Whether you are building a small site to promote your personal brand or as such, you will need a web server. Sure, you could buy a server, pay your ISP for a dedicated IP address with lots of bandwidth, and run it all from your living room or office while sending an identical server to your friend’s house for redundancy. But the cost and hassle of it is absolutely not worth anyone’s time, which is where web hosting plans come in.
Depending on your needs, you can spend as little as $1.99 per month for a low-bandwidth shared plan or over $200 for a dedicated server with lots of storage and processing power. Below, we’ll show the best cheap web hosting deals right now for the main plan types: shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud, and WordPress.
Note that our best web hosting deal recommendations are based on price and features only. We have not evaluated these services, so we cannot guarantee their availability or download speed. However, you can expect any of these services to have around 99.9% uptime and probably comparable speeds. Performance differences are likely to be slight, so it makes sense to buy based on price and features.
Register a domain
If you are building a new website, the first thing you need is a domain name. You cannot publish a website or even sign up for a hosting service without choosing one. Some of the best web hosting deals include one year of free domain registration, but we recommend using a separate company to manage your domain names so it’s easier to switch services, without incurring additional charges. Sign up with a company that specializes in domains like Namecheap or GoDaddy, but don’t use those companies for site hosting.
Main Types of Web Hosting
Before you search for the best web hosting deals, you need to decide which type of plan will best suit your needs.
- Shared Hosting ($2-$12/month): The most popular and cheapest form of shared web hosting means your site is on the same physical server as an undisclosed number of other users’ sites. Performance should be solid if you don’t expect more than 50,000-100,000 visits per month. However, you probably won’t have administrator access to the server, and the PHP scripts you run will likely have a time limit.
- WordPress Hosting ($4-$15/month): A more specific form of shared hosting, WordPress hosting is optimized for use with WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS, which usually comes pre-loaded. However, there is nothing stopping you from buying a regular shared hosting plan and installing WordPress on your own.
- VPS Hosting ($20-$100/month): If you expect a decent amount of traffic, need admin controls, or just want to be able to run a script for as long as needed, a virtual private server is the way to go. Although they are physically on the same machine as other accounts, VPS have their own dedicated RAM, CPU cores, and storage that belong exclusively to you, so they run and function like standalone servers. You even have administrator access to change server settings, install custom software, and run scripts without delay.
- Dedicated Hosting ($79-$500+): You get your own computer that lives in the host’s data center, over which you have full control. This is the most expensive option, as the company rents you a complete computer. Keep in mind that you are responsible for updating the software.
- Cloud Hosting ($10+): Rather than having an account on one physical server, your site’s data and processing is spread across multiple boxes. As with VPS, you pay for a certain amount of dedicated RAM, CPU cores, and storage, and the prices are usually lower. However, you may not have administrator-level access.
Best Cheap Web Hosting Deals
Advice on Cheap Web Hosting Deals
- Pay for several years in advance: Most web hosting companies want to lock you down. So the introductory prices they show on the site are often only if you prepay for one, two, or often three years. Although it’s more of an investment and locks you in, we recommend you go for it, as the savings are significant.
- Minimum specifications: If you’re paying for VPS, dedicated, or cloud hosting, we recommend opting for a plan with at least four cores, 4GB of RAM, and 100TB of storage.
- Forget Windows: All of the plans we recommend here are for Linux-based hosting. You can pay extra for Windows hosting plans, but they’re not worth the premium. For example, Liquid Web charges $30 more per month for its 4GB Windows VPS than for its 4GB Linux VPS.
- Do not put stock in bandwidth or storage listed as “unlimited” and “unlimited”. This means you won’t be charged if you go over a certain amount of bandwidth, but if there’s no specified limit and you get too much traffic – much like unlimited data plans for smartphones – you’ll likely see either sluggishness or a cap. On an inexpensive shared hosting plan, this kind of ambiguity is acceptable, but not if you’re paying for a more expensive service.