Web Host Prices

In the web hosting market, a prospective customer will be bombarded with every web hosting feature, add-on, up-sell, value-add, cross-sell and package deal under the sun. This makes is extraordinarily difficult to choose a web host and identify whether a web hosting company’s price is worth paying.

In the shared hosting world of web hosting plans, there seem to be two types of web host: those offering a fixed, low price for everything; and those offering higher, staggered prices depending on what features you’d like added to your web hosting account.

There’s no need to repeat the you-get-what-you-pay-for cliché. But you must be informed about why a particular web host is cheaper than another, and what the advantages and disadvantages are.

A budget web host will usually rent a single web server or three from a large web hosting company that operates thousands upon thousands of web servers, all sitting neatly organised on racks, nailed down by iron-clad security with vicious geese guarding the building.

The budget web host will generally be operated by two or three people, and its major disadvantages will be reliability and security. They will often offer personal support, but you may be plagued with irritating downtimes or dangerous security breaches.

The advantage of budget web hosts is they will often not put limits on features such as email accounts and databases, and will be very reasonable in their allocation of disk space and data transfers.

The budget web host makes a sound choice for a small business for whom their website’s availability is not critical, and who is not storing highly sensitive data on their website.

Expect to pay between US$5/month and US$15/month for a cheap web host.

For more mission-critical websites, a larger, more professional web host is a better solution. These web hosting companies may still rent their web servers, but will often be employing more staff, and will have greater resources to ensure security and reliability are maintained.

A larger web host will often charge for additional features such as extra email accounts. As annoying as this is (because it costs the web host nothing in either labour nor resources), it enables the larger web host to earn greater profits from their larger clients.

Expect to pay upwards of US$20/month for larger web hosts, and you will often need to choose from a range of web hosting plans.

For the heavy-usage website, a dedicated server is often necessary. You will usually be renting directly from a wholesale web hosting company, and prices are easier to compare. Several hundred US dollars a month will have you a dedicated server, and the difference in cost will normally come down to simple things such as included control panel software and the beefiness of the web server.