5 Tricks Cheap WordPress Hosting Providers Use to Make You Pay More

We all love a good deal – after all, a penny saved is a penny earned! It’s only logical to do the research and look for the best cheap WordPress hosting you can possibly find. Providers know that every user is looking for low prices, so there are plenty of seemingly amazing hosting deals provided to you every day of the year. By the looks of it, everything appears to be amazing! Just take one, make a beautiful WordPress website and save a lot of money!

5 Tricks Cheap WordPress
However, not everything is simple as it seems. Just like every business, hosting providers are first and foremost interested in making money. You, the client, are their target. During our time as hosting reviewers, we have spotted a lot of little tricks that may increase the prices to the less-experienced buyers. In this blog post, we will give you the tips which may help you avoid spending additional money. Let’s save together – here are the main tricks cheap WordPress hosting providers use to make you pay more.

1. Renewal prices = increased prices

Perhaps the most commonly-known of them all, this little “trick” still catches some people by surprise. Although it is not inherently evil in any way, this is still a thing you should be wary of. Let’s have a look – some providers tend to offer some crazy-cheap deals that seem to be too good to be true.


$.99 a month, $8.88 a year and $3.99 a month are all very good prices – but make sure to pay attention to the renewal fees you will need to pay once the offer runs out. Here, the hosting providers (1&1, NameCheap, and GoDaddy respectively) are quite transparent about their pricing, including the renewal prices straight on the homepage.

What renewal prices actually mean is that this is the real price of hosting. When you first sign up, you get a discount – a welcome gift, if you may – and that discount is going to last until the end of your period. When it’s finished, you will get charged a full price. 1&1 and GoDaddy charge once a month ($7.99). NameCheap charges once a year ($48.88).

There’s another thing interesting about these offers. Such promotions are usually valid only when paying for a long package in advance. Sometimes, you may not be even able to get a discount if you don’t intend to buy for a long term. For example, take GoDaddy WordPress hosting offer. Let’s see how the discount is holding up when you decide to buy for 36 and 12 months respectively.

Despite being three times shorter, the 12-month plan is only $60 cheaper. GoDaddy offers a discount only if you tie yourself up with a long-term contract. This is a common practice done by many providers, so always make sure what is the cost of your preferred period.So take everything into the equation when you choose your host. In our best web hosting reviews, I looked into the starting and renewal prices of each provider – some of them do it quite differently than the others.

2. Upselling can be irritating

Upselling is a yet another thing which may increase your expenses almost immediately. Cheap WordPress hosting plans may lack a few good features – and if there’s something prominent missing, chances are, you may get asked to pay extra to get it. As an example, let’s take SSL. This certificate is a must if you plan to sell online, as it encrypts the data the user sends you (such as card details). Also, Google tends to rank the pages with SSL a bit higher. Therefore, for many website developers, this feature is a must. Let’s see what may happen if you attempt to purchase a plan with no SSL and no malware scanning in it.

Quite a bit of extra expenses, isn’t it? SSL certificate and malware scan/removal service each cost like they’re separate hosting plans! Just like that, your “Basic” plan may set you back nearly $400! If you really feel like you need all of those features, look into a plan which includes them. This may help you have a better grasp on what you’re really paying for.

3. You may pay for something you didn’t choose

Sometimes, you may feel like you’re just being tricked into buying something. This is somewhat of a dirtier move and it isn’t completely widespread. However, as long as it’s present, you should take it into consideration.

Let’s have a look at a couple examples. First up, a simple “preselected” trick, during which a provider simply checks for you, which additional features you should want.

There’s your cheap WordPress hosting becoming a fair bit more expensive. More than $40 dollars in annual fees worth of add-ons are automatically added to every purchase. Provided you simply don’t see it and go straight to checkout, you will pay quite a lot of extra money. As you can see, there is also an SSL certificate offered as an option – but it’s not preselected. At least there’s that.

In the second example, it’s more of a visual trick more than anything else. When you purchase hosting, one of the providers gives you a fairly simple way to get to the “installation”.

The installation is only 50% done – so naturally, it’s time to go get a theme!

Only that it’s obviously not true. The installation is actually completed! Right there at the top right corner, there’s a domain, username, and password given straight to you. Copy and paste everything, go to the website manually, install whatever you want! However, the next step, according to the hosting provider, is to “Get a WordPress Theme”. A paid one, no doubt. As humans, we are wired to click on the buttons we see – so plenty of users end up buying this paid theme, despite having an opportunity to avoid the extra expenses.

4. Cheeky charges for unneeded services

For a moment, let’s get back to the screenshot included just earlier. The $199 “WordPress Pro” plan offers “WordPress Installation” – despite the fact there’s already WordPress installed on your domain! What you really get is $59 Theme Credit and a SiteBackup service, all of which you can purchase later, without making a spontaneous decision.

This is not the only example. Here, have a look at this.

If you “Let a Pro Do It For You” for $99, you get $49 of paid theme credit and…someone else clicks a few buttons for you. You are literally offered to pay $50 for someone to do the simplest of tasks. If you are looking for cheap WordPress hosting, steer clear of such services. It doesn’t take a genius to know it’s not a good value – a simple WordPress tutorial may help you just as much as an expert.

5. What else can you expect?

Aside from a lot of the “tricks” I just mentioned, providers also offer a lot of genuinely interesting things. They may cost you extra but there’s value in some of them. For example, often the dedicated “WordPress plans” are actually something much more than a bit of shared hosting.

Looks expensive? It is! Although it appears to be much pricier than a “$.99” cheap WordPress hosting plan, it’s actually nothing but a VPS with WordPress installed on it.

A Virtual Private Server is made to work with much bigger loads than shared hosting. As you can see, even the cheapest plan is tailored to take up to 100 million visitors a month! This is a managed VPS running WordPress – it’s great for medium-sized projects who expect a huge influx of visitors from time to time. If you plan to have a small website – this is a royal waste of money. WordPress works well even the most basic of plans – only get a VPS if you feel like it’s really needed.

Another interesting thing is callbacks. While not directly connected to WordPress hosting, this feature has a lot of people seeing it as a way to trick money away from the people.

As you can see, it costs $9.95 just to get a phone call! Sounds bad? Perhaps. However, many providers don’t offer phone service in the first place. So in many ways, this is a partial solution to a problem. Do you absolutely need phone support and neither e-mails or live chats can fix your issues? Pick a provider with 24/7 call service – problem solved. Or pay 10 bucks to talk to someone. Your choice, really.

Very often, when a user spends a lot of money, the root lies in them not exactly knowing what they want. Which handsomely leads us to the conclusion of this topic…

What do these WordPress hosting tricks mean for you?

If all web hosting companies were completely honest about the things they were doing, there would be no need for review websites like this one. We do the job in debunking marketing tricks and giving you the most information we can. Hosting providers, on the other hand, are interested in having as many clients paying as much as possible. It’s the nature of business.

That means you, as a user, should always know exactly what you want and not get lured into spending more than you need.

Callbacks are a great little example of how this works – although they are very expensive, some people may need them constantly. In turn, making those calls daily would make the services incredibly expensive. Simply by moving to another provider, which offers call support free of charge, they would save a lot of money. Makes sense? This is how things work in most of the cases explained here. You simply have to act accordingly, depending on what you need.

  • Renewal prices are obvious and common – some increase them less, some increase them more. If you plan to use a hosting plan for a small amount of time, renewal prices shouldn’t worry you too much. If you expect to stick to one company, consider not only the first payment but also the prices for the years ahead.
  • Many hosting providers may be interested in offering you additional services. Some of them you may find incredibly important, some – not really. Always consider how much will it cost for you to run everything. Then put the final price together. Maybe you’ll see that there are some plans including everything you need, that actually cost way less?
  • Some things are done cheaper if you do it yourself. If you have no prior WordPress experience, someone offering to install it for $50 may sound tempting but it’s actually not that difficult. Same goes for many themes and other similar paid things – avoid paying money for services and additional things unless you are completely sure about it.

That about sums it up – cheap WordPress hosting may get a lot more expensive if you don’t look out for what you’re doing. Be sensible with your funds, pick good hosting providers and make great websites. Good luck!

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.

Leave a Comment

    • Loran portrait Loran
    • 2018 May 21st

    Thank you, Paul, for this informative post. I’m sure it would be very useful to most people, and especially to those who don’t have much experience with purchasing hosting services. The trick with the preselected additional services is very unpleasant. Hopefully, after GDPR comes into force, more hosting companies will stop using this tactic to sell more additional services. And, the trick with the higher renewal price, well, people really need to pay more attention to the smaller print.
    I’ve recently purchased a hosting plan by BGOcloud.com and the thing I liked the most was that I didn’t face such problems, like these, listed in this article. There were neither high renewal fees, nor pre-selected services. Moreover, the SSL certificates were at no additional cost and they were included in the plan that I purchased.

Get new blog posts by email: