Top 7 Cheap Web Hosting Providers in 2020
Although cheap web hosting and quality hosting don't go well together, we did manage to gather up the best of the best in terms of price and value for the money.
While I was starting my online adventure, I was also looking not to break the bank when it comes to hosting, but there was a lack of quality and unbiased reviews towards that so I had to do a lot of research to find something that would fit my low budget. I looked for the most economical hosting providers that provided great services and things such as the cheapest domains and money-back guarantee.
I'm writing this post today to provide my findings. I'll make sure it's updated monthly with the best offers all around the web.
Before we dive in, here's a quick comparison table showing our experience with every hosting plan we reviewed:
What's the surest web hosting selection process?
Currently, as am writing this, I have more than 200+ websites using more than 70+ different hosts (ranging from high-quality and expensive to not so costly hosts), so I can say I have a lot of data that I can check and show here.
As part of the selection process, we looked at four main aspects:
- Spent countless hours analyzing the best web hosting in terms of uptime and speed – at the end of the day, it all boils down to this, how fast a site load is one of the main factors for Google rankings and visitors staying on your website or not
- Checking the web hosting companies history and seeing if they are legit or not – some of them have great deals, but they are not going to be around in 3+ months, and all your websites will be gone so we need to make sure these are real web hosting services that are going to be around in the years to come.
- Analyze their offers in terms of resources and features offered: many of these web hosting vendors have low prices, but they have extra charges on features some may provide for free, like SSL, one-click app installers, cheapest domain and such.
- Going and checking out how helpful and solution-focused their support is: hosting web is not always as easy as just pointing nameservers to an IP and then only paying the bills. There will always be problems along the way and your domain.
Cheapest Web Hosting in 2018 and onwards
1. iPage at $1.99/month
iPage is probably one of the cheap web hosting companies out there. Their lowest plan starts with $1.99/month, and you also get free registration of domain names. Cheapest, right?
- In terms of speed, it's average with a loading time of 939 ms
- If you register your domain for free with them, the costs will be quite high when renewing it.
- Also to get the $1.99/month price you'll have to commit for a three years plan.
2. FastComet $2.95/month
At $2.95/month FastComet might be an excellent option for a low budget web hosting.
- Free website transfer
- Free Cloudflare CDN integration
- Free domain name
- 24/7 support
On the downside:
- Uptime is around 98.5% so you will experience some downtime
- Speed is 969 ms
3. Hostinger – $2.15/mo
Hostinger has various cheap web hosting plans starting from $2.15/mo for one single site package and going up to $7.95/mo for unlimited site package.
- Free domain name registration
- Weekly backups
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- PHP 7.x and MySQL 5.5
- Speed can vary from 990 – 1.2 sec
- Support is not always customer-focused
4. BlueHost – $3.95/mo
While they don't have great loading times and features, BlueHost does a great job when it comes to customer support. Cost is a bit higher though with their lowest package starting at $3.95/mo.
- Free domain name
- Excellent customer support on email, phone or chat
- Weekly and monthly backups of your entire account
- Speed is around 1.3sec
- Uptime is approximately 98%
HostGator is one of the most robust and most reliable web hosting companies out there. They have a $3.95/mo shared hosting plan, but I would strongly advise you to go for their cloud hosting package, which at only $4.95/mo will make a huge difference.
- Speed is 450 ms
- Uptime is around 99.9%
- Great 24/7 support
- Money-back guarantee
- The domain name is not free
6. InMotion Hosting – $3.49/mo
Usually, they are more expensive, but they do have some promos running at the moment so we can include them in this cheap web hosting list.
- Speed is great at around 550 ms
- Uptime is approximately 99.9%
- SSD Drives
- Free backups
As for the downsides:
- For the lowest web hosting plan, you can only host two websites
- To get this price, you'll have to commit for two years.
7. eHost – $2.75/mo
eHost is one of the newer web hosting companies, but they've done an excellent job so far in terms of support and speed; hence we've included them in this list.
- Speed is 750 ms
- Free domain name
- You can host unlimited domains
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- Renewal plans are expensive
8. SiteGround - $3/mo
SiteGround is one of the most reliable web hosting companies in the industry and has made a name for itself due to its amazing 24/7 customer service and features.
- Speed is around 500 ms
- SSD Storage
- Daily Backups
- Free SSL
- 24/7 Technical Support
- You have to pay for one year upfront when joining
How to find a reliable and affordable web hosting provider
It's quite easy to find a cheap web hosting company, and that's mainly because of the only costs you have for this kind of business are the servers, the domain name, and one system admin to run the whole thing which most of the times it's the owner itself.
That's why you can find lots of $1 hosts all over the internet, but most of them will be closed in 3-6 months, and your website and the data will be gone along with them.
Others have low charges for joining, but then they overcharge on the next billing, e.g. I did find a web hosting package that was continually running a $3/year but then the next invoice was around $350, so they make a loss the first year but recoup it in the years to come.
To find a reliable web hosting, you'll need to look at several features to get the best fit for you:
#1 – Uptime: Uptime is the time your website is online. This is why you get a web hosting provider to do this for you. Hosting your website on your laptop can work. However, you would need to keep on all the time, so instead, we find someone else that does this for us(hosting company). The issue is that because of the complexity and resources needed to have good servers and qualified people to maintain. Some hosting companies take the cheap route on this, and it will affect your website uptime.
#2 – Site Speed: Page loading time is a critical thing to consider when looking for a new hosting provider. Having a slow website may also be the cause of your website, and a better host might not fix your issues if you don't have an optimized site. As basics things, you should look for unoptimized images, cache, and only then at the server loading time(which is caused by the hosting provider). A slow website will affect your search engine rankings score, and your visitor's experience on your website and your conversion score.
#3 – Customer Support: Besides the first two things, customer support is another crucial factor when you're looking for a new hosting company. You should always find if they offer 24/7 support and what channels(live chat, phone support, or email/ticket). In my opinion, live-chat would be the best one as it should be easy to get an instant response.
#4 – Existing/previous customer reviews: Online reviews can make a business successful, or it can severely damage it. You should always check what other people say about the hosting service you want to get. See how many have had a good experience and how many have had a bad one and then try to see what are the common issues they're having and how would that affect you. If you can't find anything about them online, then this might be a new hosting company, and well, I wouldn't recommend getting a hosting service that is less than 3-5 years old in the business.
#5 – Extra Services: It became standard practice for hosting providers to charge you a low entry fee when joining but making all the profits by upselling extra or even not needed services. They might be very aggressive when doing so and you might get in trouble with some by not buying their 'spam guard', 'malicious activity scanner' services. Some will even try to sell you web design and SEO services, so be careful when signing up with such hosting companies.
Why a cheap web hosting can be a bad idea
Although you may think you'll never have any of these problems, you should know that they're more common than you think and for them to keep the costs low and be competitive, they will do lots of things to save costs.
Most of these web hosting packages will come on a shared server because of the low price point. That means you will share the same resources with hundreds of other websites. Now, it starts to be a problem when there are way too many sites using the same hosting resources, and the CPU gets overloaded. Some will limit the number of sites on a server. However, most of the time they will add as many as possible to keep the costs low, and sometimes if your website is consuming too many resources you will be asked to either upgrade to a more expensive package or they will shut down your service.
So, even if the server specs look good, you will still have very high loading times and will also cause downtimes. In the end, it will lead to bad user experience on your site, and that will also affect your search engine rankings.
Another common issue is to have your site hosted in a bad neighborhood. What is that you might ask?
Because of the multitude of sites hosted on the same server(same IP), some of them will get hacked and used for other malicious activities like mail spamming, phishing, and so on. It will most likely cause your IP to be blacklisted and then mark your site as 'bad' in the eyes of the search engines. To avoid that, you should always go with a hosting provider that has a strict policy regarding this issue. The provider should keep a running firewall all the time and continually scan for malicious code.
Black Listed IP
Did it ever happen that your site just won't index in Google or other search engines? It may very well be because of your site IP. For these engines and Internet Providers to block scammers and hackers, they will often blacklist whole IP resulting in blocking all the websites on that IP. In this case, the only thing that you're left to do is to request your hosting provider for a new IP or even move to a new host.
To check and see if your site IP is blocked you can use SpamHaus.
High or Hidden Cancellation fees
Another popular way for cheap hosting vendors to make extra money is to have a strict or hidden cancellation policy that will make it harder for you to cancel their service. They may also require a lot more than the market usual for things as SSL installs, site migrations, or even domain registrations, all to make an extra dime.
Bad Support team
One of the highest cost as a cheap hosting company is the support team behind. And because they don't affect the sales directly, only in time through user experience, some companies choose to overlook the importance of having a competent and well-trained team to help with hosting problems. Therefore, although they are more competitive in price, you might have to wait 2-3 days to get a ticket answered and get your site back up when it's down. This overall makes it a painful experience when having to deal with such things.
That is why it's always good to know if they have a 24/7 team to handle live chats or some other way of direct communication.
Long term contracts for lower prices
To get such a cheap hosting price, some will require a long term contract(1-3 years), and most of the time, this will have to be paid upfront. It's a common sales tactic to present the lowest monthly price but when you get to the payment option to see that to get that price you'll have to commit for at least a year with all paid upfront.
You can avoid this issue by still choosing the monthly option but then the price will most probably double, and you won't save any cost. Because of this, it's crucial to do some extensive research before signing with any host as this will be a long term commitment from both sides. Trying to cancel early and asking for a refund for the remaining unused months is also a no go on 99% of them.
Expensive renewal fees
As I said in the last paragraph, in lots of cases, this will be a long term commitment, and because of that, hosts are prepared to take a loss in the first year of service but recoup all of it in the next years to come. That is why some renewal fees will cost 300-500% of the joining fee, and you will get a charge on your credit card without any previous notice. To avoid this, you can try to move around hosts every few years to avoid the higher fees and take advantage of lower joining fees. You might think it's a hard thing to do, but most of them will offer one website migration free of charge when joining.
Understanding your needs
After all, what might be an excellent hosting solution for me might not work at all for you. It's crucial to define what kind of site you're going to need the host for. Basic questions will sound like:
- What platform will I use for it(WordPress, Magento etc)
- Do I need any special features?
- Which country will I target with this site?
- How much traffic do I expect it to get?
- What is the budget I can spend on a hosting package?
- What are my tech skills and what kind of support do I need in case I run into problems?
If you're just starting then pick a hosting provider with excellent support and servers close to your users' location. Make sure you have a budget to pay for at least one year because it will take time to develop the website and also get traffic to it.
- What is Web hosting?
Think of it this way, when beginning a brick-and-mortar business, you need a physical geographical location where you can build a store, right? The same thing happens in the digital world when building your website. You will need an online home where you can store your files, HTML codes, images, etc. Without an online home, your website would simply sit on your PC, and nobody would discover you on the internet. A web hosting simply offers you storage space on the internet where all the aspects of your website can be stored and managed.
- What is a Cheap Web Hosting?
When we talk about cheap hosting service, we are referring to the hosting service that you can comfortably afford to pay for without incurring debts.
- What Should You Expect From a Cheap Web Hosting?
A cheap hosting gives you two options to choose from, and these are WordPress hosting and Shared plans. The latter refers to a kind of set up that allows companies to manage multiple sites on a server alongside your website. The shared plan translates to lower costs and comes with a domain name (which may be free for the first year), a control panel, and 24/7 customer services.
- Is uptime crucial even when using a cheap hosting?
Your website should never go down even for a moment. Your customers, as well as clients, should be able to access your website any time they want. Don't let them down – choose web hosting services that have a 100% uptime
- Do you need to DIY?
Cheap web hosting can build you a surprisingly attractive yet working site under their domains. Some of them are incredibly cheap, and as if that's not enough, they offer free plans. You would not have a reason to DIY…why would you want to do a lot of tasks behind the scene when you should have left this task to professionals?
- How Much Does It Cost For Website Hosting?
The amount you incur for website hosting can defer depending on the web hosting company you pick. However, for cheap hosting, you can expect to incur anything between $2 and $10.
- Where Can I Host a Website For Free?
Below are some of the top cheap hosting services that have free hosting plans;
- Wix Weebly
- Google cloud hosting
- Amazon web services (AWS)
The free plans are an excellent way to take your business online even when you have zero amounts. Likewise, they give you a chance to experience the hosting services in question before subscribing.