A lot of people think they have to spend a fortune on their web host.
But here’s the thing. There are plenty of great web hosts that cost less than $5. Cheap hosts don’t always suck!
In fact, some of the best hosts have introductory prices as low as $1.59, and you’ll still get all their top features. They’re willing to lower their entry price to attract customers, and you can take advantage of that.
6 Steps To Identify A Good Cheap Web Host
Best Cheap Web Hosting
Of course, there are also some bad hosting companies hiding within the same price range, and separating the good from the bad can get a little tricky.
I’ve come up with 6 easy steps to help you identify the best hosts at a cheap price, so you can have the best of both worlds. But if you are in a hurry, here are the top 3 cheap web hosts that I recommend (& their renewal price).
A good web host will pack in all their top features as part of the package. Things to look out for include:
Server speed is simply how quickly (or slowly) your web server responds to a request.
This is important because Core Web Vitals play a very important factor when it comes to ranking, and you want your website to be ranked, don’t you?
Out of the 3 web vital metrics, 2 of them are highly dependant on server response time, which is LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) and FID (First Input Delay).
In other words, when someone clicks on your website, the time it takes the largest piece of content to appear, and how long it takes for the site to be interactive for the user, will affect rankings.
All these matters because every request must be lightning-quick on your website, especially if you’re an e-commerce seller and you expect quick order processing. A fast server response is essential for good user experience.
Unfortunately, many of the lousy web hosts overload their servers, which means your website is competing with others on the same shared server for speed and resources. Some providers simply aren’t using efficient hardware, so their response times are slow.
On the other hand, the best web hosts will still make sure you get a fast response time, even on a shared server.
You can test server speed using our speed checker tool. Simply enter the website URL, and you’ll see how fast the server responds around the world.
There’s nothing more frustrating than your website going down. So your web host’s uptime figure is crucial. The better their uptime, the more reliable the host.
Quite simply, anything less than 99% uptime should be avoided, and 99.9% should be your target.
You might think that even 98% sounds quite good, but think of it like this: 98% uptime means your site could be down for 3-7 days of the year!
You can track a web host’s uptime with a free tool like uptimerobot.com. Uptime Robot checks your website every five minutes for signs of life, and it alerts you if anything is wrong. We use Uptime Robots to monitor our site, and power our uptime figures.
Tech support is one of the main things that separates good web hosts from bad web hosts. A good company will have an expert team that answers queries quickly and effectively. Bad hosts often neglect their customer service.
If something goes wrong on your website, you want to know there’s a friendly voice on the other end of the phone who can fix it for you. If you prefer online chat or email, look for a web host with that contact preference.
There are a few ways to test a web host’s tech support without actually buying it. Try submitting a ticket for the following reasons:
A good web host should reply quickly and efficiently to these queries.
Most web hosts use strong marketing language, like ‘unlimited storage and bandwidth’ or ‘unlimited CPU’. Unfortunately even ‘unlimited’ has a limit! And you’ll find it in the web host’s terms of service.
In some cases, web hosts reserve the right to suspend or even disconnect a website that overloads these limits.
Below are some real-life examples from reputable web hosts that show these restrictions:
Specifically, look for the following hard limits:
It’s also worth checking the terms-of-service for their refund policy. Sometimes, you’ll try out a web host, and then realize it’s not right for you. The good web hosts understand this, and they’ll offer a fair refund policy.
Unfortunately, the bad hosts often have no refund policy at all, and they’ll even charge an additional cancellation fee.
If you can’t find these numbers in the terms of service, ask their support team
The low prices you see are usually introductory figures, and the renewal price will cost a little more. Check to make sure the price doesn’t jump to an outrageous figure!
You’ll also notice that most web hosts offer a discount if you sign up for a longer period. However, it’s best not to lock yourself into a long contract if possible. You may want to expand or change things in two years.
Lastly, some hosts try to up-sell certain add-on products like daily backups or server security scanning. If you don’t want these extras, be sure to uncheck any boxes before you buy.
Our website exists to help you find the best web host, and allow you to make an informed decision. Here are some of our tools you can use right now to help you decide:
All pricing listed are based on 24-month contract introductory price.
Considering all the factors (server speed, uptime, tech support, ease of use, and price) here are five of the best options out there to try.
Hostinger is our top choice for cheap web hosting, because they offer premium services at an insanely low signup price. For this list, we used the Single Shared Hosting plan (which is their cheapest) on a 24-month basis which costs $1.59 per month, but if you select 48 months, you’ll only be charged $0.99 a month!
Their servers are really fast globally because they have datacenters all over the world, which is surprising because you don’t expect that when you’re paying prices like these.
They’ve also got an impressive list of unlimited features:
Aside from speed and features, Hostinger has an excellent support team, which serves over 20 countries in their native language! Hostinger really packs a quite a punch with their affordable plans, especially for those that are just starting out.
Hop over to our full Hostinger review to find out more!
HostMetro offers 1 free domain name with their MegaMax Plan, with maximum storage and bandwidth (note their strategic usage of the word “maximum” instead of “unlimited”).
Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
With HostMetro, you’ll get to host as many websites as you want with their unlimited domain hosting, but the best thing about this brand (to me at least) is the fact that their price is locked forever – If you pay $3.95, you’ll be paying $3.95 for as long as you host with them.
Hurrah! No need to worry about renewal fees!
Very rarely do you see a web hosting service as ethical as Greengeeks.
The environment-friendly web hosting provider sets you up with almost unlimited everything.
We’re talking data transfers, email accounts, webspace, databases, the works. They’ve even thrown in free SSL, free domain, free nightly backup, sweetened the deal with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Pretty ballsy, but I guess it speaks volumes of their confidence in their offerings!
They’ve got 4 data centers, located in Phoenix (US), Chicago (US), Amsterdam (EU) and Montreal (Canada). With a strong support team, cutting edge infrastructure, Git compatibility, and CloudFlare integration, Greengeeks is capable of making websites feel really snappy.
However, the special thing about them isn’t their features or their speed – GreenGeeks gives back to the planet by investing 3 times of every amp they use into renewable energy!
You will literally be making the world a greener place when you host your website with GreenGeeks.
In short, they’re fast, affordable, and great for the planet!
Read our in-depth GreenGeeks review to learn more!
What we like about A2 Hosting is their Turbo Boost plan – they come with Turbo servers, incorporating technology that increases site load speed by up to 20x faster than regular servers!
Although the Startup plan doesn’t come with Turbo servers, their regular servers are still pretty damn fast, with a worldwide average of 150 ms!
Users will also get to enjoy attractive features such as 100GB SSD storage, unlimited transfers, unlimited subdomains, unlimited email accounts and free SSL. It also comes with 1-click optimized WordPress setup and best of all, we get to select our datacenters, which are spread across 3 continents to maximize site load speed for their customers!
See our complete review on A2 Hosting for more information!
Bluehost is one of the more highly recommended web hosting services around, and their prices are low enough to juuuust to get them on this list.
With their Basic plan, you get what you pay for – 1 free domain, 50GB of SSD storage (which means they care about speed & efficiency) and unmetered bandwidth (it isn’t specified how much is allocated per account, but as long as you fall into their “normal” range, you should be okay).
However, Bluehost does come with free SSL and 5 email accounts so if you’re running a business website, this will come in handy. Aside from that, they’re pretty stable. Couple that with their other perks, and Bluehost is indeed a worthy contender for this list.
Read our Bluehost review to find out more!
Don’t forget: Match your web host to your website needs!
Unfortunately, there is no outright best web host. Only the one that is right for you and your needs. Different web hosts are suited to different priorities.
A simple portfolio site, for example, only needs a small, shared web host. But, if you’re running a blog or website with more than 30,000-40,000 visitors a month, you’ll want additional storage, and the ability to upgrade to VPS when the time is right.
If you’re looking to start an ecommerce site, you’ll need a web host that allows payment integration and additional security measures. (Be sure to check out our recommended eCommerce Hosting.)
As you can see, cheap web hosts don’t always suck, but do check out their features and performance before you buy. Good luck! And if you still have further questions, feel free to get in touch, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.