The cost of website hosting for small businesses in 2021

With many hosting types, multiple pricing tiers, and countless add-ons and extras, website hosting costs can be pretty complex – but we can help

Our experts

Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto. This article was authored by:

How much does website hosting cost? It’s a difficult question to answer, especially given the numerous hosting types and multi-tiered pricing plans available – but we’re going to do our best.

Shared hosting, the most inexpensive type, ranges from about £2 to £12/month, while dedicated hosting plans can be anything from £60 to upwards of £400/month.

Within each category, there are usually three to five pricing tiers based on various factors such as bandwidth, storage space, and extra services.

Generally speaking, the larger and more complex your website, the more bandwidth and storage space you need – and the more you’ll need to spend.

And we haven’t even mentioned how subscription length and renewal come into play yet. But don’t worry, that’s all to follow.

You can checkout our guide to the best hosting providers for small businesses here, including a guide to the average cost of their plans for each type of hosting. 

0 out of 0
Overall score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing

Overall hosting provider

For shared and VPS hosting

For customer service

Value for money

For affordability

£2.20 – £90

£2 – £410

£2.10 – £110

99p – £30

£2.30 – £225

Web hosting costs: an overview

With website hosting, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems…

Below, we’re going to explain the two main factors that affect the overall cost of your hosting plan.

Hosting renewal cost

It’s important to remember that all the prices listed on this page are for the ‘initial term’ – the introductory rate offered to new customers for a set period (e.g. 36 months), before your plan renews at the regular rate.

This is standard practice in the hosting market, but it pays to check how much that introductory price increases by before signing on the dotted line. Don’t be dazzled by extremely tempting initial terms, only to be hit with a massive increase on renewal.

To illustrate this, check out the screenshot of Bluehost’s shared hosting plans below. You can see the renewal cost for each plan under the advertised price as ‘Normally’, with the cost struck through.

So, for example, you’ll pay a total of £10.40/month (excluding VAT) for the first three years on Bluehost’s Pro shared hosting plan, which increases to £17.09/month upon renewal.

You can also see how, as the plans increase in cost, you get more storage and more extras included, such as site backup and domain privacy + protection.

As we’ve said, this is no great secret, and most hosting providers are fairly transparent about their renewal costs. But it’s something to bear in mind when comparing the eventual cost of plans from different providers.

Subscription length

Subscription length also has a significant impact on the monthly cost of your hosting plan.

Most providers will advertise prices on initial terms of 36 months, which you’ll pay in one lump sum – not month by month. For example, while the advertised price of HostGator’s ‘Hatchling’ plan is £2.14/month, you’ll actually be paying £76.75 up front, before any tax or add-ons are factored in. Still, this represents more than a 60% saving compared to if you were on a monthly billing cycle.

The benefit of longer payment terms for hosting providers is getting more money up front, and less customer churn. The benefit for you, of course, is the much lower cost. But you also won’t be able to get out of the contract until it’s run its course.

HostGator also offers 24-month, 12-month, and 1-6 month billing cycles, which increase in cost the shorter the length of your contract. So, if you chose a 12-month contract, you’d pay £36.81 up front. But over 36 months, that comes to £110.43.

How much does website hosting cost?

In this section, we’re going to explore the average cost of different types of website hosting in 2021.

To do this, we’ve sourced price ranges from five top level, representative hosting providers, and investigated any typical additional costs that they charge to their customers.

Below is a breakdown of the basic, intermediate, and advanced plans offered by each provider for shared, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting. All prices are given as the cost per month (with the renewal cost in brackets afterwards), and exclude VAT.

Shared hosting £2 – £12/month

Shared hosting is so cheap because your website shares the server it’s stored on with multiple other websites. This means it’s only suitable for small, low-traffic websites.

At its cheapest, you’ll likely spend just over £2/month for the first three years. According to our researchers, InMotion is the best provider for shared hosting. Indeed, InMotion’s basic shared plan is the cheapest, while HostGator’s are the cheapest on average over three years.

Hostinger’s shared plans are the cheapest overall – but bear in mind that you’ll be tied into a four year commitment.

Provider Basic plan Intermediate plan Advanced plan Subscription length
Bluehost £2.20 (£5.96)£4.06 (£11.10)£10.40 (17.89)3 years
InMotion £1.93 (£5.81)£3.49 (£10.86)£10.08 (£17.84)3 years
HostGator £2.13 (£5.39)£3.07 (£7.72)£4.62 (£11.60)3 years
Hostinger 99p (£2.45)£2.89 (£2.95)£3.99 (£5.95)*4 years
A2Hosting £2.32 (£6.98)£3.87 (£9.31)£11.64 (£19.40)3 years

*Hostinger doesn’t offer a 3-year plan

VPS hosting £14 – £45/month

VPS hosting stores your website on a virtual server. This acts as a dedicated server, but you are in fact sharing the server with several different websites. It’s suitable for larger, higher traffic sites, as more resources are available for your website.

Despite its slightly costlier shared plans, Bluehost’s VPS plans are among the most affordable over three years, ranging from £14.16 to £44.74/month. It also renews at the cheapest rate after the first term (£89.49/month). HostGator’s prices are comparable, with plans ranging from £15.49/month to just £31.

A2Hosting’s VPS plans start at a higher price than rivals', and it only offers a two year subscription.

Provider Basic plan Intermediate plan Advanced plan Subscription length
Bluehost £14.16 (£22.37)£22.37 (£44.74)£44.74 (£89.49)3 years
InMotion £17.84 (£27.16)£27.16 (£58.21)£42.68 (£104.78)3 years
HostGator £15.49 (£62.06)£23.25 (£93.11)£31.01 (£116.39)3 years
Hostinger £3.95 (£8.13)£15.95 (£32.52)£29.95 (£65.05)4 years
A2Hosting £19.40 (£38.81)£27.17 (£54.33)£38.81 (£77.62)3 years

Dedicated hosting £60 – £400/month

Dedicated hosting dedicates an entire server to your website. That means you get 100% of the server’s resources. This makes dedicated hosting the most suitable choice for large, complex websites, with lots of media and lots of traffic.

It’s not hard to see which provider offers the best value dedicated plans – Bluehost’s are cheapest across the board, and by quite some margin. Its plans start at just £59.66/month, and go up to a very affordable £89.49/month.

In contrast, InMotion’s plans go from £108.66 all the way up to £410.49/month – and that’s just for a one year subscription. It doesn’t offer longer terms, either.

Provider Basic plan Intermediate plan Advanced plan Subscription length
Bluehost £59.66 (£89.49)£74.57 (£119.32)£89.49 (£156.61)3 years
InMotion £108.66 (£131.95)£272.44 (£399.99)£410.49 (£422.43)*1 year
HostGator £69.84 (£146.70)£93.06 (£193.27)£108.99 (£224.32)3 years
Hostinger **N/AN/AN/AN/A
A2Hosting £109.53 (£131.96)£161.07 (£194.06£225.50 (£271.69)*1 year

*Doesn’t offer a 3 year dedicated plan **Doesn’t offer dedicated hosting 

Cloud hosting £4 – £45/month

Instead of being hosted on one physical server, cloud hosting spreads all your website data across a number of different servers that are all connected. All this data is then accessed through a virtual server. The advantage of this is that multiple servers are more reliable than just one server.

There’s a real range of prices for cloud hosting. HostGator and A2 Hosting’s cloud plans are the cheapest, which start from just £3.89 each, and go up to just £7.82 and £11.66 respectively.

Hostinger, which is usually the cheapest provider, offers plans starting from £7.99 and going all the way up to a not inconsiderable £36.99.

Provider Basic plan Intermediate plan Advanced plan Subscription length
Bluehost *N/A*N/A*N/A*N/A
InMotion £23.56 (£35.35)£27.49 (£58.92)£43.21 (£106.07)3 years
HostGator £3.89 (£7.03)£5.16 (£9.39)£7.82 (£14.10)3 years
Hostinger £7.99 (12.99)£14.99 (26.99)£36.99 (£79.99)4 years
A2Hosting £3.89 (N/A)£7.77 (N/A)£11.66 (N/A)3 years

WordPress hosting £2.20 – £37.25/month

WordPress plans offer specialised tools and services for websites built on WordPress.

The following are all managed WordPress plans, meaning the provider manages the server and deals with all the maintenance and security.

Bluehost’s WordPress offering is the cheapest for basic and intermediate plans (from £2.20 to £4.06/month), though it has a range of significantly more expensive advanced plans.

HostGator offers the cheapest advanced WordPress plan at £7.72/month.

Provider Basic plan Intermediate plan Advanced plan Subscription length
Bluehost £2.20 (£5.96)£4.06 (£11.10)£14.88 - £37.25 (£22.37 - £44.74)3 years
InMotion £3.87 (£6.20)£6.20 (£8.53)£8.53 (£10.86)3 years
HostGator £4.62 (£7.72)£6.17 (£12.38)£7.72 (£17.81)3 years
Hostinger £1.99 (£2.95)£6.89 (£12.35)£13.99 (£24.69)4 years
A2Hosting £2.32 (£6.98)£7.75 (£15.52)£11.64 (£19.40)3 years

Additional and optional web hosting costs

If you haven’t already been overwhelmed by the seemingly unending complexity of hosting plans, we’ve got news for you – it’s not over yet. But stick with us, as there are just a few more additional web hosting costs – some are optional, but some aren’t.

Domain name registration

Many providers offer a free domain for the first year and beyond. Indeed, most have separate domain services you can use whether you use the provider for hosting or not, such as Bluehost domains. If a domain name isn’t included in your plan, you’re looking at an annual cost of around £7 – £12. It’s not a lot, but something worth factoring into your overall website costs.

However, there are additional fees within domain name registration…

Privacy + protection is something you’ll see added onto your domain name as an ‘opt out’ at checkout. Basically, paying for it stops your name and address being added to the public WHOIS listings. It’s usually around £10/month.

Find out everything you need to know about how to buy and register a domain name here

SSL certificate

The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) establishes an encrypted connection between the server and the browser. This means all the data that needs to be sent from the server to the browser to make your website visible is safe and private.

You can tell a website is encrypted with SSL if the URL is preceded by ‘https://’ rather than just ‘http://’.

Google actually prefers websites with an SSL certificate.

You’ll probably have a free SSL certificate included as part of an intermediate or advanced hosting plan. However, some providers will offer more advanced protection. HostGator’s , for example, offers positive SSL for £2.50/month – an upgraded SSL certificate from “a world leading provider”.

SiteLock – around £20/year

SiteLock is an optional extra that detects and destroys malware which poses a harm to your website. It also alerts you to any suspicious activity so you can take the necessary action.

The most obvious benefits of this should be clear, but it also helps prevent your site being blacklisted, while the visible SiteLock badge on your website is a good signal to customers.

However, it’s not absolutely necessary, and you may be able to find more cost-effective security measures elsewhere – if you can be bothered looking.

Automated site backup and restore services – around £1.50/month

Automated site backup and restore services will back up all the files that make up your website to a secure location, independent of your server. This is another service that’s often included for free with higher tier plans, though some providers may charge you a restoration fee in the unlikely event that you do need to recover your website.

If it’s not included free of charge, then you’re only looking at spending around £18 a year on average. Not a lot for something that could be the difference between your website disappearing forever in the event of server damage, or your website being easily recoverable.

Alternatively, you could back up the website yourself. While this is the cheapest option, but it takes a bit of technical skill, and requires regular time and attention.

Next steps

It’s a complicated business, but hopefully, the above has given you a better idea of average website hosting costs for small businesses.

All you need to do is choose the most suitable type of hosting for your website. If you have a very small, low traffic website, you could get away with paying for a cheap shared plan. If you have a much larger, high traffic website, you’ll need to pay quite a bit more for a dedicated plan.

Just remember to also factor the renewal price into your long-term business budget, and assess whether you actually need every paid add-on that’s slapped onto your plan at checkout.

If you’re after a deep dive into the world of website hosting and everything it has to offer, check out our comprehensive guide to website hosting for small businesses here.


How much does website hosting cost on average?

The cost of website hosting for small businesses in the UK ranges from as cheap as £2/month, all the way up to more than £400/month. Shared hosting is the cheapest form of website hosting (£2 – £12/month), while dedicated hosting is the most expensive (£60 – £400/month. However, there are additional and optional costs – such as privacy + protection, and sitelock – which you might have to factor into your hosting budget.

What is the cheapest website domain and hosting?

Of the providers we’ve reviewed, the cheapest website domain and hosting package is offered by HostGator. Its most basic shared plan (£2.13/month) comes with one free domain. There are cheaper plans offered by other providers, but they don’t offer a free domain name.

How much does it cost to host a WordPress website?

WordPress hosting is a pretty affordable option for small businesses, ranging in price from around £2 – £40/month.

Henry Williams headshot
Henry Williams Content Manager

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.

Back to Top