PCI Compliant VPS hosting

WebHostingAdvices Team | 🕒 Last Update: June 25, 2022

I researched dozens of VPS hosts and found out that Liquid Web is the best PCI compliant VPS hosting provider since it offers multiple solutions for achieving the goal.

Though I tried a lot of PCI-compliant hosting services, I’ll only be sharing the top 7 with you. To ensure the accuracy of the information that I share here, I contacted the support executives of the majority of these hosts to confirm their PCI compliance policy.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the 7 best PCI-compliant VPS hosting providers, the best PCI-compliant WordPress, and Cloud hosting. I’ll also be providing a PCI compliance checklist for your future reference.

pci compliance

But before that, let’s look at the “best for” cases for these hosts in different scenarios. The cheapest PCI-compliant VPS is DreamHost with minimal monthly charges. On the other hand, Liquid Web is the best performing VPS with a 100% uptime guarantee.

Out of the hosts listed below, you can expect the best PCI compliance support from Bluehost. You do not need to configure anything on the server level since Bluehost will do it at your request.

Let’s get into the details of services offered by some of the top PCI-compliant VPS hosts in our next section.

#7 Best PCI compliant VPS hosting providers

It is difficult for web hosts to provide PCI compliance with a shared hosting plan since it involves a lot of restrictions and pre-conditions. So most of the hosting providers are unable to meet the security measures involved in making a shared hosting environment PCI-compliant.

A VPS or a dedicated server, on the other hand, can be 100% PCI-compliant. In such a case, a VPS must be a fully-managed one and configured correctly.

If it is an unmanaged server, you will be responsible for all the configurations. So choosing a fully-managed VPS is the best option. Based on this, let’s have a look at the 7 best PCI-compliant VPS hosting providers here:

1. Liquid Web

Liquid Web offers fully-managed VPS hosting with complete root access. It offers several solutions for PCI compliance and conducts quarterly scans as well. You can receive expert advice about any issues related to PCI requirements from the host’s executives 24/7.

liquid web pci compliant host

Features

Liquid Web’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting offers you the following features:

  • Multi-level DDoS protection
  • Availability of Integrated Firewall
  • ServerSecure protection for advanced security
  • Cloudflare CDN included
  • Off-server backups
  • 24/7 on-site support through email, chat, and phone
  • 100% uptime guarantee with SLA

Starting Price

The starting price of Liquid Web VPS hosting is $15 per month when you commit for 2 years upfront.

liquid web starting price

NOTE: The host’s virtual servers are not PCI-compliant by default but an additional $50 a month will provide you with the PCI Compliance Scanning Service from Liquid Web. Here is a screenshot of the chat I had with a Liquid Web executive.

liquid web PCI compliance chat

Though the host will assist you in fulfilling the PCI requirements with this service, fulfilling them completely will be your responsibility.

2. Bluehost

Bluehost offers full PCI compliance to help your online store meet all the requirements. It offers managed VPS hosting plans with fully dedicated server resources and full root access. Bluehost makes the changes to its server if you provide it with a PCI scan report.

bluehost supports pci compliance

Features

Bluehost’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting offers you the following features:

  • Dedicated IP address/addresses
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Server security with full access control
  • Domain protection
  • 24/7 VPS support

Starting Price

The starting price of Bluehost VPS hosting is $18.99 per month when you commit for 3 years upfront.

bluehost pricing

It is worthwhile to mention here that you do not need to configure anything on the server level since Bluehost can do it all for you. A chat with a Bluehost executive reveals this fact:

bluehost pci compliance chat1
bluehost pci compliance chat2

3. eUKhost

eUKhost offers managed VPS solutions that can be made PCI compliant to protect your customer data. It allows you to choose between Linux and Windows VPS plans.

eukhost assists in pci compliance

Features

eUKhost’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting offers you the following security features:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Custom firewall
  • Anti-malware protection & application security
  • DDoS protection
  • Intrusion prevention
  • Virtual Private Network
  • 24/7 technical support

Starting Price

The starting price of eUKhost VPS hosting is £28.61 per month (including taxes) which turns out to be $38.89 per month. It includes the managed services cost available with the host.

eukhost pricing

Similar to Bluehost, eUKhost makes the changes to its server if you provide it with a PCI scan report. One of the eUKhost executives revealed this fact in a chat with me:

eukhost pci compliance chat

4. InMotion hosting

InMotion hosting offers both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting solutions. The host supports PCI compliance but its VPS does not meet the PCI standards by default because not all website owners accept payments through their websites. But InMotion can make the changes to its server if you provide it with a PCI scan report.

inmotion hosting pci compliant host

Features

InMotion’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting offers you the following security and other features:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Dedicated IP addresses
  • High-availability servers
  • eCommerce optimized
  • SSH and DDoS protection
  • 99% uptime with triple failover redundancy
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support available from US-based executives

Starting Price

The starting price of InMotion VPS hosting is $19.99 per month when you commit for 3 years upfront. An additional $2 per month is payable towards the Backup Manager provided by the host.

inmotion hosting pricing

5. Krystal

Krystal offers both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting solutions. You can opt for server management with any of its VPS plans. Managed VPS from Krystal is PCI-compliant.

krystal.uk offers 100% pci compliance

Features

Krystal’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting offers you the following features:

  • DDoS protection
  • Dedicated IP address
  • Free monthly backups
  • UK-based chat support
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Starting Price

The starting price of Krystal VPS hosting is £83.99 per month (including taxes) which turns out to be $114.47 per month. It includes the managed services cost available with the host.

krystal.uk pricing

Your VPS is automatically made PCI compliant when you choose the server management service from Krystal. This fact was revealed by a Krystal executive over a chat:

krystal pci compliance chat

6. HostGator

HostGator offers managed VPS hosting with full root access. By default, the servers are not PCI-compliant but the host can offer assistance with meeting the regulations.

hostgator supports pci compliance

Features

You will get the following security and other features with HostGator’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting:

  • Dedicated IP addresses
  • Free SSL certificate from LetsEncrypt
  • DDoS protection
  • Network uptime guarantee
  • Create manual and scheduled backups
  • Automatic offsite backups are maintained weekly
  • Fully redundant network
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Premium customer support 24/7

Starting Price

The starting price of HostGator VPS hosting is $23.95 per month when you commit at least for a year upfront.

hostgator pricing

A HostGator executive revealed on a chat that their VPS servers support PCI compliance and the host can also assist you with some configurations but the primary responsibility of making your website PCI-compliant lies on you:

hostgator pci compliance chat

7. DreamHost

DreamHost offers managed VPS hosting with unlimited bandwidth and traffic. Though the host servers are fully PCI-compliant, it is completely your responsibility to acquire PCI certification for your DreamHost website.

dreamhost pci compliant host

Features

You will get the following features with DreamHost’s PCI-compliant VPS hosting:

  • Free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt
  • Secure logins with unlimited SFTP users
  • Fully-managed security
  • Dedicated IP addresses
  • Password protection for sensitive files
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Starting Price

The starting price of DreamHost VPS hosting is $10 per month when you commit at least for a 3-year term upfront.

dreamhost pricing

NOTE: DreamHost keeps its servers up-to-date to support the PCI compliance requirements but cannot assist you in the process of making your website PCI compliant. A DreamHost executive reveals in a chat that the compliance does not extend to customer websites:

dreamhost pci compliance chat

Best PCI compliant WordPress hosting

When we talk about WordPress hosting, it generally relates to shared hosting. But achieving PCI compliance in a shared hosting environment is tough since it demands specific security controls and limits access to the server environment.

So the web host needs to set up either a virtual server or a dedicated one that fulfils PCI guidelines. It is, therefore, best to look for a WordPress host that offers such a suitable hosting environment for your online store.

Kinsta (Managed Cloud WordPress hosting)

Kinsta offers managed Cloud WordPress hosting that can be made PCI compliant with just a few changes. The host does not get involved in the PCI audit process but can make the necessary adjustments on your request.

kinsta assists in pci compliance

Features

Kinsta’s PCI-compliant WordPress hosting offers:

  • A free SSL certificate
  • DDoS protection
  • Enterprise-level firewall
  • A reliable Content Delivery Network
  • 24/7 support from WordPress experts
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Starting price

PCI compliant WordPress hosting plans from Kinsta start at just $30 per month. The host offers 2 months of free hosting when you pay for a year in advance.

kinsta pricing

Many Kinsta customers work with third-party auditors for PCI compliance scans. The scan result is shared with the host and fine-tuning is performed at both Kinsta and the customer’s end. This process helps the store owners to pass the PCI audit with minimal issues.

Best PCI compliant Cloud hosting

Managed VPS, dedicated servers, and managed Cloud hosting solutions are generally PCI compliant by default. But making any configuration changes to your server can affect your PCI compliance. So you must be careful in changing any configuration.

Cloudways

Cloudways offers a managed cloud hosting platform with seamless scalability. The host uses services of different cloud infrastructure providers, including Google Compute Engine (GCE), Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Linode that offer Level-1 PCI-DSS compliant hardware.

With Cloudways using the hardware with the highest level of compliance, you just need to configure your server to achieve the PCI-DSS level you need.

cloudways pci compliant hardware

Features

The PCI-compliant Cloud hosting solutions from Cloudways offers:

  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
  • 24/7 real-time monitoring
  • Dedicated firewall
  • Built-in CDN
  • SSH & SFTP access
  • Automatic backups
  • Managed security with regular security patching
  • 24/7 customer support

Starting price

PCI compliant Cloud hosting plans from Cloudways start at $12 per month. The host helps you manage your budget well by allowing you to pay hourly as well.

cloudways pricing

A chat with a Cloudways executive confirms that the host offers assistance for PCI compliance:

cloudwayspci compliance chat

NimbusHosting

NimbusHosting provides managed Cloud hosting solutions that can be made PCI-compliant with a single click from the Nimbus dashboard.

nimbus hosting is pci compliant

Features

The PCI-compliant Cloud hosting solutions from Nimbus offer:

  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
  • Daily offsite backups
  • Automatic updates for server security
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Blocking of nuisance IPs and bots
  • Cloudflare CDN
  • 24/7 customer support

Starting price

The starting price of Nimbus Cloud hosting is £36 per month (including taxes) which turns out to be $49 per month when you book for a year upfront. The Nimbus Checkout page reveals that the host offers 14 backup restore points with all its plans.

nimbus hosting checkout page

Do I need to be PCI compliant?

It is extremely important to know if you need to be PCI-compliant since meeting PCI guidelines is the responsibility of the website owner as against the hosting provider.

When do you need to be PCI compliant?

In simplest terms, if you accept payments online and all the payment processing is done directly on your website, you need to be PCI-compliant. When a cardholder enters sensitive data on your website, you must protect that information, and PCI regulations aim to achieve that goal.

When you don’t need PCI compliance?

On the other hand, if you redirect your customers to a third-party website, like PayPal, and they enter their card details on that website, you do not need to make your website PCI-compliant. It is because, in such a case, your website is not handling any sensitive information that needs to be protected.

Do I fulfil the regulations if my host is PCI compliant?

Along with understanding the situations when you need to be PCI-compliant, it is important to know that if your host is PCI-compliant, your website does not automatically comply with the PCI regulations.

As discussed above, the primary responsibility to ensure PCI compliance of your website lies on your shoulders. For instance, if you own a WooCommerce store, you will be the only one responsible for protecting and managing customers’ data, storing their login information, processing credit cards, and maintaining your website code.

You will have to ensure PCI compliance if you store the credit card information of your customers on your website’s server. But if you decide to use any other payment processor like Stripe, you will only be storing a token of this information and passing it to Stripe which will store the card information. So your website does not need to meet PCI compliance in such a case.

PCI Compliance Checklist

For your reference, asking the following questions will help you determine whether your website requires PCI compliance or not:

  • Whether your website or server stores cardholders’ data?
  • Who all has access to your website and customer data?
  • Do all pages of your website use HTTPS encryption?
  • Whether regular plugin updates and security patches are carried out?
  • Do you have a firewall to protect cardholders’ data?
  • Do you encrypt cardholders’ data when transmitting?
  • Is your antivirus software regularly updated?

Verdict

PCI compliance involves documentation, processes, and policies along with server and network hardening. Hosting your website with a PCI-compliant host does not guarantee PCI compliance for your online store.

But choosing a reliable PCI-compliant hosting provider will make the whole process much easier for you.

In my opinion, Liquid Web is the best PCI-compliant VPS hosting provider that offers multiple solutions to make your website fully compliant with PCI regulations.

Along with assisting you in other processes, Liquid Web also offers PCI Compliance Scanning Service for $50 a month. You can purchase this service along with a VPS hosting plan that meets your requirements.

FAQ

Is SiteGround PCI compliant?

No, SiteGround is not PCI-compliant anymore. The host’s servers are not advertised as PCI-compliant now. So there is no guarantee that your SiteGround website will pass the PCI test in the future. Moreover, the host will not assist you with matters concerning PCI compliance.

Is GoDaddy PCI compliant?

Yes, GoDaddy is PCI-compliant. It offers all the tools to make your eCommerce store PCI compliant.

Is WP Engine PCI compliant?

No, WP Engine is not PCI-compliant. The host even prohibits you from receiving payments on a website made on its platform.
wp engine pci compliance

Is DreamHost PCI compliant?

No, DreamHost is not PCI-compliant but it keeps its servers up-to-date to support the PCI compliance requirements. It is your responsibility to acquire PCI certification for your website since the host won’t assist you.

How to make a VPS PCI compliant?

To make your VPS PCI-compliant:

  • Sign up for a security scanning service and pass its tests.
  • Always use a firewall and SSL
  • Encrypt files when transmitting
  • Always use updated software

What happens if my business isn’t PCI-compliant?

If your business isn’t PCI-compliant, it might expose itself to fines, data breaches, forensic audits, card replacement costs, and a bad reputation.

What is PCI-compliant hosting?

A PCI-compliant hosting service is the hosting that complies with the regulations set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Is shared hosting PCI compliant?

No, shared hosting is not PCI-compliant.

Is WooCommerce PCI compliant?

No, WooCommerce is not PCI-compliant.

woocommerce pci compliance

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