Every website needs a place to “live” in as well as store all its files, content, etc. This is where hosting is necessary. With so many different hosting offers and providers, choosing the suitable one might be a bit tricky. You need to consider a set of key factors including website type, building technology, size, content volume, and more to ensure smooth operation and stability even at traffic peaks.
Every project type requires specific approaches in terms of web hosting. Companies offer endless server solutions to various needs while website builders come as an all-in-one package including domain names, hosting, and other features with no need to manage them manually. In this review, we will discuss several available hosting options, their costs, and features that influence the price.
1. Web Hosting Types
Before we start reviewing all of the available hosting capabilities, we need to figure out what hosting is and how the technology works.
When hosted, a website gets on a server with all of its files, source code, and content.
A server is a powerful computer that sends web pages to other users and their devices when they send a request.
The request is sent every the visitor uses his or her browser to type in the URL address or follows the link to a particular page of your website.
The server receives the request and sends the info back with the finishing look of the web page to the end-user. The time between the request and page sent to the user defines that website load speed, which is a crucial factor that determines users’ satisfaction, traffic, conversion rate, SEO ranks, and other key factors.
It means that you need to choose a hosting that suits your project requirements. Each offer comes with particular specifications, capacity, and performance rates that will define your project operation. Less complicated websites like blogs or portfolios do not require supersonic facilities. On the other hand, more functional and complicated sites like digital stores call for enhanced hosting flexibility.
What Should You Consider when Hosting a Website
Considering the above-mentioned, you need to keep an eye on the following, when choosing a hosting:
- Performance – the most crucial point that defines website stability despite the traffic leaps. It mainly consists of the two major rates: uptime (the period when hosting is operating) and page load speed (the time necessary for the server to send the URL back to a user upon request).
- Flexibility – this feature reserves some space for customization freedom. The server solution may be integrated with some of the popular CMS platforms, provide enough space to manage several websites at once, offer free domains, security means, etc.
- Customer Support – having a reliable support team is crucial. You need to have an expert for a fast resolution of technical issues, problems with payment processing, integration or set up. Your website might be not available for users for different reasons. Professional customer support must help to overcome such obstacles.
- Price – you need to know what you pay for. If your hosting costs $1 per month, you should not expect tons of free perks. At the same time, some server solutions are more expensive. The costs will depend on the project complexity and resources you expect to get from a hosting provider.
Hosting Providers vs Website Builders
Modern website building technologies have evolved. Users now have several alternatives depending on the needs and technical background. The first one is to opt for traditional hosting platforms that offer several server solutions for different websites types including small blogs, portfolios or growing eCommerce projects. They bring lots of features and benefits out of the box. On the other hand, users are still forced to handle some of the setup and technical issues on their own.
Hosting Provider Pros:
Hosting Provider Cons:
| ✔ Versatility – choose from various hosting plans and types to meet their requirements.|
✔ Price – separating hosting is usually a cheaper option if compared to website builders.
✔ Compatibility – work great with the top CMS platforms including WordPress.
✔ Flexibility – pick a simple plan to get started. Then switch to a bigger one later.
✔ Resources – benefit from unlimited storage, bandwidth, and other crucial features.
| ✘ Manual Set Up – you will need to register a domain, install the CMS, and upload the theme manually.|
✘ Complexity – when found in the dashboard, some users may feel a bit confused. They may need some time to figure out how it works.
The second path is to opt for all-in-one solutions brought to you by modern website builders. The good news is that you do not have to care about anything. The system ensures enough performance and stability. You pay for a chosen plan and get all necessary hosting features in one kit. The bad news is that website builders do not offer much flexibility in terms of setup or choosing a different hosting plan depending on the website size.
Website Builder Pros
Website Builder Pros:
| ✔ All-in-One – no manual setup. Go online with a click.|
✔ Automated Management – no need to manage to host separately from the website.
✔ Ease of Use – great for beginners who want to go live in minutes.
✔ Included Features – the system cares about updates, platform and technology upgrades, security, etc.
| ✘ Limited Flexibility – a few chances to grow your site or migrate to another platform.|
✘ Fixed Prices – it is hard to save up a couple of bucks, as you buy all features in the pack.
✘ The lack of optimization capabilities – as a hosted platform, website builder does not let you do much of technical optimization to boost the page load time, for example. You may use only integrated options.
Now, let’s have a closer look at what features define the final cost to host a website.
2. The Cost of a Website Hosting
The final cost depends mainly on the website complexity. The bigger project you want to launch the more powerful server solution you will need. At the same time, we should also consider the expected traffic as well as a site type.
For example, hosting a simple small business website is cheaper if compared to a huge online shop. Luckily for users, leading service providers have various hosting options that suit various needs and also come with different price tags:
Shared Hosting Cost
The starting level for small content-based websites. The offer is the cheapest on the market. It will cost you somewhere around $2-$5 per month. At the same time, you should not expect it to be extremely robust. It comes with a pack of baseline features and sometimes includes free SSL and domain name, which is good.
Shared hosting will work out for small blogs built on WordPress or other CMS. Its capacity is enough to host a professional portfolio or a small business site. The term “shared” means that you will probably share resources with other users from a single server.
VPS Hosting Cost
VPS stands for a virtual private server. It is one-level higher if compared to the shared hosting. The key difference is that your website will share the same hosting with only a few other projects. It means that you benefit from more resources and facilities.
VPS is usually a more expensive offer. The price varies somewhere between $25 and $50 per month depending on the number of dedicated IP addresses, bandwidth, storage, number of cores, etc. Such a server solution is good for any purpose and website types.
Dedicated Hosting Cost
It actually the same as VPS although you are the only one to use server resources without sharing them with other websites. For this reason, dedicated plans are usually pricier and may go up to $150-$200 per month. For that price, you get terabytes of storage, several dedicated IP addresses, and other facilities.
Cloud Hosting Cost
Unlike all the above-mentioned types, cloud hosting represents several servers operating simultaneously to ensure smooth and stable website operation. If one server breaks down for any reason, another one from the cluster will instantly replace it keeping your site available for visitors.
The price depends on the number of CPUs and cores used as well as from disk space and memory required. Users generally pay about $70-$150 for cloud-based solutions.
For each hosting type, the price may also change depending on the feature set you get with a plan. For example, plans with free SSL, domain or security means are generally more expensive. Have a look at the table with top hosting providers, their prices, and features.
|Shared Hosting||From $2.68 to $12.69 (unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth. Free SSL)||From $3.95 to $11.95 (unlimited websites with up to 30GB of Web Space)||From $2.75 to $5.95 (free SSL, free dedicated IP, free domain)|
|VPS||From $17.28 to $54.69 (2 IP addresses, 3TB bandwidth, 4 cores)||No VPS. Offers Resellers and Enterprise hosting instead||From $29.95 to $49.95 (8 cores, 4GB of RAM, 3TB of bandwidth)|
|Dedicated Hosting||From $72.78 to $109.618 (up to 5 IP addresses with 15TB of bandwidth)||From $219 to $599 (up to 10TB bandwidth for 2 cores)||From $118.99 to $148.98 (unmetered bandwidth, for Windows and Linux)|
|Cloud Hosting||From $9.99 to $29.99 (up to unlimited storage, bandwidth, and websites)||From $64 to $192 (up to 8 cores and 125 GB SSD space)||From $4.95 to $9.95 (free upgrades, SEO tools, SSL, and domain)|
3. Best Options to Host a Website
As a result, we actually have two major options to host a website. The first solution comes in the face of all-in-one website builders that offer hosting facilities and domains within the package. The second path is to buy server solutions from hosting providers. Let’s have a look at the process and costs highlighting the top-notch platforms for different purposes.
Wix – The Best Self-Hosted Platform
Wix – is a self-hosted platform, the fastest and simplest website building instrument. It means a user is not forced to handle domain registration and hosting separately. You only need to pick a plan and get all features in the pack. The process is as it goes:
- You sign in.
- Pick a plan depending on the website type.
- Edit the ready-made template.
- Link the domain.
- Go live.
The system will take care of the rest from system upgrades to hosting performance, security, updates, etc. Wix offers a variety of plans for different projects including simple content-based sites, packages for small business needs, and eCommerce.
How Much Does It Cost To Host A Wix Website?
The price will only depend on the plan you choose. The platforms offer three major plans that are actually the same as shared server solution. They include:
- Combo plan starts at $13 per month for lightweight websites.
- Unlimited starts at $17 per month and comes with unlimited bandwidth.
- Pro starts at $22 per month for small business websites.
- VIP starts at $39 including VIP customer care and extra features.
While eCommerce projects are more complicated and require more resources, Wix has developed special plans for digital stores with monthly prices ranging from $23 to $500 depending on the promotional toolkit, number of products, etc.
WordPress – A Fully Managed CMS
WordPress – is a fully-managed open-source CMS platform with endless customization opportunities. A user will not only need to install and set up the CMS itself but also have the website fully integrated with the hosting platform. Here you will need to manage each process separately form registering a domain to picking up a proper server option.
The good news is that Bluehost WP-optimized offer comes as an ultimate solution to all the challenges. It offers several WordPress plans that ensure seamless integration with your WP. Moreover, you do not need to update all your plugins and theme versions manually. Users get full access to plugins’ marketplace, themes, free SSL, and other features.
How Much Does It Cost To Host A WordPress Website?
All three options refer to shared hosting. The good news is that you may always switch to a more resourceful option anytime. The WP plans are as follows:
- Basic – $2.68/month with a free SSL, 5 GB of storage and a free domain.
- Plus – $4.96/month with all free features plus unlimited parked domains.
- Choice Plus – $4.96/month with free and unlimited features plush CodeGuard backup.
Shopify – An Ultimate eCommerce Platform
Shopify – is also an all-in-one solution with its own servers. It means you may stay focused on developing your project rather than handling secondary objectives. Shopify was designed for creating full-cycle online shops and sell goods online. It provides decent hosting facilities to ensure stable running despite the shop size and complexity.
How Much Does It Cost To Host A Shopify Website?
The platform is available in 4 different packages that also include a fully hosted server solution for ultimate needs. The plans are as follows:
- Shopify Basic costs $29 per month for 2 staff accounts.
- Shopify general plan costs $79 per month for 5 staff accounts.
- Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month for 15 staff accounts.
- Shopify Plus starts at $2,000 for unlimited staff accounts.
All plans include unlimited websites (eCommerce + blog), unlimited products to sell online, free SSL, and abandoned cart recovery tools.
The Bottom Line
Today, users may choose from various hosting offers. The choice should mainly rely on website requirements, types, and complexity. The idea is to pick a server solution that will ensure smooth website operation and deliver enough resources for good performance.
For this reason, you need to identify the expected traffic at its peak, a set of features, widgets, and apps on your website, page structure, animations, content volume, and more. All the slight things matter but the price is the core issue.
To sum up, have a look at the starting prices to host your website using the described solution:
- Hosting providers offer various plans to choose depending on the requirements. Shared hosting starts from $2 for sites with little traffic. VPS and dedicated hosting start at $17 and $70 respectively. They are good for intensive traffic and resourceful projects. Cloud hosting price tag goes from $5 for sites that call for maximum security and stability.
- Wix hosting will cost you from $13 per month. Not only you get a place to host a website, but also a set of additional features that include an access to App Market, Wix ADI and editor, templates, etc.
- WordPress hosting considers opting for any of the Bluehost plans, as the platform has the best WP-optimized server solution. The entry price is $2.68 per month with free SSL and domain included in the plan.
- Shopify hosting was developed to meet eCommerce needs despite the project size. The basic plan will cost you $29 with all integrated digital store features and 2 staff accounts. A good plan to start selling online.
As you may see, defining the project type is vital before choosing a hosting platform. Clarify its structure, features, files to host, and pick the offer that suits you the most.