Finding a reliable and best website hosting service is one of the most crucial steps when running any successful online business. If you’re not careful, your website hosting can become a substantial annual expenditure for your online business.
From the hosting servers themselves to the features and add-ons you’re using, everything impacts how much you’re paying for your website hosting.
Many people like to consider using a website hosting service backed by a virtual private server (VPS) because it’s considered to be more affordable than dedicated servers.
However, the search doesn’t end at the kind of hosting you use. You need to consider several other factors as well, such as the speed, security, and bandwidth that come with the specific plan you choose.
The good news is, you can optimize these factors to suit your specific requirements and budget. Below you’ll discover the methods you can use to cut down website hosting costs.
1. Switch to a cheaper website hosting plan.
Some hosting plans are far too costly. You might want to consider saving some money by switching. It’s always worth considering these types of changes to get ahead financially and directly impact your bottom line.
Every website hosting provider offers different hosting plans for various requirements. However, before you switch to a cheaper hosting plan, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
Know some basic website hosting renewal guidelines.
Some website hosting providers offer low prices for new sign-ups. They typically offer huge discounts for the first year. However, when it’s time to renew the hosting service, those prices may increase significantly.
It’s worth switching to a cheaper website hosting plan with another provider when faced with a situation like this. Your business can save hundreds of dollars or more depending on the plan and services you’re using.
This comparison report by Hostscore compares the difference between the sign-up price and the renewal price for several big hosting providers.
Apart from a few, it’s evident that most hosting providers charge as much as 300% more when you’re renewing your hosting compared to what they charged at sign-up.
When you’re switching over to another provider, they may offer similar deals for the first year. Make sure you find a website hosting provider that will keep low rates during the renewal as well unless you want to keep switching, which is never a good idea.
Analyzing your website hosting’s long-term cost will help you get a clearer picture of how much you’ll be spending over the years.
Another commonly followed practice in the hosting industry is limiting the number or scope of features provided after the first year.
For example, some hosting providers offer an SSL certificate in their plan…but only for the first year. After that, they may require you to pay for it. It’s better to go with one of the cheap website hosting providers that include an SSL certificate without time limitations.
Buy several years of hosting in advance.
If you do well with your research, you’ll figure out that some website hosting companies will offer huge discounts to people who buy 2-5 years of hosting in advance. When switching to a new website hosting provider, check if they provide lower prices for those who sign up for many years.
Godaddy, Bluehost, or Hostgator are some of the most popular hosting providers who offer a special price for buying multiple years of hosting at once.
A typical offer might require you to sign up for three years. When you do, you could end up spending two-thirds of the regular price. This translates into getting 33% taken off your monthly expenses.
Get rid of unnecessary features at checkout.
When switching to a cheaper host, be aware of features at checkout that you don’t need. These features can raise monthly costs without you noticing them. For example, some may include extra security features or add-ons (SEO services and back-ups) that are usually not needed.
When checking out, remove all unneeded features to ensure there aren’t any surprises when it’s time to pay.
Make sure all the boxes for additional features are unchecked and that there are no setup fees.
Likewise, if you want to lower your website hosting costs, you can go over the features you are paying for and revisit your plan’s features.
For example, if you have a plan that costs $14 per month and covers you for 100,000 visitors when you have only 10,000, consider downgrading your plan to something lower, say, a $5 plan covering your traffic up to 25,000 visitors.
This step is crucial. It can save you hundreds of dollars on features you may be paying for but don’t need.
Keep track of Black Friday and other special deals.
At certain times of the year, website hosting providers offer huge discounts, typically during Black Friday. Some hosting companies may offer up to 90% off their prices!
If you’re patient and can wait, you can economize considerably. It’s not uncommon for people to wait for this time of the year to switch website hosting providers.
You can take double advantage of a Black Friday discount by paying for multiple years of hosting in advance at the discounted price. It’s a win-win for you and the hosting company as well. This way, they’re retaining a customer for the long run.
Search out and use coupon codes and discounts.
When switching to a new hosting provider or renewing a plan, you should always look for coupon codes or discounts for that hosting provider. Many providers have dedicated pages with coupons code or their partners might have special deals that they can provide.
Try searching Google for “Coupon code + website hosting provider name” or “Discount voucher + website hosting provider name.” You might find some helpful, cost-saving coupon codes.
If you already have a website hosting provider, you could ask them if they offer special discounts for you before switching. Sometimes, they may offer exclusive coupon codes to help reverse your decision to switch.
Search for free website hosting options.
Some companies provide free website hosting. Of course, free website hosting is the non plus ultra of reducing website hosting costs.
However, it’s very often not a good idea to utilize a free host unless necessary. Some don’t allow a unique domain name. The ones that do may place ads on your site.
They often have strict limitations and poor customer support. If any technical glitches occur, you might even lose your site. If you go with a free host, it’s good to regularly back up your site and choose only a trusted hosting provider.
2. Use a CDN for faster site loading times.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can improve your site’s speed and reduce its loading times. A CDN serves content from a location close to the user. This reduces latency, lowering the burden on your web host.
Limiting the flow during a request enables you to save bandwidth and avoid additional costs linked to your hosting service.
However, it’s essential to note that using a CDN does have some disadvantages. Many companies use their own data centers for hosting and storing data. Others maintain server farms all over the world, so they are closer to users in different parts of the globe.
Owing to this, CDNs can become more expensive to use.
If you need a CDN only occasionally or for short periods, it might not be worth it. But if you’re planning your business for the long run, using a CDN often saves money. CDN providers use servers close to the client, saving additional burden on your web host. This allows for much faster delivery times and lower bandwidth costs.
3. Minimize the number of plugins and scripts your site uses.
Technology is constantly evolving and it’s essential to keep up. That said, it can be tough to do all of the upkeep on your site without getting overwhelmed. One way to make things easier is by minimizing the use of plugins or scripts so you don’t have a ton of data to host.
It’s essential to keep your website running smoothly and plugins can cause unexpected crashes.
Making your website less bulky will save you money in hosting costs down the line. There are many other advantages to minimizing the number of plugins, for example:
- Security Vulnerability: Most threats to your website come from malicious scripts added to plugins codes.
- Site Crashes: Some plugins can cause your website to crash.
- Slower Loading Times: Too many plugins take up server space and slow down a site.
Depending on your host and how big the plugins are, you probably shouldn’t go above 10-12 plugins total.
Additionally, regular WordPress maintenance also helps you keep your website and hosting up to date and error-free. Make sure to download and activate plugins from reputable sources. Delete unused plugins, update them regularly, and check if they are compatible with your version of WordPress.
Look at the number of downloads and reviews before choosing a plugin for your website. If they are downloaded a lot by other users, that’s a good sign.
4. Use caching plugins for static content.
Using caching plugins, you can significantly improve website speed and eventually reduce cost, regardless of the type of website hosting you use.
Websites contain many static data such as images, stylesheets, and scripts. Browser caching allows storing static content right into a browser so that the content doesn’t have to be downloaded every time a visitor comes to a site.
For example, a visitor comes to a website one time. The caching plugin will download the files needed for the page to display and cache it. The next time the page is visited, the load time is shorter.
Without a caching plugin, visitors would have to download the entirety of a web page with every visit. A caching plugin will remove many steps that WordPress performs when generating a page, increasing speed considerably.
Additionally, caching plugins can perform various server-side caching types, such as page caching and object caching, ensuring an additional layer of speed and cost optimization in your hosting.
Caching static content helps reduce the hosting cost because you do not need as much storage space for your images and database. You also don’t need a higher hosting plan to perform functions that a plugin is taking care of.
5. Switch to shared hosting.
If you’re using VPS hosting or a dedicated server, consider switching to shared hosting. Shared hosting helps you share a server and all of its resources with other sites, including bandwidth, storage, and all the rest.
VPS hosting is like having a dedicated server available for your site, including all of the resources and tools for yourself. Instead of having just one slice of the server, you have it all.
With VPS hosting, you typically get many extra features that you may not need, especially if you are at the beginning stages of using a website hosting service. These features might include additional security, ultra-fast loading speed, and more.
VPS is ideal for online stores and large sites. For those who aren’t there yet, shared hosting typically provides more than enough. VPS costs may vary from $20 to $100 per month, compared to shared hosting which might range from $1 to $15 per month.
You often can save money by switching to shared hosting if you’re using a VPS host.
6. Optimize your images.
Optimizing images helps you by reducing image size to the smallest possible file size without reducing the overall image quality. Many image optimization plugins or tools can reduce image size up to 80% without losing image quality.
Image optimization helps reduce the burden on your web host and helps boost image SEO for your site. The benefits of image optimizations include:
- better site speed;
- improved SEO;
- better conversion rate;
- less storage and bandwidth, which can reduce hosting and CDN costs; and
- faster back-ups, which can reduce the costs of back-up storage.
Reducing hosting costs is another advantage derived from image optimization. You’re less likely to reach your hosting limit and, if you’re on a higher-priced plan, you can reduce costs by switching to a plan with less storage space.
Images make up approximately 21% of a total webpage’s weight. Therefore, if you’re paying based on storage, image optimization will decrease your costs.
According to a study by Wpbeginner, a one-second delay in load time can cost up to a 7% drop in sales, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
When optimizing images, find a balance between the smallest file size and decent quality. You can also compress images before uploading them to WordPress.
There are tons of image formats available. You can use image optimization tools to make the task easier. Choosing the right combination of compression and tools can reduce image size by as much as by five times. You can use two types of image compression options:
- Lossy: This is a filter that eliminates part of the data. Images can degrade using this process. Therefore, be careful as to the extent you plan to reduce images.
- Lossless: This is a system that compresses data without reducing quality. However, the image needs to uncompress before being delivered.
Bottom Line for Website Hosting
There are many ways to reduce website hosting costs. It starts with realizing what your needs are. Many businesses pay for additional features included at checkout, or they have plans containing too many things that aren’t needed.
You may not know that there are huge discounts at some time of the year and therefore miss out on the chance of capitalizing on them.
The ideas listed above can help you analyze your site and determine where you can economize without sacrificing up time and reliability.