Your website hosting fees can vary from less than a hundred dollars per year to more than a hundred dollars per month, depending on your needs. Some types of hosting services cost more, certain types of domains are priced higher, and more. It is important to consider all the costs associated with hosting a blog if you want to be able to budget well.
How Much Does Hosting Cost To Start A Website For Blogging?
If you just want to set up the simplest possible website, all you need is a domain name and a hosting site. Any charge is optional from there. This means that if you have a budget, you can start small and increase your hosting expenses over time.
In this article, we will break down the total cost of hosting the website. We are also going to discuss the visible costs, the hidden costs, and the optional charges. We have got a lot of details to go through, so let’s get it on!
What Is Hosting And Why Does It Cost Money?
Every website you visit is a collection of files on a remote computer. The computers that we use to host websites are called servers. When you pay for hosting, you pay for a portion of disk space.
As you might imagine, different and more powerful types of servers (which can handle more traffic) have higher prices. They are, of course, represented as hosting tiers or levels. The most common hosting type for blogging is shared hosting. With this type of plan, your website shares a server and its resources with other users.
Just think of a building, and the building is divided into floors. On a specific floor, there’s an office unit. When you compare that to hosting, that office unit is one user under a shared hosting server.
Shared hosting may differ in the number of domains a user can register, the capacity of file or storage space, and more. With my current hosting provider, Namecheap, they offer three different types of shared hosting: Stellar, Stellar Plus, and Stellar Business.
|Stellar||Stellar Plus||Stellar Business|
|20 GB SSD
|50 GB SSD
AutoBackup & Cloud Storage
If you want to launch a website, you’ll need to pay for hosting. However, you’ll also notice a lot of free hosting providers available. By and large, though, the free hosting isn’t going to offer the quality of service you’d want or need for most sites.
For example, bandwidth is usually low, and performance can be sketchy. In some cases, you won’t even be able to use your own domain with free hosting.
It’s pretty easy to find shared hosting plans to suit your budget. If you can pre-pay for hosting (pay annually in long terms), you can massively reduce your website hosting cost. To save you some time, we put together a list of the best budget hosting options you can use.
How Much Does It Cost To Register And Renew A Domain?
Besides the hosting plans, a domain name is the only other obligatory cost of starting and running a website. In some cases, web hosts will give you access to free subdomains you can use, such as mywebsite.hostingcompany.com. However, those subdomains look unprofessional and they’re not a viable long-term solution.
The best option for most people is to register their own domain. How much it costs to register a domain will depend on two factors:
The TLD you use. You can usually register .com domains for around $10, whereas other TLD options can be cheaper or more expensive.
Which registrar you use. Some web hosts enable you to register domains through them, but you can also use dedicated services known as ‘registrars‘.
The price of domains can vary slightly depending on your choice of registrar. In practice, though, the differences tend to be small, so your choice of a registrar isn’t as critical as with hosting.
When you register a domain, you usually only pay for one year of ownership. You’ll then need to renew your registration, which usually costs the same as the initial purchase. Since domain costs vary wildly depending on the TLD and name you want, it’s important to compare prices from different registrars.
If you register a domain with a discount, you’ll probably have to pay full price when it comes to renewing it, so keep that in mind.
Other Things To Think About In Website Hosting Cost
Hosting and domain registration are the two primary parts of the website hosting cost. However, they’re far from the only ones. There are plenty of extras you need to pay for, and both hosting and domain registration companies will often try to talk you into buying them.
With this in mind, let’s break down those extras and talk about the ‘hidden’ costs you may run into. Let’s start with hosting renewals.
1) Hosting Plan Renewal
Hosting companies are masters when it comes to hiding real prices. In many cases, the cost to host a website for your first contract won’t be the same as when you renew it. Most hosting providers will show you this information right below their sticker prices.
Those ‘regular’ prices show what you’ll have to pay once your initial contract is up. The idea is to lock you into their ecosystem, at which point you may be willing to pay more versus moving to another web host.
If you’re hosting somewhere that uses this billing approach, we’d recommend trying to lock in the promo prices for three years if possible.
2) Bandwidth / Traffic Over-Limit Charges
Web hosts don’t just charge you host server space – they also take into account your traffic levels. As your website grows in popularity, you’ll need more expensive hosting plans so its performance doesn’t suffer due to traffic.
With shared plans, your website might not be able to handle high amounts of traffic with grace. Depending on who your host is, you can incur ‘overage’ charges. Some providers will charge you extra, whereas others will restrict your resources.
If your website is getting ‘too much’ traffic, your web host will likely let you know. If this happens consistently, it’s usually in your best interest to upgrade to a better plan, so you can enjoy better performance.
3) Domain Privacy
Domain registration information is available to the public through the Whois database. At any time, someone can look up a domain and see who registered it.
In practice, this means your contact information is public knowledge. As such, most domain registrars will offer you extras such as domain privacy or Whois ‘protection’ to obscure this data.
Since you can get Whois protection for free depending on the registrar, it doesn’t make much sense to pay an extra dollar or two (which is what it usually costs) to set it up. When you’re shopping for a domain, make sure your registrar doesn’t try to upsell the feature.
It can be free to other registrars like Namecheap.
4) SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate tells visitors your website is safe to use and secure by use encryption to protect data. If a website has a valid certificate, your browser will display a lock icon in the browser.
It’s important to understand that there are different types of SSL certificates. Basic ones tend to be free now and most quality hosts make it easy to take advantage of a free SSL certificate.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re trying to set up a basic website and your web host tries to charge you for a certificate, you want to say “No.” You can easily set up your own for free or opt for a different provider.
However, if you’re running anything related to eCommerce, it may be a mandatory purchase, as your security needs may be higher.
If you do need to purchase a premium SSL certificate, they usually start around $20 per year and range up to $60+, depending on the level of validation.
5) ICANN Fees
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces and numerical spaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.
It also maintains the central repository for IP addresses and helps coordinate the supply of IP addresses. It also manages the domain name system and root servers.
It charges a mandatory annual fee for each domain registration, renewal, or transfer.
6) Email Hosting
If you want to use a professional email address with one of your domains, you’ll need to pay for a special type of hosting dedicated to email.
You don’t need to pay for email hosting. Many shared hosts will even bundle this into your regular hosting plan. If they do, they’ll usually advertise it under the plan’s features, so keep an eye out for it!
If your host doesn’t offer email hosting, you can get free email hosting with a third-party email service provider like Google Mail (Gmail) and others.
The cost to host a website can be cheap. However, it’s important that you always read your web host’s fine print. Many will try to lock you in for as long as possible and charge you for as many extras as they can.
As long as you understand the costs associated with hosting, you can stay under budget with ease.
To give you more ideas on hosting for your blog, check out our Which WordPress To Choose? guide, as well as our What Is A Domain Name, Really? (And Some Crazy Stuff About It) discussions.
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