How Much Does Website Hosting Cost?

Check Out Pricing From the Top Hosting Vendors

With so many options, features, and plan levels to choose from, the world of web hosting can be overwhelming when you are first looking for the right solution for your website. 

In addition to hosting packages, providers often offer many additional features and services like email accounts, CMS (content management system) support, and SSL certificates. Sometimes these and other features are included in your website hosting cost and sometimes they come at an additional price. 

We’ll get into the nitty gritty of it in this guide so you can find the best hosting service for your needs.

Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

Whether you have an online eCommerce business, or want to blog about your travel adventures, you’re going to need a website. There are a lot of solutions and costs to consider when creating a website. One of the most important costs to consider is website hosting.

Are you familiar with domain names and registration? Often domain registration is one of the first things people think of when it comes to building a website. 

If you think of your website as a hotel, you can think of the domain name as the hotel name and sign, and website hosting as the physical building your hotel is located in.

Some web hosting providers offer a managed solution to ensure your website is available on the internet 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about it. This is best for new or less technically adept website owners. With other options the website owner is responsible for setup and maintenance of the server. 

These companies own the physical server your website is stored on. A server is a computer just like your laptop or desktop machine.

Explanation of Web Hosting Costs

When it comes to providers and solutions there are many options available. Web hosting costs fall along a wide range with prices starting as low as $1.99 per month and ranging upwards of $730 per month. Price depends on many factors including the number of monthly visitors your expect to your site, type of website, and any additional functionality or features you require.

The amount you pay a website host is generally based on the space you need to make your content (images, videos, files, maps, etc.) available to users. Generally speaking, the larger the quantity and file size of your content, the more you will pay for hosting.

We’ll cover 5 popular types of hosting in this guide to discuss various options, their relative cost, and the pros and cons associated with each. Up first shared hosting.

Shared Hosting

Let’s go back to the hotel example from above. This time think of the various servers that a provider may offer as various hotels. Some servers are more robust offering more amenities and services, a luxury hotel if you will. Other hotels are more budget friendly, offering a lot of rooms, to a lot of different guests.

With shared hosting you would be renting a room within a hotel. You get a portion of the server space to “share” with other websites, making this the cheapest option to get your website started. 

Shared Hosting Pros

Many shared hosting providers offer excellent performance and features relative to their cost, making this space is highly competitive.

This makes shared hosting very cost-effective for sites with lower levels of monthly traffic. Due to the fact that the servers are generally quite large, they provide your site with adequate bandwidth when just starting out.

Shared hosting is simple and convenient, something a lot of website owners and people in general cherish. Knowing your website server will be handled in a professional-manner by experts gives you good peace of mind, allowing a business owner to focus on various other parts of their business.

Shared Hosting Cons

There are however, some downsides to shared hosting. While the performance is often adequate, it at times can be spotty. 

Your website may share server resources with a handful of websites or hundreds of websites, at the discretion of the hosting provider. This can be a problem if other sites are active and require a lot of bandwidth and resources. Providers often handle this by placing a limit on the resources a site can use. If a customer requires more resources, they may be forced to upgrade to a more-costly plan.

Shared Hosting Recap

Shared hosting makes it easy to get started and is a widely used option by a lot of websites on the internet. If you are a website owner just starting out or with moderate monthly traffic, shared hosting can be a very attractive option for you.

You can get started with extremely affordable shared hosting plans from our top recommended providers Bluehost or Siteground for as little as $2.95/ month.

siteground shared hosting plans
SiteGround offer lower cost shared hosting plans.

VPS Hosting

Continuing with our hotel example, with virtual private server hosting (VPS), you may be renting say an entire floor in the hotel. You still are on a shared server, but you get a specific amount of disk pace and server resources such as RAM (random access memory) and bandwidth dedicated only to you.

VPS Hosting Pros

With more server bandwidth you get better performance and reliability. Resources are allocated by account, so your site is not affected when other sites use more resources, as would be the case with shared hosting.

Furthermore, VPS hosting typically comes with better service and customer-support, while still relying on the host to manage the resources and servers. This is a great option for companies that are unsure if they can take on the large amount of monetary resources and management time dedicated server hosting often needs.

VPS Hosting Cons

With all these performance and service upgrades, it is no surprise that VPS hosting costs significantly more than its shared hosting counterparts. Most offerings are well above the low-end of the $20 range. These are reasonable rates for growing small-businesses, online-stores, and personal sites with larger levels of monthly traffic.

With this extra control comes the requirement for some technical knowledge and an understanding of how much bandwidth and storage your site will need. This may require you to have an administrator on hand to properly manage your server.

VPS Hosting Recap

VPS hosting offers significantly better performance but at a higher cost. This is a good option for growing websites who need more server resources to continue to scale.

a2 hosting vps hosting plans
A2 offers a wide variety of VPS hosting options at reasonable pricing.

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Dedicated Server Hosting

A dedicated server is at the top-end of this hotel example. Welcome, you are now the proud owner of your very own web hosting “hotel”. All the same amenities and features mentioned above, but with everything dedicated to just your site and business.

As you can guess, the performance and control warrants the cost for this high-end, luxury option. If you are a larger corporation/enterprise and need a dedicated server, having a provider handle the server off-site is a popular option. 

Generally speaking, it will always be a cheaper option to go through a provider, rather than purchasing the hardware and managing the server internally.

Dedicated Hosting Pros

With the most expensive cost comes highest quality benefits. Be assured that your site will have impeccable connectivity, network up-time, and security. Dedicated teams of engineers will ensure your business online presence is protected and performing at it’s best, providing outstanding customer-support as well. Oftentimes these providers offer many-more products and services beyond just hosting your website. It is truly a great option for enterprise businesses.

Dedicated Hosting Cons

The main cons of dedicated servers are that it takes an incredible amount of money, time, and potentially other resources to manage them. If you choose to go through a provider the cost can be very exorbitant, compared to the other options mentioned in this article. But, if you are an enterprise business that needs the performance, security, and control of a dedicated server, there is simply no better option.

Dedicated Hosting Recap

Dedicated server hosting is the highest quality and most costly option, typically used by enterprise level businesses.

bluehost dedicated hosting plans
Bluehost dedicated hosting plans

Managed WordPress Hosting

As mentioned in the earlier cost to build a website section, WordPress is a CMS, and one of the most popular ones at that. 

Most shared hosting providers support WordPress, but with managed WordPress hosting you will see improved options for your website and its performance/security. Everything from server architecture to malware scans are built with WordPress in mind.

WordPress Hosting Pros

You will see better performance, better security, and features like staging sites, that let you do large scale changes to your site prior to updating the published version. 

On top of that, managed WordPress hosting providers have WordPress experts leading their customer support. A great peace of mind benefit for any WordPress site owner.

WordPress Hosting Cons

The obvious drawback of using WordPress hosting is that they only support WordPress sites, so if you have any hesitation that you may switch to another CMS platform in the future, making such a switch could mean more work and effort down the line for you and your business. 

Some managed WordPress hosting solutions have stricter limits and restrictions on features like which plugins they allow. Something to certainly look into when examining different providers and solutions.

WordPress Hosting Recap

Of course all of these upgrades come at a higher price than your standard shared hosting solution, though there are some solutions and providers that offer comparable rates. If you currently use or are thinking about building on WordPress, it certainly may be well worth it to investigate further.

kinsta hosting review
Kinsta specializes in managed WordPress hosting and has a plan for every budget.

Cloud Hosting

With cloud hosting, your website data is stored on several remote servers that are clustered. Your site then uses the resources of each of these servers virtually in order to optimally distribute the load. Cloud hosting, like other cloud services such as Google Drive or Spotify, allows nearly endless scaling of resources and storage space.

Cloud Hosting Pros

One of the main benefits of cloud hosting is that rather than paying a fixed monthly price like with other hosting services, you only pay for what you use during the month. This can be enticing for websites that expect large spikes in traffic which will then drop back off after the surge. Think of viral content, large promotions, etc. The scalablility is almost endless.

Not only that, cloud hosting also offers incredibly robust uptime and security from hardware problems as data is not stored in one physical location.

Cloud Hosting Cons

Cloud hosting may not be the best option for those just starting out. In order realize and take advantage of the full benefits, it may take meticulous planning to execute your website strategy.

Cloud Hosting Recap

You can expand or reduce the amount of server resources you need for your website. This scalability can help you reduce overall costs because you only pay for the resources you use.

inmotion cloud hosting
Inmotion cloud hosting plans to deliver scalability.

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How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website?

Now we’ll take a closer look at the different kinds of hosting and their costs. It is important to note that most pricing you see is listed at a promotional rate. This is standard across the industry and means you get that rate for an entry period of a few months to even a few years. After that entry period is up, however, you should expect to pay the normal fee.

Shared Hosting

$1.99 – $15 per month

Getting a website online is easiest with shared hosting. Here are prices for six of the best shared hosting providers we recommend.

HostLower PlanMid PlanTop Plan
A2 Hosting$2.94$4.90$9.31

VPS Hosting

$2 – $129 per month

As a website outgrows a shared plan, VPS hosting is the upgrade to look for. Below are the top six VPS hosting companies including the cost for each plan per month.

HostLower PlanMid PlanTop Plan
Liquid Web$29$49$129
A2 Hosting$25$35$50

Dedicated Hosting

$80 – $729 per month

By the time you are ready to investing your own dedicated hosting server, your online business is full fledged. Check out our six recommendations and the starting prices for each of their plans.

HostLower PlanMid PlanTop Plan
A2 Hosting$99.59$129.30$141.09
Liquid Web$149$299$499

WordPress Hosting

$5 – $290 per month

WordPress hosting is best suited for those who want a hands-off hosting experience. Let the professionals take care of the tech while you focus on your business. Here are our top 6 picks and starting prices per plan level of each.

HostLower PlanMid PlanTop Plan

Cloud Hosting

$5 – $290 per month

Cloud hosting ensures you have 0 downtime for your website. If peace of mind that your site will never be down is critical, check out our six favorite solutions here.

HostLower PlanMid PlanTop Plan
A2 Hosting$5$10$15
Liquid Web$109$149$199

Additional Hosting Costs and Services

Throughout this article we have mentioned some additional services that many hosts offer. Often the price you pay for web hosting is not only for the physical server space you need, but also includes additional features necessary for your site to run.

As you can guess by now, the types of services and support you receive will also vary depending on the type, plan and provider you choose. So let’s touch on some of these services and their additional costs that are fairly common.

Domain Name Registration

$10 – $15 annually.

We mentioned domain registration previously. Often times web hosting providers at any service level (shared, VPS, etc.) offer domain registration in addition or as part of your hosting package. Sometimes this is included free, typically for a promotional period such as a year. With other plans you have to pay an additional cost to your web hosting service in order to register your domain name.

Again, it is fairly common to pay anywhere from $10 – $15 annually for your domain name registration. If you want to purchase a domain name owned by someone else, prices can become much more expensive than that.

Often providers offer discounts when you pay for domains over a longer period of time, as well as if you use their web hosting services. It is a great way to bundle the services together and save costs especially if your site is fairly basic and isn’t expecting tremendous growth in traffic in the near term.

With that being said, it can also be a good idea to keep separate who you register your domain with and who you host your website with. There are some great reasons to not register your domain through your web host. This makes it easy if in the future you want to change hosting providers. Using a separate domain registrar like Namecheap or GoDaddy could help you avoid potential fees associated with transferring your domain.

SSL Certificates

From $0 to nearly $500 per year.

You may have heard of them but are wondering what exactly is an SSL certificate. SSL certificates are basically a digital signature, communicating that the web host provider is who they say they are, and there is a secure connection between the user’s personal device and the website.

Much like web hosting there are varying types of SSL encryption services available. It is common for hosts to also offer free SSL certificates as part of their promotional bundle.

If you are a small blogger or website that won’t be collecting visitors personal data, you can get a domain validated certificate for under $10/year. If your business or site will collect more user data and information you will require better encryption and therefore better certificates.

Backup and Restore Services

Ranging from $0 to $3 per month.

Many providers offer automated backup and restore services as a part of their web hosting packages.This  service routinely backs up your website data, creating a copy of your website at a specific time. If ever there were an issue, you will have a copy of your data available so you don’t lose it.

Some hosts offer the ability for you to backup your data manually whenever you need to as well. Beyond these routine backups it is often a good idea to pay for more premium backup and restore services in the case your site ever crashes or is hacked. 

Business and Productivity Tools

Many pricing plans and services range from $6 to $15 per month.

Web hosts will connect your business and domain name with productivity tools that make doing the various tasks associated with your business much easier. There are plenty of providers for productivity tools for your business such GSuite by Google.

GSuite for example starts out at $5/month per user so it is fairly affordable. Other alternatives exist that have varying restrictions and limits, at varying prices. If you are an enterprise business, a solution like Office365, from Microsoft, would also be a great option.

How Much Does Website Hosting Cost: Final Thoughts

When it comes to website hosting, there are a lot of options and providers to choose from. The website hosting industry is very competitive, but that is good for many of us, since that means we have many product and service offerings to choose from, allowing us to find a perfect plan that matches our budget.

If you have finished this article you know that website hosting prices vary and there is certainly a lot to consider when choosing a website host. At minimum you should expect to pay anywhere from $10 – $15 a month to register a domain and host a website. Beyond that if you require the extra performance, security, and benefits associated with better website hosting solutions, the price can increase quite dramatically to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month.

Bottom line is you need to know what you plan to accomplish with your website and how you expect your business to grow in the future. Are you just a personal blogger? Then shared hosting is a great and inexpensive option you can utilize.

Are you an online eCommerce store? Then you may need better performance and security with improved SSL certificates and the like. When you are looking to purchase website hosting take some time to ponder these questions. It can help you make informed decisions, that can set your website, business, and you up for success moving forward.