Web hosting costs guide (plus tips for maximizing your budget)

Learn how to choose the best hosting plan and get tips for maximizing your hosting budget without sacrificing quality.

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When it comes to establishing an online presence, web hosting is a fundamental aspect that can (quite literally) make or break your website. Whether you’re making a website for your personal brand or launching an eCommerce website, making informed decisions about hosting expenses is crucial.

However, with so many options to consider, understanding web hosting costs and finding ways to maximize your budget can be a daunting task.

In this article, we delve into the world of web hosting costs, breaking down the various types of web hosting and their associated expenses. Keep reading for practical tips on getting the most out of your hosting budget without sacrificing the performance of your site.

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How much does web hosting cost?

The cost of web hosting can vary greatly depending on the type of hosting you choose. Shared hosting, which is typically the most affordable option, can range from $2 to $10 per month. VPS hosting, which offers more resources and better performance, can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per month. Dedicated server hosting, which provides maximum control and customization, can start at around $80 per month and go up to several hundred dollars.

It's important to note that these prices are just estimates and may differ based on the specific features and services included in each plan. Additionally, many web hosts offer discounts for longer-term contracts or introductory rates for new customers. Let's examine what is website hosting and the variables that can impact web hosting costs.

What is website hosting

Website hosting makes your website accessible to visitors all over the world via the internet. It involves a service that stores your website files on web servers and delivers them when someone types your website's Universal Resource Locator (URL) into their web browser. When considering how to make a business website, whether starting fresh or building on existing foundations, one of your initial key choices is selecting the right hosting plan. 

Factors that affect web hosting costs

The cost of web hosting can vary depending on the provider, package and level of service. Some providers, like Wix, offer free website hosting as part of their website builder package. Investing in a reliable and trustworthy provider that offers the necessary features to meet your needs is worth considering. From security to site speed, web hosting affects your site's overall performance, impacting your users' experience and your ability to drive traffic and revenue. In this guide, we'll help you understand website hosting costs and different plan pros and cons to help you make the best decision.

For starters, here are the most important factors that affect your web hosting costs:

  • Hosting type: Different hosting types have varying costs. Shared hosting and VPS are typically the most affordable types of hosting, while dedicated hosting and cloud hosting tend to be more expensive. 

  • Hosting plan: Different hosting providers have different pricing structures. Each plan has different features and resource allocations. That's why it's vital to evaluate resource usage and choose a plan that aligns with your budget and requirements. Check out our list of best website hosting options for small businesses

  • Contract length: Some hosting providers offer discounts or lower monthly rates for longer contract commitments (such as a year contract). It's relatively easy to secure a better price if you're willing to commit to a longer-term contract.

  • Features and services: Many hosting providers often offer additional services, such as domain registration, managing SSL certificates for your domains, creating backups and providing access to site builders. These services typically come at an extra cost, so consider which ones are necessary for your project. 

  • Geographic location: Hosting costs can vary based on the location of the data centers. Some providers may have different pricing structures for different regions, so it's worth considering the geographic location when comparing prices. Most of the time, you should choose the geographic location for your hosting that the majority of your visitors will have. 

  • Managed vs. unmanaged hosting: Managed hosting is a type of hosting where the provider handles server management tasks like rolling out system updates. For example, Wix provides free and managed hosting for every Wix site. By contrast, unmanaged hosting typically offers more control for server administration—however, managed hosting is generally considered the best option for people or teams that don’t have the resources to handle the nitty-gritty details of website management (including maintenance and security).

Cost by type of web hosting

With the above said, here are four types of web hosting that you’ll likely want to consider. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as unique considerations when it comes to your costs.

  1. Shared web hosting

  2. VPS web hosting

  3. Dedicated hosting

  4. Cloud web hosting

01. Shared web hosting

Shared web hosting, like Wix, is the most popular and cost-effective option for small businesses. With shared hosting, you share the server with other users, ranging from a few hundred to thousands of websites. All sites on the server access the same pool of resources like bandwidth, online storage and processing power.

Hosting providers typically have multiple plans for customers who want to use shared hosting. Since shared hosting allocates resources per project, the amount of server resources allocated to your website (CPU, RAM, storage and bandwidth) can impact the cost. Plans with higher resource allocations generally come with higher price tags.

To maximize your budget with shared hosting, look for reputable providers that offer a money-back guarantee. A money-back guarantee or favorable terms for modifying contracts will be very helpful if you encounter any issues or want to adjust your hosting needs.

Best for: Shared hosting works well for small to medium-sized websites. It is suitable for starting a blog, starting a business or websites with low-to-moderate traffic.

Average cost: With costs that range from a few dollars to around $10 per month, it’s the most affordable type of hosting on our list.


  • Beginner-friendly: Shared hosting is typically very easy to set up and use, even for not tech-savvy users. They provide clear instructions on how to host a website as well as offer an intuitive user interface for the control panel. 

  • Centralized maintenance: The hosting provider takes care of website infrastructure maintenance including, servers, updates and website security. This means you can focus solely on your website content.


  • Limited resources: Sharing resources with other websites can potentially slow down your site's performance if one or more sites drive significant traffic.

  • Potential security risks: Because multiple sites share the same server, a security breach in one site can lead to other sites being compromised.

  • Difficult to scale: Due to its shared nature and limited resources, there isn't much room for your website to grow.

02. VPS web hosting

Virtual Private Server (VPS) offers a more powerful hosting option when traffic starts to increase on your website. With VPS, users still share server space with other websites, however one physical server is partitioned into multiple virtual servers, each with its own dedicated resources including storage space and bandwidth. This allows websites to manage higher volumes of traffic and increases the level of site security.

Users have more control over their hosting environment, which is better for web privacy than shared hosting. Most VPS hosting providers offer full root access to install your own software and operating system, making it a top choice for users with technical knowledge. Unlike shared hosting, what you do with your account will not affect other users.

To maximize your budget with VPS hosting, determine the required amount of CPU, RAM and storage based on your website's needs. It will help you avoid overpaying for resources you won't use.

Best for: VPS hosting is suitable for growing websites with medium traffic.

Average cost: Costs for VPS hosting typically start at around $10 per month.


  • Scalability: VPS hosting allows you to scale up your resources as your website grows, without worrying about outgrowing server space.

  • High performance: With dedicated resources, VPS hosting offers more stability and speed than shared hosting making it suitable to handle traffic surges.

  • Greater control: VPS is a good option for websites that require specific software configurations. Most VPS hosting providers allow you to choose operating system type, as well as install specific software on your virtual machine.


  • Potential reliability problems: VPS is virtual hosting, meaning that if something happens with the physical machine that hosts all virtual private servers, it will affect all virtual servers it hosts. 

  • Technical knowledge required: Due to its customizable nature, VPS hosting requires some technical knowledge to set up and manage effectively.

  • Limited control: While users have more control over their hosting environment compared to shared hosting, they still share a physical server with other websites.

03. Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting allows you to rent an entire server solely for your website. This gives users full control over their server’s environment allowing them to customize the operating system, software and general configurations. With their own dedicated servers, websites run faster, handle high traffic easily and have less downtime thanks to the generous bandwidth, storage space and RAM. 

Dedicated hosting is for businesses and websites that are growing. A dedicated server is ideal for high-traffic sites that require consistent uptime and fast speed, like a large eCommerce marketplace or a multimedia website. Dedicated servers are also more secure making them imperative for larger businesses with sensitive data.

Best for: This hosting option is ideal for large businesses, high-traffic websites, complex applications or websites that require maximum website security.

Average cost: The cost for this type of hosting usually starts around $80 per month.


  • Greater control: Users have full control over their server configurations, making it easier to install and run custom software.

  • High performance: With dedicated resources solely for your website, dedicated hosting offers top-notch performance and faster loading times.


  • Higher costs: Dedicated hosting is more expensive than other hosting options, but it’s a necessary expense for websites with high traffic and sensitive data.

  • Requires technical expertise: Due to its highly customizable nature, dedicated hosting requires technical expertise to set up and manage effectively.

  • Customer is responsible for server maintenance – You are responsible for server updates, security patches and overall server maintenance.

04. Cloud web hosting

Cloud hosting operates on a network of interconnected servers that work together to provide hosting services. Instead of relying on a single server, websites are hosted on virtual machines in a data center and resources can be allocated as needed, providing high uptime and excellent scalability. This makes it a reliable choice for websites handling heavy traffic.

Learn more: Cloud hosting vs. shared hosting

By utilizing a network of remote servers, cloud hosting minimizes the impact of hardware issues. If one server goes down, another steps in to keep your website up and running smoothly. Opting for cloud hosting is crucial when even the shortest downtime could spell disaster for your business. Cloud hosting providers like Wix can guarantee 99.99% uptime, the highest available.

To maximize your budget with cloud hosting, choose providers that offer cost-effective pricing models—such as pay-as-you-go—or offer reserved instances based on your website's resource usage.

Best for: Cloud hosting is suitable for websites with fluctuating or unpredictable traffic patterns, as it can handle sudden spikes in traffic without website performance issues.

Average cost: Unlike all other hosting types that change a fixed amount of money per month, cloud hosting providers typically charge per hour. The rate can vary depending on the server configuration and the actual number of hours that the server was used.


  • Highly scalable: Cloud hosting offers seamless scalability, allowing you to add or remove resources as required without any disruption to your website's performance.

  • High uptime guarantee: With multiple servers at work, cloud hosting guarantees high uptime and minimizes the risk of website failure due to hardware issues.


  • Technical complexity – Setting up and managing cloud hosting can be more complex than other options. If you choose GCP or AWS, you must familiarize yourself with the standard procedures that Google or Amazon use when deploying and managing web solutions.

  • Limited control: The web host manages cloud hosting which means users assume less control over their hosting environment.

Other costs of hosting a website

In addition to a hosting package, there are other costs associated with hosting a website that should be factored in when choosing the best hosting option for your needs. These can include domain registration fees, SSL certificate fees and website maintenance costs.

Here’s a breakdown of a few of the extra costs you should consider.

Domain name registration

A domain name is the web address that directs users to your website. When choosing a domain name, it's important to have a unique and memorable domain name for your website, as it represents your brand identity. Domain names must be registered and renewed annually, which is an additional cost on top of hosting fees.

Some hosting providers like Wix also offer domain names. For instance, Wix has an easy domain name search tool to help you find and register a domain quickly. Getting your domain from your web host can streamline your website creation process.

Learn more: What is a domain

SSL certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates provide an extra layer of security for websites, encrypting sensitive data like credit card information and login details. This added protection can also improve your search engine rankings, making it worth the additional cost.

The cost of an SSL depends on several factors, such as the number of domains and subdomains it can cover. As with domain names, many hosting plans, like Wix, include it for free while others provide it for an additional cost anywhere from $10 to $200 per year.

Learn more: Best SSL certificate

Website templates

Website templates are pre-designed layouts that allow you to build a professional-looking website without the need for extensive coding knowledge. These templates provide a foundation upon which you can customize your site’s appearance, including layout, color schemes and typography to fit your brand’s identity.

Most hosting providers offer a wide selection of templates as part of their package, making it easier for individuals and businesses to launch their websites quickly and efficiently. However, the level of customization and the number of templates available can vary significantly between providers. Some, like Wix may offer these templates for free, while others might charge a premium for more advanced or unique designs.

Plugins and extensions

Plugins and extensions are additional software that can be integrated with your website to add functionality and features. These can range from simple plugins that improve the overall appearance of your site, such as social media sharing buttons, to more complex ones like eCommerce or online booking systems.

Similar to templates, some hosting providers offer a wide selection of free plugins and extensions as part of their package, while others may charge for more advanced options or unique features. It's important to research and compare the available plugins and extensions when choosing a hosting provider to ensure they meet your website's needs. The Wix App Marketplace offers options to enhance your site features.

Basic plugins are generally free while premium plugins generally cost between $5 to $50 or more depending on the plugin.

Marketing tools and integrations

Marketing tools and integrations are crucial for promoting your website, analyzing visitor behavior and enhancing the overall user experience to increase conversions. Some hosting providers offer basic marketing tools and integrations as part of their hosting package, but more comprehensive solutions might require additional fees. The cost of these tools can vary widely, from free basic versions to premium services costing hundreds of dollars per year.

Here are different types of marketing tools:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) applications: Use SEO features to help improve your site's visibility in search engine results.

  • Social media integrations: Enable your content to be shared more easily across platforms.

  • Email marketing services: Allow you to design, send and track email marketing campaigns effectively.

  • Analytics tools: Utilize website analytics for insight into your website's performance, helping you understand visitor behavior and make informed decisions about content and website design.

Ecommerce features

Ecommerce features are essential for any business website that plans to sell products or services online. These features enable you to provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers while managing your operations efficiently. They can range from basic shopping carts to comprehensive payment processing solutions, inventory management systems and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Pricing for eCommerce features varies significantly depending on the complexity and scale of your online store. Basic eCommerce functionality might be included in your hosting package but more advanced features, like automated shipping calculation or multi-currency support, could incur additional charges.

How to save money on web hosting

Understanding web hosting costs and effectively managing your budget is crucial for any individual or business venturing into the online realm. Here are ways that you can further curb your hosting costs.

01. Compare hosting plans and providers

Market analysis is one of the first things you must do when choosing a hosting provider. Once you understand what type of hosting you want, compare different hosting providers, their prices and features. Plus, read what customers say about them.

02. Consider long-term contracts

Hosting providers often offer discounts or lower monthly rates for customers who are willing to commit to a longer contract. Long-term contracts also provide stability and allow you to plan ahead. You can rely on the hosting service without worrying about price changes for the duration of the contract.

But before committing to long-term contracts, you must carefully research the hosting provider. Long-term agreements may limit your ability to switch hosting providers if you are dissatisfied with the service or find a better option. So, make sure that you’re confident about your choice of provider before signing a contract.

03. Consider your website’s scalability needs

Don't think about your website as something set in stone. Like any other product, your website will evolve and change over time. And the number of visitors will also likely grow. Think about what your website will look like in a year. If you anticipate significant growth or changes in your website requirements, it may be more beneficial to opt for a hosting plan that allows you to easily upgrade or downgrade your resources.

04. Avoid unnecessary features and services

Many times, hosting providers try to upsell you on additional hosted services or options during the sign-up process. It's worth taking the time to research and understand what features are included in the hosting plans. Some common extra features are domain registration, email service for your domain, SSL certificates, backup services, website builders and content management systems (CMS). If you don't need these features or can obtain them separately at a lower cost, it's best to opt for a plan without them.

05. Optimize your website performance

As we already mentioned, the amount of server resources allocated to your website can impact your costs. It's essential to use performance optimization mechanisms like auto-scaling and caching and to identify areas in your website that can be optimized. By doing that, you will minimize the monthly cost of your hosting services. You can use tools like Wix’s Site Speed dashboard, PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to learn how fast your website loads and identify areas for improvement.

06. Regularly review your hosting expenses

Regularly review your hosting plan as your website grows and evolves to ensure it still meets your needs. Avoid staying locked into a plan that no longer aligns with your requirements. If you find yourself paying for unnecessary features or if your resource needs have changed, consider upgrading, downgrading or switching to a different hosting provider that better suits your current needs.

Web hosting cost FAQ

  • How do I choose the best web hosting services?

    When choosing a web hosting service, consider your website's needs in terms of traffic, storage and features. Research different providers to compare prices and read reviews from other users. It's also important to assess the level of technical support provided by each company.

  • Can I switch my hosting provider if I'm unhappy with their services?

    Yes, you can switch your hosting provider at any time. However, it's essential to check the terms and conditions of your current provider to avoid any penalties or fees for canceling before the contract ends.

  • Should I pay for hosting monthly or annually?

    This depends on your budget and the hosting provider's pricing structure. Some providers offer discounts for annual payments, so it may be more cost-effective in the long run. However, paying monthly might be a better option if you are unsure about committing to a particular host or if your website has fluctuating traffic.

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