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Reviews and expert opinion Cafe24

Sandra Tanoto Sandra Tanoto Web Hosting Expert

Cafe24 is one of the largest e-commerce hosting platforms in the world. They cater mainly to Korean businesses empowering regular online store owners. They target the Filipino, Chinese, U.S., Japanese, and Taiwanese markets.

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Overview

Since their founding in 1999, Cafe24 has grown rapidly and now employ almost a thousand staff. The platform now hosts over 1.5 million Korean e-shops. They have eight internationally-oriented websites in each country’s local language.

Cafe241

Features and Ease of Use

Cafe24 is essentially a full-service web hosting platform: not only do they help you host your e-commerce website, but they can also help you build, launch, market, and even operate your online store. Plus, being a part of the Cafe24 community gives you access to their SOHO business center and education center, which means you can attend all of their special lectures on topics such as entrepreneurship, SEO, photography, and marketing. These features are likely why Cafe24 is the go-to provider for some of the most popular Korean e-stores.

Their hosting plans are fairly straightforward, although by no means are they simple. You choose a plan based on the current size of your online store: if you’ve only got a small website at this point, you can opt for their entry-level Economy 10Gbps Optical Full SSD hosting plan. This is an extremely lightweight plan that starts you off with 400MB SSD storage, 1.4GB bandwidth, three POP3 email accounts, and a single hosted domain. Their plans go all the way up to 14GB SSD storage, 500GB bandwidth, 50 POP3 email accounts, and up to 20 hosted domains.

Cafe24’s services also include image-only hosting plans, JSP hosting, website builder packages, database hosting, Windows hosting, and WordPress hosting. And it doesn’t stop there – you can also go for the more typical VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting if your website demands the highest levels of performance.

The e-commerce hosting giant has formed partnerships with multiple online marketplaces including Amazon, Alibaba, Lazada, Rakuten, and Mogujie. This affords their Korean customer base a much greater ability to sell their products around the world.

It’s unclear whether Cafe24 has an uptime guarantee or any form of SLAs, to be honest, that could be attributable to the fact that their website is entirely in Korean. If you speak the language, you should have no issue finding the relevant information – but non-Koreans may have much more difficulty using their services.

Pricing and Support

Cafe24 has a huge range of services, so they can cater to a wide variety of customers. Whether you have a tiny online store selling only a few products or a massive e-commerce business with thousands of products, they’ll definitely have a price range that works for you. They do charge a setup fee for all their hosting plans, however, most providers I’ve seen will waive this fee, so it’s surprising that Cafe24 has chosen not to.

Cafe24 doesn’t have any free trials or free versions of their hosting packages. They also do not appear to have a money back guarantee, though they’ve gained a solid reputation in Korea, so that should stand as a testament to the quality of their service. Moving between plans is definitely possible, but will require you to call their customer support.

All of their customer support personnel speak Korean, so you’ll have to be able to communicate in the native language if you want any form of assistance. Similarly, their support documentation and training seminars, while extensive, are all in Korean. You can contact their support via email, fax, or telephone (only during regular office hours).

4.5

Pricing

Comparison

How does Cafe24 match up to the competition?

HostingerCompare4.9Compare
InterServerCompare4.8Compare
Cafe24Compare4.5Compare
BluehostCompare2.5Compare

Cafe24 REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

With their ever-evolving e-commerce platform and thriving community of entrepreneurs, Cafe24 will likely remain as one of the top online shop hosting providers in Korea for years to come. However, their platform isn’t very accessible to non-Korean web hosting customers at this point.

Cafe24 might offer a good service at a reasonable price, but does it match up with the top web hosting companies? We find it hard to say “yes.”

Pros

  • Extensive portfolio of hosting services
  • A plan for every type of e-store
  • Loads of free seminars and documentation available
  • Services are continually improving

Cons

  • The website is only in Korean
  • No money back guarantees; setup fees applicable

FAQ

Is shared hosting from Cafe24 good for e-commerce?Yes! Cafe24 offers everything an e-commerce operation needs, from web hosting to marketing services. However, you may struggle to do business with Cafe24 if you aren’t fluent in Korean. Our list of the best web hosting services includes some English-language alternatives.How much storage space do I need for an e-commerce website?It really depends on how many products you have. Also, if each product has a lot of photos and video demonstrations, for example, you’ll naturally need more storage. Cafe24 helps you choose a plan with an appropriate amount of storage space based on the current size of your store.Why is the price at checkout different from the advertised price?Buying a Cafe24 hosting plan incurs a substantial one-time setup fee. When you purchase a plan, you’ll have to pay this setup fee in addition to the cost of hosting.Which is the cheapest hosting service?Although we found it lacks some of Cafe24’s impressive e-commerce features, our Hostinger review discovered that its entry-level plan costs far less than Cafe24’s, even though it offers more storage space. You may be able to get an even lower price from Hostinger on our coupon page – check it out before making a final decision.

Sandra Tanoto Sandra Tanoto
Sandra is a writer and editor based in Singapore. Sandra keenly understands the need for businesses to remain on the cutting edge with the latest technologies and enjoys researching and the newest developments in tech.

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