From the average Joe to the billionaire, everybody loves a bargain. There is an inner satisfaction that comes with knowing you paid the least possible amount for a quality service. That’s apart from the fact that it’s just the financially prudent thing to do. Hence, the case for cheap web hosting plans.
Is there such a thing as free hosting?
Yes. Free hosting however almost always comes with significant limitations and multiple caveats. For starters, you are unlikely to have your own domain name. Instead, you have to settle for something like yourname.hostname.com (for example, yourname.wordpress.com).
Even when you do get your own domain name, the ‘free’ hosting may be contingent on paying for other essential features and services such as domain registration. In this sense, the hosting is not actually free.
Things you can do to lower the price
We wouldn’t recommend getting a free hosting option if you are even remotely serious with your website. You are better off looking for the cheapest web hosting. If you want to get the most affordable plans, apply the following tips.
✔ Go for shared hosting
There are main types of hosting plans, but the three most popular options are shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting plans cost the least. That’s because server and network resources are non-exclusive. You will share bandwidth, RAM, and CPU time with perhaps thousands of other sites on one server. The web host can charge a low fee thanks to these economies of scale.
✔ Watch for promotions
Every so often, web hosts will offer promotional pricing for their plans. While this pricing would usually hold for anywhere between one and twelve months before the normal rates kick in, the savings from the promotional pricing are significant.
✔ Longer contracts lower costs
To encourage clients to sign up for longer periods, virtually all web hosts have discounted pricing commensurate with how long you are willing to commit to their services. That way, the effective monthly rate for a three-year subscription will be substantially lower than the rate for a one-month subscription.
✔ Sacrificing features for affordability
If a hosting plan allows you to opt-out of some features in exchange for lower pricing, it’s worth considering. When contemplating the plan of what to go for, divide your expectations/requirements into the must-haves and the good-to-haves. By opting into must-haves only, you may end up paying less but don’t talk yourself out of an essential feature to get a slightly better plan—it usually isn't worth it.
When should you get cheap hosting?
Cheap hosting is your best bet when:
Top 10 most affordable hosting brands
With the basics of cheap web hosting out of the way, let’s get down to the best ten providers.
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Over the years, Hostinger has chalked up a reputation for crafting plans that meet the expectations of website developers, administrators, and visitors. The company is the best provider of cheap web hosting thanks to its plans that come with free SSL certificates, free Cloudflare CDN, SSD storage, and weekly backups. It has a proprietary control panel, hPanel, that was designed to provide ease of use to clients.
Hostinger plans are covered by a 30-day money back guarantee and 99.9 percent uptime commitment.
You can pay for their services using cryptocurrency, credit/debit card, PayPal, Alipay, Google Pay or Apple Pay. All customers have access to 24/7 support via live chat and an extensive knowledge base. The company has data centers in the US, Brazil, UK, India, Singapore, Lithuania, and Netherlands.
The main features of Hostinger’s cheap web hosting plans are as follows.
One of the oldest and most recognizable brands in web hosting, Bluehost takes second place for the unmetered bandwidth and website caching as well as one of the highest measured uptimes in the industry. The company is a user and strong advocate of open-source hosting products, an important factor in keeping plan prices low.
All Bluehost cheap hosting plans come with SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free domain registration (first year), free SSL certificate, and free Cloudflare CDN. You can pay by check, money order, credit/debit card, or PayPal Instant Transfer.
Customers get 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and a knowledge base. The company has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Bluehost is the only provider in our top ten that does not have an explicit uptime commitment. To its credit, however, the company’s measured average uptimes supersede most of its peers.
The primary features of Bluehost’s cheap hosting plans are as follows.
SiteGround is the third-best cheap hosting provider for its eco-friendly plans that are powered by in-built caching, customized PHP/MySQL implementation, and industry-leading Google Cloud infrastructure. The company provides elaborate easy-to-follow tutorials on building WordPress websites as well as setting up a simple eCommerce store with WooCommerce.
All cheap web hosting plans include unmetered bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, unlimited databases, free SSL certificate, free Cloudflare CDN, free shopping cart installation, daily backups, SSD storage, and an in-house caching service.
Plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9 percent uptime commitment. You can pay by credit/debit card or PayPal. All customers have access to 24/7 support through live chat, help desk tickets, phone, and an elaborate knowledge base. The company has data centers in the Netherlands, Germany, UK, US, Australia, Singapore, and Spain.
The primary features of SiteGround’s cheap web hosting plans are as follows.
GreenGeeks is the fourth best cheap web hosting provider due to its fast, scalable, and eco-friendly plans powered by unmetered bandwidth and in-built caching. The company relies on a secure virtual files system to ensure its shared hosting accounts are isolated, thus minimizing cross-interference during traffic surges.
All its cheap hosting plans come with unmetered bandwidth, unlimited databases, free SSL certificates, free Cloudflare CDN, free domain registration (first year), SSD storage, in-built caching, and automatic daily backups.
GreenGeeks has a 99.9 percent uptime commitment and 30-day money-back guarantee. They support credit/debit card or PayPal payments. Customers get 24/7 support through live chat, email, help desk tickets, phone and a knowledge base. The company has data centers in the US, Canada and Netherlands. You have the freedom to choose the location of the data center used for your website.
The core features of GreenGeeks’ cheap web hosting plans are as follows.
5. A2 Hosting
We ranked A2 Hosting as the fifth best provider of cheap web hosting for its unmetered bandwidth, sophisticated caching as well as their Turbo servers that deliver speeds as much as 20 times faster than peer plans. The Turbo servers are equipped with ultrafast NVMe SSD storage.
All cheap web hosting plans include a free SSL certificate, free Cloudflare CDN, unmetered bandwidth, and unlimited email addresses.
A2 Hosting has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9 percent uptime commitment. You can pay using a credit/debit card, bank transfer, check, money order, PayPal, Skrill, or PayU. Customers get 24/7 support via live chat, phone, help desk tickets, and a robust knowledge base. The company has data centers in the US, Netherlands, and Singapore.
The primary features of A2 Hosting’s cheap web hosting plans are as follows.
Unlike all other providers in our top 10, iPage has just one cheap web hosting plan – the Go Plan. Still, it takes sixth place for developing a simple, affordable, and easy-to-use product.
The Go Plan includes unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, unlimited websites, unlimited databases, free SSL certificate, free domain registration (first year) and one email address. You also get free digital advertising credits, which can be useful in jumpstarting your website’s traffic.
It will cost you $2.99 per month when you subscribe for a full year. Note that you have to subscribe for at least 12 months. There is no monthly subscription option. You can pay using a credit/debit card, check, money order, or PayPal.
iPage has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9 percent uptime commitment. All customers have access to 24/7 support through live chat, phone and a rich knowledge base. The company has two data centers both located in the US.
A popular web host that shares a parent company with Bluehost and iPage, we placed HostGator seventh for its unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage and free digital advertising credits.
All cheap hosting plans come with unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, free Cloudflare CDN, free SSL certificates, free website transfer, free domain registration (first year), free advertising credits, LiteSpeed web servers and regular backups.
HostGator has a 99.9 percent uptime commitment and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can pay using a credit/debit card, wire transfer, check, money order, or PayPal. Customers get 24/7 support through live chat, phone, social media, a large knowledge base and an active community of users. The company has multiple data centers including two in the US.
The main features of HostGator's cheap web hosting plans are as follows.
8. AccuWeb Hosting
AccuWeb Hosting comes in eighth place for its cheap web hosting that features SSD storage, LiteSpeed web servers, free website migration, free SSL certificates, a free spam filter, free daily backups, and enterprise-level support. At just $1.99 per month for its entry-level cheap web hosting plan, the company has the lowest cost plan in the top ten.
Its plans are covered by a 99.9 percent uptime commitment and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can pay using a credit/debit card, check, money order, or PayPal. In addition, customers have access to 24/7 support through phone, email, live chat, a detailed knowledge base, and a users’ discussion forum. The company has data centers in the US, UK, Germany, Singapore, India, Australia, and South Africa.
The main features of AccuWeb Hosting’s cheap web hosting plans are as follows.
9. InMotion Hosting
We ranked InMotion Hosting as the ninth-best provider of cheap web hosting for its unmetered bandwidth, free advertising credits, enterprise-class network infrastructure, and industry-leading 90-day money-back guarantee.
All of its cheap hosting plans come with unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, automatic backups, SSD storage and are powered by the proprietary UltraStack server configuration.
InMotion Hosting plans are covered by a 90-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9 percent uptime commitment. You can pay by credit/debit card, wire transfer, check, or PayPal. Customers have access to 24/7 support through phone, live chat, help desk ticket, a large knowledge base, and an active community of users.
The primary features of the company’s cheap hosting plans are as follows.
Note that a plan subscription is for a minimum of one year except for the Pro package, where a monthly subscription is allowed.
HostPapa rounds up our top ten for cheap web hosting that is eco-friendly and feature-rich. All plans include free SSL certificate, free Cloudflare CDN, free domain registration, and free website migration. Files are stored on SSD drives. Daily automatic backups are available at an extra fee.
Plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9 percent uptime commitment. You can pay by credit/debit card or PayPal. All customers get 24/7 support through phone, email, live chat, and an extensive knowledge base. With data centers in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands, you can choose where your website will be hosted.
The main features of HostPapa’s cheap hosting plans are as follows.
The downsides of cheap hosting
With cheap hosting, you get what you pay for, and of course, there are downsides to going cheap.
❌ Hard to rank and perform SEO
If you opt for cheap shared hosting, your site is running on the same server as thousands of other websites. Since you are sharing an IP address, if multiple sites on the server run afoul of Google’s SEO rules, use black hat methods, or propagate email spam, the IP address may very well be blacklisted. This would only make it harder for your page to rank higher for relevant keywords.
Further, cheap web hosting is slower than VPS or dedicated hosting. Page load speed is an important signal Google uses when ranking pages in search results.
❌ Poor security measures
For a shared plan, your website files and web applications sit on the same physical server as those of numerous other sites. While web hosts state the websites are isolated from each other, you do not enjoy the exclusivity and protection you get with VPS and dedicated server hosting.
If one of the sites is compromised or virus infected, that breach or infection could be propagated to the files of other websites on the same server.
❌ Hard-to-reach customer support
Some web hosts provide the same level of customer support irrespective of the plan you sign up for. Many, however, will give more attention and technical support to clients on VPS and dedicated hosting than they do for those on shared hosting. It’s a classic case of customer segmentation based on what monetary value each brings to the business. Cheap shared hosting will get the lowest priority.
❌ Slow page performance
With cheap shared hosting, you have no guarantees on the bandwidth, RAM, and CPU resources your website is allocated. Rather, resources are allocated based on demand. So if one website experiences a surge in visitor traffic, this could slow the performance of other sites on the shared server.
❌ Collective downtime
You do not enjoy the same degree of autonomy as VPS and dedicated server plans. That implies you have less control over scheduled or unscheduled downtimes. If there is, for instance, a DDoS attack or other vulnerability affecting the shared hosting server, all sites on the server will be affected by the resulting downtime.
Before you choose a cheap web hosting provider or plan, define your hosting needs. Armed with this information, evaluate the web host that is more likely to meet your requirements. Pay attention to the provider’s reputation, customer support, scalability, pricing, uptime commitment, and money-back guarantee.