How Much Does It Cost to Host Wikipedia? Analyzing Infrastructure Expenses

Estimated read time 3 min read


Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia with over 5 million articles and growing, is an impressive feat of technology and community collaboration. But what’s the cost behind the scenes? In this article, we’ll examine the infrastructure expenses required to keep Wikipedia running smoothly, from servers to data centers and beyond.

Cost of Servers:

The heart of any website is its server infrastructure. For Wikipedia, this means a vast network of servers distributed across the world. These servers are responsible for storing, processing, and delivering the content that users access. The cost of these servers varies depending on their size, location, and complexity, but it’s estimated that they cost around $2 million per year to maintain.

Cost of Data Centers:

In addition to servers, Wikipedia also requires data centers, which are large facilities designed to house a massive number of computers, network devices, and other equipment. These data centers provide the infrastructure needed to support the growing number of Wikipedia users and pages. The cost of data center infrastructure is significant, with estimates suggesting that it costs around $10 million per year to maintain.

Cost of Content Delivery Networks:

To ensure that Wikipedia content is delivered quickly and efficiently to users around the world, the organization relies on content delivery networks (CDNs). These networks distribute copies of website content across a global network of servers, reducing the load on any one server and improving page load times. The cost of CDN infrastructure can vary depending on the size and complexity of the network, but it’s estimated to be around $1 million per year for Wikipedia.

Cost of Human Resources:

Behind every line of code and every piece of content on Wikipedia is a human being. This includes developers, editors, administrators, and other staff members who work tirelessly to keep the site running smoothly. The cost of these human resources varies depending on the role and location, but it’s estimated that they cost around $15 million per year to maintain.


In conclusion, hosting Wikipedia is no small feat, with infrastructure expenses totaling millions of dollars each year. From servers and data centers to CDNs and human resources, every aspect of the site requires careful planning and investment to ensure that it continues to provide a valuable resource for users around the world. While the cost of running Wikipedia may seem daunting, it’s worth noting that the organization generates over $30 million in donations each year, which helps to offset these expenses and keep the site free and accessible to all.


  1. How much does it cost to host a single Wikipedia page?
    The cost of hosting a single Wikipedia page varies depending on the complexity of the content and the server infrastructure used. However, it’s estimated that each page costs around $0.00002 per year to maintain.
  2. What is the largest Wikipedia data center?
    The Wikimedia Foundation operates several data centers across the world, but its largest data center is located in Lithuania. It houses over 600 servers and covers a floor area of 10,000 square meters.
  3. How many volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia each year?
    Wikipedia relies heavily on volunteer editors, with an estimated 2 million active contributors each month. However, the number of volunteers can fluctuate throughout the year depending on various factors.

You May Also Like

More From Author