You’ve made up your mind – it’s time you became a website owner.
But did you know that web hosting is a key aspect to think about when creating a website?
It’s basically the virtual rent you need to pay to have a fully-functioning website.
There are a few ways to host your website:
- Through an all-in-one hosting solution
- Using a traditional web hosting service
Both methods put a dent in your budget, but of different sizes.
We’re here to help you understand which method is the best for you.
So pull out that comfortable chair, and let’s dive right in.
The total cost of having a website
When you set out to have your own website, you’re probably not quite clear on whether it costs money or not.
Or even if you have an idea that there are some associated costs, it can vary greatly how much you end up paying.
When you have a website, you usually need to consider paying for at least:
- Web hosting
- A domain
- An SSL certificate or other kind of security protocol
- eCommerce functionality, if you want to have your own online store
- Web development and web design
And unless you decide to do it yourself, you might want to look at getting some help with website graphics and the content that you have on your site.
Sounds like a lot, huh?
The good news is that when you opt for an all-in-one hosting solution, you pay a fixed price (usually between $10-$25) every month and get access to most, if not all, of the above features and functionalities.
Using all-in-one hosting solutions
All-in-one web hosting solutions are exactly what it says on the tin.
These services offer you everything you will need to manage a fully-fledged website, from tools for creating your website to taking care of web hosting.
Most of these types of hosting plans offer you not just web hosting, but also everything else that you’ll need to run a well-rounded website, blog, or eCommerce store.
You won’t have to worry about the ins and outs of transferring your website to the hosting servers or managing your own databases.
In fact, with all-inclusive hosting providers, like website builders, you won’t be just crossing web hosting and domain costs off your to-buy list.
You’ll also be able to use an intuitive editor to design your website and manage the back-end of your website easily from a dashboard.
Plus, some top-providers give you a premium domain name for free when you commit to an annual plan.
And you’ll have help at hand if you ever get stuck, since most website building providers include customer service in their prices, too.
What to expect
Building a website with a website builder is much easier than you might think.
All you need to do is pick a ready-made website template that you fancy, and then edit it up in the editor.
Usually, the interfaces are intuitive and easy to use, meaning that you can add and change different elements on the page fast.
Since you won’t have to worry about any additional web hosting costs, you can publish your website straightaway.
And the best thing is that even if you don’t have an existing domain name, you can usually publish your website with the provider’s subdomain, and get your own through them, too.
How much does it cost?
Your website cost will differ from one provider to the next, but on average, you can look at needing to spend anywhere from $2.49 to $20-30 a month.
For example, you can get started for just over $2 with Zyro, if you’re looking to have just a normal website.
The price includes:
- Web hosting
- Server space
- An SSL certificate
- Plenty of templates to choose from
- 24/7 customer support
- Access to AI tools
- Blogging tools
Don’t mind us saying, but that’s a lot for less than a large coffee at Starbucks.
Creating a website with traditional web hosting
Before there were website builders, if you wanted to have a fully-functioning website that people could visit, you had to know something about the hosting industry.
Traditional web hosting providers operate on a quite simple principle: in order to share your website with the world, you need to first manually upload your website to your web host’s web server.
You could think of web hosting as renting a flat on the internet.
In order for people to know how to visit you, you need to have a flat (web hosting) and an address (a domain name) you can share with everyone.
Otherwise, they won’t find you and your hard work is all for nothing.
Choose the right type of hosting option
At a glance, the world of web hosting can seem confusing to the untrained eye.
There are shared hosting plans, cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting plans, and WordPress hosting.
Some web hosting services are catered towards gamers (yes, Minecraft hosting is a real thing), while others seem to be comprehensible to pro developers (Windows VPS hosting plans sound pretty pro to us, anyway).
And there are some noticeable differences in your website hosting cost depending on the plan you choose.
For example, shared hosting plans can start from just $0.99 per month.
Shared hosting is a great alternative if you’re starting out, but prepare to be sharing servers with other users.
This could potentially have a negative effect on the loading time of your website, and the amount of content you can have on your site.
Or maybe you’re considering going for VPS hosting.
Shorthand for virtual private server hosting, you get a dedicated server just for your website and content, but it comes with a higher price – you can expect to be at least $3.95 out of pocket every month.
So before you go ahead and purchase a shared hosting plan or get a dedicated server for your website, take a look at your business and really map out what you’ll need.
Designing a website with a CMS
Once your web hosting is sorted, you need to actually build your website.
Most often, a content management system (CMS) is needed if you want to build a website with traditional web hosting plans.
A CMS gives you more control over the resources of your website (your website data, content, images, and so on).
While the pros swear by content management systems like WordPress – most are easy to tweak and configure to meet your exact needs – the learning curve can be quite steep for beginners.
Thankfully, most web hosting services have a one-click CMS installer, so setting it up is relatively straightforward. But, getting used to the CMS’s user interface and its features may take a while.
Because most CMSs are open-source, the CMS itself won’t cost you a penny.
Also, thanks to the libraries of free extensions and website themes, the world really is your oyster: you can make your website look and work exactly the way you envision it.
But to create a professional portfolio or business site, you probably have to purchase add-ons or expensive templates. Plus, editing a theme usually requires you to have at least some design skills.
And you can end up paying top dollar for the nicest templates, anywhere from $50 to $200.
If you want to launch a website quickly, hiring a web developer is a solution.
But we’d only recommend this to people who have the budget to spend: the average hourly rate for a mid-level web designer is around $85-$125 per hour, depending on the complexity of your site.
What to expect
To launch your website with the traditional type of hosting, you need to have your site ready to go.
Let’s say you got a friend of a friend to code it for you and you saved money on the typically lengthy and expensive development process.
And they showed you how to use a CMS and showed you how to install one to a web hosting service.
Next, you need to choose the right web hosting provider for your project and register for a hosting plan.
Although the starting price for most shared hosting plans is affordable (about $5 per month), free domain registration and an SSL certificate are usually not included.
Well, maybe you’ll just upgrade to a better plan later, right?
Be prepared to pay extra: the cost of upgraded plans ranges anywhere from $8 to a whopping $20 per month.
How much does it cost to have a web hosting plan?
Website hosting costs differ among hosting providers.
Whether you opt for shared hosting or want your own dedicated server all influence the price you pay, as well as how long you’re buying the hosting for.
Keep in mind that paying upfront per year is usually cheaper than having a monthly plan.
For example, a shared web hosting plan with Inmotion hosting starts from $5.99/month.
HostGator, on the other hand, has pricing options ranging from $2.75/month to $5.95/month.
BlueHost has similar starting prices to HostGator – you can expect to pay $2.95/month for the introductory web hosting plan.
A2 Hosting, on the other hand, charges similarly $2.99 per month for their shared hosting plans.
The cost of domain names
You’ve got a website, a CMS and you picked a shared hosting plan to get you started.
But you still need to pay up for a domain name.
While you can usually get a hold of a domain that reflects your company or team for a few dollars, the most popular top-level domains (TLDs) like .com can quickly rank up the cost.
You need to remember that you’re only renting a domain out for a certain period of time, and will need to renew your right to use your domain every year or so.
And your journey doesn’t stop when you’ve secured your dream domain: next, you need to connect it to your website.
Additional (but optional) costs to hosting a website
Depending on your hosting provider and the hosting plan you go for, you might need to add a few extra expenses to your budget.
Usually, a good rule of thumb with website hosting is that the cheaper your overall cost is, the more likely it is that you’ll end up needing something extra to promise your business and website.
Also, most website hosting companies offer the best overall value for customers who purchase an annual or longer plan.
Cost of SSL certificates
Would you do business on a site that wasn’t properly secured?
It’s the online equivalent of doing business with a shady guy on a street corner.
If you notice you’re out of luck, you might be having to pay $10 or more to make sure your website’s secured.
You should look for an SSL certificate that has high assurance.
A good rule of thumb is that the higher the SSL assurance, the better your website will be protected.
That’s because the level of data encryption has to pass multiple levels of checks before any data leaves your site or your visitor’s browser.
Cost of marketing and website promotion
While it’s possible to do digital marketing on a small budget, most websites need the additional help of paid advertising traffic to really take off.
Most commonly, you’ll be looking at spending some money on search engine and social media ads, maybe influencer or affiliate marketing, too.
Keep in mind that search engine ad costs can vary hugely depending on the field you’re in.
On average, you can budget to spend around $1-$2 per each click your ad gets, but if your business is in travel and hospitality, the cost per click (CPC) can quickly have a starting price of over $4.50.
While affiliate marketing can be a little cheaper (you’ll only pay your affiliate a percentage of the total sale), be prepared to invest plenty of time in negotiating realistic deals with your affiliate partners.
Looking for more articles on digital marketing?
We’ve got you covered:
- eCommerce Marketing: 20 Tips to Sell More
- What Is Affiliate Marketing and How You Can Start
- What Is Social Media Marketing?
Cost of eCommerce features
Running an online store or business also means extra cost for your website.
An eCommerce store typically requires much more server storage space and more power than a simpler resume site, for example.
An online store typically has plenty of pages and lots of multimedia, potentially slowing down the site if files are not correctly compressed or stored.
That’s why the web hosting cost for online stores is typically higher.
You should also be prepared to pay potential merchant fees for using payment portals like PayPal and courier services like FedEx and UPS.
Frequently asked questions about web hosting costs
Getting your head around how to host a website can get confusing.
Thankfully, we have the most common questions covered.
What is the cheapest way to host a website?
If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to have a website, and you don’t have much web development knowledge, using a website builder is a fail-safe way to get online fast.
You won’t have to worry about coding, the technical world of web hosts, or any additional expenses ranking up your overall site spend.
You’ll pay one fixed price and you get everything you need to.
With Zyro, you can even manage a fully-fledged online store, from inventory to marketing and order management, under one dashboard.
And without any hidden fees or commissions.
Is it cheaper to host your own site?
At a glance, comparing web hosting plans might make it seem that taking care of hosting is the cheaper way to go around it.
But when you start adding up all the other costs that you’ll end up having, you’ll quickly spend much more than a premium website builder plan.
Most commonly, on top of web hosting, you’ll also need pay for:
- A domain
- An SSL certificate
- Monthly marketing expenses
- Any eCommerce features you might need
- The templates, add-ons, and plug-ins you’d need for your CMS
What different types of web hosting are there?
We’re glad you asked – because chances are that whatever your hosting needs, there’s a hosting service for you.
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting gives you dedicated hosting, meaning that the server resources that are available are for you and only you to use.
In practice, this means that you won’t be sharing disk space, CPU power, or RAM. VPS hosting usually also grants you root access, meaning that you can install the operating system you want on your server and work on big, resource-heavy projects.
WordPress hosting, on the other hand, refers to hosting plans that are aimed especially at WordPress sites and projects.
This means that your web hosting provider makes sure that the servers that your website is using are finetuned especially for WordPress infrastructure. Your site will be able to run at optimal capacity, and no resources get wasted.
When you’re using cloud hosting, you usually manage a bigger online project and need plenty of power from your hosting service.
A cloud hosting plan most commonly offers you dedicated hosting resources (think an actual IP address, your own RAM, CPU, and SSD disc space, among others).
Shared hosting is the most beginner-friendly and usually the cheapest hosting option.
Rather than having your own server and resources, you share the available space and power with other people. Needless to say, this keeps the cost down but gives you less power than a dedicated hosting plan.
You might also come across Minecraft server hosting: this is an option for people who want to run their own Minecraft adventure and full control over it.
Most Minecraft hosting plans offer plenty of adaptability with different game mods and generally come with game backups and a MySQL database.
Windows VPS hosting
A Windows VPS hosting plan is similar to an atypical VPS solution but usually costs a little more.
Why? Because the server runs on a Windows operating system, rather than Linux, making it easier and more intuitive to use – especially if you’re used to using a normal Windows computer.
Also, a Windows server is more often compatible with a bigger software selection. This means that you won’t have to compromise with the tools you want to use on your server.
Choose the best web hosting plan for you
We hope that this comprehensive guide to web hosting costs will help you make the best choices, that also fit within your budget.
Traditional web hosting may look affordable at first, but there are plenty of additional paid features and services you might need that are not included in the hosting plan.
These can easily rank up your hosting cost.
With a top-quality website builder like Zyro, you can get an all-around web hosting experience for a fraction of the price of web hosting.
And what’s better – using the platform is so easy that you can launch a site in just a few minutes.
Can you afford to not give it a go?