If you're in the market for web hosting, one of the first questions you're going to ask is how much will this cost me? If price is your main concern, then a shared hosting package will be your best bet, being the most affordable option. On the other end of the spectrum, if you're hosting some big projects or very busy websites, you'll want to look at a dedicated server. These are on the more pricey side, but for good reason.

But what if you're somewhere in the middle? We're going to talk you through the different types of web hosting in detail, what they can do, who they're suited to, and of course, how much they cost. All to help you make the best decision for your project.

The cost of web hosting

As stated, the cost of your web hosting will depend entirely on the package you choose. Depending on the scale and needs of your project, you may only need an affordable web hosting solution, or you may need to invest in something more serious. We're going to talk you through all of the options below.

1. Shared hosting

This is the most economical and popular type of plan, and the one that most people begin with.

With a shared hosting plan, your website will be on a server that’s shared with multiple other tenants. Although it’s not the most powerful type of hosting, it’s more than sufficient for many users who need to sustain a low-traffic website. For many people with smaller projects that are less demanding, sacrificing features for lower costs is well worth it.

2. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting

VPS is often seen as a stepping stone for those who need a website with more power and security than shared hosting, but can’t quite stomach the price of a dedicated server. Normally, this is when a smaller project has started to outgrow the resources that are available on a shared hosting server and requires more from their server.

The key difference compared to shared hosting is that, through a process called ‘virtualisation’, many of the benefits of having your server are emulated, even though in reality you’re still sharing a server with other tenants. The advantage of a VPS is that there's no competition for resources which results in better performance for your website.

The higher performance garnered from VPS is a must-have for some users, as their website needs to be able to handle higher traffic. There’s also the added benefit of better security. While no hosting plan is completely invincible to hackers, a VPS is definitely on the more secure end of the spectrum. This is because each VPS is its own, independent, virtualised environment making it similar to a dedicated server in that your files, software, and dedicated operating system are detached from other tenants on the physical server.

The benefits of higher performance, better security and affordability make VPS hosting a tempting option, especially for those using a website to sell online.

3. Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is a top-tier hosting plan. One benefit of dedicated hosting is that you’ll have an entire server ‘dedicated’ to you, and only you, and that explains its premium price tag.

But if you're willing and able to deal with the price, it's well worth it because you’ll have access to a server with less downtime and more power than anything else out there. Like most plans with hosting providers, the power and features that you have are completely scalable, and depending on what configuration you pick, this will dictate what you pay. Security-wise, you’ll also be in the clear. Because the server isn’t shared with anyone, you eliminate the possibility of sharing a server with tons of tenants – and your website being infiltrated this way.

The general rule of thumb is that medium to large businesses (500 people or more) that deal with a lot of data or have highly sensitive information should consider a dedicated server. Although the prices are inevitably higher, we often find that projects which need servers have sufficient traffic going to their site to make their money back and more.

4. Cloud hosting

Cloud server hosting works using virtualisation to split a physical server into multiple virtual machines called cloud servers which then connect to a single network for hosting a website.

This type of hosting is the most flexible of them all in terms of pricing. A small server configuration with 1GB of RAM, 25GB SSD storage and 1 CPU core is going to be the cheapest. As you increase the amount of storage, bandwidth, CPU cores, and memory for the server, the costs will start to increase.

Because of its pricing flexibility, cloud hosting can be a great fit for both small and large businesses. For small businesses, it offers an opportunity to integrate innovative cloud technology, unlimited scalability and uninterrupted access to apps and data via the internet, at affordable prices. For bigger businesses, it can be scaled up to run even the most resource-intensive tasks such as industrial networking, IT infrastructure and software development.

5. WordPress hosting

To put it simply, WordPress hosting is hosting that’s specifically optimised for WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). This is the main differentiator compared to regular web hosting plans, which aren’t tailored to a certain CMS. Because this type of hosting uses a platform designed for WordPress websites, you’ll get the highest levels of performance and tech support, as well as access to a range of benefits, such as tools and services tailored to WordPress websites.

6. Bare Metal hosting

Bare Metal servers are similar to a dedicated server, in a sense that it is a physical server devoted to a single user. When it comes to Bare Metal vs dedicated servers however, unlike the latter, Bare Metal servers can provide an array of advanced tools and features, with the added bonus of down-to-the-minute billing that you’d normally get with cloud servers. Plus, you can virtualise your server with Hyper-V and Windows Server Datacenter, or set up isolated VMs and operate them in parallel on a single system, each with their own OS! 

And if you already own a cloud server or two, with a Bare Metal server, you can take on heavier loads and work together with your other virtual machines too.

Web hosting costs at a glance

So there you have it, the low-down on the costs of each type of web hosting, to help you weigh up your options in a balanced way. It’s worth keeping in mind as a general rule that across any type of hosting plan you choose, as your web hosting plan increases in features and specifications, it will also increase in price.

Other costs of web hosting to consider

1. Domain name

In most cases, domain names need to be renewed annually. Some domain names may cost more than others too, depending on their popularity. Plus, some gTLDs (generic top-level domains) like .com or .co.uk can be more expensive than some lesser-known or newer domains.

2. SSL certificates

To protect your website and make it secure, especially if you have an e-commerce site, an SSL certificate is essential to ensure activity on your website is encrypted. Fortunately, our Web Hosting packages come with a free SSL certificate, so you don’t have to worry about getting one separately.

3. Website themes

How your website looks may factor into your costs to run a website. Website themes involve the layout, colours, graphics, and branding. Costs can vary based on whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. We have a ton of themes you can pick from with our Website Builder, which also allows you to drag and drop specific elements suited to your taste.

4. Extensions

Extensions improve your website's functionality by offering features such as pop-up messages, enhanced security and other UX and UI features. Different website platforms provide both free and paid extensions. For instance, WordPress has numerous plugins available, with many being free and suitable for small to medium-sized sites. As your site expands, you can invest in premium plugins like MonsterInsights, WPForms and much more.

Plus, if you run an ecommerce store, you may be inclined to invest in your ecommerce platform by opting for your chosen platform’s premium plugins. Extensions, plugins and add-ons vary per platform, but it’s worth checking out the most popular ones such as WooCommerce, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and more.

5. Marketing tools

For your business to grow, you need to drive traffic to your website with marketing tools to get to where you want to be. They help you reach more people, grow your audience, and more importantly – make more sales. You'll need particular tools for things like social media ads, email newsletters, and boosting your website's visibility.

Now, these tools aren't always free. The total cost depends on what tools you need, but most new to established businesses spend triple digits, particularly if paid adverts are involved.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. SEO tools

To make your website easier to find on search engines, you'll need an SEO tool like Moz, Semrush or Ahrefs – all of which range from limited free options to around £159+.  These tools help you research the best keywords to use, how to link effectively, and how to fix issues on your webpage.

2. Email marketing

Email newsletters are a great way to keep your customers in the loop. One such example is Mailchimp – a tool that helps you send out all kinds of mailers. It won't cost you anything to start, but when you have more than 1,500 subscribers, you'll have to start paying at least £10 a month.

3. Meta advertising

If you want to grow your audience, you may want to consider targeted social media ads through Meta – a platform that owns Facebook and Instagram (among others). It’s utilised to hyper-target audiences with different offers, goals, copy, imagery and more.

Can I host a website for free?

There are plenty of free web hosting options available, but they’re incredibly limited, and it’s important to have a reliable website that doesn’t exceed bandwidth, storage or other issues that would involve eventually upgrading. Some may even limit your domain name, by appending their own web hosting name. An example of this is “johnsmith.wordpress.com” – as you can see, it doesn’t scream “professional”. Plus, you’ll also be limited in terms of bandwidth, email forwarding addresses, storage among many other features.

What is the best way to build a website?

Besides using a free option, the best way to build your own website is to use a website builder. We offer both a Website Builder and Ecommerce Website Builder, so depending on what kind of site you want to build depends on the package you choose.

If you've still got any questions about our range of web hosting solutions, have a chat with our sales team today.