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, your 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 this 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)
- HostGator (Affordable semi-managed dedicated servers)
- Bluehost (Flexible dedicated server hosting)
- 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).
InterServer is the top choice here, having the cheapest options for dedicated servers, well, and literally having a 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. You get 5 phone numbers in different countries including the USA, England, and Brazil.
InterServer has a wide variety of dedicated server options. The cheapest starts at about $50 a month and includes Intel Dual-Core Atom (2 cores), 1GB of RAM, and 250GB of HDD storage space.
The most expensive plan on this list will set you back $640 a month. It has 2 x Xeon E5-2650v4 (24 cores), 8GB of RAM, and 250GB of storage space.
It also has quite a few choices if you want to customize a server yourself. You can choose to add up to 2TB SSD or 10TB SATA storage drives, up to 32GB of RAM, and bandwidth up to 10 Gbps unmetered.
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.
And unfortunately, InterServer has no money-back guarantee to offer for its dedicated servers customers.
InterServer has probably the cheapest dedicated servers to offer. Even better, they come with a lot of great features and hardware.
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.
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.
You can expect not only cheap, but also fast dedicated servers with a 100% uptime.
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.
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.
You don't get a truly fully-managed server, it's a more limited version it calls managed support. This means that while you have full control, you still get the support that can do some of the maintenance.
InterServer offers cheapest unmanaged dedicated servers with solid uptime and free migration, it's a great option if you're just starting out.
- Great performance
- Zero setup fees
- Free migration
- Not fully managed
- No money-back guarantee
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 balances out pricing and performance to offer you the best deals.
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, you still have a wide knowledge base 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. The most powerful Enterprise plan costs $148.98/mo and includes 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. After the management choice, you can only customize your server by selecting 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 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.
On top of all that you get a 1-year free domain name when you select HostGator annual plans.
Dedicated server hosting at HostGator isn't the cheapest, but with that price comes a lot of features and powerfull performance.
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.
I notice a few spikes during my 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%) scores means that our server was optimized nearly perfectly.
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 and you are limited to CentOS or Windows. Whether in the semi-managed server you can choose freely 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.
- Full root access
- Solid uptime
- Multiple management levels
- More expensive
- Not the greatest performance
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, much cheaper but requires a lot of work and knowledge 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 500GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, 5TB bandwidth, and 3IP 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 it comes with 1TB of storage, 16GB of RAM, 15TB bandwidth and 5IP 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. So you can see just how much you can save with longer periods of hosting.
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, price, and new technology makes Bluehost a great choice.
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 it 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 dedicated servers are optimized well and can give you quite the performance for the price.
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.
- Fast servers
- Powerful dedicated hosting
- 24/7 customer support
- Only unmanaged servers
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.
It doesn't offer huge customization options for you, but GoDaddy has 4 dedicated server hosting plans with solid hardware and root access.
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.
You can save even more money by going self-managed, it lowers 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. You get nearly identical plans to Linux options, but it adds an extra $30/mo to the price.
The plans and the hardware stay the same, just add $30 a month 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.
There's quite the selection of server configuration and management options available at GoDaddy. All of them are decently priced for the hardware they offer.
GoDaddy guarantees you a 99.9% uptime rate for dedicated servers. After testing their Economy plan I got 100% uptime for our website, with the average response time being just 284ms.
I had one spike in which our response time jumped to 542ms, but apart that, GoDaddy made a great first impression.
I also decided to test the speed and optimization of GoDaddy plans, and here we got solid results. Our website didn't have any problems, fully loading in just 1.6 seconds.
Overall, our website got A (90%) in PageSpeed and B (87%) in YSlow Scores.
Very solid uptime, and average response time of 284ms, and server stability - you can expect all that from GoDaddy.
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, granted you are confident enough to manage it on your own. In a way, there's something for everyone at GoDaddy.
If you don't feel confident enough to control your own server your best option is fully-managed dedicated servers. While you can 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 fully-managed option adds $130 a month to your hosting package. So the management of the server can cost more than the server itself.
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.
- Powerful dedicated servers
- Multiple management levels
- Great performance
- Expensive fully managed 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 Hosting 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.
A2 Hosting Pricing
The cheapest dedicated hosting option at A2 Hosting starts at $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. 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. While more expensive it's also great for people who you are not confident enough to manage and run their own server.
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 offers a variety of dedicated hosting options so you can create your perfect server. And it does that while having quite fair prices as well.
A2 Hosting Performance
I jumped right into the Pingdom uptime tool to measure the stability and speed of my 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, on the other side, the longest it took was about 658ms. Response times like these clearly justifies A2 Hosting's bragging about its speed.
Next, we checked the loading speeds and optimization of the server using GTmetrix. My 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.
After a couple of tests, it's clear that A2 Hosting delivers on both website speed and optimization. Not even mentioning the Turbo option.
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 tries to minimize 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, for some people it's the only option. And A2 Hosting has 2 different 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 anytime money-back guarantee and extra customizability.
- Managed ad unmanaged options
- Turbo performance option
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- Can get expensive quickly
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, including 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 a bit 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 into Standard, Enhanced, and Enhanced SSD categories. The most advanced Enhanced SSD 64 plan has the same CPU, 64GB of RAM, and 240 GB of SSD, and costs $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 can 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 quite the best on this list.
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, so we got great servers optimization.
DreamHost has great optimization, better than average speed, and of course stable performance throughout.
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'll be compensated for your troubles. You get 1 day of free hosting added to your account for every hour that 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 taken pretty seriously here. DDoS protection is included in every plan and you get 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.
- 100% uptime guarantee
- DDoS protection
- Powerful hardware
- No money-back guarantee
- Limited support availability
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.
- HostGator - has affordable semi-managed and managed dedicated servers.
- Bluehost - has flexible dedicated server hosting with multi-server management.
- 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.