Let's start from the beginning. If you want your own website, you’ll need a web host.
A web host provides the storage and access your website needs to be successful. For example, your site and all of its files live on a server which your web host manages for you. When people visit your website, they want to see these files. The server sends site visitors the requested files — and that’s how your website is viewed by the general online community.
If you’re a new website owner, it can be overwhelming and confusing to figure out which type of web hosting is right for you. But when it comes to web hosting, it’s not one size fits all. There are many different options for you to choose from, whether you have a small business, a new blog, or a large online store. Here are a few different types of web hosting you can get.
- Managed web hosting
- Shared web hosting
- VPS web hosting
- Cloud web hosting
- Wordpress hosting
Some cost more, some cost less, and they all offer different features. If you are not sure which would be right for you, we will cover all of them in detail below. It’s important to understand each of the options, as the decision can sometimes be harder to make than you think. But don’t worry, we’ll break it all down in an easy to understand manner.
Choosing the type of web hosting is only the beginning. It doesn’t end there. In fact, there are many more things that go into web hosting expenses.
- Domain name
- SSL certificate
- Extensions and plugins (there are a lot of these)
- Ecommerce features
- Marketing tools
As you can see, there are a LOT more things for you to pick and choose. Lucky for you, some of the items on this list can be obtained for free — and sometimes free versions can be better than paid.
Different Types of Web Hosting Cost Differently
Now let’s go into more detail on the different types of web hosting and their costs. Keep in mind that prices may change depending on when you read this.
Managed hosting by definition is web hosting, where a service provider leases dedicated servers and associated hardware to a single customer and manages those systems on the customer’s behalf.
With managed hosting, you can rent a dedicated server for yourself where you get administrative access but all the configuration, setups, technical support, patch management, and monitoring, are applied by your service provider. This is a big benefit if you are not a developer or don't have time to work on all of this yourself.
You can expect the following from a managed hosting provider:
- Backup and disaster recovery — this is always good to have as you never know what can happen to your site
- Load balancing
- Security services, such as vulnerability scans and intrusion detection
- Physical security measures for safeguarding data centers
- Support for resolving technical issues — in most cases, hosting companies have their own 24/7 support and security team
Managed hosting can cost anywhere from $80-$500 per month. The cost of managed hosting depends on bandwidth, storage space, and RAM. This makes managed hosting on a dedicated server ideal for high traffic sites that need consistent uptime and fast speed.
The biggest benefit of managed hosting is that you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of your website. Your host will do that for you, so you can focus on your website and your business. For example, a managed hosting provider will ensure your site is secure and loads quickly, no matter how much traffic you encounter.
We should quickly mention there are also unmanaged servers. They work almost the same as managed servers, but as the word implies, you do everything for yourself. This is not recommended for anyone without at least intermediate knowledge of software management and a team that’s ready to help.
Shared hosting is by far the cheapest hosting option. It costs around $3-$15 per month.
But exactly what is shared hosting? Shared hosting allows multiple websites to utilize a single server. Usually, you will have no idea who or what website is sharing their resources with you. Each customer will usually have a limit on the total amount of server resources they can use, but this is limited by the hosting package. Bluehost is an example of a shared hosting provider. GoDaddy also offers shared hosting plans.
There are a few advantages of shared hosting such as:
- It is by far the cheapest hosting option you’ll find.
- Shared hosting is a great way to start your hosting journey as you can usually upgrade your package over time.
- Shared hosting more often than not comes with equipped cPanel, which makes it easier to manage your site.
- As with managed hosting, there is NO technical maintenance needed to be done from your side — it is usually covered by the hosting company.
Put simply, if you don't have enough resources to get something more expensive or dont have the knowledge or time to manage your own server all the time, shared hosting can be great for you. And again you can always just upgrade once you think you are ready.
There are also obvious downsides to shared hosting as well:
- The load time is noticeably slower than dedicated servers.
- Server can become overburdened by all the other sites that are sharing the server.
- The bigger your site becomes, the more resources it needs, which means you are burdening the server more and more and you will notice your site perform worse and worse.
- You never truly know who your neighbor is — it is rare but still a possibility that other sites pose a risk to your own.
- There is a noticeable lack of customization options to truly get the highest level of performance and experience you would want out of your site.
If you are someone who is just getting started, shared hosting could be a better fit for you.
Also known as virtual private server hosting, this type of hosting falls between shared and dedicated hosting. It is designed for anyone that has surpassed the limitations of a shared hosting server and wants no concerns over other clients on the server.
This is a good solution if you are not ready for your own dedicated server but also want more out of your website. VPS hosting is designed in mind to combine the features of both shared and dedicated hosting.
VPS hosting uses virtual technology called hypervisor to split a single server into multiple independent spaces, also known as virtual machines. Each virtual machine has its own operating system and infrastructure so you feel like you have your own dedicated server, but you are still sharing resources with all others on the server.
What this means is that all the users are allowed to configure and manage their sites independently, as with a dedicated server, but at a noticeably lower cost. This also offers much better performance and scalability than shared hosting. Additionally, it offers all the needs for growth without needing to “upgrade” to a dedicated server.
What also needs to be taken into consideration is that VPS servers are much more secure than the shared hosting counterpart. With its virtual partitioning that keeps the site separate, there is no fear of all the other users of the server. Additionally, in most cases VPS hosting providers are responsible for installing and maintaining the essential security features of the server itself, which means there is no reason to worry about potential hacker attacks.
You can get yourself on a VPS hosted server for roughly $5-100 per month on average. Prices for VPS hosting vary because of the allocated central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), and solid-state drive (SSD) storage.
Cloud Web Hosting
Next, let's talk about cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is a type of hosting you want to get into once your ecommerce business is so big that even slightest downtime can prove fatal for your business. The best hosting provider makes sure that there is a cloud server always ready to jump in and keep your site up and running.
Cloud servers can be a bit more pricey, but for a good reason. They provide:
- High reliability in a sense that your sites are always safe from an unexpected downtime.
- Amazing traffic load balancing which means cloud servers maintain website performance even when traffic is high.
- Easy flexibility — when your website grows too big, you can upgrade your bandwidth and storage to the capacity you need.
But of course as with everything, there are also things you need to worry about. Flaws of cloud web hosting include:
- Limited control. In most cases, web hosts manage cloud hosting. As such, users assume less control over their own hosting environment.
- Higher than average cost. As we mentioned before, cloud hosting is on average a bit more expensive than other options, which can make it inaccessible for some people.
- Security vulnerabilities. If set up wrong, cloud site configurations can cause major security issues and overall problems for the sites and the server.
You can get your own site on cloud web hosting for prices averaging between $10-200 per month.
Tips to Reduce Your Hosting Costs
We’ve covered all types of hosting. Now let’s review what comes after you choose a hosting provider — plus a few tips and tricks to lower the cost of hosting as much as possible.
Choose a Host With a Page Builder Included
Let's start with tip number one. You would think our first tip would be related to the domain and domain name, but you would be surprised how much money you can save if you get yourself a host that includes a pagebuilder in their plans.
You might be asking yourself what a page builder is. A page builder, or website builder, is a plugin or extension that makes it easy to create content by dragging and dropping pre-built controls. It allows you to structure and design responsive pages with ease. The main reason why you should take a look into the page builder is because of its complexity. By that we mean you can create your own website without having any technical knowledge with minimal time and effort.
With the right page builder solution, you can save yourself thousands of dollars, since you won't need to hire a developer and create a coded and working HTML/CSS website.
Page builder tools can cost anywhere from $40 to over $100, but most don’t come with hosting included. You can find a page builder solution like StoreBuilder, which comes with fully managed hosting, for $19 per month.
Get Your Domain and Hosting From the Same Provider
Tip number two: get your domain and domain name from the same place.
If you don’t know what a domain is, it’s what everyone can see once they type your domain name into the search bar. A domain name is something close to your home address. It’s how people can get to your website directly. Without a domain name, everyone would have to enter your website's full IP address, which can prove to be inefficient and slow.
Without a good domain name, your ecommerce business could quickly meet its demise. For a business to grow fast and steady, you need a domain name that is catchy, easy to remember, and easy to spell. Good domain names separate successful businesses from everyone else.
Getting domain names in the same place as the domain is a good idea because of simplicity and payment. Usually hosting providers offer a domain name registrar that is trustworthy and sometimes included in the price. If you purchase a domain name separately from the provider, it can affect your price with a couple of different elements.
For example, popular top-level domains (.com, .net, and .org), are much more expensive than something like .store or .online. Additionally, the name itself can cause you to pay more. For example, cars.com once sold as the most expensive domain name ever for a jaw dropping $872 million. As you can see, domain names are highly important to a business no matter what the industry.
Domain names are usually priced between $1.99 and $19.99 for a registration. You can probably find free domain names on your own, but we highly recommend you stick with your trustworthy hosting providers.
Sign Up for a Long Renewal Period
Tip number three: you should always buy your domain for a longer period of time.
Every single hosting company will give you benefits with a long renewal period, be it a lower cost, better performance, better security, free trials, or all of the above. There is always something you get back for your loyalty to the hosting provider.
But let's say you are not sure if this business idea of yours will work out. Maybe you want to just give it a shot for a month or two without committing to the full six months, risking even more money. Fortunately, in most cases, you can end your plan with the hosting provider without any drawbacks. You can sometimes even freeze your account and websites for a period of time if you are unable to pay for the site.
Don’t Choose Free Hosting
And last but not least: never choose free hosting.
Let's say it like this — anything free has a reason to be free, and you’ll soon see why. You wouldn't want to create your website just for it to break, run out of resources, or be hacked over and over again.
With free hosting, there is no security and no trust in your hosting provider. You wouldn't want your income to be at risk and your sites unstable. Just to be clear, there is a way that you can get your domain for free and still succeed with your plans.
However, why put yourself at risk when you can get your own paid domain with a trustworthy hosting partner that can offer you any service and support you will ever need? In the end, free hosting will end up costing you peace of mind and maybe much more.
Which Type of Web Hosting is Best for You?
A simple question to ask yourself is this: Where do I want to start?
If you want a website that you don't need to worry about, go with managed hosting. If you are on a budget and starting small with a new business, go with shared hosting. Choose VPS hosting if you are ready to pay a bit more for additional security and resources. Choose cloud hosting if you are experienced and want your business to grow rapidly with the most security you can get.
Ready to get started with a web hosting plan today? Consider hosting with Nexcess.
Nexcess has you covered for any type of hosting server you want, with different plans for any business either small or large, new or transferring. Whether you have a simple blog or a large ecommerce store, Nexcess has a managed hosting solution for you.
With many plans to meet your needs, a trustworthy domain registrar, free SSL certificates, and an expert support team ready to help you 24/7/365, you’re in good hands with fully managed hosting from Nexcess.
When it comes to hosting, don’t settle for anything less than the best. Get all-in-one solutions you need for a successful website. Enjoy a headache free experience thanks to award-winning support from platform-specific experts.
See why Nexcess has a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on TrustPilot.
Check out our fully managed hosting plans to get started today.