What do you do when you need reliable, secure web hosting, but don’t have a lot of money? Nowadays, you can turn to one of the many sites that provide quality web hosting for those on a budget.

Be aware, though, that when looking for cheap web hosting, you will have to balance what you can afford with the features you need, including domain names, email addresses, speed, uptimes, and control over your site.

We looked at all of these factors, weighed against the monthly fees charged by the host, to create a list of the best cheap web hosting options.

Best Cheap Hosting Providers


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How Did We Pick the Best Cheap Hosts?

We’ve sorted through hundreds of hosting companies, selecting the plans that offer the most value, even for customers on a limited budget.

We prioritized plans that comes with easy WordPress installation, free or affordable domain names, and packages that include email accounts.

Then, we consulted our massive database of genuine reviews from customers just like you. Here are the results.

The 15 Best Cheap Hosts

A2 Hosting


With several ways to reach them for support and a flexible money-back guarantee, A2 Hosting certainly goes the extra mile to keep their customers happy.

The Startup shared hosting plan is their most affordable option at $2.99 per month. It works for one website, and it includes 100 GB SSD storage, unlimited data transfer, unlimited email accounts, cPanel-based site management, free CloudFlare CDN, a free SSL certificate, and a website builder.

All A2 Hosting plans include access to 24/7 live chat and phone support. And if you’re not satisfied with their service, you can get a full refund within 30 days of purchase. After 30 days, your refund will be prorated according to the unused time left in your contract.

An independent audit shows that A2’s average response time for shared hosting is 949 ms, which isn’t particularly slow or fast. Their verified uptime of 99.835% is more of a concern, as it’s a little lower than the industry benchmark of 99.9%.

Pros & Cons of A2 Hosting

By going above and beyond on customer service and including premium features with their most basic plan, A2 stands out as an excellent option for those looking for a good deal on hosting. But you must consider that the uptime rate isn’t ideal, and if you have multiple sites you’ll need to upgrade to one of their more expensive plans.



>Free CloudFlare CDN >Flexible money-back guarantee >24/7 phone support

>Uptime below 99.9% >Basic plan only works for one site

What Customers Are Saying

Users often praise A2 Hosting for their service’s value and customer support. “I’ve been using A2 Hosting for almost 4 years, and I recommend its excellent service, good and fast support, and excellent prices,” wrote one customer.

AccuWeb Hosting


AccuWeb Hosting’s prices start at $3.09 per month for their Personal Web Hosting plan, which can be used for unlimited websites and includes 10 GB SSD storage, 500 GB monthly bandwidth, 150 email accounts, a free SSL certificate, one year of free domain registration, and a website builder with over 400 templates.

In its SLA, AccuWeb Hosting guarantees 99.9% uptime for the services that are fully controlled by them for each billing cycle. If they’re not able to meet this standard for a given month, you’ll receive a credit to your account (they’ll credit one day’s worth of charges for 97% to 99% uptime, two days’ worth of charges for 95% to 96.99% uptime, etc.).

For support, AccuWeb Hosting provides 24/7 live chat. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.

Pros & Cons of AccuWeb Hosting

Unlike many other providers, AccuWeb Hosting’s basic plan works for unlimited websites. But also unlike many other providers, AccuWeb Hosting places limits on the bandwidth and number of email accounts for their shared hosting plans.



>Basic plan allows unlimited websites

>Limited bandwidth

What Customers Are Saying

AccuWeb Hosting’s guarantee of 99.9% uptime is backed up by this customer review: “Their service is top notch, have had no downtime on my website. Speed and reliability have been great with them.”


DreamHost Logo

DreamHost offers a notably long 97-day money-back guarantee. Why are they so confident that new users will stick with their service? It probably has something to do with their fast average response time of 396 ms, which is quicker than any other provider in this guide. They also have an uptime rate of 99.902%.

The most basic DreamHost plan, Shared Starter, will run you $2.59 per month. It works for one website and includes 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, a WordPress site builder, free automated WordPress migrations, and one year of free domain registration.

Whenever you’re in need of support, DreamHost has an automated chatbot that’s available 24/7. If you’d prefer to work through your issue with a person, live chat is available every day from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT.

Pros & Cons of DreamHost Web Hosting

If high-end performance is a priority, then DreamHost is a great option for you. The most basic plan should also be appealing to WordPress users, as it includes features specifically designed for that platform. DreamHost’s biggest con is that live support is not always available.



>WordPress management features >Excellent speed >Extra-long money-back guarantee

>Live support is not available 24/7 >Basic plan only works for one site

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise DreamHost for their pricing and features. “Lower costs, amazing support, easy to set up, and domain name is included in the hosting plan,” wrote one user.



FastComet’s cheapest plan, FastCloud, costs $2.95 per month. It works for one website, and it offers all the features you need for high-quality hosting, including unlimited email accounts, cPanel-based site management, daily backups, free CloudFlare CDN, Let’s Encrypt SSL, BitNinja server security, a drag and drop site builder, and 24/7 live support. Plus, there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee.

But while there is no hard cap on traffic, FastComet does limit shared hosting plans to “fair usage”, meaning that they won’t allow bandwidth to significantly exceed the needs of a small business or community website.

And despite its name, FastComet doesn’t impress with their speed, as their average response time is 1,369 ms. But they do deserve credit for their uptime of 99.991%, which is a higher rate than any other provider on this list.

Pros & Cons of FastComet Web Hosting

FastComet’s lowest-priced plan has features that many other providers would charge you extra for. Their uptime rate is another high point, but they do have traffic limits and their speed is somewhat subpar.



>Exceptional uptime >Free CloudFlare CDN >Free BitNinja server security

>Below-average speed >Traffic is limited >Basic plan only works for one site

What Customers Are Saying

User reviews reveal that FastComet truly does offer outstanding value. “FastComet was by far the cheapest host I found, and the helpful staff made it easy to transfer my site,” wrote one customer. “The support team has been great with resolving issues and answering queries quickly too. On top of that, they offer plenty of security.”


GreenGeeks logo

As you may have guessed from the name, GreenGeeks is an especially eco-conscious hosting provider. Each part of their platform is designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, and for every amperage they pull from the grid, they match three times that amount in offset renewable energy products from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Their Lite shared hosting plan is $2.95 per month. It works for one website and offers unlimited data transfer, unlimited email accounts, nightly backups, free CDN, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain name for the first year.

All GreenGeeks plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as live chat, email, and phone support. And GreekGeeks provides solid technical performance, with an average 866 ms response time and 99.975% uptime.

Pros & Cons of GreenGeeks Web Hosting

GreenGeeks offers feature-rich hosting plans at very affordable prices, and they’re also helping protect the environment. The only downside is that if you need hosting for more than one website, you’ll need to upgrade from their basic plan.



>Solid performance >Free CDN >300% green energy match

>Basic plan only works for one site

What Customers Are Saying

One user had tried many other providers in the past, and they discovered that GreenGeeks was the best for their needs: “Cheap price, nice quality, and very good service. I have used many hosts, and I feel this is one of the best.”


HostGator logo

With HostGator’s $2.75 per month Hatchling plan, you get unmetered bandwidth, cPanel-based site management, a free SSL certificate, and a year of free domain registration for one website. And as an added bonus, this plan comes with $100 in Google Adwords credits and $100 in Bing Ads credits.

As far as performance goes, HostGator is a tad slow with a 1,158 ms average response time, but their uptime of 99.932% meets the industry standard.

HostGator also provides 24/7 phone and live chat support, and they offer a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons of HostGator Web Hosting

The advertising credits are a unique benefit, but they might not be enough to outweigh concerns over speed or the fact that you’ll need to upgrade if you have more than one website.



>Advertising credits >45-day money-back guarantee >24/7 phone support

>Below-average speed >Basic plan only works for one site

What Customers Are Saying

Customers love that HostGator is not only cheap and easy-to-use, but offers attentive support as well. “I liked the price and the ease of setup,” wrote one user. “The ease of use, cost of setup, and the level of support make HostGator a no-brainer,” wrote another.


Hostinger logo

At just $0.99 per month, the price tag of Hostinger’s Single shared hosting plan simply can’t be beat. Although it offers a free SSL certificate and one year of free domain registration, this plan also limits you to one website, one email account, and 100 GB of bandwidth. http://www.digital.com/go/media-temple/

For more standard features such as unlimited email accounts and bandwidth, you’ll need to upgrade to the more standard-priced Premium shared hosting plan ($2.89 per month). All Hostinger plans come with 24/7 live chat support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

As mentioned above, it’s notable if a hosting provider doesn’t maintain the industry standard 99.9% uptime. With an uptime rate of 98.791%, Hostinger doesn’t hit the industry standard. But this is balanced out to some degree by Hostinger’s average response time of 459 ms, which is the second-fastest figure of all the options in this guide.

You’ll find more features at Hostinger.

Pros & Cons of Hostinger Web Hosting

Hostinger offers the cheapest plan, but that plan is severely limited. It has an exceptionally fast average response time, but also a subpar uptime rate. While this won’t be the best option for everyone, it works well if you’re on a tight budget.



>Excellent speed >Lowest price available >Good for tight budgets

>Uptime under 99%

What Customers Are Saying

The customer reviews prove that if you’re prioritizing price, you should check out Hostinger. “It is the most cheap web host available in the market, as no other website can beat it in a price war with such amazing features,” wrote one user.


host metro

HostMetro’s prices start at $2.95 per month for their Mega Max plan, which works for unlimited websites and includes one year of free domain name registration. There is a limit on bandwidth, although HostMetro reports that 95% of their customers never reach this limit. You can request more bandwidth if you do reach the limit, and this request should be approved as long as you’re within their terms of service.

As far as performance goes, HostMetro passes the speed test with an average response time of 784 ms, but their uptime is 99.615%, which falls just short of the industry standard 99.9%.

Live chat support is available 24/7, while phone support is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons of HostMetro Web Hosting

HostMetro is relatively light on features, and ideally they would just offer unlimited bandwidth instead of making the user jump through hoops. The speed of their service is impressive, though.



>Above-average speed >Basic plan allows unlimited websites

>Uptime under 99% >Limits on storage space and bandwidth

What Customers Are Saying

Fast response times and low prices have generated many loyal customers for HostMetro. “I have been with Hostmetro for 4 years,” wrote one long-time user. “Nobody can beat their value.”


HostPapa Logo

The Starter plan offered by HostPapa is $3.95 per month. It works for two websites and includes 100 GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, cPanel-based site management, free CloudFlare CDN, Let’s Encrypt SSL, free domain registration, and one-on-one training.

24/7 email and phone support is available in four languages (English, French, German, and Spanish). Also, HostPapa offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

And HostPapa’s average response time of 954 ms and uptime of 99.954% are right around average, so you can depend on them for reliable service.

Pros & Cons of HostPapa Web Hosting

HostPapa’s offer of one-on-one training stands out, and this will surely be appealing to less tech-savvy users. The 24/7 phone support is also helpful for when you want to talk over any issues. But these customer service benefits come at a bit of a cost, as $3.95 per month is slightly more expensive than most of the plans covered in this guide.



>One-on-one training >24/7 phone support

>Basic plan slightly more expensive than comparable plans

What Customers Are Saying

This customer review backs up HostPapa’s commitment to customer service: “They’re very simple to use, and for the few issues I’ve had, their support has been great at walking me through.”


Hostwinds logo

It’s always a good sign when a provider is confident enough to offer an extra-long money-back guarantee. Hostwinds allows you to get a full refund within 60 days of purchase, which is double the standard 30 days. Hostwinds also offers 24/7 live chat and phone support.

For $3.29 per month, the Hostwinds Basic shared hosting plan works for one website and includes unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, cPanel-based site management, a free SSL certificate, nightly backups, and the Weebly site builder.

Their performance is somewhat mixed. The 547 ms average response time is well above average, but the 99.722% uptime doesn’t reach the industry standard of 99.9%

Pros & Cons of Hostwinds Web Hosting

The most basic Hostwinds plan has a lot going for it. It’s packed with useful features, and it’s backed up by a 60-day money-back guarantee. One flaw is that the uptime could be better.



>Above-average speed >60-day money-back guarantee >24/7 phone support

>Uptime under 99.9%

What Customers Are Saying

The Hostwinds support team offers more than just availability — whenever you contact them, they’re actively helpful as well. “I have been with them for over a year and am very happy with them,” wrote one user. “I have reached out to support on several occasions and am very happy about the friendly and knowledgeable support.”

InMotion Hosting

Inmotion Hosting logo

At $5.99 per month, the cheapest plan that InMotion Hosting offers is nearly twice as expensive as the cheapest plans many other providers offer. But you get a lot of features in exchange for that cost. InMotion Hosting’s Launch plan includes 50 GB of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate as well as advanced security and marketing tools.

There are some notable performance concerns with InMotion Hosting. Both their average response time of 1,168 ms and their uptime of 99.836% are below average.

InMotion Hosting offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, and they provide 24/7 live chat and phone support.

Pros & Cons of InMotion Hosting



>Security and marketing tools >90-day money-back guarantee >24/7 phone support

>Uptime under 99.9% >Basic plan more expensive than comparable plans

What Customers Are Saying

Many reviews do note that InMotion Hosting isn’t the absolute cheapest option, but they also often say that it’s worth the extra perks. “It offers a good cost-benefit relation,” wrote one customer. “Support is good, fast, and reliable.”


InterServer logo

InterServer’s lowest price of $5 per month for their Standard Web Hosting plan is a little more than you might be looking to pay.

But this plan works well for unlimited websites and includes unlimited storage space, unlimited data transfer, unlimited email accounts, weekly backups, a free SSL certificate, free CloudFlare CDN, Intershield protection, the SitePad website builder, and access to over 450 cloud apps.

Their performance is also impressive, with a 724 ms average response time and 99.920% uptime. 24/7 chat and phone support is available, and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons of InterServer Web Hosting

InterServer’s Standard Web Hosting plan may be full of features, but one common feature it’s missing is free domain registration.



>Above-average speed >Free CloudFlare CDN >Basic plan allows unlimited websites

>Free domain registration is not included >Basic plan more expensive than comparable plans

What Customers Are Saying

Customers are aware that cheaper providers are out there, but they still think InterServer is a good investment. “Buying Interserver is really worth the money,” wrote one user. “The standard web hosting is only $5 per month with everything unlimited.”

Scala Hosting


The ScalaHosting Mini plan costs $3.95 per month, works for one website, and includes 50 GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, free CDN, free domain registration for one year and a rolling archive of seven backups for the last seven days.

Available features are clearly not a problem, but performance can be an issue. ScalaHosting’s average response time of 1,264 ms is a little sluggish, and their 99.798% uptime falls short of the standard.

ScalaHosting provides 24/7 live chat support, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons of ScalaHosting

Features such as free CDN and daily backups are certainly attractive, but the cost and performance of this provider are important drawbacks to consider.



>Free CDN >Daily backups

>Uptime under 99.9% >Below-average speedplans

What Customers Are Saying

ScalaHosting has been around for well over a decade, and some customers have stuck with them for just as long. “Always reliable, fixes are quick, and they give great advice,” wrote one user. “I have been a customer of theirs from starting out some 13 years ago, never needed to switch.”



SiteGround sets itself apart with outstanding performance — their average response time is 534 ms, and their uptime rate is 99.986%.

But SiteGround’s cheapest plan isn’t that cheap. Their StartUp plan is $6.99 per month, and it includes 10 GB SSD storage, unmetered traffic, unlimited email accounts, daily backups, free CDN, and a free SSL certificate for one website. It also comes with 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Another reason to use SiteGround is their 100% green energy match. SiteGround’s main data center partner is Google Cloud, which matches all the energy they consume with renewable energy in order to maintain carbon neutrality.

Pros & Cons of SiteGround Web Hosting

Performance and the 100% renewable energy match are strong points in SiteGround’s favor, although the relatively high cost and a couple missing common features may drive some users away.



>Exceptional performance >100% renewable energy match

>Basic plan only works for one website >Free domain registration is not included

What Customers Are Saying

Customer reviews confirm the independent audit of SiteGround’s response time. “The main reason we went with SiteGround was the reports of higher web server speeds,” wrote one user. “Whether that is due to fewer accounts on each server or just the quality of the servers and server software, our websites usually do run faster.”

Web Hosting Hub


Web Hosting Hub is another provider that is willing to bet on the quality of their service with an extended money-back guarantee. They’ll give you a full refund within 90 days of purchase, and they have 24/7 US-based live chat and phone support.

Their $5.99 Spark plan works for two sites, and it includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, free domain registration, a website builder, PrestaShop shopping cart, and access to over 400 applications. And on top of all that, you get $150 in advertising credits, too.

Finally, Web Hosting Hub performs well with an average response time of 878 ms and an uptime of 99.938%.

Pros & Cons of Web Hosting Hub

From support to features to performance, Web Hosting Hub provides everything you need. The only con is the cost.



>Advertising credits >90-day money-back guarantee >24/7 US-based phone support

>Basic plan is more expensive than comparable plans

What Customers Are Saying

With all its benefits, it’s no surprise that Web Hosting Hub has been winning over new converts. “I switched to WebHostingHub about a year ago, and I’ve had a great experience with them,” wrote one customer. “I can say that WHH is by far the best provider I had in many years.”

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How to Choose the Best Cheap Host

Whether you want to start a blog, have a static page to set up, or have a relatively low traffic business blog, sometimes plain, basic hosting plans are the right option. These cheap plans, usually for shared hosting, can cost as little as a dollar per month (or sometimes, even less).

Why a Cheap Host?

If you are looking to start a new website for a personal project, a blog, a church, or even a small business, you may not need a lot of high powered web hosting features, and you probably don’t want to have to pay for them. Lucky for you, the cost of server resources is so low these days that you find decent hosting for very little money. Cheap hosting plans come in a variety of different styles, so make sure you find the one that is right for you.

What is Shared Hosting?

With a shared hosting plan, many different customer accounts are hosting from a single server. Hosting companies put dozens, or even hundreds, of accounts onto the same server. This is how they can afford to sell these plans so cheaply, but this can cause problems.

Cheap Shared Hosting Plans

The most popular type of cheap web hosting plan is the shared plan, and these almost always run less than $10/month.

If you use our Compare Hosting tool and search for Shared Hosting, you’ll find that some of these plans run as low as $1/month.

Shared Hosting Drawbacks

With so many different customers running websites from the same server, every one is sharing the same limited set of computing resources. This means that the activity of other customers can have an effect on the performance of your site.

If one site on the server is suddenly drawing a ton of traffic, it might slow down response times for the other sites sharing the same server. Security breaches and blacklisting affecting one site on the server can also spill over and cause problems for other sites.

Are Shared Hosting Plans Really “Unlimited”?

Shared hosting plans usually advertise that they are “unlimited.” They claim unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited websites, and unlimited email. There are usually limits, though, if you look at the Terms of Service.

Generally, the way it works is that everything is unlimited unless you use too much of it.

If you are drawing so much traffic and using up so much bandwidth that it is causing ongoing performance problems for other sites, the company will throttle your traffic or require you to upgrade.

Is a Shared Host Plan Right For You?

Most shared hosting plans support WordPress and other popular PHP-based website software.

For personal projects and small organizations, the resources of a shared hosting plan will often be enough. With a well-coded site, major shared hosting plans can easily handle a few hundred visits a day.

Good For Low Traffic

If you have or are expecting traffic to be in the range of thousands of visits per day on the low end, you might want to look at other options.

Hosting for Bloggers and Small Businesses

Bloggers and small businesses should consider shared hosting since traffic to those sites most likely won’t affect other sites on the server.

A web host plan like this isn’t going to be detrimental to your business because it’s designed particularly for smaller businesses.

A dedicated server or VPS would most likely be far too expensive and powerful for your small blog or website.

Do You Need Control?

For example, with a shared hosting company like FastComet or Interserver, you would get a full control panel to manage your website and hosting account.

You can typically buy a domain name, then work with the customer support team to transfer to your existing website or create a new one.

What Hosting Tools Do You Need?

Furthermore, companies like FastComet, Interserver, and iPage are considered cheap WordPress hosts, since you don’t have to pay much per month and they offer one-click installation buttons to launch WordPress within minutes.

Since small website owners are usually closer to beginners than advanced users, it’s a huge advantage to have these simple development tools available.

about vps hosting

Considering a VPS Website Host

Pay-As-You-Go VPS Hosting

Some hosting companies provide VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting on a scalable pricing plan, so that you only pay for resources used: storage, CPU cycles, bandwidth.

With plans like these, a low traffic site running a basic CMS (Content Management System) will only cost a few dollars a month, and there won’t be any problem with throttling or dealing with upgrades as traffic grows — you simply pay more for using more.

Are Costs Steady?

The downside to this is that it introduces a lot of uncertainty into your monthly costs. It becomes very hard to predict what your hosting costs will be. You might have affordable hosting this month, and surprisingly expensive hosting the next.

The other potential problem with these types of accounts is also one of their strengths. Compared with shared hosting plans, many VPS hosting plans allow you to do more customized things with the server.

This also leads to a requirement to have a better understanding of server management.

web hosting coupon

Looking for a great hosting deal? InterServer provides quality shared and VPS plans. And they offer a “price lock guarantee.” That means your rate never goes up. Right now our readers can get special pricing on InterServer plans. Just use this discount link to get the deal.

Free SaaS Hosting

Maybe the only thing better than cheap hosting is free hosting. Depending on your needs, and your willingness to forgo extreme customization, this is a viable option.

Several blogging sites offer freely hosted blogs, which can also work as small business or non-profit sites.

The best option for this is probably WordPress.com, which allows you to set up a free WordPress blog without having to worry about hosting or server management. You can even pay a small fee in order to have your own domain name associated with your site. If you do this, no one will know that the site is actually a free blog.

The downside to this kind of site is that you don’t have as many options for things like running ads and selling products. Overall your ability to use custom plugins can be limited because they only make certain ones available.

cheap hosting customer support

Is Customer Support Any Good?

This is a must-ask question when considering cheap website hosting. Why? Because there’s a decent chance you pay for your hosting only to find out that the customer support isn’t trained well, or it’s seemingly impossible to get a hold of the reps.

You also might find that much of the customer support is outsourced so you can’t understand what the people are saying.

Quality Support Can Be Found Cheap

Great support isn’t impossible to find for cheap. However, you might have to look a bit harder.

For example, Interserver is known for quality support. You can contact the company 24/7 through email, chat, a ticketing system, or by phone.

Look for Additional Resources

The cost-cutting measure might mean your host offers limited live support.

However, many offer:

  • In-depth, searchable knowledgebases
  • Engaged communities
  • Easy to use FAQ pages for troubleshooting.

The top cheap hosts known for having good support include:

  1. iPage
  2. FastComet
  3. Host1Plus
  4. InterServer

The Pros and Cons of Going with Cheap Hosting

With our suggestions above and below, you shouldn’t have any problems with cheaper website hosting. However, it all depends on the type of website you’re running and how big your operation is. For example, most cheap hosting options offer shared hosting, which usually isn’t suitable for larger websites, especially in the e-commerce space.


Cheap hosting can work well if you run a small business website or blog where the traffic doesn’t spike much or doesn’t fluctuate much.
  • Ability to upgrade or change plans quickly
  • Keep monthly costs down
  • Not paying for more than you need
  • Hosting may even be free with other tools
  • Can find good customer service


Cheap hosting isn’t for everyone. Here are a few cons to keep in mind.
  • You often get what you pay for
  • Your host may sacrifice speed, reliability, or security for costs
  • Shared hosting may slow your site down
  • Lower uptime
  • You are often forced into a year contract

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If you're in the market for a new web hosting provider, be sure to check out our user reviews, our A-Z hosting guide and our top three popular hosting picks:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest hosting available?

If you need cheap hosting, shared hosting is the best bet. Check that the resource limits suit your site, and compare the uptime guarantee between several hosts to see which one is likely to offer better service. Cheap hosts sometimes don’t offer the best support, so check that the tech team is available to help you 24/7 if you need it.

Is free hosting better than cheap hosting?

Free hosting is worth considering for low priority websites, but you may experience availability problems, a lack of support, or intrusive ads on your website content. Assuming you want your website to look professional, and you need a reliable service, spending a little on hosting will avoid some of the main free hosting pitfalls.

What does ‘unlimited’ or ‘unmetered’ mean?

On cheap hosting plans, the words ‘unlimited’ or ‘unmetered’ are a marketing tool designed to draw customers in. And if you run a small site that uses few resources, your host will never bother you or complain. However, sites that outgrow the hosts ‘acceptable’ usage limits will be subject to a review, and you may have to upgrade your plan. It’s very difficult to know what these limits are in advance of signing up. But anything more than a basic site or blog will likely push the limit of the host’s acceptable use policy.

Do I need an email address that’s associated with my website?

Since cheap web hosts usually do not include email addresses, or only provide a limited number of emails with their cheaper plans, it may be tempting to forgo having an email associated with your website. That might be okay if your website is just for personal use. However, if your website is specifically for a business, having a dedicated email at your website’s domain can go a long way in building your brand and credibility. Having an email address at your own website also gives you more flexibility than being tied to another email host, like GMail.

If I want to move to a cheaper hosting plan, will I lose my data?

Many hosts will help you to transfer your site, but it depends on the individual company’s policies. If you’re moving from the same control panel that you have at your new host, the move is likely to be easier. cPanel to cPanel moves are arguably the easiest, and many hosts will carry these out for free. But check the fine print before you sign up to your new hosting company.

What are the risks of cheap hosting?

Cheap hosting attracts different types of customers, including small businesses, hobbyists, non-profits, and users running personal blogs. It also attracts scammers and spammers, because these cheap hosting accounts may be considered a throwaway tool in a wider scam or spam campaign. Additionally, cheap hosting is only profitable when lots of customers are packed into one server. That can lead to resource bottlenecks and other problems associated with sharing IPs.

Do cheap hosts keep backups of users’ data?

Very few cheap hosting accounts include backups that users can retrieve themselves. The host may advertise a basic backup policy, but those backups are generally only for internal use at the hosting company, so be sure to check the fine print. It is not advisable to run a website without backups that you can access yourself, so you may have to set up your own backups if your host doesn’t provide them. Alternatively, choose a slightly more expensive host that includes backups with the plan.

Does cheap hosting always include email?

No. And if it does, you might find that the number of mailboxes you can create is very low.

If someone on my server gets blacklisted, how will that affect my site?

On a shared server, your site is vulnerable to the company it keeps. A bad ‘neighborhood’ may result in your shared IP being blacklisted, and that could result in your sent emails being filed into spam folders. You can guard against this by using a VPS or dedicated server, or using a third party email service that is separate to your hosting service.

Does WordPress perform well on a cheap hosting account?

Yes. WordPress is lightweight when it’s initially installed, so most cheap hosting accounts will cope just fine, providing your plan allows you to create the database that WordPress needs to function. Some plans do not. If your WordPress site grows and becomes very resource-intensive, your host may ask you to upgrade to a more expensive plan so that it doesn’t negatively impact on other customers.

Can I downgrade my hosting plan to a cheaper one?

Yes, but you host may not be as cooperative as they would be if you were upgrading.

Which types of sites are not suited to cheap hosting?

High traffic websites don’t work well on cheap hosting plans. Your site may suffer from slow performance, and your host may force you to upgrade. If you’re planning on hosting files, like video or audio, you will quickly reach your quotas. Remember that ‘unlimited’ hosting is rarely unlimited; there is always a restriction around what your host believes is reasonable.

Why are some VPS or dedicated hosting plans considerably cheaper on one host vs another?

The main reason for big price discrepancies is the level of management included. Some plans include no assistance at all, while others include full server management. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest plan you find, running a server as a novice is fraught with risk. Paying for management can be a worthwhile investment.

Do cheap hosting plans support streaming?

It’s rare to find a shared hosting plan that supports and kind of streaming, although some exist. If you want assured performance, a VPS is a better option.

What extra features are included on expensive hosting plans?

Cheap hosting plans may miss out some key features, like email. You may only be able to create a couple of databases, websites, or domains. Compare every line of the technical specifications carefully before you commit to a plan.

Is it worth signing up to a cheap site builder plan instead?

Cheap site builder plans have two main drawbacks. First, the capacity to create pages can be very limited, so they are only really suitable for very basic websites. And second, you will probably find adverts for the host all over your site. There are other drawbacks too, such as a lack of features or integrations, a limited selection of plugins or extensions, and the inability to use your own domain name. You can extend the capacity or functionality of a site builder by paying a little more. But once you factor in the extra cost, a cheap hosting plan may be more affordable and flexible.

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