About one-third of small businesses planned on starting their first website in 2020.
One of the biggest decisions those businesses will make is how and where to host their website. As their online presence grows, the question regarding what type of server to use never quite goes away.
Businesses and individuals constantly need to reevaluate their server options, which of course involves comparing costs. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re in a period of growth and transition, you should know the differences between the types of servers out there and their costs.
Keep reading as we explore the answer to “how much does a server cost?” and so much more.
What Is A Dedicated Server?
When you’re building a website, you need somewhere to host it. There are three types of servers that can host your website: a shared server, a virtual private server (VPS), or a dedicated server. Each has its own price point, features, and merits depending on your traffic and your needs.
Shared servers are usually where a website starts. They’re great for personal blogs and small businesses. With a shared server, your website will be stored on the same server as hundreds of other websites.
The next step up is a VPS. A VPS is also technically shared because it shares a hypervisor and hardware. But with VPS, a portion of the server resources are dedicated to your website.
That brings us to a dedicated server. With this type of web hosting, the entire server is dedicated to your website.
That means that you have all of the resources of the server, including bandwidth, RAM, and storage. You also have complete control over the configuration of the server.
When Do You Need a Dedicated Server?
When you’re just starting out, a shared server will likely give you everything you need and at the cheapest price. Because you won’t have much traffic to start, you won’t need all of the resources that a dedicated server offers. But as your site grows and you want to run bigger and better campaigns, you’ll have to think about upgrading.
One thing you want to consider is downtime. If one site on your shared server is using a lot of resources, that means there’s less for you, significantly slowing things like page loading. Keep in mind that how quickly you page loads will have a huge impact on engagement metrics and your bounce rates, and a dedicated server gives you the most control over this.
Another, very important thing to consider is security. While security may be important to all websites, it’s especially important for websites that handle information like credit cards, personal information, and confidential emails. With a dedicated server, you have control over the security of your website and all of the information it holds.
You should also consider that, if you require complete customization control over your server, then you’ll need a dedicated server. It’s only with a dedicated server that you get to choose your operating system, software setup, and your hardware (to an extent). With any of the other options, you have to fit into the hardware and software setups offered by your host.
How Much Does a Server Cost?
“How much does a server cost?” doesn’t have a black and white answer. The cost of a dedicated server, or any type of server for that matter, depends on who your host is, the length of your contract, your payment schedule, and the features available in the plan you choose.
For the following web hosts, we’ve included the cost for their simplest dedicated hosting plans. These are the least expensive and most basic plans they offer for dedicated hosting.
- For the Value Server package from HostGator, the cost is $89.98 per month. This plan includes 8GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD, unmetered bandwidth, and the choice between a Linux or Windows operating system.
- For the standard package from Bluehost, the cost is $79.99 per month. That includes 500 GB of storage, 4 GB of RAM, 5 TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses.
- The standard package at Dreamhost sells for $149.99 per month. For that price, you’ll receive 4GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD, RAID 1 Storage, 100% Network Uptime Guarantee, and 24/7 tech support and server monitoring.
- The basic, unmanaged plan from A2 hosting costs $99.59 per month. That plan has 8 GB of RAM, 2×500 GB of storage, 10 TB transfer, and 2 cores.
- The Rapid Deploy plan from Interserver is $80 per month. That plan includes managed support, 8 CPU cores, and 30 GB of RAM.
- At Godaddy, the Economy Plan sells for $94.99 per month. For that cost, you get 4 GB of memory, 1 TB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, and 3 dedicated IP addresses.
As we can see, the cost of a dedicated server has a wide range, from as little as $79.99 per month to as much as $149.99 per month. But, if we take an average of that, we can say that a basic dedicated server will cost you $99.09 per month.
Things Impacting Server Cost
Two of the biggest things impacting server costs are storage and memory. When comparing costs from different hosts, make sure you’re getting the amount of RAM and bandwidth you need for the amount of traffic you have.
Speaking of bandwidth, consider the cost differences between metered and unmetered bandwidth. While metered bandwidth is typically less expensive up-front, you pay according to how much bandwidth you use. Unmetered bandwidth might cost more, but you’ll never have to worry about bandwidth overage charges should you go over your limit and which could end up costing you more in the long run.
But perhaps the biggest impact on server cost is managed versus semi-managed servers. With a managed server, you’ll have a lot of technical support and a number of user-friendly tools to help you with configuration. With a semi-managed server, a lot of that work is left to you, and you’ll need the technical skill required to configure your server the way you need it.
All You Need to Know About Web Hosting
Answering the question “how much does a server cost?” isn’t as straightforward as you might think. While we can arrive at an average of less than $100 per month, those only cover basic plans. And each of those basic plans has different features and merits that you’ll need to weigh against your own needs.
If you’re still not sure where to start, then you could stand to learn a little more about the web hosting world. Visit our blog for a selection of articles that will help you become an expert on the subject.