Web Hosting 102: How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?

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(This is Part 2 of a multi-part post. If you haven’t already, read Where Does Your Website Live? and then come back!)

Web hosting plans can cost anywhere from $5/month to a whopping $500/month (yikes!). How the heck do you know what the right investment is for your most prized marketing tool? In this post, we’ll help you demystify the cost of web hosting and set you on the right path to finding a hosting plan that’s perfect for your website.

As we mentioned in Web Hosting 101 – when selecting a web host, you get what you pay for. Typically, the cheaper the hosting plan, the slower your site will be and the less reliable your server will be, meaning more downtime and longer repair periods. The more expensive the hosting plan, the faster and more secure your site will be with significantly less downtime.

So…How Do I Find a Plan That’s Reliable AND Affordable?

Most folks should pick a plan between cheap and pricey. Ultimately, you have to pick a plan that’s best for your website and for your business. Let’s take a look at some situations and some rough costs:*

eCommerce & Online Shops (>$100/month)

If you sell products or services online, you’ll likely need to spend $100 or more per month on hosting to make certain your website is PCI compliant (read: SECURE) – not to mention you want it to stay online so you don’t lose valuable business! On top of your hosting costs, you’ll also need to purchase an annual SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate which encrypts your users’ personal information and credit card data. This is all required by law for eCommerce.

High Traffic or Large Websites & Databases ($50–$100/month)

If your website experiences high amounts of traffic or is large and has a giant database or fancy functionality, your hosting costs will likely fall in the mid-range. This is because you will need more space and processing power so your server can handle all of the action.

Think of your website as a busy restaurant. In order to keep up with the business and add more tables, the restaurant needs more square footage and more staff, which means more rent and overhead. (Reservations are not an option on the web!)

Standard Informational SiteS ($20–$50/month)

If your site is strictly informational with no fancy databases or an insane amount of traffic, don’t get suckered into a giant hosting plan. $20–$50/month should suit your needs just fine.

PRO TIP: Please, unless you’re hosting a simple personal website, do not purchase a $5–$10/month hosting plan. Your speed will likely be crawling. Your site will likely go down. And you could be affected by sites that have been hacked and are sitting on the same server as you. It’s just not worth the headache.

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*Disclaimer: All costs are rough estimates. We are not claiming that all quality web hosting plans will fit within these ranges. This is just meant to serve as a helpful resource to get you started!