Cheap Web Hosting – The 7 Best Service Providers
2019 November 5th at 6:08
This article will discuss what you need to know about hosting a website online on a budget and review the best cheap web hosting providers on the market right now.
A lot of well-established hosting providers are offering web hosting for as little as $1/month.
But why is it so cheap?
Well, there are a few reasons:
1. Just like free web hosting companies, cheap hosting providers use attractive pricing to charm users into buying additional services. If you go for that entry-level hosting plan for a couple of bucks, you'll most likely have to pay for backups, SSL certificates, and other additional features separately.
2. Cheap web hosting options are almost exclusively implemented on shared web hosting servers, which are really cheap to run. Hosting companies may put as many as 500 user accounts on a single server which drastically reduces the cost for upkeep, yet it could also cripple websites’ performance.
So, in the end, is cheap web hosting just plain bad?
Not necessarily. It's easy to avoid those paid additional features by sticking with the essentials that are included in the plan.
As for resources, shared web hosting will likely be more than enough to sustain any personal WordPress blog or a small business website.
There are, of course, quite a few ‘bad apples’ in the cheap web hosting industry.
That is basically the main reason I am writing this article - to showcase my own favorite cheap hosting options (which I still use up to this day).
Best Cheap Web Hosting Providers
No matter how cheap, a good web hosting provider needs to be a number of things. It needs to be fast, secure, user-friendly, and above all - powerful enough to host your website.
Here's a list of cheap web hosting providers offering the best deals:
- Bluehost - premium yet affordable web hosting.
- Hostinger - best cheap web hosting for speed.
- A2 Hosting - feature-rich budget web hosting.
- HostGator - a simple cheap web hosting option.
- DreamHost - the most reliable cheap web hosting.
- HostPapa - best cheap web hosting for beginners.
- GreenGeeks - environment-conscious scalable hosting.
Let's have a look at all of them:
1. Bluehost - Premium Host for an Affordable Price
Bluehost takes the cheap web hosting crown for several reasons: it has servers that are amazingly optimized for WordPress, it's incredibly user-oriented and affordable.
In fact, Bluehost is a premium hosting provider that focuses on optimizing its servers for WordPress. In the user-friendly control panel, you'll also find auto-installers for other popular CMSs like Drupal or Joomla as well.
The best part is, Bluehost has a couple of budget web hosting plans that offer great value. This way, you get premium services like 24/7 phone support, weekly backups, and free SSL for the cost of your morning coffee.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Pricing
The pricing for Bluehost web hosting starts at $2.95/mo for which you get 50GB of storage space and unmetered bandwidth. Bluehost also includes a free domain name and the Let's Encrypt SSL certificate installation.
But as with the majority of the providers, you'll need to stick with Bluehost longer to get the cheapest hosting offer. As you can see - the renewal price is also higher than the original offer.
|Monthly pricing||Renewal pricing|
Here you can see the pricing for the cheapest, Basic, plan.
But as a matter of fact, Bluehost has 4 web hosting plans in total. Although if you need really cheap hosting, we recommend you stick to the first 2 (or first 3 if renewals don't scare you).
The second-tier Plus plan for $5.45/mo will get you unlimited storage and bandwidth. The Choice Plus also costs $5.45/mo - it gets you site backups, domain privacy, and anti-spam software.
All in all, by choosing Basic, Plus or Choice Plus, you get a premium hosting package for an affordable price.
Bluehost Performance Tests
Bluehost does not provide an uptime guarantee but promises high availability. And from the results we can see, it manages to fulfill it.
Our uptime and response time tracker recorded an excellent 100% uptime. Bluehost is also much faster than the average host's server speed. On average, it scores around 299ms response time.
Together with the great value of features and reliable performance, Bluehost is a good budget choice for any website.
Bluehost is a proven and reliable provider that offers a great feature and price balance. For less than $3/mo, you will get a premium hosting package that's hard to beat.
- Great performance
- WordPress optimized servers
- All hosting essentials included
- Extremely user-friendly
- Renewals might get expensive
2. Hostinger - Fastest Cheap Web Hosting
Hostinger offers the cheapest web hosting package on this list. But not just that. The results show it's also the fastest.
Starting at just $0.99/mo ($0.80 if you happen to catch the best Black Friday deal available right now), Hostinger proves that good hosting can be affordable too.
All of the plans are equipped with a user-friendly custom control panel and are optimized for WordPress as well. Not to mention that you'll have access to professional and helpful tech support 24/7.
Hostinger Shared Hosting Pricing
The cheapest Single plan for $0.99/mo ($0.80 during Black Friday) gets you hosting for 1 website with 10GB of disk space and 100GB bandwidth.
Considering that an average WordPress site takes around 1GB of storage - you can create a pretty heavy website for under a dollar. The plan will also include weekly backups, BitNinja server security software, and a custom website builder.
There's one thing though. You won't get a domain name and SSL installation for free (but you can install it for free yourself) and as a default with the cheapest plan. However, if you choose the plan for at least a year - you'll get one of them, depending on the offer that's available at the time of your purchase.
Although to really get the cheapest pricing that the Single plan can offer, you'll need to commit to Hostinger for a longer time:
|Monthly pricing||Renewal pricing|
Hostinger has 3 web hosting plans in total and the other web hosting plans it offers are also cheap.
You can get unlimited bandwidth, email accounts, databases, and a free domain for $2.59/mo. And if you want an all-inclusive package that can handle even an eCommerce store with daily automated backups, 3x more powerful server, and SSH access, you can choose the Business plan for $4.49/mo.
Hostinger pricing is truly one of its strong suits. But it is not the only one. In fact, the provider is the fastest on our list.
Hostinger Performance Tests
Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which it outperforms at all times. Extremely fast servers is also a bold claim that Hostinger manages to deliver.
The provider averages at 233ms response time which is outstanding not only for a cheap but any host.
The testing results also show that Hostinger has not gone down even for a second throughout the whole testing period.
So combining Hostinger pricing, performance, and features you get a really great provider that can match both beginner's and developer's needs.
Hostinger is an example of how budget web hosting should work - it's fast, reliable, and easy for the beginners to use. You won't get a lot of premium features, but all the essentials are included.
- Hosting under a dollar
- Great and reliable performance
- Helpful and fast 24/7 customer support
- Long billing cycles
- Pricing increase after renewal
3. A2 Hosting - Fully-Featured Reliable Hosting
A2 Hosting is an established provider aiming to deliver high quality, fast, and feature-rich web hosting services. With a couple of really cheap plans, A2 Hosting makes it to this list by offering feature-loaded packages.
Even with the cheapest plan, you get unlimited storage space and bandwidth. A2 also includes free site migrations and automatic backups.
This makes A2 Hosting a great one-stop-shop for those who are just getting started with their business or want to upgrade to a faster provider.
A2 Shared Hosting Pricing
The pricing for A2 Hosting services starts at $2.96/mo. The cheapest plan already includes unlimited bandwidth, storage, and 25 email addresses. If you need more unlimited stuff, the Swift plan for $3.70/mo will get you unlimited email addresses and databases as well as server backups.
The Turbo plan for $7.03/mo does not really match our cheap web hosting criteria, but choosing it you can get your website hosted on "Turbo" servers. A2 claims they are 20x faster than the regular ones.
Apart from the initial differences, the plans are pretty similar. All of them include SSL certificates, one-click installations, a staging environment, and proactive security features.
On the other hand, A2 avoids neither high-renewals nor long-term commitments. To get the cheapest pricing, you'll need to stay with A2 Hosting for a longer period. Let's take a look at the Lite plan pricing:
|Monthly pricing||Renewal pricing|
As you can see, you get better value staying with A2 Hosting longer. However, the price after the first term increases by around 2.7 times.
So let's take a look if A2 Hosting performance is worth its pricing strategy.
A2 Hosting Performance Tests
A2 Hosting has a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. It also promises fast servers for your websites.
Truth be told, the provider exceeds its promises and claims. Our performance tracker recorded an average 494ms response time. While not the most impressive on this list, it's still a great result beating the industry average.
At the same time, A2 Hosting has only gone down for 2 minutes, making it average at 99.98% uptime. Combining all features A2 has, makes it fast and reliable - just as promised.
A2 Hosting is a premium service-provider offering a good initial pricing deal. Unfortunately, the cheap hosting deal only lasts for the first term. However, you are rewarded with great performance, reliability, and a several nice features.
- Full-featured hosting
- Good and reliable server performance
- Beginner-friendly control panel
- High renewal pricing
- Long billing cycles
4. HostGator - User-Friendly and Affordable Web Hosting
HostGator is aiming to make web hosting affordable and easy to use for everyone. This means you'll be equipped with intuitive cPanel control panel, one-click installs, and even a website builder.
All that, you can get for as low as $2.75/mo. And the feature list is not even over yet.
In the package, you get all the essentials - a domain name, SSL certificate, and of course - 24/7 customer support.
So what are your choices?
HostGator Shared Hosting Pricing
The Hatchling plan costs $2.75/mo and includes unlimited bandwidth and disk space already for 1 website. With the Baby plan for $3.95/mo, you'll get hosting for unlimited websites. The Business plan for $5.95/mo will get you not only hosting for unlimited sites but also Positive SSL, dedicated IP, and SEO toolkit.
Each of the HostGator's plans is designed for a different user. You can easily start with the Hatchling for your first website and upgrade to Hatchling or Business once you need to add more websites or tools.
However, HostGator keeps the trend of the hosting industry and does increase the pricing after the renewal.
So here you can see how the pricing for the cheapest, Hatchling, plan changes:
If you choose HostGator, you get the best deal for the longest term. But even with that, the pricing will increase if you choose to renew.
So, what does HostGator offer in the performance department?
HostGator Performance Tests
Alongside the ease of use and affordable pricing, HostGator is also aiming to provide fast performance.
During the monitoring, we've got the average result of 371ms response time. That'll surely make your site load in no time.
HostGator also has the industry-standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. But as all of our best cheap web hosting providers, it performs way better. Throughout the monitoring, it hasn't gone down even for a minute and has kept uptime at 100%.
So add up great performance, reliability, and ease of use. The result - an affordable provider to start your own website.
HostGator claims to provide fast, cheap, and user-friendly hosting service. Minus the increased renewal pricing and provider does achieve its promises. It's really great for any beginner wanting to launch and scale the website.
- cPanel included
- Free domain name
- Reliable performance
- Renewals might get expensive
5. DreamHost - Cheap Hosting With Best Uptime
DreamHost is perhaps the most reliable cheap hosting provider focusing on business users and professionals. It promises to be up 100% of the time ensuring that your website is always available.
Not only that, but the provider also has a generous list of features.
That includes automated backups, unmetered bandwidth, and a free domain that are included even with the cheapest plan.
A free domain privacy protection is just a cherry on top for those that want to keep the anonymity and personal privacy.
DreamHost Shared Hosting Pricing
The cheapest Starter plan costs $2.59/mo. For that, you get hosting for 1 website, unmetered bandwidth, a domain name, and domain privacy. If you want to host more than one website and get unlimited storage, you can choose the Unlimited plan for $5.95/mo.
The best part is: DreamHost pricing does not increase after the initial first term. This means, that your $2.59 will stay that way after the renewal. The provider also includes several premium features no matter which of the plans you choose:
- Daily automatic backups
- Automated WordPress updates
- Drag and drop website builder for WordPress
Combine all this with great performance and you will have a great cheap hosting provider.
DreamHost Performance Tests
DreamHost is a fast performing host and highly reliable host. It averages at 419ms response time. Imagine 2 eye blinks - that's how fast DreamHost is.
What is more impressive, is the DreamHost's uptime guarantee. It promises to be up for 100% of the time and, in fact, manages to keep its promise.
In case DreamHost would go down, Terms of Service agreement guarantees you'll be generously compensated. This, among premium features that the provider offers, makes it the most reliable host on this list suitable for all professional needs.
DreamHost is all any web host should be - fast, reliable, full of great features, and above all - affordable. It is one of the few hosts that does not increase its pricing after the renewal too.
- Excellent 100% uptime guarantee
- All-inclusive packages
- No pricing increase
- Support is relatively slow
- Live chat is not available 24/7
6. HostPapa - the Best Cheap Web Hosting for First-Time Users
If it's your first time creating a website, then HostPapa certainly is the obvious choice. It features all you need to get started - from SSL and cPanel to one-on-one training sessions. All this, starting at $3.95/mo.
The provider aims to make sure that you can create a website and manage it hassle-free. It's especially helpful for small business owners.
Not only HostPapa is affordable, but you'll also be able to set up a website without hiring a professional developer.
So how do the pricing and features look like?
HostPapa Shared Hosting Pricing
HostPapa has 3 shared hosting plans starting at $3.95/mo and it's one of a very few providers allowing to create multiple sites with the cheapest plan.
The Starter plan gets you 2 websites with 100GB disk space and unmetered bandwidth. It also includes an SSL, domain name, and a bunch of other useful features.
The Business plan for the same $3.95/mo will get you unlimited websites as well as storage space. The Business Pro for $12.95/mo not only will include all unlimited features but will also get you security and performance enhancements.
So at this point, you might be wondering about the pricing of Starter and Business plans which is completely the same. The difference is that the Business plan includes way more features. Where's the catch?
Just like most of web hosting providers, HostPapa does increase pricing after the initial first term. And the increase for the Business plan is way bigger than for the Starter plan. Take a look at the table to see what we are talking about:
|Monthly initial pricing||Monthly renewal pricing|
So as you can see, the renewals are quite significant. Especially if you're looking at the Business plan.
On the other hand, you get amazingly friendly and helpful support, many features, and HostPapa promises great performance.
HostPapa Performance Tests
Although HostPapa promises "incredible" speed, it's not our fastest provider. Nonetheless, it does not mean the host's performance is poor. It averages at 420ms response time making it way faster than the industry average of 553ms.
HostPapa is quite reliable too. Throughout the testing, we didn't experience any downtime. So you can be sure that your website will always be available for your visitors and customers.
So looking at all facts, HostPapa is a great provider for first-time business website owners. It provides an easy to use platform, excellent support, and reliable performance with no hassle from your side.
HostPapa is a great cheap web hosting solution for business and first-time users. It's fast, reliable, easy to use, and has the most helpful customer support. Mind the renewal pricing and you may land the right hosting provider for you.
- Helpful support team
- Amazingly beginner-friendly
- Reliable performance
- Renewals can get expensive
7. GreenGeeks - Best Cheap Green Hosting
GreenGeeks is a hosting provider using renewable energy to power its services. This Californian based company focuses on speed, scalability, and great customer support.
The best part is, GreenGeeks is among the best cheap hosting providers with very affordable pricing.
So if you're looking for a way to contribute to environmental health and also host your website - GreenGeeks is an obvious choice.
GreenGeeks Shared Hosting Pricing
With the cheapest Lite plan for $2.95/mo you already get unlimited disk space and bandwidth. It also, as with all plans, includes free SSL and a domain name for the first year. The Pro plan for $5.95/mo will get you 2x better performance and PowerCacher tool.
And while the Premium plan does not count as a cheap web hosting, for $11.95/mo you can get premium SSL, dedicated IP, and 4 times better performance.
GreenGeeks offers scalable hosting. You can go from cheap hosting, all the way through to a premium solution that can support multiple websites and even large eCommerce stores.
However, it's really difficult to find a host that wouldn't increase its pricing after the initial term. GreenGeeks is no exception:
The good news is, GreenGeeks packages have really great value.
All of the plans will get you a lot of premium features like cPanel, drag-and-drop editor, auto-installers (including eCommerce), CDN integration, nightly backups, and much more. GreenGeeks' 24/7 customer support is also great - they are fast and helpful.
So how about the performance?
GreenGeeks Performance Tests
GreenGeeks offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee and fast server speed.
Throughout the testing, that's exactly what we've got - really great 463ms server response time.
Uptime was even better - 100% throughout 30 days. It is even better than what's promised.
So if you care about the environment and good customer support is a priority - GreenGeeks is a very good option.
GreenGeeks is providing high-quality yet cheap green web hosting services. Although the pricing (especially after the renewal) is higher, GreenGeeks users are provided with a number of expensive premium features for free.
- Renewable energy hosting
- Fast customer support
- Feature-rich hosting packages
- High renewal pricing
- Higher pricing for shorter billing cycles
How to Pick a Reliable Cheap Web Hosting Provider?
Cheap can be good. But to get that, you need to be one step ahead of your regular hosting provider.
To help you do that, we found a 5 step technique that will help you choose a cheap hosting provider you'll be satisfied with:
Step 1: Analyze the performance results
Step 2: Make sure you get a user-friendly control panel
Step 3: Check if customer support is reliable
Step 4: Watch out for unreasonable renewal pricing
Step 5: Avoid upsells and long-term commitment
Let's get into the details.
Step 1: Analyze the Performance Results
Hosting performance has a direct impact on your website's success. Especially if you rely on search engines to bring you traffic.
Google uses the Page Speed Insights tool to classify websites as Fast, Average, and Slow. This is where server response time is crucial. According to the search engine, it will list your website as slow if it takes over 250ms to till First Input Delay (FID).
In simple terms - your website should become at least minimally responsive (as in user being able to press a link or a button and website reacting) in less than 250ms.
This means, that if your server response time is above 250ms - you fail this test by Google immediately.
To check whether your hosting provider meets this speed requirement, check the response time tracker results.
Step 2: Make Sure You Get User-Friendly Control Panel
Being able to manage your own hosting account will save you both time and money because you won't need to hire a pro developer. The majority of hosting providers use cPanel or cPanel alternatives. It is by far the most user-friendly control panel you can get.
It also has a huge user base so finding tutorials, how-tos, and finding community support is really easy.
But after the recent cPanel price increase, not all cheap hosting providers will be able to afford it without stretching their pricing up. So before you commit to any host - check what user interface you are getting. If that's not specified - ask the sales team.
Step 3: Check if Customer Support is Reliable
Good customer support can function as your personal team of tech specialists. Bad customer support is the same as no customer support.
To make sure you'll get help when needed, you can take multiple actions:
- Read customer reviews.
- Check what professional reviews say about hosting.
- Contact the sales or even tech support team (if possible) yourself.
This way, you'll know how well the hosting provider takes care of its customers. Usually, users are really honest about bad experiences.
So as you can see, even if a provider claims to offer good services - customer support can ruin the experience.
Step 4: Watch Out for Unreasonable Renewal Pricing
The hosting industry is known for taking excessive tricks to earn more. One of those is renewal pricing.
Although the initial price does look cheap, you may be in for a trap once your plan renews. It's not so rare that renewal pricing is up to 10 times bigger than the initial offer. So your cheap web hosting can quickly turn into premium web hosting. Though features remain the same.
So read the fine print, read terms and conditions - otherwise, you might be unpleasantly surprised.
Step 5: Avoid Upsells and Long-Term Commitment
To get the best deal, you usually need to sign for the longest-term hosting the provider has. But that's not all. In the shopping cart, pricing tends to get higher than the one you saw in the advertised pricing table.
If you'd scroll somewhere where providers list their additional services, you would be able to see that some of the paid services were automatically added to your shopping cart.
Although services don't tend to be expensive, they are not essentials. It's best to carefully go through your shopping cart items and check, whether there are no unwanted upsells.
Cheap Web Hosting FAQs
If you are still not sure about cheap web hosting, we've prepared the answers to the most commonly asked questions.
So take a look at what you might need to know about hosting:
What are the Differences Between Cheap and Regular Web Hosting?
The main differences between cheap and regular hosting come down to the quality of the service. Some providers can be called cheap hosting providers because they manage to cut costs and provide the services for a lower price.
Sometimes, the providers cut costs by the expense of users. You can expect worse response times, more downtime, less security, and other additional features. However, we picked only the best providers to put on our list so you can get both good value and performance.
Can I Host Multiple Websites with Cheap Web Hosting?
You sure can host multiple websites with cheap web hosting! On the other hand, no matter what kind of hosting you choose, the cheapest plans usually give you hosting for only 1 website. So if you want to host multiple websites, you may need to consider second-tier or higher plans.
Can I Get Unlimited Cheap Web Hosting?
Unlimited cheap web hosting is possible in theory, although unlimited hosting as such does not really exist. You can get the plan that states bandwidth and storage space are unlimited, but if it was true - hosting providers would be in big trouble.
Imagine if Amazon or Youtube would be able to put all their data on a cheap shared hosting account. For providers, it would cost millions.
So if you want to know what unlimited truly means, check Acceptable Use or similar policy that each provider has.
Can I have a WordPress Site with Cheap Web Hosting?
Yes, you can have a WordPress site with cheap web hosting. In fact, the majority of hosting providers and all providers on our list have one-click installs to make installing WordPress easy.
There are even cheap WordPress hosting providers that optimize their servers specifically for the CMS. On this list - Hostinger, Bluehost, and DreamHost do that too.
Does Cheap Web Hosting Support eCommerce Stores?
Cheap web hosting can support an eCommerce store but that doesn't mean that the store can be big and very functional.
Online stores usually need extensive server resources, advanced security features, and overall - fast performance. Budget web hosting essentially does not provide a lot of resources. So you can have an online store, but your hosting might limit its size.
Cheap Web Hosting - the Verdict
Cheap hosting can be great. Especially for a small business website, new projects that just need the first online presence kick, and of course - personal use.
Here's what 7 of our cheap web hosting providers are best for:
- Bluehost - premium hosting with easy-to-use user interface and WordPress optimization.
- Hostinger - cheap, fast, and great for beginners with the user-friendly interface.
- A2 Hosting - feature-rich cheap web hosting with fast servers.
- HostGator - user-friendly and fast web hosting with cPanel and website builder.
- DreamHost - the most reliable cheap hosting provider with excellent value.
- HostPapa - the most user-friendly hosting with excellent customer support for beginners.
- GreenGeeks - all-inclusive web hosting with a lot of space for scalability powered by renewable energy.
So what do you think? Are there any other cheap hosts that deserved a mention? Share your thoughts down below!
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