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Web Host Pricing Guide: How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website in 2022?
Updated: 2022-04-21 / Article by: Jerry Low
Web hosting is an important factor for your website because it affects not only the potential performance of your website, but also factors into the overall cost. And you’ll pay web hosting fees for however long you own your website. Be it a personal website or an eCommerce to support your business – as soon as you get your feet wet, that money question is going to hit you:
Quick Summary: How Much Should I Pay for a Web Hosting?
To answer the question, we studied more than 1,000 web hosting plans every year and summarize our findings on this page.
Based on our market research in July 2021: A basic Shared Web Hosting costs $3.00 – $7.50 per month; a VPS host cost $15.50 – $28.05 per month.
We will dive into the details of our market research and compare various hosting prices offered by different companies in this article. If you are looking for the cheapest hosting solution, also check out our list of recommended cheap web host.
Web Hosting Cost Explained
Hosting server costs can vary – in our 2H 2021 market research, hosting prices started as low as $0.83 (single domain shared hosting) and go all the way up to $400 a month (premium VPS hosting).
The price depends mainly on the types of web hosting for which you sign up. Generally speaking – shared hosting is the cheapest but with the lowest server capacity; dedicated hosting is the most expensive and most powerful, while VPS hosting stands somewhere in between shared and dedicated hosting.
One area we have yet to look more closely at has been the meteoric rise of website builders like Zyro, which costs between $2.90/mo – $14.90/mo. These companies offer a unique perspective on the web hosting market. Drag-and-drop functionality has expanded website building reach to a vast, new customer segment.
You need to find the right features and price and choose a reputable hosting provider with good customer support. The right combination can lead to a lifetime of bliss, but the wrong one can end up costing you much more money than you expected.
Shared Web Hosting Cost
In July 2021, we looked at 254 hosting providers and 502 hosting plans. Here's what we found:
The shared hosting industry is a highly competitive playing field – which is a good thing for consumers like you and me. Not only that shared hosting is usually cheap, many of them also come with excellent server performance and great features.
Entry level hosting plans averaged $3.06 on sign up, with an average renewal price increase of 40%. Mid-tier shared hosting prices stepped up significantly, averaging $5.73 but showed an overall shorter price increase across the board on renewal at 30%.
For entry level shared plans users are usually allowed to host just one website. For mid-tier plans, most companies allow users to host unlimited domains.
Although we noted only 70 companies offering entry-level and mid-tier plans respectively increasing prices on renewal, these companies also typically offered lower sign-up pricing than competitors.
Still, it is important to realize that signing up with a provider that offers significantly lower sign-up pricing offers users a ‘honeymoon period’ during which they have the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the services provided before making a definitive long-term choice.
Price is Only One of the Factors
Bear in mind that cost is a very delicate matter when it comes to web hosting since most providers offer various plans. As such I advise you to look beyond the cost to the exact features that a web host is offering before considering the price.
What is Shared Server Hosting?
By far the most commonly available and frequently chosen option, the term shared server hosting is quite literal. Your hosting space shares the combined resources on a single server.
Let’s take for example when a host tells you that your shared account will be on a server with an twin 8-core Intel Xeon processors, 128GB of RAM and RAID Storage with unlimited SSD storage. Sounds great doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, since you are on a “shared” account, you will be sharing those resources with as many other people as your host decided to put on that same server. It could be anything from between tens to even hundred of shared accounts on a single server.
Shared Hosting Performance
Because all resources on the server are split between the different accounts, in many cases performance is a little bit spotty. If you happen to share a server with lots of other dormant accounts that don’t take up much resources, you will be fine. If you are on a server with many active high-activity accounts, performance may be more limited as you must wait for your share of time for resources.
Typically, shared hosting companies manage this by placing restrictions on resource usage on shared servers. If you end up taking up too much server resource time, you may be forced to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Shared hosting plans are normally the cheapest you’ll find. As a result of that, you will discover that most shared hosting plans come with limited service levels.
This includes possibly lower or no guarantees on uptime and more limited customer support channels.
Shared Hosting Renewal Cost
The web hosting business is incredibly competitive, and many hosting providers often fight for market share in new customers. Price is one of the features they may opt to fight with.
Take for example the case of the cheapest hosting plan that SiteGround offers. New customers are offered a buy-in at only $6.99 but the plan renews at an eye-watering $14.99. Always pay attention to the regular prices that a plan charges and don’t get taken in by buy-in discounts. These should be taken as a bonus, not the main reason you take up a plan.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting Cost
In July 2021, we studied at 250 web hosting companies and compared 500 VPS hosting plans they offered. Here's what we found out about VPS hosting pricing.
Due to increased features backed with better service-level agreements and customer support, VPS hosting often comes at a premium above shared server hosting. At the same time, expect to pay a lot less than what you would expect to for a dedicated server.
VPS hosting prices vary a lot
Based on our 2021 web host pricing study – At the low end of the scale, some VPS plans such as that from TimeWeb and HostNamaste can start from as low as $0.83 per month. At the high end of the scale, the price of VPS hosting may stretch all the way up to the $400 price tag that SiteGround is looking for on its highest plan.
Hosting companies offering VPS plans showed relatively low renewal price increases across the board, with entry-level plans up by 13% on average and mid-tier plans up 9%. Although prices averaged at $15.47/mo (entry) and $25.66/mo (mid-tier) it was also noted that the range was skewed heavily by providers of premium plans.
Our research further noted that entry-level VPS plans have remained mostly stable while mid-level plan pricing has dropped by as much as 51% over the past years. A possible aberration in these numbers may have resulted from our increased sample size in 2020 and 2021, which expanded the original 50 plans observed to 500.
However, it's worth noting that many hosting companies are raising their VPS prices in 2021. We suspect cPanel license pricing is the main reason behind this.
What is VPS Hosting?
Where in the past the only choice up from shared hosting was to get your own dedicated server, today you can opt for VPS. VPS gives you the illusion of having your own server even though the entire environment is simulated.
VPS servers offer all the flexibility and features of a fully dedicated server. The only limitations are those imposed on the VPS account by the host – usually in terms of physical resources such as processor, memory and storage.
With these features, VPS are extremely cost-effective solutions for those who still are not sure if they require the immense resources that come managing a dedicated server.
VPS Hosting Performance
This is one of the key differentiators between shared hosting and VPS hosting. VPS hosting accounts are isolated, meaning that the resources allocated to that account are only for that account. If another WPS account on the server is using a lot of resources, your VPS account won’t be affected.
More importantly, VPS server often allow full access to functions that shared accounts do not typically have such as root access, self-chosen control panels to even direct control of what versions of some scripts are running.
These features make it seem as though you are running a fully-fledged dedicated server. Unfortunately, they also require you to know what you are doing you are responsible for very detailed server configurations. Getting it wrong my cause you a ton of headaches.
VPS accounts are often taken up by hosts which have more active websites that cater to higher traffic. As such, many web hosting providers know that they may require more attentive support – and in part are paying higher fees for such.
VPS accounts are often backed by higher uptime guarantees and support levels.
VPS Hosting Renewal Costs
VPS accounts are no different from shared accounts in the sense that web hosts are fighting for market share of new customers. As such, it is not uncommon to find steeply discounted plans for new customers.
Again, it helps to look past this and towards the features of the plan and their actual renewal prices rather than the initial discount. The discounts for new customers can be just as steep as those found in shared hosting plans.
Some VPS hosting providers use a large discount as a hook, but their renewal prices scale up by as much as 300%.
Our Research Data
WHSR Research has spent a significant amount of resources analyzing over a thousand hosting plans. Offering these plans were 254 companies in the shared server hosting segment, with another 250 companies offering VPS hosting.
Shared hosting plans under review were exclusively entry to mid-level tier. For the purposes of our analysis, definitions wee simplified with entry level plans supporting a single domain while mid-level plans supported a minimum of 10 (usually 25) domains.
VPS plans were more complex due to the immense range of services available. We observed plans ranging from nano-sized package servers to high-end ones.
For transparency purpose, we are sharing all web host pricing data we collected below. Please let us know if you found an outdated data.
Listed prices are per month, based on 2 or 3 year subscription periods, which ever is lower.
InterServer VPS plan comes in monthly subscription only – hence no trial period is offered.
Frequent Asked Questions
How much should you pay for a web host?
Based on our 2H 2021 market research: A shared web host is usually cheap – expect to pay $3 – $7.50 per month; VPS hosting on the other hand costs $15.50 – $28.05 per month.
How much does it cost to host a website on Google?
There are two ways to host a website with Google. The first is via Google Sites on G Suite, which starts at $5.40/mo per user. The second is Google Cloud Hosting for which prices vary greatly depending on your needs.
How much does it cost for a domain name?
Typically a domain name costs $10 – $15 per year. Note that some hosting companies offer free domain with their hosting packages. Users can save money by signing up with these hosts.
What is the cheapest way to host a website?
The cheapest way to host a website is by using a free web host or site builder. These often also allow you the use of a free subdomain name (ie. yoursitename.wix.com), so your cost can essentially be $0.
However these are not generally recommended for various reasons. Most importantly of all is that free solutions are often extremely limited and more often than not will force you to carry the branding of the host on your site. There are plenty of budget hosting choices if you can afford to pay $3 – $10 per month – Hostinger, TMD Hosting, and Interserver are providers I recommend.
Can I host my own website with my computer?
In short – yes, you can turn your computer into a server and host your own website. However, it requires significant investment to build a server that is reliable and fast. The better and more reliable you want your own hosting to be, the higher the cost. Otherwise, you can host your website with a provider.
Does Google have free Web hosting?
No, Google does not offer free web hosting. Here's the list of free web hosting if you are looking for one.
Is free hosting good?
Free hosting is often not just highly limited in terms of resources like storage space and memory, but also usually comes with many risks and many restrictions. For example, some free hosting plans won't allow you to run ads, while others may prohibit you from using certain applications or plugins (in the case of WordPress).
Is Wix really free?
Wix does indeed have a very limited free plan. However, you will be forced to display Wix ads on your site.
Other Costs to Consider When Hosting a Website
Web hosting is only one segment of the true cost of building a website. To create a truly successful website, the project needs to be looked at holistically as an entire business, not just a standalone item.
Aside from planning and creating the website, consideration also needs to be put into other factors such as longer-term content development, marketing, eCommerce fees (if applicable) and so on. And of course, the domain name that will point to the website sitting on the web hosting space.
Once you factor in all of these additional components of the business, then you will have a more realistic idea of the true cost of building a website.
About Jerry Low
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.