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How Much Does Web Hosting Cost? Your Guide for 2024

Andrés Gánem Andrés GánemWeb Hosting Expert April 15, 2024
April 15, 2024
Hosting is like wine in one respect: it comes in a wide range of prices, but the difference between an expensive brand and a cheap one is not always obvious. Hosting might also taste better if you let it breathe after uncorking, but I haven’t tested that one out yet.

What my colleagues and I have tested are hundreds of different web hosts from around the world. From these tests, I’ve learned that if you pick a price point, chances are there’s a hosting provider out there that will offer it. But just because these providers insist that this is the cost of hosting, does that mean you’ll get good hosting?

My objective is to show you what fair pricing for hosting looks like, and how to choose the best host for your needs. Of course, some very cheap hosts aren’t even worth your time. On the other hand, some charge a lot for fancy features most of us don’t even need.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of the different costs associated with hosting. If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight ahead to our list of the best affordable hosts.

Short on Time? Here’s How Much Hosting Costs

You can get hosting for free, but free hosts are usually unreliable and offer limited resources so I suggest looking for a reputable low-cost host. You’re a busy person and we’re about to get into quite a bit of detail, so here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect to pay:
  • Shared hosting. You can get a high-quality shared hosting plan for as little as $1/month (before renewal) and around $7/month after your first billing period. For small- to medium-sized businesses, more advanced shared plans will cost you around $12/month after the first billing period.
  • VPS hosting. Entry-level cloud and virtual private server (VPS) hosting will set you back around $10/month if unmanaged and around $20/month for managed services.
  • Dedicated server. Dedicated server plans can be as low as $50/month and as high as the mid-hundreds.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly host that offers the most cost-effective value, I recommend Hostinger. You can’t go wrong with starting prices of $2.99/month – and that includes excellent features, performance, and customer support across all types of hosting packages. Plus, Hostinger offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Types of Web Hosting

Here’s a quick overview of the most popular types of hosting, as well as their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Shared Hosting

Hostinger hosting management panel
Hostinger’s shared hosting plans are wallet-friendly and provide enough resources for a small website or e-commerce store
Shared hosting is the most popular and affordable type of hosting. The main reason it’s so affordable is that, as the name implies, you’ll be sharing the same server with other users. Server technology has advanced to a point where this doesn’t involve a security concern, but shared hosting does have limitations, such as restrictions on upgrading resources like storage or memory. In some cases, these limitations may affect your website’s performance.

Thanks to its price and well-rounded features, shared hosting is the best choice for new or smaller websites with modest traffic. It’s also a good fit for many professionals and small businesses – so long as you don’t need ridiculous amounts of storage or bandwidth.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting optimization features
Hostinger offers WordPress hosting with performance enhancements for WordPress sites
WordPress hosting is a specialized form of shared hosting where your server is optimized for the WordPress content management system (CMS). This hosting improves the loading speeds and availability of your WordPress-based websites. Since “WordPress hosting” may serve as a popular buzzword that different hosts use, you should make sure plans include premium themes, specialized plugins, or WordPress-specialized assistance.

VPS Hosting

InterServer cloud VPS features
With affordable entry rates, InterServer is a good choice if you’re looking for scalable resources with managed support
A VPS is a discrete partition of a bare metal server that mimics a private server. You can change the server operating system (OS), allocate resources at will, and have more control over your server. While VPS might be a bit more expensive than shared hosting, it’s still a far more affordable alternative to a dedicated server and can fulfill most purposes.

I recommend VPS hosting for larger enterprises that need efficient performance and scalable resources. You can get VPS in two flavors: managed and unmanaged – the difference is whether the host takes care of the technical aspects of your VPS or you do. I’d only recommend an unmanaged VPS if your venture has a dedicated IT person. Even if you have the technical know-how, managing your server and business can be extremely time-consuming.

Cloud Hosting

Hostinger data center locations
Hostinger allows you to change your cloud server’s location without any downtime
Cloud hosting isn’t exactly a hosting type, but more of a configuration – this simply means that instead of allocating all your website’s resources to a single physical server, they’re distributed across the cloud.

Cloud hosting is generally more expensive, but it offers improved security and better performance. If a physical server is ever down because of maintenance, a lightning strike, or a particularly angry chinchilla gnawing through the cables, your website will stay up as long as it’s on the cloud.

Dedicated Servers

FastComet dedicated server features
FastComet offers fully managed dedicated servers with optimized caching solutions and Imunify360 security
Dedicated servers are essentially big, physical computers that are always on and entirely dedicated to your website. The most popular websites on the planet like Google, Amazon, and Facebook use their own massive dedicated server networks. Dedicated servers provide committed processing power, RAM, and storage space. They’re recommended for large enterprises that need superior performance and resources.

Hosting Types Compared

Here’s a quick overview of the different types of hosting and their characteristics.

Hosting type Pros Cons Best for
Shared hosting The most affordable, user-friendly option Lack of resource flexibility, other sites on the server can affect performance Individual websites like personal blogs or portfolio websites, small businesses with simple website needs
WordPress hosting Specialized for WordPress performance Not ideal for non-WordPress sites WordPress-based websites, multi-authored blogs
Unmanaged and Managed VPS Flexible resources, more security Less user-friendly for unmanaged plans, managed plans come at a premium E-commerce sites and larger business websites
Cloud hosting Better performance, less chance of downtime Slightly more expensive than VPS Websites and apps that need high reliability
Dedicated server Complete server control, best performance Extremely expensive Large-scale enterprises

Starting Prices for Popular Hosting Companies

To help you get a better idea of how much you can expect to spend on hosting, I’ve compiled a list of the starting prices for some of the best web hosts of 2024. Although all these providers offer plans for different hosting types and price points, I’m going to list the introductory prices for shared, VPS, and dedicated server hosting.

My team and I have put each of the following hosts through rigorous, in-depth testing and analysis, and they’ve all achieved impressive scores. I’ll be honest, pricing is one of the major aspects we take into consideration for the rating process – as is performance, features, and customer service. The list below highlights hosts that stand out for these criteria.

A Note on Pricing

For almost all hosting providers, your first payment for any plan will be lower than its renewal price. That means that you should expect to pay more for your hosting after the first billing. You should also take into account that for most services, your monthly price gets lower the longer you commit. Unless stated otherwise, the prices below are the initial monthly cost for an annually billed plan.

Hostinger

Hostinger plan features
Hostinger delivers some of the best performances out of any shared hosting provider
Hostinger is both our highest-rated hosting platform and one of the most affordable companies on this list. That means that you get outstanding service for low prices. Hostinger earns its high rank thanks to spectacular performance, LiteSpeed-optimized servers that are ideal for WordPress, and user-friendly hPanel.

All this makes it a great host for anyone, but it’s especially ideal for someone who doesn’t have experience with hosting. It’s also noteworthy for the variety of specialized hosting plans it offers, including WordPress hosting, Windows-based hosting, and even Minecraft servers.

You can get high-quality shared hosting for as little as [-] if you sign up for a long-term plan. That will get you 100 websites, 100 GB of SSD Storage, and WordPress-optimized features. Not bad for a starter website.

Read our expert Hostinger review for more hosting features.

Plan Name Hosting Type Storage Number of Sites Monthly Price
Premium Shared 100 GB SSD 100 $2.99 More details >
KVM 1 VPS 50 GB NVMe Unlimited $4.49 More details >
Cloud Startup Cloud 20 GB NVMe 300 $8.99 More details >

IONOS

IONOS home page
IONOS focuses on business-oriented features and reliable support
IONOS offers a more focused set of features for businesses, skipping over proprietary control panels and website builder integrations for high-quality performance basics like decent storage for entry-level plans, full-page caching solutions, and daily backups. Though it’s not jam-packed with additional features, IONOS delivers great performance, security, and customer service.

It’s also quite affordable, with the Plus plan coming in at just $1.00 per month. You’ll get unlimited websites, storage, databases, and business features like professional email and marketing integrations. However, keep in mind that this is just the starting price for the first billing period. Out of all the hosts in this list, IONOS has the biggest price increase after renewal.

Though it might have a slightly greater initial price, the Essential plan is way more affordable in the long run. It costs you $4.00 per month at first, with a modest increase after renewal.

Learn more about plans in our expert IONOS review.

Plan Name Hosting Type Storage Number of Sites Monthly Price
Plus Shared 10 GB SSD 1 $1.00 More details >
Business ASP.net (shared) 100 GB SSD 1 $4.00 More details >
VPS Linux XS Unmanaged VPS 10 GB NVMe Unlimited $2.00 More details >
Dedicated Server Dedicated server 1 TB HDD Unlimited $70.00 More details >

InterServer

InterServer hosting features
InterServer is the go-to choice if you want to pay monthly
InterServer is a little less beginner friendly than Hostinger or IONOS, but it makes up for it with unbelievable performance (especially in the US and Canada), and unlimited resources on all plans. That means that even on the cheapest shared hosting plan, you get unlimited storage, bandwidth, and websites.

In addition to shared hosting, InterServer has a variety of specialty plans including student web hosting, Windows VPS, Magento hosting, and dedicated storage servers. InterServer also offers Boost Web Hosting, which allocates extra performance-enhancing features to its standard web hosting plans.

What’s more, InterServer doesn’t charge a premium after renewal and costs you the same month-to-month as it does if you pay for a longer term. That means that if you can’t make a hefty investment outright, InterServer might be the best choice for you.

See our expert InterServer review for more information.

Plan Name Hosting Type Storage Number of Sites Monthly Price
Standard Web Hosting Shared Unlimited Unlimited $2.50 More details >
Boost Web Hosting Boost (shared) Unlimited Unlimited $2.50 More details >
Linux VPS 1 Core Unmanaged VPS 30 GB SSD Unlimited $6.00 More details >
XEON E3-1230V2 Dedicated server 4 TB SATA Unlimited $67.00 More details >

FastComet

FastComet hosting features
FastComet includes a lot of perks for its affordable hosting plans
FastComet makes good on its name by delivering excellent loading speeds, particularly in South and East Asia. It’s also one of the few hosts that offers a reliable cloud infrastructure for all its plans, including shared cloud hosting. That means that you get cloud hosting benefits like load balancing even on its entry-level plans.

FastComet also offers some of the most highly qualified customer support representatives I’ve encountered. In my testing, I found FastComet support more capable of solving technical details than other support services, as well as being efficient with response times. This means you’ll always have someone to turn to if you have any questions.

Learn more about support in our expert FastComet review.

Plan Name Hosting Type Storage Number of Sites Monthly Price
Starter Shared 10 GB NVMe 1 $1.79 More details >
Cloud 1 Cloud 50 GB SSD Unlimited $46.16 More details >
DS 1 Dedicated server 80 GB SSD Unlimited $107.06 More details >

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting hosting plans
InMotion Hosting offers great deals for agencies and resellers
InMotion Hosting’s servers are in the US, where it delivers its best performance results. Though it still doesn’t quite match the performance of some other hosts, it makes up for it with stellar customer support, plenty of additional features on all plans like unlimited resources and free marketing tools, and affordable entry-level pricing.

InMotion Hosting offers more variety for larger projects than other hosting providers through its reseller hosting, which is perfect for big agencies that manage hosting for multiple clients. The cheapest plan starts at just $19.99 and includes 80 GB SSD, 1 dedicated IP, and 25 cPanel licenses.

See our in-depth InMotion Hosting review for more features.

Plan Name Hosting Type Storage Number of Sites Monthly Price
Core Shared 100 GB SSD 2 $2.99 More details >
VPS 4GB RAM Unmanaged VPS 90 GB SSD Unlimited $14.99 More details >
Aspire Dedicated server 1 TB SSD Unlimited $69.99 More details >

Hosting Plans Compared

For a quick overview of how each of these hosts stack up against each other, take a look at the table below.

Host Standout Feature Best for Starting Price
Hostinger Excellent performance thanks to LiteSpeed servers CMS hosting for personal websites, blogs, and portfolio websites $2.99
IONOS Business integrations and dedicated customer support agent Small- to medium-sized business websites $1.00
InterServer Month-to-month plans with no upcharge upon renewal Users with more hosting experience $2.50
FastComet Cloud-based infrastructure on all plans High-performing websites that want to target an East and South Asian market $1.79
InMotion Hosting A variety of plans, including generous reseller hosting plans with free white label Agencies and resellers looking for generous but affordable plans $2.99

Additional Expenses to Keep In Mind

Besides hosting, there are additional tools and features you’ll most likely need to invest in for your website. While some hosts may offer these for free (for a limited time), you’ll still need to make sure you keep an eye out for these costs.
  • Domain name. Most hosting providers offer a free domain name for the first year when you buy a plan with an annual renewal rate or longer. After the first year, your domain name might cost you anywhere between $0.99 and $9.99/year depending on your domain extension (.net, .com, .org, etc).
  • SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is another level of security for your website. Nowadays, an up-to-date SSL certificate is crucial for search engine recognition and necessary for e-commerce. Most hosting plans provide Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for free. If you want a different license, it can cost anywhere between $8 and $1,000/year but the free option will be sufficient for most websites.
  • Themes and plugins. This mostly applies to WordPress websites, but if you want to install special plugins like page builders or cool-looking themes, the most worthwhile ones will cost extra. Themes usually involve a one-time investment, while plugins typically follow a subscription model.
  • E-commerce features. If you want to integrate e-commerce into your website, you’ll need a secure payment gateway, payment processor, or at the very least an e-commerce plugin. The specifics vary so I can’t give you an approximate cost. But consider that on top of any initial costs, your payment processor will likely charge a fee (typically 1% to 3% of the transaction amount).
  • Other extras. Depending on your goals, you might have to invest in other services or products like marketing tools, SEO consultations, and client management software.
Keep these costs in mind as you’re creating a budget for your website. I’d recommend bundling any of these with your hosting if possible. This will make it easier to keep track of your expenses.

Choosing the Right Host and When to Upgrade Your Plan

The best host for you will ultimately depend on your website’s needs but if you’re just starting out, you can’t go wrong with Hostinger. This host delivers the best performance at great prices and its proprietary control panel is extremely easy to use.

But then what? What if you sign up for a plan, but your needs change over time?

Basically, there are two common factors that might force you to upgrade:
  • Running out of space or bandwidth
  • Needing more advanced hosting features and more direct control
If you run out of space or bandwidth, your hosting company may send you a notification that it’s time for an upgrade. And you probably should consider it, unless your site isn’t making you any money, in which case you should figure out how to optimize your server usage.

You may also find that you want greater control over your hosting services. Certain hosting providers might not grant you the option to select your preferred PHP version unless you opt for a pricier plan or a VPS.

Of course, you’re not locked in with your current host for upgrades. Most web hosts offer free site migrations and you might be better off with a host that offers more reliable performance or unlimited resources. If you need more options, you should check out our list of the best web hosts for 2024.

FAQ

How much is web hosting?

The cost of hosting a website can differ a lot. It all depends on the type of hosting you’re looking for, your hosting provider, and which additional features you might need. Typically, shared and WordPress hosting plans are the cheapest, followed by VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting. While the cheapest option may look like a deal, you should consider your website’s needs before choosing a plan.

How much does a website cost per month?

Monthly costs depend on your hosting plan, whether you’re paying monthly or annually, and which features you’re looking to include. A range of about $5 – $7/month is about the lowest you can expect from a high-quality host. However, keep in mind that the cost of running a website goes beyond just hosting – there are additional costs to take into account for your website, including domain names, SSL certificates, and e-commerce features.

How much does a website domain cost?

The average price is around $10/year for common TLDs like .com, .org, and .net. Less expensive TLDs like .online or .me can cost as little as $1/year. It all depends on the keywords you choose for your domain name and where you register it. Generally, the most popular hosting companies will offer a free domain for one year with their hosting plans.

How much does it cost to run a server?

Running your own server usually costs several hundreds to thousands of dollars in hardware costs, not to mention buying additional RAM and HDD/SSD drives as needed. Running a dedicated server rented from a hosting company is a lot simpler, but it can easily cost $100-200 per month, and often more. You should really consider if you actually need a dedicated server for your project when VPS or cloud hosting can work just fine.

If you want to learn more about where to find different types of high-quality hosting, check out our in-depth guide to the best web hosting providers in 2024.

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