Website Hosting Cost Guide 2024 – Forbes Advisor UK

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A website is more than just a shop window for your business, it can be the key to its success. While, these days, creating a small business website is a simple process, one of the first critical decisions you will need to make is what type of hosting plan is right for you. In this guide, we will break down website hosting cost for several different types of plans, so you can decide which could work best for you.

Cost by type of web hosting plans

Shared hosting: This is a beginner-level hosting plan. With shared hosting, users share their web server with other websites. The number of other websites could range from a few hundred to thousands. It’s a highly competitive industry which means consumers benefit from low monthly cost. For example, pricing generally ranges from between around £2 and £4 a month for entry-level to mid-tier options.

The advantage of shared hosting is this affordable pricing. There are disadvantages however, including patchy service, no guarantee of uptime, possible security risks and limited resources making it difficult for websites to scale. It means this option is best for new websites or those with low traffic and static pages.

Virtual private server: VPS is the next level of hosting is the next level of hosting. On average, the cost of VPS plans is in between the cost of shared hosting and dedicated hosting. Users can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to £80 to £100 per month. With VPS, users still share server space with other websites. However, there are fewer websites sharing the same space. This allows websites to manage higher volumes of traffic and increases the level of site security.

Users will also have more control over their hosting environment, which is better for privacy than shared hosting. This should be the lowest level of hosting for e-commerce websites. Disadvantages of VPS is an increase in costs and the possibility of an occasional slow uptime.

Dedicated hosting: As the name suggests, dedicated hosting dedicates an entire server to the user. This gives users complete control over their server’s environment allowing them to customise the operating system, software and general configurations. Dedicated hosting prices generally start around £80 per month.

Websites with their own dedicated servers run faster, can manage a high traffic volume and experience less downtime because of the large bandwidth, storage space and RAM. Dedicated servers are also more secure making them imperative for larger businesses with sensitive data.

Cloud hosting: With cloud hosting, a cluster of servers work together instead of relying on a single server like traditional hosting services. Its main advantage is the extreme infrequency in which the servers go down.

Cloud hosting is ideal for balancing traffic to maintain website performance even when traffic is high. Instead of a flat rate monthly fee like traditional hosting, cloud hosting users generally use a pay-as-you-go model and only pay for what they use.

What other costs are there for hosting a website?

When building and maintaining a website, there are more costs involved than just web hosting. For example, additional costs often include a domain name (around £10 per year), an SSL certificate, premium themes or templates, premium plugins and additional third-party integrations and tools.

Here’s a brief overview of the other costs related to website hosting:

  • Domain name: A domain name is a web address, such as While many of the top web hosting plans include a free domain name, you can buy a domain name separately from a domain name registrar, such as Namecheap or for around £10 to £15 per year
  • Secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate: The SSL certificate is a security feature that helps prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing sensitive data. As with domain names, many hosting plans include it for free while others provide it for an additional cost anywhere from £10 to £150 per year
  • Premium theme and/or template: Themes and templates allow users to customise their websites. While most hosting plans do provide at least a handful of free customisable templates, some users end up purchasing more advanced templates for even more customisation in website design. Premium WordPress themes for example can cost anywhere between £20 to £150, or more in some cases.
  • Premium plugins: Plugins add features or extend the functions of an existing application to further customise your website. Basic plugins are generally free while premium plugins generally cost between £5 to £50 or more depending on the plugin
  • Marketing tools and integrations: Like plugins, marketing tools and integration can further customise your website to help expand your website’s reach and convert visitors into customers. Marketing tools vary greatly in price and can be a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription.

Website hosting cost small print

To entice new customers to sign up for their services many web hosting companies offer very attractive introductory prices. Renewal pricing more than doubles once the initial contract is over. To get the most out of the low introductory pricing it is recommended to sign as long of a contract as possible.

Usually, web hosting companies have one- to two-year plans, but some companies even let new customers lock into a three-year contract.

How do the top website hosting companies stack up?

*Conversion, 21 February 2024

With the exception of, the hosting companies we examined all start their introductory rate around £2 a month. Once that introductory rate expires, however, prices jump up so make sure you have budgeted for what costs will rise to, and when.

All the plans include 24/7 customer service, WordPress hosting and free business email. Beyond that, you will need to examine what hosting service provides the features you want and stays within your budget.

For a complete breakdown of the leading web hosts and associated costs, check out our article on the best web hosting services.

Bottom line

Unless you plan on having high volumes of web traffic, shared hosting is usually suitable for new websites.Established websites with high volumes of traffic, that store highly sensitive data or require a consistent uptime should host their website with dedicated hosting.

Websites can choose between VPS and cloud hosting depending on their specific needs and budgetary constrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cheapest way to build a website?

The cheapest (and easiest) way to create a website is to use a website builder.

Website builders are affordable, easy to use and customisable.

Plans start around £10 per month and offer everything to need to build and maintain your website yourself.

Are free web hosting plans worth it?

Free web hosting plans are unlikely to be the best option for ecommerce websites or those that store sensitive information.

If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, here is a list of the 10 best web hosting services on the market today.

How do I choose the best web hosting services?

When choosing the best web hosting services for your business, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors.

The most important include your website’s size, traffic and goals. You’ll also want to consider the type of hosting you need, as well as shared, VPS or dedicated hosting.

Finally, factors such as which come with the extras you need, such as a domain name or business email address, and support in your preferred contact method, such as live chat, phone or email, should influence your decision.

What makes website hosting so expensive?

Most web hosts come with similar resources so the best way to stand out is to offer more features, and these come at additional cost.

Web hosts also have to pay for the servers and infrastructure that power their websites as well as 24/7 customer support.

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