanel integration makes it easy to use. The prices are very reasonable, and you get a lot of storage for quality photos. Also, it has a bonus – the free training session makes the host ideal for beginners.
- A free domain with all plans
- Easy to use cPanel interface
- 3 server locations
- The average response time could be better
|Features||Free SSL and free domain|
|Best for||A speedy hosting for beginners|
HostGator is yet another incredibly popular web hosting service. All HostGator’s shared hosting plans offer unlimited storage and bandwidth. This makes it a great candidate for picture-heavy photography website hosting. More so, it’s beginner-oriented, so ease of use is at the front of it all.
HostGator’s native hosting management panel is made with beginners in mind. From here, you’ll be able to manage all the main website and hosting settings. There you can:
- Find one-click WordPress installation,
- Install SSL certificate,
- Manage domains,
- Set up email accounts,
- Manage files.
Simply put, the whole site can be set up right there from the main dashboard. It takes no more than 5 minutes.
Plus, you have access to a website builder, which sounds fantastic if you are not that tech-savvy. While it is a more limited version of the paid alternative, a website builder is a good option if you’d like to design your site fast.
More importantly, this doesn’t come at a steep price point. HostGator offers 3 shared hosting plans priced from $2.75/mo to $5.25/mo. And the best part, they all include unlimited storage and bandwidth.
As always, the entry package is more limited as it only allows hosting one website.
Regardless, all plans include unmetered storage, bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain. Baby and Business plans, additionally, allow unlimited websites. More so, the Business plan offers a few extras like dedicated IP, free positive SSL upgrade, and some SEO tools.
To be honest, if you’re planning to run only one website, the Hatchling plan is more than sufficient. However, if you think that you might need more than one, go for Baby. Business, however, is too pricey to consider a good option.
To get the most out of HostGator you might consider the Baby plan. If you choose to commit for 36 months, the prices will be the lowest - only $126 in total.
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In short, HostGator is very simple to get the hang of. Everything is made with beginners in mind. The plans also offer great value for money and include all the necessary resources for a photography site.
In terms of performance, HostGator is very reliable and powerful. In around two months, the provider has only 3 outages or 5 minutes of downtime overall. This came up to an almost perfect >99.99% uptime.
The response time fluctuated quite a bit yet averaged at 525ms. While it could be quicker, this is nothing to stress over either. The server is powerful enough to keep the site functioning well.
Furthermore, increased traffic proved to be an easy task for HostGator. The host passed the full 50 VUs test.
The response time (blue line) remained very stable and had only one significant jump. Increased traffic (grey line) made little to no difference. This proves that HostGator remains just as fast with 1 or 50 visitors on the site.
One thing to consider is that HostGator only has its data centers in the US. This means the provider will load the site quickest for the US audiences.
All in all, HostGator is highly reliable and powerful. The servers are capable of handling traffic on the site as well as keeping the site live.
The bottom line is that HostGator might just be what you are looking for. It’s reliable, easy to use, and your overall experience should be at least as smooth as it was for me.
- Affordable prices starting $2.75/mo
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth with all plans
- Easy to use and an intuitive website management panel
- Servers located in the US alone
6. A2 Hosting
|Features||Beginner-friendly cPanel, free SSL, and automatic backups|
|Best for||Speed-oriented hosting for small-to-medium photography sites|
A2 Hosting is one of a few providers that are very performance-oriented. It offers a very easy to orient cPanel, to manage all site’s settings. Due to its performance and ease of use, A2 Hosting made it as one of the candidates for the best web hosting for photographers.
A2 Hosting has very advanced technologies to offer you the best performance:
- A2 Hosting offers optimizations for the most popular software like WordPress, Drupal, and PrestaShop. These optimizations are configured to deliver the best performance and security for that specific CMS.
- The provider has a variety of security tools. If you’re looking to sell your photographs or services online, you can rest assured, the transactions will be secure, and malicious intentions won’t take the site down.
- For improved performance, A2 Hosting uses LiteSpeed web servers with its Turbo plans. It allows you to personalize your caching settings for a faster page loading time.
And it makes the management of all these advanced features very easy. To set up the site, you will be using the most widely used and beginner-friendly cPanel.
All in all, A2 Hosting is a very performance-oriented host. The newest hardware and software technologies guarantee only good performance. And an added ease of use to the mix makes this provider highly reliable for photography sites. It will sure load those heavy, quality pictures fast.
A2 Hosting has four packages ranging from $2.99/mo to $14.99/mo.
As per usual, the entry plan is the most limited one with its 1 website hosting and 100GB storage. However, every other plan has unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth.
Differently from Startup or Drive, Turbo Boost and Turbo Max are hosted on much faster servers and use pre-configured caching.
So keeping in mind that a photography site is picture-heavy and may take a while to load, I suggest you forget the first two plans and consider one of the Turbo options.
The first attention-worth plan is Turbo Boost. With a 3 years subscription, this plan will cost $359.64.
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Lastly, A2 Hosting is so confident in its services it gives you an anytime money-back guarantee. You’ve bought a 3-year subscription, but after a year, you’re done with it? A2 Hosting will compensate you for the 2 unused years.
All in all, A2 Hosting is a slightly more premium choice. But the plans are very well equipped. The site’s setup and management are also very easy and quit to grasp.
A2 Hosting performance
If we’d look at A2 Hosting’s performance, the host is very reliable, and servers pack some serious power. In roughly 2 months, A2 hosting had 4 outages – just 7 minutes of downtime. Overall that came up to 99.99% uptime. That’s a great result, especially when the official host’s guarantee promises 99.9%.
The average response time of 597ms is a slightly different story. While it’s not the worst result, it’s just barely under the market’s average of 600ms. This suggests that the server could be just a tad bit faster.
However, A2 Hosting blows it out of the water with its capabilities of handling higher traffic. The host handled the full 50 virtual users test.
And it did it with grace. The response time remained stable, no matter 1 or 50 visitors (grey line.) Simply powerful. This is no surprise as A2 Hosting uses NVMe AMD EPYC servers for their Turbo plans. They are enterprise-grade servers that guarantee fast performance.
Lastly, A2 Hosting offers 4 server locations – Michigan (US), Arizona (US), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Singapore (Singapore.) This way, you can choose the one closest to your visitors to reduce loading time.
In short, A2 Hosting is a fast and reliable host. The site will remain live much longer than promised, and increased traffic is a piece of cake for this provider.
All in all, A2 Hosting is a slightly more premium choice. Yet for that price, you get the ease of use, a large resource package, and improved speed. It’s best if you’re planning to sell online.
- Very fast and reliable performance
- 4 server locations
- Strong security tools
- The best value is with more expensive Turbo plans
- Free domain is not included
Best web hosting for photographers: final recommendations
Now, which provider offers the best web hosting for photographers? Or for you? They all have something up their sleeves. Maybe you have zero experience, or perhaps you don’t want to spend too much money. Or maybe you have a “CMSs are hard, man!” attitude. No worries, there’s always at least one provider specializing in each sphere.
Here are the strengths of all the contenders:
- Bluehost – beginner-friendly WordPress-focused hosting for smaller websites.
- Hostinger – the cheapest and performance-oriented hosting for displaying high-quality visuals.
- SiteGround – business-oriented, reliable, and powerful hosting for selling online.
- HostPapa – very reliable and easily managed hosting for beginners.
- HostGator – offers very good resource packages for a good price.
- A2 Hosting – easy to use and performance-oriented hosting to launch and scale your photography business.
There is no such thing as a website hosting service that can make everyone happy. But there are enough alternatives for you to make the best pick.
You reached the point in which you have to find the best web hosting for photographers. But do you know what you are looking for? Below, you are going to find the things you need to consider before choosing a photography website hosting service.
So, before you make a decision, you need to ask yourself the following:
What type of hosting do I need?
There is more than one type of hosting you can choose. Depending on your needs, you can go for shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting.
- Shared hosting is the go-to type of hosting if you have zero experience. It is cheap and simply managed. You get to manage most of the settings yourself without needing any technology or coding-based knowledge. At the same time, you are going to share a server (and its resources) with several other websites.
- VPS hosting – if you’re looking for more defined packages of resources than with a shared hosting plan, you can go for VPS. It’s a good middle ground between shared hosting and a dedicated server. With the help of virtualization technology, you get a personal “slice” of resources on a server with other users. More often, than not it requires more technical knowledge than shared hosting but delivers better performance.
- Dedicated hosting – as a photographer, chances are that you’re not going to need to rent an entire physical server. That’s what dedicated hosting is. As you can imagine, this is a pricey solution, but you are in full control of the server, its security, and its resources. Meant for enterprises, they require advanced skills to manage.
In the beginning, you may want to go for shared hosting. It’s easy to use and cheap. However, if you have more experience and needs, VPS hosting may suit you better.
Is there an ideal hosting plan for me?
Looking at all the plans and features is easy to get lost and grab the most expensive one. Cause, the more expensive, the better? Not really. Here’s a quick checklist to help you choose.
- Before you start comparing all the plans, decide if you’d like to run only one site or more. If you’re not planning to have more than one, a lot of providers’ entry plans may be sufficient enough.
- Since you’re looking to run a picture-heavy site, take storage into consideration. How heavy are your pictures? How many are you planning on having on the site? Based on that, you may need a lot or very little storage.
- Have you already made a name for yourself and are expecting a lot of visitors? If so, look at the bandwidth. Some providers have specific bandwidth limitations, and others specify how many monthly visits the plan can support. Make your pick accordingly to what you’re expecting.
- Do you prefer WordPress over any other content management system? Some providers have plans specifically optimized for WordPress. Specific optimizations help the site to perform faster and may offer some CMS-specific tools to help you improve the performance even more.
Needless to say, decide what features matter to you the most. Make your choice on what you need and leave a little bit of space to grow. . You don’t need to pay for what you won’t use either.
What do I need in terms of performance?
No matter which type of hosting you choose, the most critical aspect you need to look at is performance. It doesn’t matter that you are the best photographer since Annie Leibovitz. If you upload your work on a website that doesn’t load fast or that is down most of the time, you are going to have a bad time. Your visitors might have even less fun.
This brings us to two essential performance factors: uptime and response time.
- Uptime basically translates into how long your website is accessible in a month. Ideally, your work should be out there 100% of the time, but as long as it doesn’t fall under 99.95%, you are good.
- Response time is a measure that indicates how fast the server reacts to your visitors’ requests to open the website. This indicates how powerful and speedy the server is. Keep in mind that the response time may be higher if the server is far away from the user and there is no CDN activated. The best average response time is up to 600ms
Imagine this. You stay hidden in a bush, waiting to capture the best photo of a bird as it flies over a body of water. You catch the perfect moment. But when you push the shutter button, it takes too long for the camera to actually capture the picture. The bird has fled by that point, and so have your visitors if your pages take too long to load.
The bottom line is that there are a few things to consider before making a decision when you look for the best web hosting for photographers. You have types, pricing, plans, and performance. Now, all you have to do is to decide what suits you best.
Best web hosting for photographers FAQ
The cost of a photography website depends on several factors. No matter what, you’ll at least end up paying for hosting and the domain. Domain prices vary from $10 to $15 per year. Add that to the hosting service, and you get the initial investment. More often, than not hosting already includes a free domain for a year.
To host a photography site, you need enough storage, bandwidth, and speedy servers. If you want to display high-quality visuals, they take a lot of space and may take a while to load. Be aware of this look for speed optimizations.
Yes. If you’re using WordPress, you can install eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, which is free and easy to use.
No. While knowing your way around technical terms can help, it is not necessary. Most hosting providers make it very easy for even absolute beginners to be able to set up and manage a website.