Friday, March 7, 2014

Common expenses for hosting your own website

When someone typically asks me that they want to build their own website, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much will it cost?"

Well, if you want to build a very basic, static HTML-based website, you can actually get this done for practically free in many cases.  You can usually get free hosting from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and you just create your HTML pages and you are done!

However, if you are running your own business, this will probably not meet your needs.

Therefore, here is a brief list of common expenses that will be associated with getting your own website up and running:

  1. Your own custom domain name
  2. Hosting provider
  3. E-mail hosting provider
  4. SSL Certificate
  5. Payment Gateway
  6. Credit Card Processor/Transaction Fees

  • Your own custom domain name - this can usually be purchased for as little as $0.50 for the 1st year.  However, don't be fooled into thinking that this will be all it will cost year after year.  Most companies will give you a very cheap price as an entry point and then charge you anywhere between $12 - $20 per year for ongoing maintenance of that domain name.  In some cases, if you also purchase hosting, you can get an ongoing domain name for free for as long as you maintain the costs of your hosting provider.
  • Hosting provider - you can get different costs for hosting providers varying from free (for Windows Azure website hosting) to even up to $70 - $150 per month (or more)!  You will often get cheaper hosting for the Linux platform (for as little as $2.95 per month) than you will get hosting for the Windows platform (usually starting at $4.95 per month).  Ultimately, the hosting plan you choose will depend on the web technologies that you are using, whether or not will require a database back end, the memory and processor allocations for you hosting site and the backup and availability requirements.
  • E-mail hosting provider - if you want e-mail hosting for your domain name (, then you will probably have to pay for an e-mail hosting provider which ranges from $2 - $5/user per month.  In some cases, you may get some free e-mail hosting through your hosting provider, but unless your needs are very basic, the e-mail hosting provided for free by hosting providers provides very few e-mail features and very little e-mail hosting space.  The days of GMail for Business offering free e-mail hosting are now long gone and you now have to pay for any GMail e-mail hosting at your own custom domain name.  
  • SSL Certificate - if you are planning on doing any type of secure online activity where you are capturing user information such as address information, financial information etc. you will need to probably purchase an SSL certificate.  The costs of SSL certificates vary widely across the board, but generally an SSL certificate can cost as little $29 per year.  In many cases, hosting providers will provide deeply discounted SSL certificates to their hosting subscribers.  However, buyer beware!!  Some hosting providers still have hidden fees built into adding an SSL certificate to their hosting plan such as requiring an upgrade to your hosting plan or purchasing an add-on.  For example, while a hosting provider such as WinHost offers the ability to add on an SSL certificate for free to your hosting plan (that you have purchased), a hosting provider such as SmarterASP.Net requires that you purchase their add-on for a static IP address (an additional $24/year) in order to support adding an SSL certificate to your hosting website.
  • Payment Gateway - if you need to accept any payments online through your website, you will need to subscribe to a Payment Gateway.  Once again, there are numerous payment gateways that you can choose.  Prices vary depending on the payment gateway that you choose and the feature set that you require.  Authorize.Net is one of the cheaper payment gateways that has some initial setup fees and then a monthly charge of around $18/month and a fixed per transaction fee ranging from $0.15 - $0.30.  Other providers such as PayPal cost a little bit more (for their paid plans) at around $20 - $30/month.  
  • Credit Card Processor/Transaction Fees - If you are using a Payment Gateway, depending on the Payment Gateway that you choose, you may have to pay additional fees to a Credit Card Processor such as credit card transaction fees.  For example, Authorize.Net requires a back-end Credit Card processor whereas Payment Gateways such as PayPal manage all of the credit card processing for you but have overall higher fees and per transaction costs.  Credit Card Processors will typically charge you a per transaction percentage such as 2.5% plus a fixed amount per transaction such as $0.17.  Therefore, your final cost per transaction might be something like this: 2.5% + $0.17.  These types of per transaction fees needs to be calculated into your overall cost of how you price the products or services on your website.
So, these are all of the common considerations for expenses that you have to examine and analyze before setting up your very own website.

Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Recently i hosted my business on which provides better services with an affordable price.After hosting I I am getting more profit than the past.Thanks for helping me.