How much does it cost to host a WordPress site?
The world of WordPress is sometimes overwhelming. There are so many offers, so many possiblities, so many opportunities and providers, it’s honestly difficult to know what path is fine for you.
When it comes to web hosting and where to host your WordPress website, there are endless solutions with multiple web hosters. And prices range from some bucks a month to one thousand dollars!
It all depends on how performant and fast you want your website to be, and how much traffic you expect. Obviously, the more visitors you receive, the more performance you need and the higher the bill is!
Cheapest solutions to host your WordPress site
Let’s start with the most affordable solutions to host your website: $0 (or close to $0)
Host your website on WordPress.com for free!
Expected price: $0
WordPress is not only an open-source Content Management System for websites, but it’s also a web host provider! Behind the name WordPress, we find two different products:
- the CMS: available at wordpress.org, free, open-source that you can use, extend, modify and install as you want where ever.
- the Web Host Provider: available at wordpress.com.
WordPress.com web hosting is good when you start from scratch and want to test WordPress and its ecosystem for free. However, on WordPress.com you’ll find limitations as soon as you want to customize your theme or add features through extensions. Another downside with the free offer, you’ll have to use a domain like: mywebsite.wordpress.com or similar. It doesn’t look pro, but it’s a good introduction to the WordPress world.
Self-host on your home server
Expected price: $0 – $5 a month
If you already have a server at home, which can be an old computer, a raspberry PI, or an actual dedicated web server, then you are good to go with your home server!
If you know how to set and configure ports, and firewall and install the right packages to run your website (PHP, apache, SQL database…), then WordPress should be a breeze to install and use.
However if you don’t know that much about the web server, it might be a rocky path to share your website with the world. Even if it sounds straightforward to have a server at home, you have to consider the security risks, the constant support, optimization, and upgrade that need a custom-made server. There are as many reasons why most web hosting is not free. They manage the complexity on their hand and provide you with a safe environment to run and share your website.
Free web host offers
Expected price: $0
Another option to start for free in the Web Hosting world is to look for free offers from Web Host providers. They sometimes provide a free super-basic solution for experimentation, for students to explore and test small websites or online apps.
It can be a good starting point to understand how Web Host Providers work and how to use the manager dashboard. Note that most free web host offers are extremely limited and somewhat different from their own for-pay solutions.
You can test the PlanetHoster solution called The World Lite. It offers a way to install WordPress and more CMS.
Shared Web Hosting for WordPress
Expected price: $3 – $25 a month
In the field of shared hosting, there are SO MANY competitors, that it’s honestly hard to take a decision, appart from a decision based on the price you’ll pay.
And it’s totally fair to use this criterion. Nowadays, most shared web hosters have really similar offers. Of course, you’ll see small differences from one provider to the other.
Shared Web Hosts usually have competitive rates because you are sharing a pool of resources with other websites. It’s like sharing the same computer with other people. However, one server can usually handle multiple websites really well. As long as none of these websites is suddenly making millions of visits overnight, nothing should break!
Among the dozen of Hosts services I’ve tried in the past 15 years are GoDaddy, OVH, PlanetHoster, SiteGround, NameCheap, DreamHost, AWS… and counting.
They each try to make their offer unique. In such a competitive market it is to be expected. After reviewing and testing many different providers, I ended up picking PlanetHoster for myself. I’m not saying they are the best or the cheapest solution. But they have a competitive offer with good support, good features, and a good Web Host Online Manager.
You can check my PlanetHoster review of their Shared Web Hosting called “The World”.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Expected price: $25 – $500+ a month
A Dedicated Web Host will let you use a whole pool of resource just for yourself. It’s kind of like having your own computer in the cloud. You don’t share it with anybody else, no other websites are running along your website. It’s definitely one of the best solution on the market, if not the best! And obviously the most expensive.
When it comes to comparing the different offers, the features are more technical and you might need to speak to an expert to help you take a decision.
It’s good to know that some Dedicated Web Hosts are actually virtually dedicated. You still share resources with other websites, but you have higher performance than a shared web hosting and you can usually configure your server in a way that shared web hosts don’t allow you.
As you can see, offers are extensive and it’s still hard to make a decision when you don’t have a point of comparison.
My recommendation is to start small and scale up when needed.
If you know your website is not going to make tens of thousands of views in the first months, you should be fine going for a shared web hosting solution. Most Web Host Providers give you the chance to upscale from a shared web host to a dedicated web host.