If you’re building a website, you likely have a budget to stick to. Having a website that can be viewed around the world requires web hosting, and choosing the right hosting service that’s both affordable and meets your needs, can be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your online business. This is where website hosting costs should be considered.
It’s important to be aware of the costs of setting up your new online home before diving in.
So how much does website hosting cost?
Website hosting prices can vary, depending on:
- What your requirements are
- Your daily website traffic
- Your technical expertise
There are also savings to be gained by signing up for a year or more with a web host provider, rather than paying month by month. Below we’ll take a look at what website hosting is and what you can expect to pay.
What is website hosting?
Website hosting is essentially online storage for your website. Your website itself is made up of a bunch of files and you need somewhere online to put that data.
- Access to expert support 24/7
- Reliable web hosting with 99.9% uptime guaranteed
- Marketing tools to promote your business on social and via email
- Step-by-step advice on what to do next to grow your business
The cost of Website Builder (including hosting) is under AU$7 a month for an eCommerce store when you sign up for an annual plan (check website plan and prices here).
If you already have a website or are using a different site builder and just need hosting, GoDaddy Hosting plans start at AU$1.62 a month up to AU$14.57 a month for an eCommerce store (all plans require a three-year plan). At the time of this update, GoDaddy WordPress eCommerce hosting featuring WooCommerce was on sale, starting at less than AU$2.40 per month with an annual plan (check our latest WordPress hosting prices). Let’s look at each of these in more detail below.
1. Shared hosting
If you’re just getting started with a blog or a small website for your business, shared hosting is the least expensive choice.
Tip: All annual Web Hosting plans from GoDaddy come with a free domain name included.
Think of it as the equivalent of living in a shared house with housemates — you don’t need a lot of private space, so you can keep your website hosting costs low, and you share a lot of the communal resources.
Many users share the resources of this single server, so you’ll be limited to the amount of space and resources you can use, as determined by your hosting package. Shared hosting is not really sufficient for sites with high traffic volume, so if your business is booming or growing fast, you might want to consider a more powerful hosting plan (see GoDaddy’s Ultimate Web Hosting plan) instead. Expect to pay: From less than AU$6 a month for a basic website up to AU$23 a month for ecommerce, plugin-heavy CMS or high-traffic sites. (check latest prices).
2. Business hosting
This is the next hosting tier up, with more space, power and resources at your disposal than standard shared hosting can provide. Best suited to small and medium-sized enterprises, business hosting delivers the same power and performance as a Virtual Private Server (see below) without the pain of server administration (meaning you won’t need an IT guru to manage your server). The website hosting cost is also significantly lower. But for that price, you still get dedicated resources that will always be available for your use, which means your website will never be affected by other websites on your server. Expect to pay: From less than AU$6 – $19 a month, depending on the amount of space and resources you need (check latest prices).
3. Web Hosting Plus
For those who need a little more power and speed but aren’t ready for the expense of a Virtual Private Server (below), now there’s Web Hosting Plus from GoDaddy. At the time of this update, the cost was under AU$28 per month (see latest prices). This hosting option is perfect for anyone whose website:
- Has a lot of traffic, like sophisticated e-commerce or gaming sites
- Stores many videos, photos, or downloads
What it provides is:
- The amped-up power of a Virtual Private Server (see below)
- An easy-to-use control panel that doesn’t require a degree in Computer Science to operate
Each plan comes with a free SSL Certificate, daily backups, one-click installation of 150 free apps, and round-the-clock network security. Best of all, your website loads faster than shared hosting, so more site visitors stay to become customers.
4. Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
Going up a level again is Virtual Private Server hosting, also known as VPS hosting. A self-managed Virtual Private Server gives you your own exclusive space on a shared server hosting far fewer sites than standard shared hosting.
Although you do share space with others, you’re separated from them by virtual partitioning.
This allows you to control more aspects of your site’s setup and maintenance. With a VPS, you have access to guaranteed resources that you don’t have to share with other users — as well as complete online privacy and anonymity. Expect to pay: From AU$8 to around $38 a month for standard self-managed VPS hosting, depending on the configuration (requires a three-year subscription). At the time of this writing, fully-managed VPS hosting was on sale at GoDaddy, priced from AU$160 up to $257 a month (check latest prices).
5. Dedicated hosting
Designed for larger businesses and organisations, this is the ultimate in powerful, flexible website hosting.
This gives you absolute freedom and total control over the setup and configuration of your own network, so you can tailor it to fit the specific needs of your business. Unlike a shared server that powers multiple sites, a dedicated server powers just one and can withstand high traffic volumes. This all comes at a much higher price, however, and with greater freedom and power comes greater responsibility. If something goes wrong and the server goes down, it’s on you or your team to fix it. Expect to pay: Dedicated hosting starts around AU$188 a month for self-managed and from $336 a month for a fully-managed dedicated server (check latest prices).
Aside from website hosting costs, there are a few other costs to be aware of that may come up in the process of building your new online home.
SSL Certificates authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information sent from the website to the server, such as a user’s private data. They’re an essential component of website hosting, especially if you intend to sell products and services online.
Firewalls and security
A firewall is a security system designed to prevent unauthorised access and malicious activity on your device or private network. If you’re considering dedicated hosting, this becomes your responsibility and an added cost and consideration.
Hiring a web developer or designer
If you need some professional help along the way with your website or setting up eCommerce, you might encounter additional costs here as well in hiring a web developer or designer. Depending on who you choose, these costs can pay for themselves in increased traffic and reduced time spent tinkering with your website.
Alternatively, you can also scope the internet free online resources that’ll save you on design costs and are simple to use. GoDaddy’s free logo maker is a great example of an online tool that allows you to create customised graphics using hundreds of curated templates, fonts, and designs — no prior design knowledge is necessary.
Avoiding some common web hosting pitfalls
A quick Google search will show thousands of results for website hosting, all offering different plans and options. It’s worth noting that they are not all the same which means there are some things you need to look out for. Below are three common pitfalls.
1. Is it really free? Be wary of ‘free hosting’
Some companies offer “free” website hosting, but there is usually a catch and may lead to disappointment — or worse, loss of sales and visitors.
And often you have limited or no control over who gets to advertise on your website. Free hosting could also come with restricted bandwidth and data allowance, pushing you to succumb and upgrade to a paid hosting plan – which can be expensive. Double check the web hosting terms and inclusions before selecting the right provider for your business.
2. Will help be there when your website is down?
It’s usually all well and sound at the start until you run into some problems, which is why it’s essential to check what type of and how much support the web hosting company provides. Some companies offer 24 x 7 x 365 days of online support to resolve any of your queries in the form of a chat. Some offer support via a phone call. The ones that provide minimum support are usually ones where you must fill out a contact form (open a ticket) – which can take a lot longer to respond to. Every minute your website is offline costs you in lost sales.
3. Is the website host safe and secure?
For customers to have trust and confidence in your business, your website needs to be secure, and it starts with having the right website host. Some web hosting companies don’t offer protection for your data from getting hacked or compromised.
Your web hosting company should give you and your customers the confidence that it is safe to browse and transact.
So, before selecting a web hosting company, you need to ensure whether it gives you the required level of security that you need for your website or not. It is only after getting satisfied with the security terms that you should opt for a web hosting company.
Web hosting costs wrap up
Website hosting costs can vary according to what you need. Be it shared, business or dedicated hosting, or your own virtual private server, set your business on course for online success with the right website hosting that suits your needs and meets your budget.
You can always upgrade your hosting as you go if you find the scope and size of your business changing.
Finding the most affordable solution tailored for your needs right now will get you online faster and from there, the sky’s the limit to how far your business can go.
Cathy Ngo contributed to this post.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cheap website hosting worth it?
Cheap or “free” website hosting — what could go wrong? Lots! It is tempting to go for cheap web hosting and rationalise it by thinking you’ll upgrade to a paid plan later once your business grows. It seems like a logical decision at first; however, saving a few dollars a month can cost you. Downtime or server outage can be a nightmare, especially if your website is attracting hundreds of viewers a day. With cheap web hosting, you don’t know when your site will be back up and running again, as there are few guarantees, and support may be limited. Cheap web hosting service providers can be unreliable because they are usually selling space on shared hosting platforms. This means resources like CPU, memory, and disk space are shared with others. This means sudden traffic surges to other sites on your server will impact your website’s response times, running you into the risk of losing customers, sales, and website ranking.
What does GoDaddy website hosting offer that others don’t?
Other than a very competitive price, 99.9% uptime rates, loads of web storage (starts at 100 GB) and a free domain. GoDaddy’s customer service team are all over the world, with dedicated support for Australia. It means you’ll get support in the Australian time zone 24/7/365, giving you peace of mind if you experience any hiccups. GoDaddy keeps it simple and secure, no matter the size of your business with one-click installation options and an easy-to-use control panel.
What is the difference between domain hosting, email hosting and web hosting?
While they’re all interrelated, your domain, email and website are three separate things. A domain host manages your domain name, such as BusinessName.com. Domain hosts use Domain Name System (DNS) records to securely connect your domain name with your email and website. Email hosting, on the other hand, is where your email content is stored. It can be on the same server as your website or managed by another host. Web hosting is a service that allows your website to be visible and accessible on the internet and web browsers. Your web content is hosted on a server. To make things easier and cost-effective for businesses, many providers offer domain, email and web hosting all buddled up in a package. When you sign up with GoDaddy web hosting, you get a free domain and one-year access to Microsoft 365.
Do I need anything more than basic hosting if I’m not selling things on my website?
This depends on the type of business you have. For more straight forward informational websites with minimal plugins and graphics, a Basic plan would usually suffice. If, however, you are a photographer and plan on uploading lots of photos to your website or you run a popular gaming site, for example, you’ll likely need more than basic hosting. Something like GoDaddy’s Web Hosting Plus would be able to better accommodate the ample storage space and faster load times needed for such sites.
UPDATE: This article on website hosting costs was first published on 29 January 2021 and updated 14 September 2022.