How much does a server cost?

So it's time to put up your business or personal website or service, and you're wondering how much does a server cost?

Like most things in life, it depends! You can spend upwards of $200k for a super advanced security server, and you can get a cloud-based server for free if you shop around.

Here are some factors to consider.

How Much Does a Server Cost?

Your costs will depend on what kind of server your website needs.

Shared Servers

Most websites and services on the internet exist on a "shared" server space in managed data server farms.

Shared server space is appropriate for relatively low volume sites, blogs, and others who aren't transmitting a tremendous amount of data. On a shared server, many - possibly thousands - of websites are run on a single machine.

A potential issue is your website is at the mercy of the many other accounts on the same shared server. This can cause slowdowns, bottlenecks, and potential security issues. It SHOULD be impossible for one user to access another user's space on a shared server, although there have been lapses in the past at many companies.

Shared server space can run from free to around $40/mo, depending on exactly what services you require. It's also the place that most small businesses and blog can go to get started.

A major consideration is the "domain" or website address. Some shared plans come with a domain, some do not.

Most free plans cannot handle SSL [secure encryption], and have junk domain names like "ec2-44-vda-22we.serverco.com". Usually, a domain costs around $10 - $50 a year, depending on the TLD, or Top Level Domain.

TLDs like ".com" and ".net" are generally cheaper than specialty TLDs like ".vegas" or ".guru".

Dedicated Servers

Once a website or service reaches a certain level of use, it becomes important to put it on a dedicated server.

These machines are single-use machines usually run in a data center. Of course, you can build your own data center for millions of dollars, but in 2018 it's generally better to rent a dedicated server from people who specialize in the business.

Dedicated servers run from about $10/mo to $200/mo, again depending on the performance and memory issues your site or service requires.

Content Delivery Networks

The next step up from a dedicated server is a content delivery network, or CDN.

A CDN is a network of servers separated geographically. For instance, a large website might have servers located in Virginia, California, London and Hong Kong.

When a user tries to access the site or service, the CDN will route traffic to whichever server is located closest to where the user is located. CDN networks can be very cheap, up to representing the majority essential expense of the business.

A small WordPress e-commerce site might use a CDN to serve images, and that could cost less than $20/mo. A very large network like Twitter or Google could spend tens of millions on their content delivery networks.

Set up Your Server

How much does a server cost? It depends on your website's needs. A general principle of cloud computing is that it's pretty easy to scale up, but not so easy to scale down.

In other words, you can start small and work yourself up to a major server if you need one. It isn't so easy to scale a large system down to a smaller set of servers, so work from small to big.

It's becoming cheaper and easier for small business and individuals to have dedicated cloud-based servers. Contact us today if you're ready to take the next step for your business.