Web hosting is critical for maintaining a website, but reliable services can be surprisingly expensive. While you don’t want to break the bank on hosting, it’s important to find a plan that meets your needs in terms of both speed and uptime. Budget web hosting plans may save you money upfront, but they won’t be worth the savings if they push users away due to poor performance.
In this article, we cover some of the most common types of web hosting and help you identify an arrangement that could work for you or your business. We’ll also discuss some other costs to budget for when you build a website, including email hosting, content management system (CMS) fees, security expenses, and charges associated with registering or renewing your domain.
- Learn typical web hosting costs
- Prices of shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud, and WordPress hosting
- Additional web hosting costs
What Are Typical Web Hosting Costs?
How much you’ll spend on web hosting depends on the plan you seek. Shared web hosting, for example, tends to be more affordable than most other forms. Meanwhile, it typically offers a smaller range of customization options and may not be able to sustain performance for high-traffic websites.
Dedicated web hosting plans give you full control over your hosting arrangement, but they are often much more expensive than shared hosting options from the same provider. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is generally somewhere in between, while cloud and WordPress hosting prices vary widely depending on the provider and plan details.
How much does shared web hosting cost?
Shared web hosting arrangements, which allow multiple websites to be hosted on the same server, usually cost between $1 and $5.99 per month. This type of hosting reduces the cost of subscriptions by spreading server resources across a larger set of users, but it also has some important disadvantages.
How much does VPS web hosting cost?
VPS web hosting occupies a somewhat middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting arrangements and, on average, costs between $2 and $46 per month. Normally, VPS hosting is significantly more expensive than shared hosting plans from the same provider but still far more affordable than most dedicated hosting options.
VPS hosting essentially imitates dedicated hosting by giving users access to virtualized server instances on a shared server. Your VPS will operate like a dedicated server even though the physical server is split between multiple websites.
With VPS hosting, you’ll gain root access to your server instance (a collection of server databases) and exclusive rights to your allotted resources. This minimizes the impact of other websites on your site’s performance.
Prices also vary depending on whether you want your provider to manage your hosting arrangement or you want more control (and responsibility for) your configuration. Popular providers include Bluehost, Hostwinds, DreamHost, HostGator, and IONOS.
How much does dedicated web hosting cost?
Dedicated web hosting is significantly more powerful and flexible than VPS and shared hosting, but it can be a pricey investment, between around $30 and $160 per month. Whether dedicated hosting is worth the additional cost primarily depends on your budget and the scale of your site.
There’s no reason to pay more for a dedicated server if a VPS hosting arrangement gives you the same performance. These plans often cost five or more times what you would pay for VPS hosting. Some well-liked providers are Bluehost, Hostwinds, DreamHost, HostGator, and IONOS.
How much does cloud hosting cost?
Cloud hosting— between $4 and $100 per month — differs from shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Your website is hosted across many servers in the cloud rather than being tied to a specific physical server. This helps improve uptime by increasing resource flexibility and making your site’s performance less reliant on any individual server.
Some providers offer cloud hosting access by the hour, but you can also sign up for monthly or yearly subscriptions. Certain platforms also offer VPS hosting through the cloud. Hostwinds, for example, has separate pages for VPS and cloud hosting, but they lead to the same service. The only difference is that cloud hosting is billed hourly rather than monthly. Providers we recommend include Hostinger, Hostwinds, DreamHost, HostGator, and Cloudways.
How much does WordPress web hosting cost?
WordPress hosting is typically pre-configured to efficiently host a WordPress website. Options generally range from $2.99 to $24 per month.
Some WordPress web hosts offer features such as extra storage, payment processing, unlimited email support, and a free domain for one year. They also remove WordPress.com ads displayed on every free WordPress site.
Pricier plans provide deeper features for online vendors, such as 24/7 live chat support, SEO and Google Analytics tools, custom plug-ins, and support for international payments.
Extra web hosting costs to consider
While web hosting plans can be expensive, there are several other expenses when budgeting for a new hosting arrangement. Consider some of the most common costs associated with web hosting:
- Registering or renewing a new domain: Your web hosting provider will store your site for online access, but you’ll need to make that site available at a domain to receive traffic from internet users. Some providers offer built-in domain access with a web hosting subscription, while others will require you to find your own domain. Available domains typically cost $10 to $15 per year, while domains on the market can go for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- CMS fees: WordPress, the most popular CMS available, is one of many good CMS options. Other popular providers include Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. While many CMS tools are free, premium subscriptions or additional templates, themes, or plugins may be a worthwhile investment.
- Email hosting fees: Email hosting is available from some web hosting providers and usually comes at an additional charge. Most of these programs integrate with other tools, allowing you to link business emails to their website and create customer-facing email addresses under your site’s domain name. You pay a monthly fee for an email hosting add-on, but some providers include free business email for a certain period with new subscriptions.
- Security fees: You’ll need a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to support HTTPS connections, a fundamental layer of security for any website. Fortunately, SSL certificates are priced into nearly every subscription from most major web hosting providers, so you won’t have to worry about additional security fees.
FAQS About Hosting a Website
How much should you pay for website hosting?
The amount you pay depends on the type of hosting, your provider, and various other factors. If you are just starting out, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2.99 to $15 per month depending on your specific needs. If you are running a large popular site, the price can be in the hundreds, or even thousands, per month for good hosting.
Can I host my own website for free?
Yes, you can host your website at no cost, but be aware of the disadvantages, such as having to pay people for various services, security issues, limited bandwidth, and more.
What is the cheapest way to host a website?
The least expensive way is to use a web host that offers free or low-cost services, but this option will have other limitations.