When you decided to start a new website, you may not have realized all the little expenses and services involved in getting it set up. Along with registering a domain name, you also need to invest in a web hosting service.
Web hosting providers own and maintain the servers where all the components that make up a website are stored, and which deliver them up across the web to each visitor that pulls up a webpage.
For your website to be accessible to visitors, web hosting is a necessary expense. Below, you’ll find a web hosting cost comparison guide on all the most popular web hosting services.
How Much Does Web Hosting Cost? (TL;DR Answer)
If you have asked, “How much does a website cost per month?” you are not alone. To answer your question, we always say it depends, but the cheapest plans available start at around $2 a month. At the other end of the spectrum, dedicated hosting can cost over $1,000.
For the vast majority of people reading this, you don’t have to worry too much about the high end of that range. Websites for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses can generally get everything they need from web hosting plans somewhere in the $2 to $20 a month range, with $50 being the upper limit you’re likely to face.
That’s still a notable range though. You’re probably hoping for something more specific to help you plan out your budget.
What Website Hosting Costs: The Detailed Answer
The main thing that influences the cost of a web hosting plan is what type of hosting you go with. There are five main levels of web hosting, and which one you need depends on how large your website will be, how much traffic you expect to have, and the type of website it will be.
How Much Does a Shared Hosting Plan Cost?
Shared hosting plans cost in the range of $2-$10 a month. Most commonly, you can expect to spend around $5 a month.
Shared website hosting is the most affordable hosting option. It’s generally the best choice for new websites, particularly any that are fairly simple. If your website won’t be too large (for example, if you just need a few main pages and a blog), a shared hosting plan makes sense.
The main difference between the plans on the lower and higher end of the shared hosting range is additional features that come included in the plans. The cheapest shared hosting will generally be extremely basic, with more expensive plans offering add-ons like hosting for more domains or unlimited email accounts.
Pro tip: With many providers, you can save money on shared hosting by paying for a longer subscription upfront. A three-year commitment will come out to less per month than a one-year one, for instance.
How Much Does Cloud Web Hosting Cost?
Cloud web hosting plans cost in the range of $5-80 a month in most cases, although for enterprise businesses some plans can get up to $300 a month or more.
Most websites that go with cloud hosting can expect to pay around $10 a month. But it’s worth noting that the way cloud hosting pricing works means that you’re less likely to pay the same amount each month. With cloud hosting, you pay for what you use, which can potentially save you money some months in comparison to others.
Cloud hosting is therefore a smart choice for any website that needs flexibility. If you anticipate fast growth, it’s easier to scale up the amount of traffic, power, and storage space you use with a cloud hosting plan. Or, if you’re starting an ecommerce business and know you’ll have much higher amounts of traffic certain times of the year than others (hello, holiday traffic surges), cloud hosting can help you scale up during the times you need it, then save money the rest of the year.
Pro tip: To get the benefits of cloud hosting’s flexibility, you’ll want to monitor your CPU usage as you go in order to scale up and back as needed. A good cloud hosting provider will include an intuitive dashboard for its cloud plans, so you can monitor and allocate your resources as needed month to month.
How Much Does WordPress Hosting Cost?
WordPress hosting costs in the range of $3-$25 a month. Most websites that opt for WordPress hosting can expect to spend around $8 a month.
WordPress is compatible with many web hosting plans that aren’t specifically marketed as WordPress hosting, so you may be able to get by with a simple shared web hosting plan. But a web hosting plan that’s specifically configured for a WordPress website can potentially deliver better compatibility and faster site times.
How Much Does VPS Hosting Cost?
Virtual private server (VPS) web hosting costs in the range of $20-$100 a month. Most websites that go with a VPS web hosting plan can expect to spend around $40 a month.
A virtual private server is often the next step for websites that have outgrown shared hosting. With a shared plan, your website is hosted on the same server as dozens, or even hundreds, of other websites. With VPS web hosting, you still share a server with a few other websites, but you have your piece of it partitioned off. Meaning that your website performance won’t be affected by the amount of space or traffic those other websites use.
For websites that get a lot of visitors or have a greater need for storage space, investing in a VPS will ensure your website continues to load quickly and work consistently for your visitors.
How Much Does a Dedicated Hosting Service Cost?
A managed dedicated server costs in the range of $80 a month to over $1,000. In most cases, a company that chooses dedicated hosting can expect to spend around $140 a month.
For large businesses or popular media sites that get a lot of traffic, a dedicated hosting plan means you get a server all to yourself. That ensures you get as much space and power as you need, even as your website and traffic grows.
Since it costs more, a dedicated server clearly isn’t for everyone. But once a business grows to the point where it’s needed, it’s worth the extra cost.
Other Factors that Influence Web Hosting Costs
While the type of hosting plan you choose is one of the most important factors in determining cost, there are a few other factors that play a role in what you’ll spend each month on web hosting. The main ones are:
- Number of domains – If you want to manage multiple domains in one web hosting account, that may increase your subscription cost a bit.
- Dedicated IP – A dedicated IP keeps your website from being affected by other websites that share your IP address. It can be valuable to help you stay off spam lists and avoid IP blacklisting due to the actions of another company, and lets you run your own FTP server.
- eCommerce features – Any website that will be selling products through the site itself will need a unique set of features, including a shopping cart, check-out functionality, and secure payment processing. When choosing a web hosting plan, you need to find one that’s compatible with the ecommerce software you choose, and that will offer the security features required for ecommerce. That will cost you a little extra.
- Website builders – Building a website no longer requires learning HTML. If you want to build a website yourself without learning how to code, consider web hosting plans that come with an intuitive website builder. In some cases, a website builder will be an add-on that costs extra. Other times, it comes as part of your subscription.
- Email – A branded email at your domain name shows professionalism. Many web hosting plans come with the ability to create domain email addresses included, others charge more for it.
- Application compatibility – If you build your website on an application such as a CMS (content management system), choosing hosting that provides the necessary compatibility is important. This won’t always cost more, but in some cases it may.
- cPanel access – The cPanel is an intuitive interface for managing your web hosting. It often comes included in web hosting plans, but in some cases can cost extra.
- Security options – Security options such as an SSL certificate, automated backups, and security software are sometimes included in web hosting packages, but often come as add-ons for an additional fee.
- Storage space – The amount of storage space available in a web hosting plan is a key feature tied to price. As your website grows, an upgrade is often required.
While many of these factors will influence the cost of your hosting solution, often the value they provide makes the cost worth it. If spending a little more means gaining the functionality you need, or makes building and maintaining your website more intuitive, the cost difference will pay off.
Ready to Buy Web Hosting?
The final factor that affects your web hosting package and cost is which web hosting provider you choose. Luckily, this is an industry where you can get a great cost, while also selecting for quality in your service.
HostGator is widely regarded as one of the most reliable web hosting providers around—and we have the awards and third-party reviews to prove it. As a leading web host, we offer 24/7 customer support, and a 99.99% uptime money-back guarantee. Even with all that, our shared hosting plans start at $2.75 a month, one of the best prices available. To find the best hosting solution for your website or business, visit our site or call one of our helpful representatives today.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.