We’ve put together this resource for people who are looking to save a few bucks on their hosting. If you don’t really care how the sausage is made, and you just want to see our top picks, we’ll start with that.
If you want more information about what makes one company the best cheap hosting, or why you should certain other companies, you can keep reading… But we know most people are in a hurry, so here’s a quick rundown of our favorite choices for budget-friendly hosting that still packs a punch:
Cheapest Web Hosting Companies of 2018:
This is our top overall choice, we’ll cover it more detail later on this page, but here’s a list of the major reasons:
- You get a lot of performance for a very reasonable price.
- The easiest setup process we’ve ever seen, it only takes a few minutes until you’re up and running completely.
- Their staff is out-of-this-world knowledgeable and helpful.
- They’re the BEST hosting company for running WordPress, they basically make it all automatic and their servers are very well optimized for WP.
- They are endorsed as the top hosting option by WordPress.org.
- Tons of free add-ons to make your site even better.
SiteGround is another excellent hosting company who we have featured in-depth in the past, they’re a strong contender but didn’t quite edge-out Bluehost in this case. Here’s why we love SiteGround:
- You know exactly how many resources you’re getting, and can very easily upgrade as needed. This helps to make sure you aren’t over-paying for extra resources that you don’t even need.
- Performance is great, you won’t run into users who are abusing the service and hogging all the resources on a shared server.
- Their staff are very talented and responsive, they have very quick support ticket times.
- They offer one-click installations for a number of different apps and content management systems including WordPress.
3. InMotion Hosting
We recommend InMotion for higher-end servers, like VPS or Dedicated. It’s going to cost a lot more, so these are only for websites that are very popular and get a lot of visitors. You can always upgrade down the road if you want to start with a cheaper option for now.
This is a different type of server. They’re one of our favorite Digital Ocean alternatives for people who are looking for a cheap option, and have a lot of experience with Linux and running web servers.
Especially if you’re new to setting up a website, or even if you’ve bought hosting in the past but want something easy and cheap, we recommend sticking to either of the first two choices. 3 and 4 are more suited towards power-users.
Buyer’s Guide 2018 – An In-Depth Look
If you want a website, you’re going to need webhosting. Searching through hosting reviews can be tiresome, and sometimes you already have a pretty good idea what you’re looking for and want to cut right to the chase. If this is you, then you’re in the right place, because we’re going to take a rapid-fire look at the best cheap web hosting options out there.
There’s no shortage of cheap hosts to choose from, but you need to consider more than just the price before making your decision. The cheapest hosts out there are far from the best, and frankly many of them are not even worth considering since they’re so low quality, have such bad reliability scores, terrible support staff… just companies you want to avoid altogether. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn that the hard way, because we’ve filtered out any cheap hosts that aren’t providing great quality and value for the money.
Factors to Consider
All of the hosts we’re about to feature have all been vetted, and they meet our important criteria, which is as follows:
- Must be CHEAP! We’re looking for hosting companies that are very affordable, but without cutting corners.
- Must be RELIABLE! Even cheap hosts should still have almost 100% uptime. Sure, thinks can go wrong with any host, even the most expensive ones, but all of the hosting companies on this list have excellent reliability, and uptime.
- Must have EXPERT STAFF! In order for a hosting company to make this list, they need to have an excellent team of support staff, very short wait times when you need help, and a great reputation for taking care of their customers.
- Must be FAST! These cheap hosting options aren’t going to be the highest performance servers in the world, but we’re still only considering companies that offer solid performance, and don’t oversell their servers.
We’ve spent years trying out countless hosting companies, and sharing our results here on this site. We’ve compiled all of our experiences with these the various companies out there, cherry-picked the very best options, and put them all together in one place, right here. Before we start naming names, let’s go over some of the basics that you need to know about the hosts of hosting.
How Much Does Web-hosting Cost?
The price of hosting is going to depend on which type of plan you choose, and how many resources you need for your site. Less expensive hosting packages are typically setup in a way where you’re sharing one server with a handful of other people, splitting the costs (But only you can access the backend of your site, nobody else has access, just as you don’t have access to their sites, everything is split off and separate, even thought the websites are running on the same hardware.)
For more popular sites, people will often rent an entire server to themselves, meaning they’re paying the entire price, instead of splitting it. This is where it starts to get quite expensive, and it’s far more than most people ever need, let alone beginners.
For a new website, there are a handful of costs, in addition to the hosting.
We’ll be featuring shared hosting today, which is the type of hosting that we just described, where multiple users share one server. It’s the most cost-effective way to get started, and a lot more newbie-friendly than other types of hosting that aren’t managed. Managed hosting means that the webhosting company will help you get things setup, and will help troubleshoot and fix any problems you may run into. Unmanaged hosting is for people who really know their way around already, and would rather save a bit of money and fix things completely on their own, which also includes keeping an eye on security for their site and keeping all of their software up to date. With these shared hosting plans, you don’t have to worry about any of that, because they’re managed and it’s the web hosting company that will take care of it all for you.
How Much You Really Need to Spend
The cost for shared hosting can vary quite a bit, but we recommend avoiding anything that sounds too good to be true. $5-$15 per month is a good price range for a rock-solid shared host like our top choices that we’re featuring on this page. Many hosting companies will give you a discount on your first term, whether you sign up to pay month-to-month, or year-to-year, so it’s usually a good idea to go for at least a year so that you can lock in that lower price. This gives customers a lower-cost way to try out them out, and they’re so confidant that people will want to remain with them, that they’re willing to risk losing a bit of money upfront. As a customer, just remember, after your initial term, if you choose to renew and keep your website going, you may end up paying a little bit more. By that time, your site will be established, you’ll probabally be making some money with it if that’s the goal, and the extra hosting cost will be nothing but a small drop in the bucket.
Other (Optional) Costs of Starting a Website
In addition to the hosting cost, you’ll need to pay for a domain name, too. Some hosting companies, like our overall top pick for best cheap hosting provider, Bluehost, will throw in a domain name for free which is always nice, and saves you a good $10-$15 dollars.
You may also need a premium theme unless you want to design your site from scratch. WordPress is the best way to get started, and they have a ton of premium themes availaible, but they also have a huge collection of free themes that you can browse through. The same goes for plugins. There are WordPress plugins to help with everything from speeding up your site’s performance, to adding additional security layers, and everything in between – and there are free and paid versions for just about anything you can imagine. There are many option costs, but the bare minimum that you’ll need to spend is a few bucks a month for hosting, and a few bucks a year for your domain name (Unless you get your hosting from a company like Bluehost, who don’t charge their hosting customers extra for domains.)
Overall Winner: Bluehost
Our absolute top pick for super high-value shared hosting is a company called Bluehost. They’ve been an industry leader forever, and they make it easy as possible to get started.
It literally takes only a few minutes to get started with Bluehost, you can choose an account that comes pre-installed with WordPress so all you’ve got to do is pick a name for your site, pick a theme, and you’re ready to go.
Bluehost isn’t the cheapest option, but they’re our favorite when it comes to matching massive value with a low price. They charge enough that you know their business model is sustainable, and that they can afford to hire amazing support staff and server technicians, and to invest in leading-edge quality hardware, but not so high that you’re paying a ridiculous amount. They’re able to do it thanks to the power of scaling, since they’re such a huge hosting company with so many clients that they’ve earned over the years, so that brings down their average operating costs, and means they can offer you a very strong service, at a very low price.
Bluehost is out BEST overall, but what if you’re looking for the Cheapest or even a Free Host? Once again, in case you missed our warning earlier, we need to caution you against any of the SUPER cheap options. There are companies who offer shared hosting for a penny per month, or a dollar per month, or some other insanely cheap amount. You need to avoid these altogether, it’s absolutely NOT worth the money you’ll save.
Often, these are fly-by-night companies who are scrambling to build up a big client case, but once they realize how tough it can be to start a hosting company, they often just disappear, leaving you high and dry, hoping that you remembered to save a backup of your site to your own computer, since they’ve shut down and disappeared with no warning.
It sounds horrible, and it is! But it happens all the time when you choose unproven hosting companies with too-good-to-be-true prices.
We would NEVER recommend one of those companies, and we can’t even list them because they come and go so often. So, stick to the options we’ve outlined on this page, and you’ll be all set.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated servers are usually pretty high-end, therefor also a lot pricier than anything else we’ve been featuring here today. They also offer some of the best performance, so for super popular sites, it starts to make a lot of sense.
Now, most sites aren’t that big, and most will never get big enough to need a supepr high-end dedicated server, but none the less, if you do, definitely check out InMotion’s offerings. They start at about $100 per month, and can handle just about anything you’ll be able to throw at them.
Unlimited Shared Hosting
Certain shared hosts, for instance Siteground, put a hard-limit on the amount of resources you can use before having to upgrade your site. This is good in the sense that it allows you to know exactly what your cut-offs are, and exactly how many visitors your site can handle in a month at your current plan. The downside is that you could experience downtime if you unexpectedly hit those limits.
Alternatively, there are “unlimited” plans, but they’re not necessarily truly unlimited. They’re basically unlimited, unless you start hogging so many resources that it hurts the performances of other sites on the server. Some people prefer to have unlimited because they know they aren’t going to be abusing the server or doing anything sketchy, so they don’t have to worry about the limits.
This is the type of hosting that Bluehost offers, and they’re our number 1 overall pick, and so they’re also our top choice in this particular category of hosting.
Limited Shared Hosting
Siteground is an excellent shared hosting company, we would place them only a sliver behind Bluehost overall, so if you’re on the fence, they’re definitely worth checking out. The main difference is that they offer limited shared hosting, rather than unlimited.
Once again, even unlimited it only unlimited up to a certain point, so it’s kind of a misnomer, but what they mean is “unlimited, under regular usage”, which gives them a way out if people are hosting torrent sites or streaming tons of videos on their website and using up an insane amount of bandwidth or other server resources.
International Hosting (UK, Australia, India…)
If the majority of your visitors are going to come from a country other than the United States, you may want to consider choosing a hosting company that is based in your home country. It can help a bit, it’s not necessarily going to make a HUGE difference, especially if you use a service like Cloudflare that has servers all around the world to help speed up your site, but none the less, we wanted to include some options here.
- India: HostSoch offers reliable hosting based in India, so if your website visitors are primarily based in India, then this company is worth considering.
- Australia: For Australians, choosing a local host can be very important, since it can otherwise take quite a while for your website to load, if the data has to travel back and forth across oceans. Check out VentraIP, they offer a great service for hosting in Australia.
- Canada: HostUpon is a great choice for Canadians, but if a fair chunk of your visitors are Americans, you may want to consider going with a US-based host instead.
- United Kingdom: UK2.net is a decent option for hosting with a UK-based company. We don’t have as much experience with UK hosts, so you may need to do a little more research if you’re in the United Kingdom.
VPS Hosting (Unmanaged)
Unmanaged hosting isn’t really what we’re focusing on for this article, but we can still point you in the right direction. The pros of unmanaged hosting is that you have a bit more control overall, and they generally cost less. The cons, however, more than offset the pros because the reason they cost less is because you don’t really get any help or support with setting up or maintaining your site.
None the less, Digital Ocean is a great option for unmanaged hosting if you’re feeling brave and want to spend the next few weeks learning the basics of managing your server.
Vultr offers a similar service to Digital Ocean, and has plans starting at about half the price, so they’re our pick for BEST cheap unmanaged hosting.
The difference between this category and the previous one is that you get the advantages of a VPS server, without having to handle everything yourself, because you’ll also get the support of a managed server. You do pay a noticeable amount more for this, but many people find it worthwhile because they would rather work on growing their business, instead of working on their website’s server.
InMotion Hosting offers an excellent VPS for the money, it’s not the cheapest but the overall value is great. Knownhost is another provider that offers great support, and great servers, for surprisingly low prices.
We’ve already talked about this a bit earlier, but in case you missed it, we’ve got to go with Bluehost once again. Their pre-installed cheap WordPress hosting is a crazy value, not just because of the price, but because of how much time it’ll save you.
No matter what value you place on your time, you’ll be so pleased with how quick and easy it is to get setup and running with Bluehost, even if this is your very first time ever creating a website.
Email hosting is included with just about every hosting company, and it allows you to have email addresses that finish with @yourdomain.com. Using the built-in options is what most people will do, but some folks prefer to have a separate hosting company for their websites and for their email.
Zoho is a free option, and you can set it up with a bit of tinkering. Same goes for a service called Google Apps, but it’s going to cost you a few bucks a month.
Email hosting is included with InMotion Hosting, Bluehost, Digital Ocean, and any other company we’ve recommended on this list.