What’s The Best Low Cost / Cheap Web Hosting for Your Website?
Choosing the best cheap web hosting is a daunting & confusing process. It’s tough especially because there is no such thing as an absolute “best low cost web hosting” There is only the web hosting that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs – especially considering your budget.
Here’s a quiz that helps you balance all the usual tradeoffs to figure out what is the best low cost web hosting (updated for 2017 / 18) for your website based on your preferences (or skip to the summary of choices).
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Disclosure: I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site, including the ones mentioned in this quiz. My recommendations are based on my experiences as an independent paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Based on my experience working with many hosting companies, there are a few that are a particularly good fit for anyone who values budget & cost above all else. Here’s a summary of the companies included in the quiz.
Best Low Cost Hosting Summary
|Name||Best if you want…||Discounts!|
|InMotion||…high-performance & independent-owned w/ great customer support.||Get Discount.|
|HostGator||…good overall value w/ good pricing, support & unmetered features.||Get Discount.|
|NameCheap||…very cheap pricing; good servers w/ feature caps & limited support.||Get Discount.|
|Google Cloud||…fraction of pennies for visits. Technically challenging w/ no support.||See Plans.|
Considerations for the Best Low Cost / Cheap Web Hosting for You
First, remember that there will always be tradeoffs when you are specifically looking for “low cost” or “cheap” web hosting. That said – don’t box yourself into truly terrible hosting when just a couple dollars might be enough to get much better performance.
Second, keep in mind that if you get low cost web hosting, make sure it’s Linux based shared hosting. It’s incredibly flexible. You can run WordPress on really any hosting company offers Linux shared hosting. It can run email. It can runs listservs, scripts, wikis – really anything you want to run online as a website.
Third, if you have good technical chops or are willing to learn – there are ways to get a static (and sometimes a database driven site like WordPress) on a “cloud server” for pennies or even free. The biggest providers are Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. They charge fractions of pennies every time your site is accessed. If you are small with only a few visitors – these will be even cheaper than any low cost shared host. If you happen to get a ton of traffic one day – they might be more expensive. But either way – they are worth looking into if you don’t mind reading manuals and solving technical problems with no customer support.
Either way – this low cost web hosting quiz takes all the most common considerations and maps out the answers to the best low cost / cheap web hosting choices based on my experience both running websites and consulting with a range of clients (you can read about my specific experiences on my reviews page). So take the quiz and see who fits your needs the best!
Here’s the considerations included on the quiz –
Everyone wants a good deal. This quiz curates providers that specifically focus on low cost & affordable plans. But defining your budget helps narrow down your choices. Think about when you go to buy a car – setting a price of $20,000 will rule out the Ferrari.
The other thing to consider with hosting pricing is how long you are locked in for. Some hosts require that you prepay for a year (they’ll usually offer a discount though) and some allow you to pay monthly. If you are willing to lock in for 3 years – then even a high performance host might be low-cost per month. But if you can’t – then you’ll need to sort specifically by monthly rates.
Everyone wants great customer service. But providing high-quality customer service across a range of support channels costs money. If you are comfortable Googling and figuring problems out for yourself, it might not be as important as pricing or performance. Some of the providers listed in the quiz specifically do not have phone support or a large knowledgebase – but that helps them keep costs down.
Some people want a clean, smooth, user-friendly backend. Some don’t care about the design – they just want everything to be there and to function. And still others really don’t care about the backend – they want all technical options open for professionals (either a hired developer or customer support) to use as needed. On on extreme is cloud hosting – and on the other end are more expensive website builders.
Even though everyone wants the best overall deal, when it comes down to it, there are usually tradeoffs. What’s the one thing that will really make your website experience awesome? Is it really price? Or are you willing to pay a bit more for performance & support?
Number of Websites / Domains / Storage
How many websites do you want to run on your account? For some, it might just be the one. Others might want a test site, a hobby site and maybe a personal site. Your choice can rule out some hosting choices. If you want to setup many sites – this plan feature might make your plan even cheaper “per site” even if it’s slightly higher than another limited plan.