Although cheap web hosting can be a pretty generic term, before we begin, I’d like to clarify a few things. From a general point of view, whether you call it hosting suitable for first timers, hosting for newbies, or even for those on a tight budget, a low price doesn’t always mean you have to sacrifice a lot.
As a general definition, HostScore considers web hosting that offer plans priced at $5 or below to be cheap web hosting. However, for you, the reader, consideration should also be made for your specific needs.
Fitting Your Needs with the Cheapest Web Hosting
For those who are facing budget constraints, there are some specific areas you can look at more closely when assessing a cheap web hosting plan. Areas such as features, hosting environment, data server location, current promotions and even your specific needs come into play.
No two web hosting providers are alike and as such, each of them tends to offer a unique mix of features that they feel consumers want, and they can offer at reasonable prices.
A good idea would be to look out for a host that can support rapid site development via either a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or have a website builder tool that you can take advantage of to build your site on your own.
Other features you can look out for can be the types of control panel available, options to scale up plans if your site grows or even what other web applications they have to offer.
Not all cheap web hosting forces developers to opt for VPS plans in order to use specific environments. If you’re a developer and are looking for some common tools, there are budget hosts that fit your needs too. Some may allow the use of Python, Perl, Node.js, Django, or more.
Data Server Location
Websites are served best when the physical location of the servers they are on are closest to their target audience. Although the Internet is borderless there are many websites that target visitor traffic from specific regions.
It will be extremely difficult to always find a host with a data center in the exact location you’re looking for. However, finding one that servers a good region can be enough. For example, using a data center in Singapore could help you serve traffic in the Asia region quickly.
Know Your Needs
As discussed in the preceding sections, cheap doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want. Developers may find a cheap host if they know their needs and look for it. Others can as well. Before looking for a hosting plan, sit down and list out what you think you can or can’t live without.
If you’re looking for cheap hosting it is usually normal that you’re either planning to host a site with limited features or perhaps only want a basic web presence like a static website. Most cheap hosting plans can accommodate these sites easily.
Cheap Hosting Deals
Almost universally, web hosts will offer steep discounts to new users. This can slash your investment cost by a lot and save you much money during the initial few years of your new website. Aside from that though, look out for more specific deals in the plan details.
A good idea is to keep an eye open for hosts that offer free website migration services, free SSL certificates, free domain names, and yes, sometimes even free marketing credits with advertising platforms like Microsoft or Google.
Best Cheap Hosting Providers
Hostinger offers the cheapest single domain shared web hosting plan on the market. If you’re looking at nothing else except pure price, this is the go-to solution for you. Hostinger also has a good spread of seven data centers located at strategic locations around the world.
Even better than that, they have specific localized versions of their site to support many areas around the world right now. Example of this include the sites for Brazil, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, UK, Netherlander, and United States.
For as little as 80 cents, you get to host a single website, email access, secure FTP, 1-click web application installer, weekly backups, website builder tools.
- Highly competitive pricing
- Seven different data centers available
- Good spread of hosting plans
- Free domain name on Premium and Business shared hosting
- User-friendly custom cPanel
- Wide range of payment options accepted
- Git environment available on shared hosting
- Free website builder
- VPS plans start from only $3.95
- Full root access and live chat with VPS plans
- No site migration assistance
- High renewal pricing
- Only Business Plan gets free daily backups
Small blogs, basic websites, small businesses.Visit Hostinger
2. A2 Hosting
Although A2 Hosting may not be the cheapest around I certainly think that they offer fantastic value for money with the features they include. All plans come with free SSL and site migration assistance and they boast some of the best server speeds for shared web hosting.
For developers, this is one host you’ll want to give serious considerations since even their lowest priced shared hosting plans come with great developer-friendly features. This includes access to Python, Git, Ruby, Django and Node.js which you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere at this price.
DO take note though that A2 Hosting doesn’t offer a lot of freebies that come with some other hosts, For example, you don’t get a free domain name and they only offer HTTP/2 on their more expensive shared hosting plans.
A2 Hosting Pros
- Server locations in North America, Europe, and Asia
- Free website migration assistance
- Custom optimizations tools available
- High sign-up discounts and anytime money back guarantee
- Developer-oriented features even on shared hosting
- Encrypted backup solutions available
- Root access with all VPS plans
A2 Hosting Cons
- No free domain name
- Free site transfers mainly for cPanel installations
- HTTP/2 only on TURBO plans
Blogs, small to medium businesses, freelancers, developers.Visit A2 Hosting
Interserver may hit the exact limit of our definition of cheap web hosting but there is more here than meets the eye. They are known for their price lock guarantee, meaning that although they charge $5 per month for hosting, there are no renewal price hikes and you’re guaranteed that price for life if you sign up.
Feature-wise, they offer free site migrations, a website builder tool, 1-click web application installations and offer to clean up compromised websites that are transferring over to them. You can also get a domain name from Interserver at a great price of only $1.99.
One thing to take note of with Interserver is that they only offer US-based data centers. Website owners who are targeting traffic from other regions may or may not find this to be a deal breaker at times. There are also limited options to support developers here.
- 20-year track record in web hosting
- In-house customer support
- No price hike on renewal
- Cleans up hacked or exploited accounts
- Free website migration
- Cheap domain name registration
- Delivery of email is guaranteed
- Servers only filled to 50% capacity
- Free SitePad website builder
- Highly configurable VPS hosting plans
- Only US-based data centers
- Limited developer tools
- No free domain name
Blogs, small to medium businesses.Visit Interserver
4. TMD Hosting
One of the more distinctive points about TMD Hosting is the fact that it truly belongs on this list in terms of pricing. Not only does it meet the ‘less than $5 mark’ criteria but that remains true even after renewal price hikes with their Starter Plan.
It also comes with unlimited SSD space and bandwidth along with a host of other freebies. You get a free domain name, free Let’s Encrypt SSL, access to the Weebly website builder and even white glove site migration services. In a pinch it’s also suitable for developers as it gives access to some tools and environments not usually found in shared hosting.
The bottom line with TMD Hosting is that these factors combine to make it a value proposition that is extremely hard to beat. Of course, there are corners cut in terms of backup and a more limited knowledge base.
TMD Hosting Pros
- Unmetered bandwidth and storage
- Choice of seven global data centres
- Easy to use centralized dashboard
- Access to Weebly website builder
- Free SSL (Wildcard on Enterprise Plan)
- Free domain name
- 24/7 customer support
- Free white glove migration
- Perl, Python and other scripts available
TMD Hosting Cons
- Limited free backups on files and database
- Free domain has no privacy protection
- Knowledge base could be improved
Blogs, small to medium businesses, some developers.Visit TMD Hosting
Combining a good mix of performance, features and price, Bluehost is held down by very few limitations. It also offers a lot of freebies which is great if you’re starting out a new site and looking to minimize your initial investment as much as possible.
Among the many benefits you’ll find here are the inclusion of a free SSL with all shared hosting plans, unlimited bandwidth, SSD storage, and free advertising credits on both the Google and Microsoft marketing platforms.
Bluehost does try a bit too hard to upsell you on their extra features but if you can avoid temptation you should be fine. Also, do keep in mind that renewal fees here are significantly higher than what you’d sign up with them for.
- Recommended by WordPress.org
- Powerful and easy-to-navigate knowledge base
- Daily backup and easy restore
- Powerful custom control center
- Good range of plans for scaling
- Cloudflare access is built into control panel
- Add VPS storage space on your own
- $100 Free ad credits with all plans
- Renewal fees can be significantly higher
- Many upsells on additional features
- Add-ons can get expensive
- No free site migration
Recommended for: Blogs, small to medium businessesVisit Bluehost
Verdict: Cheap Isn’t Always Bad
By now you’ve probably realized that there are cheap web hosts that can both fit budgets as well as meet some requirements. Price isn’t always a restricting factor and overpaying a web host for features you aren’t using is a particularly bad idea.
Always be sure of your own needs and try to fit them to a plan that matches them as closely as possible so maximize the value of your investment. One caveat to this would be if your intention is to grow your site significantly.
If that is the case, you’ll also need to ensure that the host you’re looking at can scale as you grow.