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How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website? (2021 Data)


We’ve compared all website hosting costs for different web hosts and different hosting types (e.g. shared hosting, WordPress hosting).

How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website

Without web hosting, you cannot launch a website or blog. If you are new to website creation, it can be tricky for you to determine how much is ideal for you to budget for web hosting.

You do not buy to use an expensive web hosting plan that offers more functionality than you actually need for your blog or website. 

Also, you do not want to buy cheap web hosting that will give you downtimes and cannot accommodate your website traffic. It will result in you losing many of your readers and customers. 

Creating a website, blog, or online store is incomplete without web hosting. If you pick the wrong web hosting provider or plan, it could end up being a costly mistake in terms of price and lost customers. 

In this guide, you will get a comprehensive explanation of web hosting, how much website hosting costs, additional web hosting costs to consider,  what you need to know about free and paid web hosting, costs involved in switching web hosts, and how to choose the right web hosting plan.

Let’s get started.

Web Hosting Costs Explained

The cost of hosting a website varies and is mainly determined by two different factors: the web hosting provider you choose such as Bluehost, HostGator, Hostinger, and other Bluehost alternatives and the type of web hosting service you implement. 

These two factors, however, also depend on a lot of factors. They include the type of website you have, the number of monthly visitors you expect, and whether your website requires you to equip it with extra services such as automated backups and an email account.

In all this, knowing about the website you run and what it needs to keep running and growing helps you to make easier and more profitable choices. 

Nonetheless, website hosting costs differ mainly because of the type of website hosting service you choose. Prices could go for as low as $1.99 per month up to $400 per month or even higher.

There are five different types of website hosting used by website owners: shared web hosting, dedicated web hosting, VPS hosting, cloud web hosting, and WordPress web hosting.

1. Shared Web Hosting

Shared web hosting is the most popular type of website hosting plan for start-ups and small businesses. It is a type of website hosting where a lot of websites with different owners are hosted on one server. 

These websites share a single server between them as well as the server resources. In a situation where one website on the server makes use of a lot of resources to be run, other websites are affected.

As everyone shares the same resources and it is susceptible to be affected by others using the same server, the cost of shared web hosting is low. It has the overall lowest cost among all types of web hosting and could be a cost-effective solution for websites with minimal website needs.

The average cost of shared web hosting services is usually around  $1.99 – $14 per month. These prices depend on the scale of your websites, your website needs, and the website hosting provider you choose.

So what can you get from hosting your website through shared servers apart from the reduced costs? Shared web hosting offers you low server maintenance, easy server management, and easy scalability as your website grows.

Regardless of these, shared web hosting has some disadvantages that may hinder your website management. As server resources are shared, your website is more vulnerable to malicious attacks and has limited access to resources. 

When a lot of server resources are used by other websites on the same server, your website can become extremely slow,  which is bad for keeping website visitors.

2. Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated web hosting is when your website is hosted on a single server. This server is not shared with any other website and therefore all the shared web hosting disadvantages stemming from this are taken care of. 

Your website is the only website hosted on a particular server. You have full and unhindered access to all the resources on the server. With this, you can maintain enhanced performance and security for your website. Malicious attacks through the hacking of other websites don't affect your website as in shared web hosting.

You also enjoy flexibility as server settings can be easily and comprehensively configured with your specific needs in mind. You also have a unique IP address for your website only. It can handle large volumes of traffic without the risk of downtimes.

However, all these perks come with disadvantages. Dedicated web hosting costs more than shared web hosting and for obvious reasons; there are no performance and security risks caused by other websites. The average cost of making use of dedicated servers is about $89.99 to over $300 per month. 

Dedicated web hosting costs more than shared web hosting services and comes with other extra costs like higher setup and maintenance fees. It is mainly because you are the only one footing all of the expenses. Some level of technical knowledge is also needed to install software and maintain the smooth running of your website.

Dedicated web hosting is not a good option if you are a start-up or small business without any serious website traffic. It is only suited for businesses that maintain high levels of website traffic and also have the monetary disposition to maintain servers.

3. VPS Hosting

Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is another popular type of website hosting that is being used to power websites. VPS hosting makes use of a virtualized technology that represents a mix between shared web hosting and dedicated web hosting.

With VPS hosting, multiple websites are hosted on one server just like shared web hosting, however, there is a catch. Only the server is shared, not server resources. 

Each website has its portion of this server dedicated to it alone. Although everyone makes use of the same server, the server resources used by one website do not affect other websites. Every website is only affected by the server resources it is using and the size of the server portion dedicated to it.

As a hybrid hosting solution, VPS hosting offers you cheaper costs than dedicated web hosting. The average cost of VPS hosting ranges from as low as $4.99 per month to as high as $79.99 per month. 

VPS hosting offers you faster and more reliable website hosting capabilities as well as more privacy than you get with shared web hosting.

There are no apparent disadvantages to VPS hosting aside from the fact that it is more expensive than shared web hosting and websites can run slow where the limited server resources are breached.

VPS hosting is a great choice for websites that exceed the traffic limits required for proper shared web hosting but still do not need all the resources and costs of a dedicated server. 

The web hosting type serves as a cheaper alternative for small businesses and startups who want to enjoy higher security and reliability of their websites from the start.

4. Cloud Web Hosting

Compared to other types of hosting, cloud web hosting is a new type of website hosting. cloud web hosting implores the use of multiple servers to host a single website

These virtual servers are hosted in a single environment and work together to keep websites running at their optimum. Servers help to minimize the load on other servers by taking up website traffic when server resources are bridged.

There are two types of cloud web hosting: Private cloud web hosting and Public cloud web hosting. 

Public cloud web hosting is very similar to the structure of VPS hosting but offers easy scalability when server resources are bridged. Private cloud web hosting is where a group of servers is dedicated to running only one website. With this, private cloud web hosting is more expensive than public cloud web hosting. 

The average cost of cloud web hosting ranges between $4.95 and over $400. It varies a lot and depends on the type of cloud web hosting package and provider you choose.

cloud web hosting offers you flexibility in both server management and pricing. A lot of providers offer a PAYG pricing scheme to website owners. You also enjoy higher uptime and reliability, higher speeds, and better performance for your websites.

The only apparent disadvantage of cloud web hosting is that it is more expensive than shared web hosting. cloud web hosting generally serves as the best option amongst these different types of website hosting.

5. Managed WordPress Web Hosting

Managed WordPress web hosting is a special type of hosting just for WordPress users. With managed WordPress web hosting, the technical management of your WordPress website is taken care of by your website hosting provider. 

Your web hosting platform helps you keep your WordPress installation up to date and run regular backups for you. 

There is also unmanaged WordPress web hosting where you get to do all these on your own. However, the bottom line of all these is that WordPress web hosting is specifically dedicated and optimized for WordPress websites.

Due to this special optimization, your WordPress websites enjoy great site speeds, strong security, daily backups, and automatic updates among others.

The disadvantage of WordPress web hosting is that it can be expensive and only runs WordPress websites.

Different Types of web hosting Infographic
Source: HostGator

How Much Does Website Hosting Cost?

Now that the different types of website hosting have been explained, it is time to take a deeper look into their different costs. 

Web hosting providers offer initial promotional costs that may run a year or two before the original cost of hosting with them is introduced. A website hosting fee of $5 per month may go up to $10 per month after this promotional period.

The prices for hosting websites also reduce when a website owner decides to subscribe for a longer period. For instance, a subscription of three years would require you to pay less than a subscription for two years or a year.

Here are the best web hosting services for each type of hosting and the different costs of hosting your websites with them.

1. Shared Web Hosting

This web hosting plan costs between $1.99 and $14.99 per month. The best shared web hosting services include: 

DreamHost

DreamHost offers two different plans: shared starter and shared unlimited. The Shared Starter plan costs $4.95 per month while the shared unlimited plan costs $8.95 per month.

DreamHost Website Hosting Plan

HostGator

HostGator offers you its shared web hosting services through three different plans: hatchling, baby, and business. The hatchling costs $2.75 per month, the baby plan $3.50 per month, while the business plan goes for $5.25 per month. 

Check out our HostGator review to find out the pros and cons of using this web hosting service.

HostGator Website Hosting Plan

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting has its shared web hosting service split across four different plans: startup, drive, turbo boost, and turbo max. The startup plan is priced at $1.99, the drive plan at $3.99, the turbo boost plan at $5.99, and the turbo max plan is priced at $12.99.

A2 Hosting web hosting pricing plan

Bluehost

Bluehost offers four different plans: basic, plus, choice plus, and pro. The basic plan is priced at $2.95, the plus plan is priced at $5.45, the choice plus plan at $5.45, and the pro plan is priced at $13.95.

Bluehost web hosting pricing plan

InMotion

InMotion offers three different plans: lunch, power, and pro. The launch plan comes at $5.99 per month, the power plan comes at $5.99 per month, while the pro plan comes at $14.99 per month.

InMotion web hosting pricing plan

From these top five shared web hosting providers, A2 Hosting offers the cheapest shared web hosting plan at $1.99 per month for a three-year subscription. InMotion offers the highest process amongst the top-grade plans at $14.99 per month.

2. VPS Hosting

This web hosting plan costs between $4.99 – $79.99 per month.  The best VPS hosting services include:

InMotion

InMotion offers its VPS hosting services through two mediums: managed website hosting and unmanaged website hosting. 

For the Managed website hosting, a 2GB RAM costs $31.99 per month, a 4GB RAM costs $41.99 per month, a 6GB RAM costs $61.99, and an 8GB RAM costs $77.99 per month.

With its Unmanaged website hosting, you have servers ranging from a 1GB RAM server priced at $5 per month to a 4GB RAM priced at $20 per month, up to a 36GB RAM priced at $160 per month.

InMotion VPS Hosting Pricing Plan

Bluehost

Bluehost splits its VPS services across three different plans: standard, enhanced, and ultimate. The standard plan goes for $19.99 per month, the enhanced plan goes for $29.99, and the ultimate plan goes for $59.99 per month.

Bluehost VPS Hosting Pricing Plan

A2 Hosting

Like InMotion, A2 Hosting offers its VPS hosting services through two mediums: managed and unmanaged hosting. 

The unmanaged hosting is split into four different plans: Runway 1 which costs $4.99 per month, Runway 2 which costs $7.99 per month, Runway 4 which costs $8.99 per month, and Supersonic 8v plan which costs $34.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Unmanaged VPS Pricing Plan

With its managed services, prices are also split across four plans: Lift 4 which costs $29.99 per month, Lift 8 costs $46.99 per month, Lift 16 costs $57.99 per month, and Mach 8 which costs $59.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Managed VPS Pricing Plan

HostGator

HostGator's VPS hosting services are split into three different plans: Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, and Snappy 8000. 

The Snappy 2000 is priced at $19.95 per month, the Snappy 4000 plan is priced at $29.95 per month, while the Snappy 8000 plan is priced at $39.95 per month.

HostGator VPS Hosting Pricing Plan

iPage

iPage offers you three different VPS hosting plans: basic, business, and optimum. The basic plan goes for $19.99 per month, the business plan goes for $47.99 per month, while the optimum plan goes for $79.99 per month.

iPage VPS Hosting Pricing Plan

From these top five VPS hosting providers, A2 Hosting offers the cheapest VPS hosting plan with its unmanaged Runway 1 plan priced at $4.99 per month. iPage offers the highest top-tier plan at $79.99 per month.

3. Dedicated Web Hosting

This web hosting plan ranges from $79.99 – $300 per month. The best dedicating hosting services include:

Bluehost

Bluehost has three dedicated web hosting plans: standard, enhanced, and premium. The standard plan is priced at $79.99 per month, the enhanced plan is priced at $99.99 per month and the premium-priced at $119.99 per month. 

Bluehost Dedicated Web Hosting Plan

HostGator

HostGator offers you three different plans: value, power, and enterprise. The value plan costs $89.98 per month, the power plan costs $119.89 per month, and the enterprise plan costs $139.99 per month.

HostGator Dedicated Web Hosting Plan

iPage

iPage also offers three different dedicated web hosting plans: startup, professional, and enterprise. The startup plan goes for $119.99, the professional plan priced at $151.89 per month, and the enterprise plan priced at $191.99 per month. 

iPage Dedicated Web Hosting Plan

InMotion

InMotion splits its dedicated web hosting services across three plans: essential, advanced, and elite. The essential plan costs $139.99 per month, the advanced plan costs $189.99, and the elite plan costs $259.99 per month. 

InMotion Dedicated Web Hosting Plan

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting splits its pricing scheme through two different mediums: managed dedicated web hosting and unmanaged dedicated web hosting.

For unmanaged dedicated web hosting, services are offered through a Hyper 1 plan priced at $99.99 per month, Hyper 2 AMD plan costs $164.99 per month, Hyper 2 Intel plan costs $184.99 per month, and a Hyper 2 turbo plan priced at $239.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Unmanaged Dedicated Web Hosting Plan

For the managed dedicated web hosting, you have access through the Warp 1 plan costs $159.99 per month, Warp 2 AMD plan costs $224.99 per month, Warp 2 Intel plan costs $244.99 per month, and the Warp 2 Turbo AMD plan costs $279.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Managed Dedicated Web Hosting Plan

From these top five dedicated web-hosting providers, the cheapest plan comes from HostGator at $89.98 per month while the highest top-tier plan price is offered by A2 Hosting at $299.99 per month.

4. Cloud web hosting

This web hosting plan costs between $4.95 – $400 per month. The best cloud web hosting services include:

DreamHost

DreamHost offers its cloud web hosting services through two different schemes: dream compute and dream objects. Prices on both plans are determined by a quote and your specific business needs. Pricing starts at $4.50.

DreamHost Cloud Web Hosting Plan

HostGator

HostGator splits its cloud web hosting services across three different plans: hatchling, baby cloud, and business cloud. The hatchling plan costs $4.95 per month, the baby cloud plan costs $6.57 per month, and the business cloud plan costs $9.95 per month.

HostGator Cloud Web Hosting Plan

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting has its cloud web hosting services merged with its VPS hosting services. With this, you have access to cloud web hosting through two mediums: managed hosting and unmanaged hosting.

The cloud VPS plans by A2 Hosting are Runway 1, Runway 2, Runway 4, and Supersonic 8. Runway 1 plan costs $4.99 per month, Runway 2 plan costs $7.99 per month, Runway 4 plan costs $9.99, and Supersonic 8 costs $34.99.

A2 Hosting Cloud Web Hosting Plan

InMotion

InMotion offers its cloud web hosting services through four different plans: agencies, applications, small businesses, and enterprises

Agencies plan consists of Reseller VPS 2GB RAM, Reseller VPS 4GB RAM, and Reseller VPS 6GB RAM. Reseller VPS 2GB RAM costs $35.99 per month, Reseller VPS 4GB RAM costs $48.99 per month, and Reseller VPS 6GB RAM costs $67.99 per month. 

InMotion Cloud Web Hosting Agencies plan

The applications plan depends on your cloud VPS plan.

InMotion Cloud Web Hosting Applications plan

The small business plan consists of 2GB RAM, 4GB RAM, and 6GB RAM. The 2GB RAM plan costs $31.99 per month, the 4GB RAM plan costs $41.99 per month, and the 6GB RAM plan costs $61.99.

InMotion Cloud Web Hosting Small Business Plan

The enterprises’ plan requires you to request a sales consultation on InMotion’s website to get a quote.

SiteGround

SiteGround gives you access to its cloud web hosting services through four different plans: jump start, business, business plan, and super power. 

The jump start plan costs $100 per month, the business plan costs $200 per month, the business plus plan costs $300 per month, and the super power plan costs $400 per month.

SiteGround Cloud Web Hosting Plan

From our top five providers, the most affordable cloud web hosting plan comes from HostGator at just $4.95 per month while SiteGround offers the most expensive top-tier services at $400 per month.

5. WordPress Web Hosting

This web hosting plan costs between $2.95 – $298 per month. The best WordPress web hosting services include:

InMotion

InMotion offers you its WordPress web hosting services through four different plans: WP-1000s, WP-2000s, WP-3000s, and WP-4000s. 

The WP-1000s plan costs $6.99 per month, the WP-2000s plan costs $6.99 per month, the WP-3000s plan costs $12.99 per month, and the WP-4000s plan costs $19.99 per month. 

InMotion WordPress Web Hosting Plan

SiteGround

With SiteGround, you enjoy WordPress hosting through three different plans: Startup, Grown In, and GoGeek.

The startup plan costs $4.99 per month, the Grown In plan costs $7.99 per month, and the GoGeek plan costs $14.99 per month.

SiteGround WordPress Web Hosting Plan

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers two WordPress web hosting services: shared WordPress and managed WordPress. 

The managed WordPress web hosting plan consists of the 1-site plan, the 3-sites plan, and the unlimited plan. The 1-site plan costs $10.99 per month, the 3-sites plan costs $19.99 per month, and the unlimited plan costs $34.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Managed WordPress Hosting Plan

The shared WordPress plan consists of the startup, drive, turbo boost, and turbo max plans. The startup plan costs $1.99 per month, the drive plan costs $3.99 per month, the turbo boost plan costs $5.99 per month, and the turbo max plan costs $12.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Shared WordPress Hosting Plan

Bluehost

Bluehost splits its WordPress web hosting services across three different schemes: unmanaged WordPress hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and WordPress online stores. 

Unmanaged WordPress hosting costs $2.95 per month while the Managed WordPress hosting comes for $9.95 per month. For WordPress online stores, WordPress hosting with Bluehost comes at $12.95 per month.

Check out our Bluehost review to discover if it is the right web hosting service for your website or blog.

Bluehost WordPress Web Hosting Plan

WP Engine

WP Engine has multitudes of WordPress web hosting plans available to you. Prices range from $25 per month on its lowest managed hosting plan to up to $298 per month on the highest WordPress plan dedicated to e-commerce websites. 

Check out our WP Engine review to find out if it is worth using to host your WordPress site.

WP Engine Managed WordPress Web Hosting Plan
WP Engine Ecommerce WordPress Web Hosting Plan

From the top five WordPress web hosting providers, Bluehost offers the cheapest plan at $2.95 per month while WPEngine’s top-tier e-commerce plan is the highest at $298 per month.

Additional Web Hosting Costs to Consider

1. Domain Registration

Having a domain name is as important as website hosting when it comes to creating and running a website. 

A domain name is the website address through which your website visitors have access to your website. It is an internet element used to replace IP addresses and make locating websites way easier.

Domain names are important for your branding and need to be paid attention to. The most common domain name extension in the market is the “.com” domain. A lot of people opt to use it. However, there are other extensions ranging from general domains like “.net” and “.biz” to country-specific extensions like “.ca”, “.ru” or “.us” among a lot of others.

The type of domain extension you use as well as the domain registrar you choose affects how much you pay for domains. 

For instance, with Dynadot, a “.com” domain extension goes for $8.99 per year while a “.net” extension is provided for $10.99 per year. This is about the cheapest prices you can get for these as other domain registrars charge more than this.

Domain name registration also comes with some extra fees. One of these is WHOIS privacy protection, which keeps your name and addresses out of public WHOIS listings.

Prices for domain renewal range from $8.99 to $15 per year or even more. Nonetheless, choosing the cheapest domain name registrar is not always the best. The best domain registrars such as Bluehost, Domain.com, and NameCheap offer you better value for money.

Bluehost

Bluehost offers both website hosting and domain registration services

Bluehost offers you both website hosting and domain registration services as well as a chance to get a free domain. When you subscribe to one of its web hosting plans, you get a free domain for a year.

Domain.com

Domain.com Provides a Comprehensive Selection of Domain Management Options

Domain.com provides a comprehensive selection of domain management options alongside email management, website building, and website hosting services. You can buy a .com domain starting at $8.99 and a .net domain starting at $12.99.

NameCheap

NameCheap is another highly trusted domain registrar

NameCheap is another highly trusted domain registrar that offers you relatively cheap domains alongside free domain privacy services, which include VPN protection.

2. SSL Certificates

An SSL certificate is an internet protocol that encrypts all activities happening within a website. SSL certificates protect both website visitors and website owners from very harmful malicious cyber attacks.

To know if a website is protected by an SSL certificate, a padlock is usually placed beside the website address in the URL bar of a browser. It is an important website element for websites handling fragile financial transactions or information.

SSL certificates have become a compulsory element of a website. Search engines or browsers like Google make it compulsory to have before any traffic is directed to your website.

You can enjoy free SSL certificates with some of the top website hosting services. However, where prices are placed on SSL certificates, the average cost is typically around $50. Prices can also go up to $450 per year.

3. Automated Site Backup and Restore Services

In computing, anything can happen. Website hosting servers, no matter how reliable they seem to be, are susceptible to crashes. One way website hosting providers have been able to solve this problem for you is to provide website backup services.

Having your website files copied to another location or website server is beneficial to you in case a website server crashes or a data center experiences an unfortunate event.

A lot of website hosting services offer backups for free, however, they typically accompany the hosting plans subscribed to. 

Some web hosting services may not charge for continuously backing up a website but may charge a one-time fee for restoring it after a crash occurs. Even if it is often executed for free, costs may be placed at $2 per month or more.

Of course, you could backup your websites yourself but this requires a certain level of technical know-how. Asides from this, you will also need to also manage and maintain your backups yourself to ensure they remain of good use.

Website Backup Importance
Source: WishDesk

4. Website Setup Costs

Most website hosting services do not charge a separate setup fee as this is mostly combined with the monthly or yearly cost of hosting. 

This is one of the reasons why it costs more to pay monthly for website hosting instead of paying yearly or paying for three years. Committing to a longer subscription lifespan makes a website hosting service charge cheaper overall.

5. Renewal fees

Now, this is where things could get tricky. Website hosting services charge new users a whole lot less in a bid to attract more customers. 

Renewal fees are, most of the time, an unpleasant surprise for a lot of website owners due to it usually being way higher than the initial price. They are usually two or even three times higher than the opening prices.

When you sign up for a really cheap plan for a year, you eventually have to pay a lot after the year runs out. Website owners have the option of subscribing for up to three years of website hosting at cheaper prices. However, when this term comes to an end, the original prices for hosting come to light.

When deciding which website hosting service to choose, it is important that you know what the renewal fees will be.

For instance, Bluehost charges $2.95 per month on its basic shared web hosting plan initially. However, on renewal, you would have to pay $10.99 per month to continue hosting your websites on its platform. This is more than three times the amount you pay initially. 

6. Server Reliability Costs

Keeping your servers maintained and reliable is one expense taken up by your website hosting platform. For top-notch website hosting that is fast and offers the best possible uptime for your websites, you’ll likely need to pay for it.

Generally, cloud website hosting basically offers you the best in performance and uptime. However, this cannot be guaranteed with other types of hosting.

A lot of web hosting services, or basically all website hosting services, claim to offer you 99.9% website uptime. However, taking their word and acting on it is usually not the best thing to do.

Looking out for customer reviews and various articles on these web hosting services helps you know which ones truly offer you the best uptime. Having great website uptime ensures that you get the most out of your website traffic. 

Downtime can be very catastrophic. For instance, in March 2019, Facebook lost an estimated $90 million from downtime that lasted 14 hours. On the 16th of July, 2018, Amazon lost up to an estimated $99 million on sales from a 63-minute downtime.

Free vs Paid Web Hosting: What You Need to Know

You can always find free services on the internet, web hosting is no exception. Some website hosting providers allow you to create and power up your website through them for free. 

Although they provide free web hosting, it comes with very limited options. No website hosting platform provides you with valuable website hosting services when you do not pay for them. Some of the few limitations involved with free website hosting include: 

1. Ads

Website hosting providers run ads on your website without your express permission. Ads can be annoying to a lot of website visitors and, sadly, you cannot get rid of the ads. 

What is even more disturbing is that you have little or no control over what ads appear and this could be detrimental to what your website stands for.

2. Services Are Never Up To The Task

Free website hosting does not even give you the most basic website hosting requirements. Aside from a very scanty list of features, website hosting providers typically provide a low-quality service to you. 

Your website may go down immediately, website traffic suddenly increases, or even at random. You are also likely to have a long wait in the queue to get it back up and running.

You may not be allowed to run adverts on your website or even own an online store for your profit without having to upgrade to at least one of the paid plans.

3. No Custom Domain Name

One of the most restrictive and detrimental aspects of free website hosting services is that you do not have a chance to use your preferred domain name. 

You are only limited to the domain extension of your website hosting platform and this just reduces the level of branding and trustworthiness your website can achieve from this.

Instead of being able to use a domain like “Streak.com”, you will eventually be stuck with one like “Streak.wordpress.com.”

4. No External Integrations

When you use free website hosting, your website hosting provider is all you have. You do not have the liberty of integrating any external service to run any element of your website.

Your website is created with a website builder provided by your website hosting provider. You do not have the option to create your website using your preferred website builder such as Wix and Squarespace.

From these, and many more, it is evident that free website hosting services are limited in what they can do for you. The idea of not having to pay for website hosting may sound nice but there is just no apparent profit rather than just having a live website.

Costs to Switch Web Hosts

No website hosting provider can guarantee your business optimum services. What works for one website may not work for another and a website hosting provider may just not be the best for you. 

After realizing this, you may then have a desire to switch from a website hosting platform to another for so many reasons. But what are the things to consider?

If you have the required technical skills and time resources to spare, you can manually switch website hosting providers by yourself and at no cost. This requires you to have a copy or backup of your website files and then move these to your new website hosting platform.

Sadly, this requires a certain level of technical knowledge and an amount of precious time that a lot of website owners don’t have. 

Now with website hosting providers, you may have heard of the term “site lock” before. Site lock is what website hosting providers use to prevent you from migrating from their services. Where this is in place, you have to pay your website hosting provider to get your website off its platform.

Typically, website migration fees range from between as low as $30 per website to as much as $400, depending on the website hosting platform you use. This also depends on the size of your website files, extensions, images, and other elements your website contains.

For instance, migrating from SiteGround to another website hosting platform costs $30 per website. Bluehost charges up to $149.99 but you are allowed to transfer up to 5 websites and 20 emails.

WP Engine offers its website migration services for free, however, you will have to pay $50 per website if the size of your website elements are over 1GB.

Different website hosting platforms have different policies when it comes to migrating from them. All you need to do is to take note of each one of these policies before getting involved with them. Some policies can prove to be very difficult to circumvent.

How to Choose the Right Web Hosting Plan

Apart from the cost of a website hosting plan, there are other important factors to look out for.

1. Determine Your Website Needs

The first step in choosing the best web hosting plan for you is to always know what your website needs. A lot of factors determine what your website needs and you need to take note of them.

You need to know how many visitors you expect on your website, whether your website users may have to upload high-quality multimedia content and the number of websites or email addresses you wish to host.

This helps you choose the hosting plan that offers you enough bandwidth and disk storage to carry out all these seamlessly. Knowing your website needs allows you to get a better grasp of the specific services you want from your website hosting provider.  

2. Know The Different Web Hosting Types

Knowing what each type of web hosting is and how much profit each brings to your business makes it easy for you to make the right choice. 

You may subscribe to the most cost-effective plan for one type of hosting with a provider and still have regrets later on due to some disadvantages. 

Knowing what each type of web hosting brings to your website health is the best way to start.  You can gauge your website needs with each type of hosting and choose the most cost-effective solution for you. 

Huge traffic is cost-effectively taken care of through cloud web hosting while very low website traffic is best suited for shared or VPS hosting environments.

3. Place Your Focus On Uptime

No matter what you do, choose a website hosting provider and plan that guarantees you a very high uptime. 

A 99% uptime guarantee may sound good but it still is not enough for hosting a website with a regular stream of visitors. You could lose several hours or days of uptime and, consequently, lose the sense of trust and reliability you have in customers and regular visitors.

A lot of website hosting services offer you a 99.99% uptime guarantee but this is not usually the case. Most offer you far less than they claim.

Therefore, you have to look out for comprehensive external reviews about how much uptime a particular provider or website hosting plan actually offers you. 

Even though no website hosting provider offers you a 100% uptime guarantee, you should not settle for anything less than 99.95% uptime.

4. Ensure Reliable Customer Support And Cyber Security

Websites can encounter a problem at any time and you may need technical expertise to properly get rid of it. Having 24/7 customer support in place allows you to take care of website problems as quickly as possible.

Ensure that your website hosting provider offers easy access to phone, email, and chat support and also get reviews from customers on how well and fast they deal with issues.  

Website security is also an important aspect to look out for. Cyber attacks greatly affect your website visitors and you can lose a lot of money and trustworthiness from even your most loyal website visitors.

Strengthening your website cybersecurity is a must and you need to choose a website hosting plan that offers you a sufficient security framework.  

You can lookout for a website hosting plan with protection for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which cause website and email outages from large traffic, or free SSL certificates for encrypted website use. 

Regular backups should also be part of what a website hosting plan offers before you choose it. The presence of a solid security framework minimizes website downtime.

Quick Summary of How Much It Costs to Host a Website

The cost of hosting a website varies based on the web hosting platform and plan you choose. Depending on the web hosting plan you choose, prices could go for as low as $1.99 per month up to $400 per month or even higher.

There are five types of web hosting plans: shared web hosting, dedicated web hosting, VPS hosting, cloud web hosting, and WordPress web hosting. 

The average cost of shared web hosting services ranges between $1.99 – $14 per month, and the average cost of dedicated web hosting ranges between $79.99 – $300 per month. 

The average cost of VPS hosting ranges between $4.99 per month – $79.99 per month. The average cost of cloud web hosting ranges between $4.95 – $400, while WordPress hosting ranges between $2.95 – $298 per month.

Domain registration is usually made free or heavily subsidized by web hosting services for the first few years, however, domain renewal rates range from $8.99 – $15 per year or even higher. 

SSL certificates are usually free depending on your web hosting platform and plan. If it is not free, the average cost is typically about $50.

Written by
Anastasia Belyh
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