When the web launched in 1991, you had to have your own server connected to the internet to host your website. It would have cost thousands of dollars to set it up and you would have needed an expert sysadmin to keep it running.
Things have come a long way in the last 3 decades. Let’s look at today’s web hosting cost.
The Components of Your Total Web Hosting Cost
Several factors play a part in the total cost of your website hosting:
- Domain registration
- Maintenance and support
Registering your domain is the first step. The cost depends on the type of domain you register, such as .com, .co, .net, etc. The annual fees range between $10 and upwards of $100, depending on the extension.
The web server is the hosting account that stores all the data for your website. The server is the computer that all your site’s visitors communicate with.
Maintenance and support are necessary for things like software upgrades, security patches, script installations, etc.
Hosting Costs for Different Types of Servers
There are three primary types of web servers:
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Server
- Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Shared hosting is the cheapest type of hosting with prices starting as little as a few dollars a month. It’s not the best choice for most businesses though.
The reason it’s called shared hosting is that a single server gets shared between several websites. Some hosting companies will put dozens or even hundreds of sites on a single server, which leads to poor performance and potential security risks.
A dedicated server is the opposite of shared hosting. Instead of having a bunch of sites on the same server, it’s dedicated to yours. You have control over every aspect of the server and get access to all its resources.
This gives you much better performance and more control over the server configuration. The flipside of the coin is that dedicated hosting is more expensive. Dedicated servers start at roughly $100 per month and go up from there, depending on how they’re configured.
A virtual private server, or VPS, is a hybrid of the other two. A VPS gets shared between several users but each user gets a fixed share of the server’s resources in a “walled garden” setup where one user has no way of affecting another. VPS hosting is usually limited to a small number of users on each physical server as well.
VPS hosting costs somewhere between shared and dedicated hosting, generally in the $20-$100 per month range.
Managed vs Unmanaged Website Hosting
Maintenance and support is another cost of hosting a website. Web servers are no different than any other computer – they need to get updated to add new features and to patch security flaws. If you’re not a system administrator who can manage these tasks, you need to pay someone to look after them for you.
Managed hosting means the hosting company takes care of things like updating the operating system and other software, patching security holes, installing new software, and keeping the server running smoothly.
Unmanaged hosting means the hosting service doesn’t do any of those things. You’ll either need to do them yourself or hire someone to take care of them for you. These costs will depend on your needs but the hourly rate for system administrators isn’t cheap. And hiring an in-house IT staff adds even more overhead.
Where to Find the Best Web Design and Hosting
If you want to keep your web hosting cost under control while offering a high-performance, secure experience for your site’s visitors, Jonesen can help. We offer a range of solutions including hosting, security monitoring, and web design services.
Check out some of our past work to see the types of projects we’ve done and get in touch today to find out how we can help you with your web hosting needs.