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how much is it to host a website

How Much is it to Host a Website?

“Every business needs a website!” You hear it all the time. But how much is it to host a website? Well, you won’t have to get rid of your arms or legs. In fact, you’ll find getting your website online to be quite affordable, and even profitable if done right.

There are different hosting packages you can choose based on what your needs are. That means pricing and resources will be different depending on your choice. This is why a blanket price of how much website hosting costs won’t work.

What we can say, however, is that hosting can be as cheap as R100 per month. Of course, we can’t speak to the exact prices of other hosting providers.

With that in mind, we’ll be using our own prices as the base rate, but we’ll include an average price so you have an idea of what’s out there. As a web hosting company we know everyone’s situation is different, so our offerings range from one-man-army to big corporations. 

So, in this blog we’ll go over the different web hosting costs of getting your website online. That’ll include the hosting package you choose, and other costs not directly tied to hosting.

Graph showing the domestic web host market share for five countries

Shared Hosting – Affordable and Accessible Hosting

HOSTAFRICA price range: ₵60₵205 p/m

Average price range: 56 – ₵245 p/m

The most accessible and popular choice, shared web hosting is the most affordable. When people wonder how much it costs to host a website, a shared hosting plan is usually what they’re referring to.

Shared hosting means lots of people share the same server resources. That’ll include things like memory, processing power, and storage space.

If you’re new to hosting, this is often a good place to start. Since the server resources are shared between the tenants, the cost of maintaining it is split as well. That’s why it’s the most affordable kind of hosting.

Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners. You don’t need much technical knowledge to get started.
  • Affordable. The easiest way to get your website online cost-wise.
  • Excellent support team. You don’t need to worry about backend tasks on the server.

Cons:

  • Limited resources. Not ideal for websites that need plenty of resources.
  • Shared server. You share a server so occasionally performance may suffer.
  • Scalability issues. Because the server is shared you can’t scale freely.

VPS Hosting – Balancing Power and Price

HOSTAFRICA price range: ₵64 – ₵2,380 p/m

Average price range: 73 – 1,870 p/m

Second on our list we have Virtual Private Servers (VPS hosting) hosting. This type of hosting also uses the same server, like shared hosting does. The difference is that the resources are not shared.

So, each person has a virtual private server. We do this by using virtualization technology, like a hypervisor. This process is called virtual partitioning. It’s a better option for medium-sized businesses or stores that get quite a bit of traffic (over 20 000 per month).

It does require some technical skills, however, so make sure you know how to get it set up if you opt for this choice.

Pros:

  • Secure and isolated. Isolation means better security and privacy.
  • More control. You have more control and choice over how to run your environment.
  • Manage traffic better. Be better prepared for traffic surges and generally high traffic.

Cons:

  • Pricier than shared hosting. This option is more expensive than shared hosting.
  • Technical skills needed. You need technical skills to set up your VPS properly.
  • Tough to master. You have more responsibility to manage your server and that comes with a steep learning curve.

Cloud Hosting – Scalability and Flexibility

HOSTAFRICA price range: 72 – 2,700 p/m

Average price range: 68 – 2,560 p/m

Cloud hosting works by using multiple virtual servers to host your website. This kind of hosting is fast becoming popular because it has high uptime and scalability.

The nature of cloud hosting also means that hardware issues don’t affect it the way it would with other hosting solutions. If one of the remote servers fails for some reason, another one will just pick up the slack.

At HOSTAFRICA, we use KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) cloud hosting. It’s more efficient and has better virtualization capabilities than your standard VPS. It’s so good at virtualization you could run a few VPS inside a KVM.

A pie chart showing the cloud industry popularity

Pros:

  • Great scalability. Easy to scale your resources to meet the demands of your growing business.
  • Balancing traffic load. High traffic isn’t an issue for cloud hosting solutions.
  • Reliable. Having multiple servers means your website will still be online if any hardware fails.

Cons:

  • Can be pricey. Cloud hosting tends to be a bit pricier than VPS and other kinds of hosting.

Dedicated Hosting – Unmatched Performance for a Price

HOSTAFRICA price range: ₵850₵2,175 p/m

Average price range: 680 ₵4,105 p/m

To get an entire server to yourself (if you can afford it), dedicated servers are your go-to choice. While the other hosting options use clever ways to divide the server for different clients, dedicated hosting puts you in complete control of the server.

With great control, however, comes great responsibility. You’ll be responsible for setting up the server, configuration, customising the software, and sorting the operating system.

If you aren’t technically adept, you’ll need a professional to do this for you. Having an entire server is ideal for large businesses with extremely high traffic and in need of constant uptime.

Pros: 

  • Manage high traffic. You’re able to host large websites with plenty of traffic comfortably.
  • Full control. You decide exactly what goes on your server and how it’s run.
  • Flexible. With all that control, you can change and use software that you prefer.

Cons:

  • Full responsibility. Dedicated hosting comes with limited customer support, so you largely need to manage it yourself.
  • Technical skill is mandatory. You absolutely need technical skills to run it. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to run it for you.
  • Expensive. With dedicated hosting, you’re renting the entire server, not just a part of it. This makes it highly costly.

Other costs

Besides the actual web hosting plans, there are some other indirect costs involved with web hosting as well. We’ll highlight some of those so you have a better view of how much it costs to host a website.

We should also note that there are some free web hosting plans, but these usually have limited functionality. Website builders are also an option for people looking for a quick website solution. They do, however, tend to rely on shared hosting in some way or another

Domain name registration

HOSTAFRICA price range:  ₵29 – ₵8,000 registration

Average price range: ₵27 – ₵55,690 registration

Mandatory expense: Yes.

If you want your website to exist on the internet, you need a domain name. It’s the address of your website – what people will type in the URL bar.

So, with that in mind you want to have a domain name that’s easier to remember and type. You also want it to quickly tell people what it is you do as a business or website. Look at our domain name for example.

Depending on the domain name extension (or TLD), you can expect to pay a different price. Popular TLDs like .com, .org, .net are usually more expensive than local domain names.

We have a domain name checker available to you in our checkout process. This will check if a domain is available.

Once you’ve decided which domain name will work for you, make sure you buy from a reputable, legitimate company.

A bar graph showing the priciest domain names, as well as the most expensive domain ever sold.

SSL Certificates

HOSTAFRICA price range: FREE – ₵2,915 registration

Average price range: FREE – ₵10,600 registration

Mandatory expense: No.

SSL certificates are a security measure that encrypts your data while it moves between servers and computers. This way, if hackers pull the data while it’s in transit, they won’t be able to do anything with it.

Another important benefit of SSLs is that it helps you rank higher on Google and other search engines. That means people are more likely to find your website when they’re searching in their browser.

While SSLs are not mandatory, they do make a big difference on security, customer experience, and SEO ranking. Think of it as having a house with doors that can’t lock. You can still live there, but anyone could pop in at any time if they wanted to.

Same as with domain names, there are different kinds of SSLs. They’re suited for different websites that have different needs. Of course, the more coverage you require the pricier your SSL will be.

All of them give you the same level of encryption, but some offer higher validation. To learn more about SSLs, take a look at our blog detailing the specifics.

We include a free SSL certificate with checkout to help get you started. It’s valid for a year after purchase. 

Software

Average price range: FREE – ₵760 (payment plan dependent) 

Mandatory: No.

The right software is crucial for running your business successfully. While some software comes with a price, like Microsoft Office and an anti-virus, there are free variations.

Some free versions of software work perfectly fine, while others may be best as a temporary solution. Google Suite’s free software can be a viable solution until more funds become available.

Just be aware that the more you invest in professional software the better products and services you’re likely to provide. You’ll also probably save some time on completing tasks as many apps focus on automation to simplify things.

In a nutshell, you need software for your website or business to function optimally, but you can make do with mostly free software as a temporary solution.

Themes & extensions

Average price range: FREE – ₵630

Mandatory: No.

Similar to software, these may not make or break your business, but it will improve things.

Extensions help with your website functionality. It can simplify certain tasks or automate things that you’d have to do manually. You also get security extensions that help protect your website.

Some extensions have free versions that you can use to test for your business. While you don’t need to get every extension that looks good, having a few that makes your website smoother will help over time.

Themes are mostly the same. There are plenty of free versions of themes that cover most business concepts, like blogs, online stores, and restaurants.

Paid themes give you a more bespoke look to your website. They usually also have some level of support to ensure it fits your website snugly and nothing breaks.

Marketing tools

Average price range: FREE – ₵11,200

Mandatory: No.

Another additional cost that’s not mandatory, but would go a long way in making your business or website successful.

To put it in perspective, you could have the best product or service, but if no one knows about it or believes it’s the best, why would they buy it?

You could go the free route and market your business on social media, and create your own website content. This may work for a while, but eventually you’ll want to get some professionals to help you target your audience better.

You can also use marketing software like SEMrush or MailChimp to streamline your marketing activities.

Backups

HOSTAFRICA price range: FREE – ₵1,020 p/m

Average price range: 25 – 1,200

Mandatory: Yes.

Backups are the lifeline you never knew you needed. They may seem optional at first, but consider that your entire business or website can be wiped out with one attack. So, we say they’re a necessary cost when calculating how much it costs to host a website.

Some companies include backups in addition to their web hosting service, free of charge. When thinking about your data, it’s better to ensure you’re covered and not opt for a free solution.

A paid backup service means dedicated support in case of an accident, and a commitment to the backup service.

If you have a little technical knowledge, you could back up your files and data yourself. After your business starts growing, this won’t be viable because you’ll be spending most of your time backing up data.

Whether you go with a free solution or not, you absolutely need to be backing up your data. If you’re looking for a reliable solution that protects your data, head over to our cloud backup page.

A pie chart showing how often people backup their data.

Conclusion

Getting your website online for business or otherwise doesn’t need to be a costly endeavour if you’re just starting out. Get only the basics and as things scale, so can your hosting package and the tools you use.

While it may be tempting to jump right in with all the best packages and extras, starting off with a plan that suits your budget will work better in the long run. As things change, you can evaluate and make decisions from there.

The important thing, however, is to start sooner rather than later. Head over to our hosting packages and choose one that suits your needs.

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