How much does it really cost to host a website right now? The answer might surprise you. When you are hosting things yourself, you might think it is the perfect way to save some money. After all, if you want to work on your car and you do the work yourself, you can save big money. In the same way, if you have a home repair that needs to be done, when you complete the repair on your own it is going to save you money.
Unfortunately, when you try to host a site yourself, it can actually end up costing you much more money than usual. Some experts post a range that goes from 1K all the way to 4K for your initial down payment. When you are thinking about hosting a site on your own, much more goes into this than just buying the computer and using a copy of Windows Server as your operating system. You need to think about security which is really important to stop hackers from breaking in and taking your data. You also need to think about web development. Hiring a web developer is not going to be cheap and they will charge a premium for their services.
Who can you use as your payment processor? Once again, you have to think about which company will take all your payments online and what kind of percentage they will charge you. Maintenance is also a concern to think about because nothing in the world of technology is static. Things are constantly being updated and shifting toward a better version. If you are not staying on top of these changes, it can cost you much more in the long run. You need a person or a team that you trust that will stay current with all the changes in web hosting and knows how to make the needed changes to keep everything working correctly and still secure.
With all the costs totaled together, it is easy to see it is better to just work with a host that already has all the equipment and knowledge to host your site. Who are the best hosts and what is the pricing?
With Bluehost, you can get started for just $2.95 a month. This introductory offer will increase to $7.99 over time but you are going to get one website along with around the clock support and a free SSL that they can help you set up. Next is the Plus plan for $5.45 a month. This comes with unlimited sites making it an awesome deal. Plus will eventually go up to $10.99 a month but that is still an excellent deal considering you can have as many sites as you would like. Last is the Pro plan. For $13.95 you have a dedicated IP which is superb if you are looking for fast speeds and no concerns about shared hosting.
2. WP Engine
Need a small blog with up to 25,000 hits a month? Pay WP Engine for their starter plan and it will only be $300.00 for the whole year. If you need up to 100,000 hits, you can go for the next step up which is $1150.00 for the year. For a large business that expects a lot of traffic, go with the Scale plan for $2900.00 a year. This allows for 400,000 hits each month. A really great deal!
With WordPress, for only $11.95 you get 1 website and up to 10,000 hits for your website. An excellent way to get started with a professional host. When your needs expand, move up to the next tier which is $19.95 a month and gives you unlimited sites. This is much more flexibility and up to 25,000 hits every month. The best tier is $34.95 each month and it will be up to 100,000 hits that you can serve. Siteground has a great reputation so check out one of these plans today.
For Hosting Forest, $2.99 per month will get you one website and up to 30 GB of storage. More than enough for a small and simple site. If you want to go a little bigger, check out the plan for $9.59 a month where you get up to 100 GB of space. If you need unlimited sites, go with the Deluxe which is only $13.19. With this plan you can make as many pages as you need to move your business forward.
For $30.00 each month, you are going to get access to one-click install for WordPress, one of the most popular platforms in the world. Upgrade to the next level which is the Pro plan and you double everything that you get with the starter plan. That means double the visits to your site at 40,000 hits each month, 20 GB of space that you can use, and 2 WordPress installs. For businesses that need to go past the cap on hits per month, their plans are reasonable and will cost $200.00 a month with a huge cap of 250,000 hits each month. I think we would all like to see that kind of growth and that many hits to our sites.
Web Hosting Costs Itemized
Let us think about some costs that you can’t avoid. First would be the domain name. It doesn’t matter if you are going to host the site yourself or go with another host because you still need to register the domain name with somebody. This can run around ten dollars.
Next you need an SSL certificate. If you can’t generate this on your own the cost can be between $100 to $300 to have an expert take care of this important security feature. It is not advised that you take on this responsibility if you are unsure of how to correctly do the task since so much hinges on having a functioning cert.
Next, take a look at the cost of hosting. Just because you are not going to go with a traditional host such as Namecheap or Hostgator does not mean you can skip the hardware. You will still need to rent a server from a company and hope that they are local enough to your customers so that they will get a fast and responsive web site.
If you are going for a server that will have enough horsepower for fast load times and streaming data and video, expect to pay up to $200 a year for the privilege of using equipment from another company.
No website would be complete without somebody to design the layout. If you are a business owner, chances are high that you will not also be a graphic designer with experience in modern day web design. If you go with a designer that is just starting out and at the low end of the spectrum, you may have a total cost of only $500.00 for a simple site, but if you are looking for something more complex with many pages that need to be designed, you can expect to pay thousands. The more you expect the designer to take on, the more they will charge you for their expertise and ability to come up with pleasing designs.
Another thing to think about would be the tools that the designer needs once you hire them. When you are trying to build a house, you need to pay for the supplies and materials that go into the home you are constructing. Nails, bricks, and drywall must all be accounted for and then they are added to your bill along with labor in the end. In a similar way, your designer may need to charge you for expensive templates and development tools to put your site together.
Perhaps you are running a business that is very unique and you construct accessories for show horses. This is such a niche business, the odds of a template already existing that will cater to this industry is low. The developer that is working with your designer will need to create custom blocks for your site using PHP coding which is a skill that is hard to master. Not only that, but if the first site is not satisfactory, you will need to pay for revisions and changes to the layout. All of this costs time and money if layouts are not already present that will work well with your business.
On top of all this, you will need to invest in a content delivery network or a CDN in case you come under attack from a DDOS spike or there is a sudden influx of traffic you were not expecting. This means you are going to have to add an additional $200.00 a year to the total to make sure that your content is spread out over many servers and can reach people around the world quickly and with efficiency.
We will not go into payment processing because this will look very different between industries and how much volume that you are working with. That should also be accounted for since it will be a percentage taken out of every sale. Overall we recommend that you choose a great & cheap hosting service.