In this article, I'll discuss why your website might need a dedicated server and review the best budget-friendly dedicated server options.
While dedicated server hosting is the most powerful type of hosting, it also tends to be the most expensive one.
And the high price is justifiable: after all, you're getting the whole server exclusively for one website without having to share resources with other sites.
However, no one wants to pay $500/month or more just for website hosting.
But usually, the hosting upgrade is inevitable.
When the website grows in traffic, the hosting price increases accordingly. If your business website outgrew shared hosting or a VPS, upgrading to dedicated server hosting is the next logical step. Otherwise, the performance of the website will massively suffer.
But here's the problem: not that many companies offer cheap dedicated servers. In the hosting industry, this type of hosting is treated as a sort of luxury (well, it kind of is).
Does that mean that bigger website owners are doomed to pay a fortune every month for hosting? Well, not necessarily.
That's why for this article, I collected the best budget-friendly dedicated server providers that won’t charge you a fortune for hosting.
Best Cheap Dedicated Servers
While dedicated hosting isn't as low-cost as shared hosting, the providers on this list combine superior performance with great value for your money.
These right here are the best cheap dedicated servers you can get:
- InterServer (Cheap and customizable dedicated servers)
- Bluehost (Flexible dedicated server hosting)
- HostGator (Affordable semi-managed dedicated servers)
- GoDaddy (Servers with different management options)
- A2 Hosting (Fast and powerful servers)
- DreamHost (Dedicated servers that are always up)
We also have a list of best dedicated servers if you’re looking for a top-notch performance (and willing to spend a bit more).
1. InterServer - Cheap And Customizable Dedicated Servers
InterServer is the top choice here, having the cheapest options for dedicated servers, well, and literally having server in its name. This provider established in 1999 has earned its name in giving professional hosting services for everyone.
It has a few different dedicated server options to offer you. From large file storage servers to 10Gbps dedicated servers, and even rapid deployment servers that can be set up in 15 minutes.
And if you need help InterServer has 24/7 customer support by phone, live chat, and email. It has 5 phone numbers in different countries including the USA, England, and Brazil. And if you don't like talking to people, it offers quite an extensive support center.
InterServer has a wide variety of dedicated server options for you to choose from. The cheapest starting option will cost you about $50 a month and will include Intel Dual-Core Atom (2 cores), 1GB of RAM, and 250GB of HDD storage space.
The most expensive plan on this list is will set you back $640 a month. It has 2 x Xeon E5-2650v4 (24 cores), 8GB of RAM, and 250GB of storage space. But this is just the CPU choice.
It also has quite a few choices if you want to customize a server yourself and that 250GB limitation easily disappears. You can choose to add up to 2TB SSD or 10TB SATA storage drives, up to 32GB of RAM, and choose bandwidth up to 10 Gbps unmetered.
You can also add another storage drive up to the same limits as the first one and up to /29 + /24 IP space. Here, you also can select your operating system based on Linux or Windows. Just keep in mind that Windows options will add more expenses to your plan.
Keep in mind that the more you add the more the price point grows. And unfortunately, InterServer has no money-back guarantee to offer for its dedicated servers customers.
InterServer boasts about its performance and promises you 99.9% uptime or you'll be compensated. However, we didn't need this option, because our website was up the entire time and got 100% uptime rate. The average response time was just 192ms, the fastest on this list.
We can see that the lowest our response time got was 103ms, while the highest reached just 218ms. This tiny fluctuation means that your website will be extremely stable to visitors.
Next, we used GTmetrix to look at the full loading time and optimization of our website. It showed great results, fully loading our web in just 1.1 seconds. Considering the price you pay, this is amazing results.
It also got A's in PageSpeed (98%) and YSlow (90%) scores, meaning that overall our server had good optimization.
InterServer Free Features and Managed Support
While being the cheapest on this list, InterServer still goes out of its way to give you the best hosting experience. Every server here comes with free DDoS protection, zero setup fees for your server, and 10TB of transfers.
It also supports 100MB or 1GB ports for you to use and monitors your server's uptime 24/7. But perhaps the most used feature is InterServer's free migration. After buying a server your website resources will be moved for free in the coming 24-28 hours.
Its support team will be in contact with you the whole process to make sure everything is done correctly.
Every server here is managed or at least that's what InterServer states. But this is not a truly fully-managed server, its more limited version called it calls managed support. This means that while you have full control, you still get the support that can do some of the maintenance for you and help if something goes wrong.
You can find the full list of what kind of help can you expect for free here. If you need more complicated or different help you can buy the help of professionals at InterServer.
InterServer offers cheapest managed dedicated servers with solid uptime and free migration, it's a great option if you're just starting out.
2. Bluehost - Flexible Dedicated Server Hosting
Powering over 2 million websites all over the globe, Bluehost has a reputation for excellent customer support and high-quality services. Combine that with very reasonable pricing, and you get a good cheap dedicated hosting provider.
It's important to note that Bluehost only offers unmanaged dedicated servers. Which is much cheaper but requires a lot of work from your side.
Bluehost has a 24/7 customer support by phone, live chat, or ticket option. If you don't want to talk to support you can always use the knowledge base to find the most requested answers.
Bluehost plans start at $79.99 a month with their Standard plan. It boasts 500 GB of storage, 4 GB of RAM, 5 TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses. With this plan, you will have 4 cores @ 2.3 GHz CPU at your disposal.
The Premium plan will cost you $119.99 and comes with 1 TB of storage, 16 GB of RAM, 15 TB bandwidth and 5 IP addresses. The maximum CPU power you can get with Bluehost is 4 cores @ 3.3 GHz.
These prices are available only if you choose the 36 month billing period. If you want to pay just for one month the prices go up quite a bit - by 33%. Of course, the same can be said about renewal after your first purchase.
The normal price for the Standard plan will actually be $109.99 a month. If you plan to host with Bluehost for a longer period then this is the real price for your hosting, so you should take that into account.
If we take a look at the checkout we can see that there are only 3 extra features you can choose: SiteLock Security, CodeGuard Basic, and Bluehost SEO tool. All of these costs about 2 to 3 dollars a month, so it won't empty your wallet.
While not giving you a lot of customization for your server, the overall hardware and new technology make it a great offer.
Bluehost offers you a 99.9% uptime guarantee for every plan you purchased. Our website hosted on the Standard plan had a 100% uptime rate throughout our testing. The average response time was 250ms, which is a great speed for this price.
The lowest speed we managed to achieve was 220ms. While having a few bigger spikes in speed that jumped to 571ms, overall Bluehost showed fast and stable performance.
If we look at GTmetrix, our website fully loaded in about 3.8 seconds, which isn't perfect but is still a lot faster than most websites online.
We got an A in PageSpeed (90%) and B in YSlow (87%) scores, so overall our server resources were used and optimized correctly.
Bluehost Unmanaged Flexible Hosting
In general unmanaged dedicated servers are more suited for advanced users who know their way around servers and software. You can manage your databases easily with the Bluehost custom-design manager.
Multi-server management means that you can add extra services to the same hosting account. You won't need to create separate accounts, no matter if you add shared hosting or VPS, you can control everything in one place.
If you need additional add-ons with your dedicated server, Bluehost has several to offer you. Domain privacy and protection will hide your personal information that is associated with your domain name. SiteLock helps detect and prevent vulnerabilities and threats on your website.
You can also get spam protection called Postini, which filters harmful or unwanted content before it hits your inbox.
If you need an unmanaged dedicated server with great flexibility, Bluehost is the option for you, and the price won't empty your wallet.
3. HostGator - Affordable Semi-Managed Dedicated Servers
HostGator is one of the biggest hosting companies out there hosting around 10 million websites worldwide. It was established in 2002 and is doing business for over 17 years.
Now, this provider focuses on cheap shared and solid dedicated hosting.
It promises 24/7 customer support by phone or live chat, but has no easy way of contacting them by email. It's not a game-changer, and you still have a wide knowledge base literally with hundreds of video tutorials at your fingertips.
The pricing here starts at $118.99 a month for 8GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD, unmetered bandwidth, and 4 cores Intel Xeon-D CPU. If that's not quite enough for you, you can choose the Enterprise plan for $148.98/mo. It will include 8 cores Interl Xeon0-D CPU, 30GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD.
HostGator offers 2 hosting options at the checkout - managed and semi-managed hosting. And apart from management choice, you can only select to have SSD or HDD storage drives on certain plans.
But to get that sweet low price you have to choose a 36 month billing period. If billed monthly the price goes up by 36-42%. And don't forget that if you choose to stick with HostGator your next billing will be at the regular price, which is $189/mo for the Value plan.
You also get 3 Dedicated IPv4 IPs, DDoS protection, a fully redundant network, and unlimited databases. And no matter the plan you will have 24/7/365 monitoring and support.
On top of all that you get a 1-year free domain name when you select HostGator annual plans.
HostGator offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee for its dedicated server plans. And while we did get a perfect 100% uptime during our test, the response time was not so impressive. The average response time for our website was about 378ms, the lowest it got was 280.
We notice a few spikes during our test that jumped up to 825ms. While response time wasn't that great it still a solid speed compared to most websites.
GTmetrix, on the other hand, showed better results. Our website loaded in just 1.9 seconds and considering its total page size it showed great loading speeds.
Getting A's in both YSlow (91%) and PageSpeed (92%) score means that our server was optimized to nearly perfectly. So, while it will not blow you away, the HostGator offers reliable speed and stability.
HostGator Semi-Managed Servers And Support
HostGator doesn't offer truly unmanaged options, what it has is managed and semi-managed servers. The latter option means that you will have full root access to your server while the HostGator team of specialists will just monitor and patch your server.
With the managed option, all the backups and optimizations are done for you. You are also limited to CentOS or Windows, whether in the semi-managed server you can choose from Ubuntu, CentOS, Windows, or Debian OS.
The price difference between these two is $10/mo, so if you want to save money we would suggest choosing semi-managed servers.
And HostGator doesn't have any price increase if you want to have a Windows server instead of Linux.
HostGator offers solid performance and stability for a decent price. It's a great choice if you're looking for managed or semi-managed hosting.
4. GoDaddy - Servers With Different Management Options
You probably know GoDaddy from countless commercials and special offers online. While it's most famous as a domain reseller, the company has a wide range of solid hosting solutions to offer.
While not offering huge server customization, GoDaddy has 4 dedicated server hosting plans for you with solid hardware and support.
It also offers 24/7 customer support by phone, live chat, and email system. While it's nearly a standard to have these options, GoDaddy goes one step further and offers phone support numbers in 48 different countries all over the world.
The cheapest dedicated hosting option at GoDaddy starts at $89.99 a month. For this price, you get 4 CPU Cores @ 3.1 GHz, 4GB of RAM, 1TB of storage space, and unmetered bandwidth. You also get 3 dedicated IPs and a free one year SSL certificate.
If you want a fully unmanaged dedicated server, you can save even more money by lowering the price by $10 to $79.99/mo. Remember that the security and performance optimization will be left to you if you choose this option.
The CPUs stay the same no matter what plan you choose, so the main differences between plans are memory and storage space. With the most expensive Ultimate plan, you will have 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage space for $179.99/mo.
This is the price for Linux based servers, if you want to have a Windows-based server, you'll have to pay more for that. With the Economy plan, the price goes up by $30/mo for Windows servers.
The plans and the hardware stay the same, just add 30$ to any plan to get a Windows version of hosting.
If you want to save money and get that low advertised price of $79.99 or $89.99 you have to be billed for at least for a year. If you want to be billed monthly or semi-annually the price nearly doubles to $159.99 a month.
So to get the best price you should buy Linux unmanaged dedicated server and choose a 12 months billing period.
GoDaddy guarantees you a 99.9% uptime rate for dedicated servers. After testing their Economy plan we got 100% uptime for our website. The average response time was just 284ms, and the minimum response time was 107ms.
We had one spike in which our response time jumped to 542ms, but apart that we had a stable response time throughout. So even the cheapest server will give you top-level performance.
We also tested the speed and optimization of GoDaddy plans, and here we got solid results. Our website didn't have any problem fully loading in just 1.6 seconds.
Overall, our website got A (90%) in PageSpeed and B (87%) in YSlow Scores. Nearly everything was optimized for the best possible performance from our dedicated server.
GoDaddy Different Management Options
With dedicated servers, the thing that can influence the price most is management levels. With great power and flexibility comes great responsibility for you to manage and control your dedicated server. But you also get the cheapest hosting because of this reason, so you won't have to pay any extra for this at GoDaddy.
If you don't feel confident enough to control your own server your best option is fully-managed dedicated servers. While you leave all the updates, security and optimization for a team of specialists, it also adds a hefty amount to the price. In GoDaddy's case, the managed option adds $130 a month to your hosting package.
GoDaddy has a third option for you - semi-managed dedicated servers. With this, you can pay $10/mo and have your server monitored, patched, and backed-up. You will also get the ability to pick your operating system from CentOS, Fedora, and Ubuntu.
With previous options, you got CentOS automatically. So, you can choose what management level and OS you need when hosting with GoDaddy.
GoDaddy is a solid hosting provider that gives you both Linux and Windows dedicated servers for a great price. And you can choose what level of control you need.
5. A2 Hosting - Fast and Powerful Servers
A2 Hosting is best known for its turbo speeds and shared hosting. This provider based in the United States has a lot to offer when it comes to dedicated servers.
It offers managed, unmanaged, core, and discount SSD servers. And you get quite a few customization options at the checkout to create your perfect server.
A2 also has a guru support crew that is standing 24/7 by phone, email, and live chat. They are known for their fast responses and helpful answers when dealing with your problems. And we shouldn't forget about the knowledge base at hand.
A2 Hosting Pricing
The cheapest dedicated hosting option at A2 Hosting is $99.59 a month. For this monthly price you get 8GB of RAM, 10TB transfers, 2x500GB storage space, and 2 Cores Intel 3.1+ GHz CPU.
The most advanced Mach plan will cost you $248.99 and will include 16GB of RAM, 20TB transfer, 8 core 2x Intel Xeon 2.1+ GHz CPU, and 2x1TB hard drives.
A2 Hosting also has discounts for longer periods of hosting. So the price you see at the front page is only available if you choose to be billed annually. Any shorter period will raise the price by up to 20%.
The price also depends on what level of control you need. Managed servers with the same hardware start at $141.09/mo. If you are confident enough to manage and run your server you can get unmanaged servers for the regular $99.59/mo.
You can also add a Turbo Speed option to your server, which as A2 claims will increase your website's speed up to 20x. This option starts at $42/mo for 1 CPU LiteSpeed license and goes up to 4 CPU license for $85/mo.
And you can customize your plan even more by adding SSD or HDD storage drives, more RAM, extra IP addresses, and cPanel license.
A2 Hosting Performance
We jumped right into the Pingdom uptime tool to measure the stability and speed of our website. After a few weeks of testing, we got a perfect 100% uptime rate and average response times of 242ms.
The fastest response time was just 87ms, and on the other side, the longest it took was about 658ms. With response times like these, it clearly justifies A2 Hosting's bragging about its speed.
Next, we checked the loading speeds and optimization of our server using GTmetrix. Our WordPress website loaded in just 1.4 seconds, which is way faster than most websites of similar sizes.
We got both A's in PageSpeed (94%) and in YSlow (91%) scores. What we can see from this is that A2 Hosting delivers on both speed and optimization.
A2 Hosting Money-back and Root Access
Dedicated servers are not like shared ones when we talk about the price. It's a much bigger investment when the price point starts at a minimum of $50 dollars. A2 Hosting solves this headache by offering amazing anytime money-back guarantee.
How does it work? If you cancel your hosting within 30 days you will be fully refunded. If you cancel later, you'll get a pro-rated refund for the hosting period that you haven't used yet.
Example: If you have 3 years of hosting and want to cancel after one year, you'll get your money back for the 2 years of your plan that are still left.
While managed hosting will automatically be more expensive is still a great option for some people. And A2 Hosting has 2 managed dedicated server options - Core Flex and Managed Flex.
Both Managed and Core servers are basically identical to by hardware and tools you get. The difference is in the control you get. With this plan, you get a fully managed server with root access.
If you want to have a team of experts working on your server but still want to have control of it - the Core plan is for you. You get full root access while having all the benefits of managed servers.
If you need a really fast and reliable dedicated server with or without root access, A2 has you covered. It even throws in the anytime money-back guarantee.
6. DreamHost - Dedicated Servers That Are Always Up
DreamHost was established all the way in the good old 1996 and is one of the largest hosting providers out there. Its main goals are to have fast and reliable hosting available for everyone.
This provider has a lot to offer that includes VPS, WordPress, cloud, and shared hosting. DreamHost also has a drag&drop website builder available to use.
DreamHost has a 24/7 email or Live chat customer support. Unfortunately, the live chat option is only available from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM Pacific time, and you can only schedule a phone callback for a fee. So, the support here is limited.
DreamHost only offers managed dedicated servers with root access starting at $149 a month. The hardware you get for this price is 4GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD storage space, local MySQL database server, and Intel Xeon 4-Core 8-Thread CPU.
The other option that it offers is Enhanced plan at $279/mo, giving you 16GB of RAM, 2TB of HDD, and Intel Xeon 12-Core 24-Thread CPU. The problem that you have probably spotted is that you get much slower HDD rather than SSD.
But the thing is that DreamHost actually has 9 dedicated server plans. We can split it to Standard, Enhanced, and Enhanced SSD categories and the most advanced Enhanced SSD 64. It gives you the same CPU, 64GB of RAM, and 240 GB of SSD at $379/mo.
While DreamHost offers a 97-days money-back guarantee, it only works with shared hosting plans. So when buying a dedicated server here you're kinda left on your own.
But you also save money by choosing to be billed yearly. The Standard 4 plan will cost you $149/mo if you're billed yearly, and $169/mo if you want to be billed monthly. So, you can save up to $20 a month.
While having no money-back guarantee isn't that great, DreamHost compensates for that with decent prices and powerful hardware.
The performance that DreamHost gave us was a bit mixed. While we had no trouble achieving the promised 100% uptime, there were quite a few large spikes when our response time jumped to 587ms.
The average response time we got was 355ms, not bad, but also not the best on this list. And the fastest that our server got was 225ms.
After testing our website with GTmetrix, we saw that it fully loaded in about 2.5 seconds. Considering that it was under 1mb in size, DreamHost showed better than average results.
DreamHost got A (92%) in PageSpeed and B (84%) in the YSlow score. It has great optimization, decent speed, and of course that 100% uptime.
DreamHost 100% Uptime and Security
When it comes to Uptime DreamHost does thing a bit differently. We are used to seeing 99.9% or 99.999% guarantees, but DreamHost actually promises you 100% uptime rate. When it states that its goal is to always have your website up - it means it.
If you run into downtime that's not just maintenance you will be compensated for your troubles. You get 1 day of free hosting added to your account for every hour your website is down.
It's a win-win situation - either your website is always up or you get cheaper hosting for it.
If you ever visited DreamHost, you might notice that security is really important to it. You get DDoS protection included in every plan and a 24/7 monitoring of your server by DreamHost support team.
Your website will be looked after while you will have full root and SSH access to your server.
While not having the greatest support, DreamHost makes up for it by giving you 100% uptime and powerful hardware.
What's The Best Cheap Dedicated Server For You?
There are plenty of great hosting providers out there, most of which offer pretty solid cheap dedicated server hosting plans. While not cheap, these plans give you more than enough resources and features for your money.
However, the companies on this list are also wildly different, so you need to know what you will need later. Let's look at these providers again:
- InterServer - has cheap and customizable dedicated servers that can fit most users' needs.
- Bluehost - has flexible dedicated server hosting with multi-server management.
- HostGator - has affordable semi-managed and managed dedicated servers.
- GoDaddy - has servers with managed, unmanaged, and fully managed options.
- A2 Hosting - has fast and powerful servers with an anytime money-back guarantee.
- DreamHost - has dedicated servers that have a 100% uptime guarantee.
At the end of the day though, the decision is all yours. Good luck with getting your own dedicated server - on a budget!
If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure :Our reviews include affiliate links and if you choose to buy a product, you help support the running of this blog. However, we are not sponsored by any of the providers so we can keep our reviews honest and transparent. Read more...