If you’ve spent any time researching different web hosting services, then you’ve likely noticed that the costs of web hosting can vary pretty dramatically. Some web hosting subscriptions cost only a few dollars a month, while others can run up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
But why is this? Well, the short answer is not all web hosting is created equal.
There are both different web hosting companies and different types and tiers of web hosting, both of which account for the wide range of prices.
So, how much do different types of website hosting cost on average? Let’s take a look at the best hosting companies and how much they charge for their various services.
Summary: How much does website hosting cost?
- Shared hosting is the cheapest and ranges from $2-$12 per month.
- Cloud/Cloud VPS hosting costs vary widely and can be anywhere from $10-$150 per month.
- Dedicated hosting is generally the most expensive and costs a minimum of $80 a month.
- Managed WordPress hosting costs vary widely and can be anywhere between $1.99/month and $1650/month.
How Much Will I Pay for Web Hosting?
To start with, let’s take a look at the signup prices that the top 13 best web hosting companies offer for different types of hosting.
|Web Host||Shared Hosting||VPS Hosting||Dedicated Hosting||Cloud Hosting||WordPress Hosting|
|SiteGround||$3.99 – $10.69||–||–||$100 – $400||$3.96 – $10.65|
|Bluehost||$2.95 – $13.95||$18.99 – $59.99||$79.99 – $119.99||–||$19.95 – $49.95|
|DreamHost||$2.95 – $3.95||$10 – $80||$149 – $279||–||$16.95 – $71.95|
|HostGator||$2.75 – $5.25||$23.95 – $59.95||$89.98 – $139.99||–||$5.95 – $9.95|
|GreenGeeks||$2.95 – $10.95||$39.95 – $109.95||–||–||$2.95 – $10.95|
|Hostinger||$1.99 – $4.99||$2.99 – $77.99||–||$9.99 – $29.99||$1.99 – $11.59|
|A2 Hosting||$2.99 – $12.99||$43.99 -$65.99||$105.99 – $185.99||–||$11.99 – $41.99|
|Scala Hosting||$3.95 – $9.95||$14.95 – $152.95(Cloud VPS)||–||$14.95 – $152.95(Cloud VPS)||$3.95 – $9.95|
|Kinsta||–||–||–||–||$35 – $1,650|
|WP Engine||–||–||–||–||$25 – $63|
|Liquid Web||–||$25 – $145||$169 – $374.25||$149 – $219||$13.30 – $699.30|
|Cloudways||–||–||–||$12 – $96||–|
|InMotion||$2.99 – 13.99||$19.99 – $59.99 (Cloud VPS)||$87.50 – $165||–||$3.99 – $15.99|
Web Hosting Costs Explained
Why do web hosting costs vary so much? To put it simply, web hosting costs vary for the same reason that the costs of any other kind of service vary: if you pay more, you get more.
To break it down in more detail, let’s take a look at the different types of web hosting and how much you can expect to pay for each.
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where your website is hosted on a server with other websites. It then shares resources with other websites.
With shared hosting, fewer resources are allocated to your website. This makes it the most affordable type of web hosting across the board.
Although web hosting services will often offer several shared hosting plans at different price tiers, you can expect to pay between $2-$12 per month for shared hosting.
The cheapest shared hosting plan on my list is offered by Hostinger and starts at only $1.99/month.
VPS hosting uses virtualization technology to host your website on a server with multiple other websites, but without having to share resources.
It’s a sort of happy medium between shared hosting and dedicated hosting, giving your site dedicated resources for the price (almost) of shared hosting.
If you’re in the market for VPS hosting, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $150 per month, depending on the features included.
One of the best VPS providers on the market is Scala Hosting, which offers cloud VPS hosting starting at $14.95/month.
With dedicated hosting, a server is devoted to a single customer or website.
The server can then be customized to the specific needs of that customer alone, with the web hosting service providing all the setup, tech support, and management.
In other words, with dedicated hosting, your website won’t share resources with any other websites. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and the cost generally reflects that.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of hosting, with costs ranging from $80 a month to several hundred dollars a month.
The good news is unless your website is already well-established and receiving a high amount of traffic and/or hosting a large amount of content, it’s unlikely that you’ll need all the resources that a dedicated server provides.
As such, it’s likely that you can wait to pay for this option until your website or business has expanded significantly.
Source: Liquid Web
Managed hosting refers to any type of hosting in which your website and its server are actively managed and maintained by your web hosting provider.
For a little more money, they’ll go the extra mile when it comes to your website.
Technically speaking, any kind of hosting can be managed. For example, A2 Hosting offers a great deal on managed VPS hosting, starting at $43.99 a month.
For managed cloud VPS hosting, your best bet is Scala Hosting, which starts at a very reasonable $14.95 a month.
Another popular type of web hosting is managed WordPress hosting, which web hosts are increasingly offering as an option.
WordPress is one of the most popular website building tools on the market today, with more than 37% of all websites powered by WordPress.
With managed WordPress hosting, your web host will take care of everything necessary to make your WordPress site run smoothly. This includes helping with design, performing backups and security checks, and running timely WordPress updates.
Managed WordPress hosting is a broad umbrella term that can include many features and services. As such, it’s difficult to generalize about what you can expect to pay.
Out of the top 13 web hosting providers on my list, the cheapest managed WordPress hosting offered is Hostinger’s $1.99 plan, and the most expensive is Kinsta, which offers a plan for managing a large number of WordPress sites that costs a whopping $1,650 a month.
But leaving aside these outliers, it’s safe to say that you can expect to pay between $5 and $50 a month for managed WordPress hosting, depending on what kind of added features and services you want.
Liquid Web offers the best-managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting on the market today, with plans starting at only $13.30/month.
Beware of Renewal Fees
All of the prices I’ve included in my article reflect the original sign-up prices offered by each web hosting provider.
However, when choosing a web host, it’s very important to remember that these prices will almost definitely rise after the first year you renew your contract.
Almost every web host offers artificially low prices for the first year to attract new customers.
Sometimes the difference in cost is small, but other times you can expect a significant price hike if you choose to renew your subscription for a second year.
That’s why it’s very, very important to read the fine print and make sure you can afford the cost of your web hosting plan after the first year.
If you can’t, then you might want to find a more affordable option.
Most web hosts make it possible for you to transfer your site to a new web host (many even offer free site migrations), but you can save yourself the hassle by making sure that your hosting plan is truly affordable for you.
Just like with any contract, the classic advice holds true: always read the fine print.
If you see a small, crossed-out price listed above or below the current sales price, chances are that’s what you can expect to pay upon renewal.
How to Save Money on Web Hosting?
In addition to doing the research and finding the cheapest web hosting services, there are a few clever ways you can save money on web hosting.
Use Coupon Codes:
Any bargain hunter knows that perseverance is the key to scoring a great deal.
Some web hosting companies (such as Bluehost) will occasionally offer coupon codes that you can use to score a great deal on their hosting plans.
You’ll have to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for these codes, but if you put in the time, you might be able to get a much lower price on web hosting – at least for the first year.
Sign Up For a Longer Subscription
It might be tempting to pay less upfront and kick the costs down the road, but this isn’t always the best financial plan.
If you feel confident that you’ve found the right web host for your site (and if you can afford it), you may want to consider signing up for a longer subscription period.
Some web hosting providers will offer lower monthly prices if you commit to a longer contract. You may have to pay more upfront, but the overall cost of hosting your website will be lower in the long term.
Keep an Eye Out for Special Day Offers
In addition to the normal discount that most web hosting services offer for first-time customers, many web hosting services also offer special sales and deals on days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Labor Day.
If you can wait, it might be a good idea to watch for these holidays and see if there are any extra sales you can take advantage of.
Only Pay for What You Need
Let’s say you’re looking for a shared hosting plan, and your chosen provider offers four different tiers.
Many web hosts will try to entice clients by highlighting their mid- or high-priced tier as the “most popular” option, but is it really necessary for you?
Take a moment to consider the size, scalability potential, and purpose of your website.
For example, how many visitors do you anticipate a month? How many backups do you want? Do you need added SEO optimization, or can you do that yourself?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, then look at the features included with each tier.
Just because a particular tier may be the most popular doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right option for you.
In short, if you want to save money, less is more when it comes to features.
Extra Web Hosting Costs to Consider
When you’re figuring out your budget for web hosting, you should always plan for added or hidden costs.
This is an unfortunate reality of the industry, and it’s important to be aware that you’ll likely end up paying more than just the subscription cost.
Domain Name Registration
Your domain name is one of the most important factors to consider when building a website. It’s how your audience will find you and the first impression they’ll get of your site.
Many web hosting services offer plans that include a free domain name (or at least free for the first year). However, if this is not the case, you will have to pay to register a domain name for your site.
Registering (aka buying) a new domain name generally costs between $10 and $20 a year, but costs can vary based on factors such as the type of domain name and the registrar you buy it from.
It’s worth shopping around and checking out different prices and packages offered by different registrars.
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a certificate that guarantees a website’s authenticity and security.
It’s a security protocol that creates a secure connection between a website and a web browser. You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate if you see a padlock symbol to the left of the URL.
Getting an SSL certificate for your website is important for establishing its legitimacy and security.
Many web hosting providers offer plans that include a free SSL certificate, but if you choose a web host that doesn’t offer this, then you’ll need to pay for it separately.
There are different types of SSL certificates, and the cost can vary dramatically, from as low as $5 a year to as high as $1000.
However, the average cost of an SSL certificate for most websites is around $60 a year.
Automated Site Backup and Restore Services
Automated site backup and restore services are another feature that many web hosting companies include with their plans.
However, if these are not included, you’ll need to pay for them separately.
Site backup and restore services are the only surefire way to protect your data from damage in the case of hacking or other technical issues, so it’s important not to overlook this aspect of website management.
As with SSL certificates and domain name registration, the costs can vary widely. GoDaddy offers daily backup and one-click restore plans starting at only $2.99 a month, and the prices go up from there.
However, to streamline things and simplify your monthly payments, it’s generally better to opt for a plan that includes backups from your chosen web hosting provider.
Cost to Switch Web Hosts
If you already have a website hosted by a web hosting company that you’ve changed your mind about, there’s no need to stress.
To attract new customers, many web hosting providers offer free site migrations as part of their subscription features.
This means that it will generally cost you nothing more than the price of the monthly subscription to move your website(s) to their new home.
How Much Is Too Much? How Much Is Too Little?
Ultimately, this is a question that only you can answer. There’s no guarantee when it comes to making a profit from your website, and you should never spend more money than you can afford to lose.
If the cost of a particular web hosting company or plan is outside of your budget, then you should look elsewhere. Fortunately, there are tons of great options on the market and some truly great deals to be found.
If something seems too good to be true, however, then it probably is.
Web hosting that’s suspiciously cheap may compromise crucial areas, such as security or speed, and you don’t want to spend money on hosting that’s subpar or puts your website performance at risk.
This is why it’s extremely important to do your research and read reviews from both professionals and customers.
In terms of whether the cost of a web hosting plan is objectively too high, the best way to tell is to compare it to similar plans from other web hosting companies.
If others are offering something comparable at consistently lower prices, then chances are the plan you’re looking at is overpriced.
Summary – How much does it cost to host a website?
Whether you’re just starting out on your website building journey or looking for a new host for your existing website, budget is everything.
Ideally, you want your website to be earning money for you, but even if this isn’t yet the reality, you definitely don’t want to be losing more money on hosting your website than you can afford.
As such, it’s important to know what you should expect to pay for different types of hosting.
Shared hosting is almost always the cheapest option and is great for websites that are just starting to build their audiences.
VPS and cloud hosting are great options if your site needs more resources than shared hosting will provide, and dedicated hosting is really more for websites that are already established and receiving high levels of traffic.
Whichever you choose, it’s important to do your research and shop around before signing up.
Pay close attention to details such as the features included in each hosting plan, and look for plans that will help you cut additional costs, either by including a free domain name and free SSL certification or free website migration (if applicable).
Finally, make sure you can truly afford the plan long-term. Pay attention to what the monthly cost of hosting your website will be after the first year, as it will very likely go up.
Hostinger – Shared Hosting
Bluehost – VPS
Bluehost – Dedicated
A2 Hosting – renewal fees