When you sign up with a hosting plan, you’re renting space on a physical server to store all the files your website requires to function and provide users with the access to view that data. But which kind of hosting is right for your business? And how much should you be spending?
Bottom line: what you pay will depend on the type of hosting you choose. Let’s review the four most popular options, their average cost, and their ideal users.
Note: Keep in mind that these cost ranges are typically promotional prices, where you pay a specific price for a set period. Once your promotional period is over, your monthly plan cost will likely go up, so be sure to read those hosting terms!
Types of Web Hosting Providers
Shared Web Hosting
With this option, your website is one of several hundred sharing the resources of a single server. One of the biggest benefits of shared hosting is the simple user interface that comes with it, where you can make changes, add domains, update content, and more.
Cost: Many shared hosting providers offer a variety of plans, with an average cost of $3 to $15 per month. Plans with the lowest prices tend to offer very basic features, while those on the higher end can include extra tools that you might find helpful.
Ideal users: Websites with low traffic, static websites, blogs, small businesses just starting out
VPS (or virtual private server) hosting is the next step up from shared hosting. While you still share a server with other websites, it’s only a few others. Additionally, your provider partitions off your space so that your site’s performance isn’t affected by the traffic or performance of those other sites. A VPS is also scalable, meaning it can grow with your website and accommodate your increasing server needs.
Cost: You can expect to pay between $20 and $80 per month for VPS hosting.
Ideal Users: Established small to medium businesses
With dedicated server hosting, your website gets its own entire server, with as much space and power as you need to accommodate your needs. While you will need to have the technical staff on hand to maintain it, the speed and security of dedicated servers are worth it for the businesses who need them.
Cost: Dedicated hosting is one of the most expensive hosting options; the average cost ranges between $80 and $400 a month.
Ideal Users: High-traffic business sites
Cloud hosting means a cluster of hosting servers that work together so that a website never goes down. If one server goes down, another picks up the operation, and so on. Working with a high-quality cloud hosting provider offers a speedy site performance. Cloud hosting plans also provide data mirroring helping you keep your data secure, plus excellent scalability when your website traffic increases.
Cost: Cloud hosting services range from $10 to $100/month.
Ideal users: Businesses for whom any amount of downtime could prove fatal
Whatever type of hosting platform you end up choosing, here’s some guidance on what to seek out when you’re narrowing down your final selection:
For anyone to visit your site, your hosting provider to at least function. While brief outages do occur during server maintenance, ideally, your site should open every time someone tries to enter. To minimize potential issues, look for providers that feature 99% or higher uptime.
Fast Loading Speeds
Consumers expect website pages to load within two seconds. If it takes any longer, they’ll click back, an action that can hurt your SEO efforts (and your search engine ranking). Your hosting provider should be able to load your website quickly for your visitors.
With cyberattacks becoming more common, security is a top priority. A good website host features constant monitoring and firewalls to protect your site from malicious activity, along with daily backups.
Accessible Customer Support Team
No matter how many incredible features a website hosting provider offers, they don’t mean much if you’re having trouble with them. Top-notch tech support is a must. Your business can’t afford to deal with long wait times or difficult customer service.
Some website hosting services have monthly traffic limits and exceeding those limits can lead to an additional cost. Make sure the host you choose has unlimited bandwidth or unmetered traffic, especially if you expect a lot of visitors.
Easy-to-Use Control Panel
At some point, you or your web developer will need to adjust your website’s settings, add user accounts, or perform updates. Choose a host with an easy-to-use interface, so you save time and frustration.
Hosting can seem like an afterthought when it comes to your website investment, but in an age where your online presence is so crucial to your success, choosing the right hosting plan and provider to do the heavy lifting for your business is vital.
Need some additional guidance on the best hosting solution? Reach out to Elevato for help!