How Much Does Web Hosting Cost? An In-Depth Guide

By Pui Mun Beh October 10, 2021

What if I told you that you could have your very own website for free?

While that statement may sound a little clickbaity, it isn’t far from the truth.

Web hosting is often a significant part of the cost since it’s a recurring fee.

Yet, there is a reason why not many websites opt for free or even cheap web hosting, especially for business use.

Today we’ll cover all the types of web hosting you can think of, what they may include (or not), plus look at a range of service providers.

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service offered by companies that rent out portions of servers that can serve web pages.

To run a website, you place files on the web hosting space, and it will serve your web pages each time visitors make a request.

There are many types of web hosting plans available.

These include;

  • Shared hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • Cloud hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • Dedicated servers

While these form the core of web hosting categories, you will also see web hosts create plans built around popular platforms or concepts – for example, Free web hosting, WordPress hosting, or Joomla Hosting.

Contributing Factors to Web Hosting Cost

When you purchase a web hosting plan, you often only see the small sum charged for that tiny slice of a server. In reality, many things affect the cost of web hosting plans.

Hardware – The servers used for web hosting are typically enterprise-scale servers capable of incredible performance and, more importantly, are highly reliable.

Unlike regular home computers, these servers house large amounts of resources.

Software – Web servers require specialized software applications to operate.

While the exact combination will vary depending on the company, the bare minimum is the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack or its equivalent.

Cybersecurity applications, web server software, and more further drive up costs.

Expertise – Building and deploying web servers need technical experts that are costly to employ.

In addition, web hosts need to retain technical teams on staff to support their customers 24/7.

These expenses aren’t one-time alone since hardware needs frequent replacement or repairs.

Data Center Fees – Most servers will be in massive data centers that provide the power, cooling, and network infrastructure needed for web hosting.

The cost of building and operating these structures is prohibitive, so most web hosting companies will also lease a portion of a data center.

While there are many more costs associated with the provision of web hosting, these make up the bulk of items that affect the ultimate price of your web hosting plan.

Understanding Web Hosting Plans and Their Cost

The type of plan chosen is generally the most critical element that dictates the cost of your web hosting.

There is also variation in cost within each plan category due to features included, resources provided, and what tools might be available.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting available. Each server often houses hundreds of customers who share resources.

Shared hosting plans are also the most straightforward form of web hosting to manage, making them highly popular with new website owners.

1. Cost of shared hosting

The average price of an entry-level shared hosting plan is $3.06/mo, which increases to around $4.27/mo upon renewal.

Mid-tier shared hosting goes for an average of $5.73/mo and renews at an average of $7.51/mo.

Almost all web hosting companies will offer shared hosting plans, resulting in a broad range of prices.

Hostinger, for example, is well-known in the budget hosting space, offering shared hosting plans for as low as $1.39/mo.

At the upper scale of that spectrum will be service providers like A2 Hosting, whose entry-level shared hosting plans start at $2.99/mo and scales to $12.99/mo.

2. Who Should Use Shared Hosting?

While cheap, performance on shared hosting plans is a little touch-and-go.

Due to resource sharing, you might not always be first in line when a web page is requested.

This irregularity makes shared hosting less suitable for business or other commercial use.

Shared hosting is a cost-effective option if you intend to run a small blog, personal website, or bio page.

VPS Hosting

For those who outgrow shared hosting plans, VPS is the next logical step up.

These plans come with dedicated resources, increasing the potential performance of your website significantly.

VPS plans are also highly scalable, meaning you can adjust resources easily and quickly.

The plans are also highly customizable, making them suitable for almost any use.

1. Cost of VPS hosting

As with shared hosting, the cost of VPS plans can vary widely.

On average, expect to pay around $15.47/mo for entry-level VPS, with renewal prices increasing to an average of $17.49/mo.

Mid-range plans see those prices increase to $25.66/mo and $28.05/mo, respectively.

Aside from the resources provided in VPS plans, another significant factor is the web hosting control panel.

cPanel is the most widely used in most VPS, and increasing prices have driven up the overall cost.

It’s also important to understand that VPS are available as Managed and Unmanaged plans.

The latter is more challenging since owners need relatively strong technical skills to deploy and maintain the VPS environment.

Managed VPS is more costly, but the web host undertakes responsibility for the technical management of the plan.

2. Who Should Use VPS Hosting?

The more reliable performance, stability, and scalability of VPS plans make it ideal for business websites and smaller eCommerce or online store operations.

Some smaller companies may face challenges with Unmanaged VPS plans and may need to pay more for Managed options.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is similar to VPS in almost all areas.

he difference is that instead of a single server, Cloud plans are based on a network of servers, increasing scalability and resilience even further.

1. Cost of Cloud Hosting

The Cloud hosting market is estimated to reach $791.5 billion by 2028.

Due to demand, there are many formidable hosting companies involved in the Cloud hosting space.

They range from typical web hosting service providers to massive organizations like Google and Amazon.

This discrepancy results in potentially significant price disparities.

At the lower end of the scale, Cloud hosting can cost as little as $6 or $10/mo, but thanks to its massive scalability, there is no absolute upper limit.

A good example is Cloudways. It’s a platform that guarantees unmatched performance, reliability and support..

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) companies like Digital Ocean provide a management interface for various Cloud hosting services.

This option drives up the cost of Cloud hosting but makes plans more easily manageable for those with little IT capacity.

3. Who Should Use Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is also relatively technical and can be a challenge to manage correctly.

It leans more towards businesses with specific needs, such as deploying storage servers, application servers, or other more niche areas.

Reseller hosting

Reseller hosting is generally based on the VPS model but includes tools that support this business model.

It allows users to buy a large chunk of VPS space and start their own web hosting business. Some tools include white-label control panels, invoicing systems, and more.

1. How Much Does Reseller Hosting Cost?

With a need for more powerful VPS, reseller plans often come in at the price of mid-tier VPS and above.

Some reseller plans are also built on Cloud hosting plans, making prices vary widely between service providers.

2. Who Should Use Reseller Hosting?

Reseller hosting may be niche, but it isn’t only for those intending to start small web hosting businesses.

It can be used by web development agencies, freelance website designers, and more, who may need to provide hosting to a select group of clients as part of their business portfolio.

Dedicated Servers

Among all types of web hosting, dedicated servers offer the best privacy and customizability.

Leasing one of these plans means taking on responsibility for an entire server and all its resources.

You can configure them in any way required, but much effort must go into server maintenance.

1. How Much Do Dedicated Servers Cost?

Dedicated server prices start from a low of $60 to $80/mo and run well into the hundreds of dollars per month region.

The price depends on the hardware configuration chosen.

When adopting a dedicated server, you can choose everything from the processor you wish to run to the amount and type of storage system included.

You’ll also need to pay extra for any applications used on the server, such as database engine, control panels, script deployment applications, backup software, and more.

2. Who Should Use Dedicated Servers?

Due to the combination of price, power, and complexity, most companies only use dedicated servers in specific cases.

Some examples include the deployment of mission-critical applications or when massive power and capacity are required.

In some cases, larger organizations may use multiple dedicated servers in tandem for better performance and resilience.

Other Costs to Consider

While the price of web hosting is undoubtedly an essential part of running your website, it isn’t the only consideration.

Building and operating a website requires many things, from the domain name to development fees, additional software required, and more.

Some areas to also consider include;

SSL Certificates – These digital certificates range in price from free to thousands of dollars.

They help assure visitors of your website ownership authenticity and encrypts data passing between your website and them.

Themes and Plugins – Some platforms like WordPress are modular, and you can easily add on more features.

However, some of these feature and design elements may incur one-time or recurring fees that you should factor into the overall cost.

Security & Performance – Aside from SSL, you may need to consider extra security features like using a Web Application Firewall (WAF) or Content Distribution Network (CDN).

These are generally optional extras but can provide a better user experience for your website visitors.

eCommerce – If you want to run an online store or eCommerce website, consider many more costs.

These can include payment gateway fees, marketing tools, SEO tools, and more. The combined expedite for any number of these tools can be significantly high.

Content – Building a design framework is only a tiny part of the overall website.

To ensure a steady stream of organic traffic, you’ll need to invest in content development, which can be incredibly expensive.

Over To You

There is a significant discrepancy in the type and cost of various web hosting services.

Much of the core price affects the features and resources available on the hosting plan.

However, there are also intangible areas like the reputation of the individual web hosting companies.

Choosing the right web hosting plan for your website is a delicate balancing act.

Just because you have the money to throw at the most expensive plan doesn’t mean it’s the perfect one for your needs.

Before making a decision, carefully assess the needs of your website and find the best match. Topping that up a little will give you some leeway for future growth.

I hope this has helped clear the web hosting space up for those seeking the right solution.

If you’ve found a plan that works for you, let us know and share it with the community here.

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Pui Mun Beh

Pui Mun Beh is a digital marketer of WebRevenue. She keeps an eye on the latest digital marketing and social media trends. She loves to travel around the world offline and online. Say hello to her at LinkedIn.

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  1. Thanks, Pui. Very informative.

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