Best Cheap Web Hosting Services for 2022
Every business, from small sole proprietorships to sprawling multi-million dollar businesses, needs a website and, therefore, a web host. In an always-connected world, having an online presence that displays at least basic business information is essential. Ideally, you will also want to sell products and services.
That said, not every business needs an e-commerce presence, and not every business can afford one either. Sometimes you just need a simple page listing your hours and location, with maybe a little blog functionality to keep things interesting – and sometimes that’s all you can afford, too. Cost is an extremely important consideration when selecting a web host. It’s a truism that you get what you pay for, but it’s also true that every penny counts and there are great web hosting deals out there.
First, let’s define web hosts in general. A web host is a company with servers that you use to store and deliver the files that make up your website. Larger businesses can spend hundreds of dollars each year on dedicated web hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting, but there are also plenty of web hosts designed specifically for very small businesses.
That’s exactly what the services gathered here focus on – good, functional web hosting companies that will get your website online with the least amount of damage to your wallet. It’s something we can all appreciate. But at what cost ?
Prices on our list of cheap web hosts are based on regular monthly or yearly prices, with no discount applied for starter plans. Some budgets are really that tight, and some projects may not last a year. Our threshold for inclusion in this table is that a provider should not charge more than $5 per month (after all, some people or businesses only need temporary sites) or $50 per year. It really is a low cost web hosting. That means some of our top picks for the best overall hosts, like A2, Hostwinds, and GoDaddy don’t cut the price. It also means that some perfectly fine services that don’t show up on any other table because they don’t make the grades in terms of ratings, such as Domain.com and iPower, show up. We avoid web hosting services with cheap upfront prices that increase after an introductory period. This is true low-cost hosting!
Web hosts that offer monthly and yearly plans are judged in these two areas. Naturally, if a host only offers monthly or yearly plans, we adjust our expectations accordingly.
The Web Hosting Features You’ll Need
Building a website with your own domain is easy, and most importantly, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Do you need email, blogging software, email marketing, e-commerce and file sharing? Many of these features are included in cheap web hosting plans.
It is also worth highlighting the service’s customer support. While it’s nice to have FAQs and forums, when it’s 3am and your website is inexplicably down, you want someone available right away. Look for 24/7 customer support.
What Cheap Web Hosting Offers You
Cheap web hosting excludes powerful and relatively expensive dedicated and VPS hosting options. Instead, you’ll need to choose a shared or WordPress hosting plan.
Shared hosting is a setup where the hosting company runs multiple websites on one server along with your site. Don’t let the “shared” bit worry you, because you can’t peek into someone else’s files and no one else can touch yours. Earnings? Sharing server space results in cheap prices for everyone. The wrong side? Neighboring sites that consume too many resources can cause your site to run at less than maximum performance. They might even crash it once in a while.
Optimized WordPress hosting services allow you to setup and run a WordPress blog with minimal hassle. If the primary function of your business website is to be a blog, do your wallet a favor and don’t bother with shared hosting plans or other types of web hosting.
One thing we learned when reviewing web hosting services is that reading the fine print is important, especially if you want to keep prices low. Many web hosts have multiple tiers of service, with introductory features in starter packages and extended offerings in more expensive packages. Don’t be swayed by big policies touting monthly fees: make sure a particular tier actually offers what you need.
Some web hosts charge extra for tools you might use to design your website. Other hosts require you to commit to a three-year hosting contract in order to get that low monthly price. Or the price is an introductory price, and after a month you will come back to a higher price. Until you know what features you need and how fast you plan to grow, don’t commit to annual plans.
Uptime is important, even with a cheap host
The aforementioned features are valuable to the web hosting experience, but none match the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, customers or clients will not be able to find you or access your products or services. Every rejected customer is a lost potential sale and unmonetized traffic.
Recommended by our editors
We’ve added uptime monitoring to our review process, and the results show that most web hosts do a great job of keeping sites up and running. Even though they excel in all other facets of hosting, the services with uptime issues cannot be called the best services.
You don’t need to DIY
If your main goal is a cheap service and your needs are modest, you have an alternative to the web hosts listed in this table: website builders. For those who just want to look good without any extras – a brochure site, for example – you can skip traditional web hosting and check out website builder services, such as Gator and Wix.
If you don’t care about having your own domain and don’t want to do a lot of behind-the-scenes tweaks, you really should consider one of these online website builders, as they allow you to build amazingly attractive yet functional ones hosted under their domains. Plus, these services can be incredibly cheap: some offer free plans, though that usually means you’ll have branding on your site for the website builder’s company. You can often pay to get your own domain, which usually removes branding as well. But if you need some control over your domain and need a little more functionality, web hosting is the way to go.
Solid and affordable hosting
Not all cheap web hosts are created equal. For example, some have data transfer allowance and storage caps that are worth investigating. Also read the fine print for unlimited offers, as sometimes there are pitfalls that might surprise you later. Other services limit the apps you can use.
The web host you choose depends entirely on how you plan to use it and your budget. If you’re ready to pick out a great web hosting service that’s also cheap, click the links in the table below to check out our in-depth reviews of the best names in the space.
If you’re new to the web hosting game, you should also check out our introductions, 10 Simple But Powerful SEO Tips To Increase Traffic To Your Website, 5 Things You Need To Know Before Signing Up For Web Hosting, and Linux versus Windows: how to choose the best server operating system for your website.