Website Hosting Cost: Price Breakdown

ByVladana Donevski
May 10,2022

A winning website is undoubtedly one of the greatest assets at any business owner’s disposal. But before you start thinking about the design elements or effective content, it’s important to consider the website hosting cost.

There are almost 2 billion websites currently live, and they each need a host. Plenty of options exist on the market, which can be overwhelming for many entrepreneurs. This web hosting comparison guide will provide everything you need to know about the importance of choosing the right host, along with the cost breakdowns that will help you make a calculated decision.

What Is Website Hosting?

When looking to create a website, you need to claim your little space on the internet so that people can find your business. Web hosting is the perfect way to achieve it. Experts at One.com define web hosting as “an online service that allows you to publish your website files onto the internet,” which essentially means you will rent the necessary data services and infrastructure to build, manage, and maintain your website.

With thousands of providers to choose from, hosting costs can vary greatly from one company to the next. While it can be tempting to select the cheapest possible solution, web hosting fees can only deliver value for money if the company provides a reliable service. Here’s why:

  • Websites average no more than three hours of downtime per month. When yours is down due to hosting problems, it’s costing you traffic and sales.
  • Mobile traffic now contributes to 56% of all traffic. So, only a web hosting service that facilitates both desktop and mobile will suffice.
  • Conversion rates fall by 4.4% for every extra second your website takes to load between 0 and 5 seconds.
  • Cybersecurity breaches will probably cost businesses $10.5 billion by 2025, according to predictions. Quality web hosting servers help reduce the risks.
  • Global eCommerce is worth over $5.5 trillion. The right website with the right web host allows you to tap into this lucrative market.

Low-cost website hosting remains a popular choice, particularly for new local startups. However, the fact that a strong website can generate online sales and indirectly boost offline sales (81% of people now do their online research before visiting a local store) in the process means that even high website hosting fees are a worthwhile investment.

It should also be noted that migrating to another host can cost around $400 while also creating extra hassle. Ideally, you’ll want to make the right choice at the outset. 

There are over 330,000 web host providers worldwide, and the majority will offer a range of services and packages. The different tiers of service may include variables such as:

  • The number of websites you can host under one package
  • Whether the package includes email mailboxes and the domain hosting cost
  • How many databases are included in the package
  • How much digital file storage is available
  • The amount of bandwidth

When choosing a web host, you will also want to consider other features like whether you want a simple WordPress website installer or a different type of website builder. Likewise, many web hosts will offer SSL certificates, eCommerce tools, and added items. Sometimes these will be included as standard, while others have them as add-ons.

Generally speaking, though, when you look to compare web hosting packages, they fall into five categories.

Shared Hosting

When running a price comparison for different hosting services, shared hosting is seen as the gateway option. As it’s the cheapest paid plan, the domain and hosting cost for the first year can be under $100. The low costs make it a popular solution for startups.

As the name suggests, shared hosting is based on the concept of several websites sharing the resources of a web server. In turn, this can make the website a little less robust and reliable. Given the importance of load times, many businesses will subsequently connect a CDN like Google hosting to their site as it’s an affordable way to obtain faster loading speed. The fact that CDNs can be managed according to GB usage also creates added versatility as the website’s requirements grow.

In addition to providing a cost-effective option, shared hosting can be used in conjunction with various website builders, while mailboxes and SSL certificates can be added as well. The website hosting cost will be quite affordable. Some of the most popular providers are:

  • InMotion - shared hosting plans starting from $2.29 per month for two websites and 100 GB SSD storage with additional plans at $4.99/month and $12.99/month over 36-month contracts.
  • Bluehost - shared hosting plans starting at $2.95 per month, including the domain hosting price for one year. Further options cost between $5.45/month and $12.95/month over 12 months.
  • HostGator - shared hosting plans starting from $2.75 per month for one domain and website cost. Additional plans are available at $3.50/month and $5.25/month for unlimited sites.

The hosting fee for shared hosting is the main incentive for choosing this type of plan, but it also offers a streamlined approach that allows you to use a simple website builder to get your site online and accessible to your customers in no time.

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting, or virtual private server hosting, is essentially the same as shared hosting in that your website will share resources with several other websites. However, there are fewer sites connected to the server, while you have a private virtual server that makes it seem as though you have a dedicated server for your site.

The average VPS hosting plan will cost more than shared hosting and deliver a better service. Most notably, your site is not likely to be hit by temporary 404 messages and downtime while loading speeds are quicker too. Considering the fact that 88% of consumers won’t return to a website after a subpar experience, the benefits of VPS hosting often justify the slightly higher web host rate. 

VPS hosting can be seen as a midway point between shared and dedicated hosting plans, offering some of the benefits of both. We’ve produced a guide to the best VPS hosting solutions, also presenting some of the best ones below:

  • Hostinger - VPS hosting starts at $3.95 per month including a dedicated IP, 1 GB RAM, and 1 TB bandwidth. Eight plans are available, with the most expensive being $77.99/month for 16 GB RAM and 12 TB bandwidth.
  • Kamatera - VPS hosting starts at $4 per month for 5 TB traffic and includes a free 30-day trial. In addition to standard plans at several tiers, a fully customized plan can be designed to meet your exact needs.
  • LiquidWeb - VPS hosting starts from $25 per month for 2 GB RAM. Additional plans are available for up to 16 GB, while users can also choose a monthly contract if they prefer.

The use of VPS has gained popularity in recent years with the market showing a CAGR of around 17%. For microbusinesses and SMEs, in particular, it is an attractive prospect indeed.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is also referred to as dedicated server hosting, and that’s exactly what you get. A dedicated server ensures that your site is blessed with fast loading speeds and almost zero uptime disruptions, especially when a reliable web host is selected. The cost of web hosting will be higher in the long run, but it can be worthwhile.

After all, the average online order value in the US is between $100 and $200, depending on the device the shopper uses when making a purchase. Losing sales due to inadequate web functioning as a result of an inferior host or busy shared server is the last thing any business owner wants. Dedicated servers provide full control over resources while you will not be affected by the traffic spikes enjoyed by other websites. You can also ensure that the resources you purchase match the company's needs.

Some of the best options are:

  • Hostwinds - dedicated server hosting plans starting at $122 per month. Alongside several standard packages, dedicated hosting can be fully customized with extra RAM, server drives, and RAID.
  • IONOS - dedicated hosting plans starting at $65 per month for dedicated enterprise hardware powered by Intel, Xeon, or AMD processors, as well as API & cloud integration and unlimited traffic.
  • A2 Hosting - dedicated hosting plans starting from $105.99 per month for unmanaged or $155.99 per month for managed services on 24-month plans. Monthly and annual plans are also available.

Dedicated hosting is an excellent solution as the web hosting cost per year will still only reach four figures for most SMEs. When weighed up against potential revenue benefits, it’s still great value for money.

Cloud Hosting

An increasing number of business owners are now looking at VPS hosting vs. cloud hosting price plans. More than simply a place to store files as you do from your smartphone, cloud servers are a group of servers working simultaneously to ensure that your website is up and running at full speed at all times.

It’s the fastest-growing sector of web hosting services, which is to be expected, taking into account that cloud computing has become increasingly accessible. The website hosting cost will reflect the fact that there are multiple servers working together as a safety net to ensure that your site is live and performing optimally. Therefore, if you can’t afford downtime or need to feel that you have complete control over your website, this is a fantastic solution that is still cheaper than dedicated hosting.

Many of the best web hosting providers now offer cloud-based services, while there are also great deals for new customers as cloud servers are still relatively new. The top cloud hosting options on the market include:

  • Host Armada - cloud hosting plans start from $2.99 per month with SSL certificates, domain hosting cost, and transfer included. Unlimited sites and 40 GB storage cost $5.39/month.
  • DreamHost - cloud hosting services starting at $4.50 per month. DreamHost offers monthly and annual contracts, giving the user full control over the hosting services as well as website management.
  • Cloudways - cloud hosting plans start from $12 per month while also using a pay-as-you-go model that can be adapted to suit your needs and evolve in accord with the requirements of your website.

Even though cloud hosting is in its infancy, it has already helped thousands of small business owners by providing adaptable services. Cloud hosting costs aren’t the lowest on the market, but they are well worth the investment. 

WordPress Hosting

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system by far and is used to power over 40% of all websites. For an easy, user-friendly website builder, WP hosting is the answer. However, you still need a host to provide a space for your site to reside.

The great news is that the average WordPress website hosting cost is quite cheap. Moreover, most of the big host providers deliver easy one-click installations. This means you can start building your business website in a matter of minutes. WordPress hosting is optimized for the platform and can also use shared or dedicated servers depending on the needs of an individual or a business.

Most of the major web hosts offer WordPress hosting a range of monthly and annual plans. Given the popularity of WP, it’s no wonder that some of the best hosts in this area are the biggest companies overall. Favorites include:

  • GoDaddy - WordPress hosting services starting at $6.99 per month for one website, 30 GB of storage, and up to 25,000 monthly visitors. Bigger plans are also available, while the GoDaddy website hosting cost includes a domain too.
  • SiteGround - WordPress hosting services priced at $3.99 per month for up to 10 GB of storage and 10,000 monthly visitors. Bigger packages are available and can be part of 12-, 24-, or 36-month plans.
  • WP Engine - WordPress hosting services starting at $20 per month for up to 25,000 monthly visitors on an annual plan. The web host is dedicated solely to WordPress and it certainly shows in the service.

All of the WordPress hosting plans allow you to build a website using the popular CMS tools and let business owners choose their theme, layout, and plug-ins.

So, What Makes a Great Web Host?

Whichever type of hosting plan you opt for (shared hosting, VPS hosting, or other), it’s imperative that you have 100% confidence in the web host - not least because the value of an efficient website keeps increasing every year.

North America boasts the greatest number of providers and also takes a 27% share in global domain registrations. When choosing a web host service, you should consider the following aspects to make the right decision:

  • Does the web host provide the type (cloud, VPS, etc.) of web hosting that you want?
  • Are multiple plans, or even tailored plans, made available by the web hosting company?
  • Does the web host have a solid track record for solving customer support issues through live chat, VoIP, and other tools?
  • Will the web host provide additional services (domains, cybersecurity) at a good price?
  • Can the plans evolve alongside your changing requirements as a business owner without facing penalties?

Ultimately, a great web host is one that provides a professional and reliable service that gives you maximum uptime and peace of mind at a fair price. For most website owners, it is preferential to work with a website host that has operated for several years - although plenty of good newer hosts do exist.

Additional Tips To Bring Down the Cost of Your Web Hosting Services

In the grand scheme of things, a few extra dollars for your web hosting services definitely go a long way. After all, compared to renting a brick-and-mortar store, this overhead is likely to be quite small. Nonetheless, you should still seek value for money (without compromising on quality), not least because the savings can be invested in other parts of the business. 

Here are 10 quick tips that will help you keep your website hosting rates to a manageable level:

  1. Opt for a longer hosting plan. A 12, 24, or 36-month plan will offer a significant discount compared to a monthly fee.
  2. Choose the right web host on the first attempt, as switching can cost you a few hundred dollars.
  3. Where possible, bundle domains, email inboxes, and other related services.
  4. But get rid of any services that you won’t use or already have in-house teams for, such as SEO.
  5. If choosing a flexible plan, start with the lowest option right now - at least during the website building phase.
  6. Get smart with optimized images and cache static pages to keep storage requirements down.
  7. Look for free incentives like Google Ads vouchers that can give you extra value for money in the long run.
  8. Speak to the company’s advisor to see what package they can build around your needs, but avoid their upselling strategies.
  9. Know the customer support lines. Calling premium toll numbers could cost you a fortune compared to free web support.
  10. Finally, look online for discount codes or consider waiting for the next big sale like Black Friday or summer sales.

The Final Word on the Cost of Website Hosting

Ultimately, the website hosting cost is merely another expense that doesn’t increase your overall outgoings by a significant amount. With the right host provider behind your brand, it’s one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make.

Nonetheless, you should seek the best hosting rates to satisfy your immediate requirements while maintaining the flexibility to upscale or evolve as the business grows. Choose the best web hosting for your needs, and the World Wide Web will be your oyster.

Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to host a website?

Website hosting costs can range from $0 to thousands of dollars per month. However, the average cost of website hosting for most SMEs will be between $2.49 per month for basic shared hosting and $750 per month for dedicated hosting, which is why you must compare web hosting plans to find the right option for your business.

Is it cheaper to host your own website?

If your hosting website cost feels like an added expense, you may think about hosting the website yourself. You can do this at your office or by using off-site data servers. In truth, the expense of electricity and data, not to mention the fact you’ll need to take care of troubleshooting, make it a counterproductive move.

What’s the cheapest way to host a website?

For low-cost web hosting, businesses can look to shared hosting plans from reputable firms like GoDaddy. You can unlock an even better monthly web server cost by opting for a long-term contract, which can be useful for established businesses that want to keep hosting costs down.

Can I host my website on my personal computer?

Using a Windows or Linux machine to manage and host some HTML files is possible and is a lot of fun for hobbyists and personal websites. However, most business owners will find that professional web host servers are a better choice for financial and practical reasons.

Can I host a website for free?

Absolutely. Several platforms, including the quite popular WordPress, offer free hosting services. However, it will mean limited features like bandwidth and storage while you’ll also need to use a subdomain which can look a bit unprofessional. For business websites, paid hosting is usually the best solution.

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