The cost of web hosting is perhaps one of the biggest influencers on hosting choices for the owner when making a new website.
However, choosing a web hosting plan based on price alone isn’t ideal. Just because a plan is cheap – or expensive – doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you.
Web hosting, like most other products, comes in a broad price range. The most significant element that affects prices is the type of web hosting chosen. Understanding these web hosting types can help you choose the best solution for your website.
While web hosting companies may offer many packages, there are only a few main types of web hosting. At the lowest end of the spectrum is shared hosting, while the most powerful are dedicated servers.
So in this article, we will have a look at the 4 Different Types of Web Hosting and Their Cost.
So let’s get started
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Server Hosting
On shared hosting plans, web hosts generally pack hundreds of user accounts onto each server. This user density means shared hosting can be incredibly cost-effective. They all “share” common resources on the server, including CPU time, memory, disk space, and more.
Shared hosting accounts will also come with a web hosting control panel (WHCP) that makes it easier to administer your website. The WHCP is graphic-driven, allowing you to do anything with just a few clicks.
Simplicity is key, and once you purchase a shared hosting plan, everything is in place for use. You don’t need to worry about installing core server-side applications like the web server, database engine, or script environment.
Unfortunately, the characteristics of shared hosting are also some of its drawbacks. While having hundreds of users packed onto a single server is excellent for cost efficiency, it’s seldom ideal for performance and reliability.
Server resources are finite, and if other websites are occupying them, anyone trying to load your website needs to wait. It’s a round-robin scenario, where the server shuffles around resources as needed.
The WHCP, while offering greater ease of control, also prevents you from having granular control over the server. Plus, having the entire server ready to go means you don’t control what core applications it runs.
Entry-level shared hosting plans cost an average of $3 to $4 per month. Prices increase depending on resource allocation and other features. At the mid-tier, expect to pay an average of $.570 to $7.50 per month.
The low cost and easy manageability make shared hosting an excellent choice for those new to building and running a website. Some use cases where it comes in handy would be for;
- Small personal blogs
- Simple, static websites
- Portfolio websites
And other low-traffic volume websites.
Quick Tip: While not ideal, some small businesses can also consider using shared hosting as the foundation for new websites as they get established.
Virtual Private Server Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the next step upward from shared hosting. Through virtualization technology, web hosts create up to dozens of “mini servers” within each physical server. Each VPS account gets a dedicated allocation of system resources.
Advantages of VPS Hosting
Having dedicated resources allocated to each VPS account is a significant influencing factor in the characteristics of this type of plan. Having dedicated resources means better and more stable performance for websites on VPS plans.
Since each VPS occupies its own virtual space, you can customize the environment to your specific needs. That gives a great deal more leeway on what you can do with a VPS hosting plan. The virtual environment also means better security compared to shared hosting.
One more advantage of VPS is that the plans are highly scalable. You can provision more resources at any time – and this is generally easy to do. Most web hosts allow you to adjust system resources with a simple configuration tool.
Disadvantages of VPS Hosting
The biggest problem with VPS hosting is that it can be incredibly challenging to configure, deploy, and manage. Remember, for all events and purposes; you’re getting an entire virtual server for yourself.
Without sufficient knowledge of system applications, networking, and other areas needed for configuration, VPS can be a disaster waiting to happen. A slight misconfiguration can easily open gaping security loopholes on your virtual server.
How Much Does VPS Hosting Cost?
The price of VPS plans can vary widely depending on the number of resources you need and the possible inclusion of other tools. For example, adding cPanel licenses to your VPS can drive up costs significantly. On average, entry to mid-tier VPS plans will cost between $15 to $28 per month.
Who Should Use VPS Hosting?
The excellent stability and performance of VPS make it ideal for most use cases – as long as you’re willing to pay the price and can handle the technology. Some websites that can benefit from VPS plans include;
- Larger blogs and affiliate websites
- Established business websites
- eCommerce or online stores
Quick Tip: VPS often comes in two forms; Managed and Unmanaged. Managed VPS plans can be expensive but useful for those who want better performance without handling technical deployment and management of the VPS.
In many ways, Cloud hosting is similar to VPS hosting. The exception is that unlike VPS plans on single servers, Cloud hosting moves the focus away from hardware and looks mainly toward resource allocation.
The nature of cloud hosting is that it combines the resources of multiple servers into a massive pool that hosts can piece out.
Advantages of Cloud Hosting
Since Cloud technology uses multiple servers and networks, it presents as the most reliable form of web hosting available. For example, a mirror somewhere else in the Cloud simply takes over if a storage drive fails.
Disadvantages of Cloud Hosting
Given the similarities with VPS, CLoud hosting’s main concern takes a different direction. Because we seldom know precisely where in the Cloud data is stored, legal compliance in some business environments may be a challenge.
How Much Does Cloud Hosting Cost?
Cloud hosting prices also vary widely depending on configuration and service provider. Many web hosting companies offer cloud hosting plans at rates similar to those of VPS. Premium service providers like Amazon and Google will cost more.
Who Should Use Cloud Hosting?
The strong reliability and customizability factors make Cloud hosting very agile. It’s suitable for most use cases, including;
- Storage-heavy websites
- Application services
- Mid to high volume traffic websites
Quick Tip: Platform as a Service (PaaS) companies like Cloudways offer Cloud hosting plans with an easy management interface on top. This system provides great convenience, and you can generally choose from several Cloud partners.
Dedicated Server Hosting
As the name suggests, dedicated server hosting gets you an entire physical server of your own. These plans sit at the top of the food chain and are the most powerful (and expensive) form of web hosting available.
Advantages of Dedicated Server Hosting
Since these are actual physical servers, dedicated server hosting shared many characteristics with VPS plans. That means reliable resources for better performance and reliability and an isolated environment for enhanced security potential.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Server Hosting
Again, due to similarities, many of the disadvantages of VPS are also present on dedicated servers. You’ll find dedicated hosting almost impossible to configure, deploy, and maintain appropriately without adequate skills.
The most significant disadvantage, though, is the sheer cost of dedicated server hosting. Since the whole server is yours, you’ll need to bear the cost alone as well. Even if you’re using the server to a fraction of its capabilities, you’ll pay that same price.
How Much Does Dedicated Server Hosting Cost?
The cost of dedicated server hosting generally starts from a low of somewhere in the $80 to $90 range and stretches upwards quickly. The price is mainly affected by the exact server configuration you choose. Remember, though; that you may incur additional costs for application licensing.
Who Should Use Dedicated Server Hosting?
Dedicated hosting is capable of running almost any website imaginable. Again, this comes with the caveat that you can afford it and have the skills to manage the server. Some websites that can do well on dedicated servers include;
- Large, multi-functional company websites
- Those running mission-critical services
- High-volume eCommerce or online stores
Quick Tip: Unless you need high control over data, Cloud hosting plans can be much more cost-effective than opting for a dedicated server. These are typically a “last resort” for those lacking better options.
Since web hosting costs are recurring, price is a chief concern for those wanting to run a website. However, over-focusing on price may result in a poor choice of web hosting plan. Doing so may end up costing you more as you migrate or upgrade away from unsuitable plans.
Aside from focusing on types of hosting plans, the biggest question you should be asking at the end of the day is, “What does my website need?” Grab a pen and start your list; you may find your requirements surprising.