There were 4,000 blog posts published each minute, about 600 million blogs and over 30 million people actively blogging twice a month in 2020 alone. Cheap web hosting is one way to free up extra dollars and put more money on digital marketing.
I remember being in a local store and in a lighthearted way asked for a “cheap” beverage type. The manager kindly clarified for me and other patrons “not cheap… (call it) inexpensive.”
Being cheap doesn’t mean bad quality….
In this guide, I will show you free and low-cost solutions that are fully functional, safe, and everything you need to accomplish your goals. The technologies used can be expanded as your traffic grows.
In this case, getting a “cheap” provider may be the optimum choice for your project plan. Below are the top-best free and cheap hosting providers. Ready? Let’s go!
- Want your company or services to be considered in our website? Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We’ve also featured the best WordPress hosting providers and best Cloud hosting services.
Best Cheap Hosting Providers: Summary
- Bluehost – Shared Plans Starts at $2.75/mo
- Siteground – Shared Plans Starts at $6.99/mo
- iPage – Shared Plans Starts at $1.99/mo
- AwardSpace – Free
- InfinityFree – Free
- ByeThost – Free
BlueHost Web Hosting – Shared Plans Starts at $2.75/mo
Bluehost has a focus on supporting WordPress sites and they are among the top 20 largest hosting providers in the United States. Their cheapest plan starts at $2.95 a month and it includes:
- 1 Website
- Free SSL Certificate
- 50 GB SSD Storage
- Free Domain for 1 Year
- 5 Parked Domains
- 25 Subdomains
- $200 Marketing Credit
Over 2 million domains are hosted by in-house servers that are part of a 50,000 square foot facility in Provo, UT. And after all, there are a lot of smarty pants computer people in Utah.back to menu ↑
Siteground Web Hosting – Shared Plans Starts at $6.99/mo
When I worked on a private blog network years ago I had over thirty websites spread out on several hosting providers. Siteground was one of the my providers back then and still have a site hosted with them.
One feature that I noticed this time around was the speed of my site. They have adjusted their hosting environment in a way that makes things noticeably speedy.
If you are not fully committed to Siteground, you can create a temporary domain, build a site on it, and change the domain name whenever is ready to go live.
For one website @ $6.99/mo. You can get the following:
- 10 GB Web Space
- 10,000 Visits Monthly
- Unmetered Traffic
- Free SSL
- Daily Backup
- Free CDN
- Free Email
- Managed WordPress
Although you could find cheaper deal, we have added SiteGround here because of the overall value, usability, and performance.
I currently have their “Grow Big” plan which is the next step up. For $5.95 per month you will get unlimited websites, extra storage and all the freebies listed above.
SiteGround also recognizes the popularity of WordPress sites, so they are built a robust technology to cater for WordPress users.back to menu ↑
iPage Web Hosting – Shared Plans Starts at $1.99/mo
I have tested several deals in the past until then I visited iPage. Do you know what happened when I changed my term from 36 months to 12 months?
The price of $2.99 per month stayed the same! Well played IPage, well played.
But wait, there’s more! I also ordered a snazzy free domain registration and shiny free ssl certificate. Did I mention domain privacy for $10? This is a great deal if you ask me.
In their basic plan, you will get hosting for 1 year, free domain registration, domain privacy for malware and virus protection, and a free “Let’s Encrypt SSL” certificate. This is all for under $50.00 ($45.87).
To ensure you that iPage, they were founded in 1998 and hosts over 1 million websites! They also offer their users free Google and Bing coupons with all of their web hosting plans.back to menu ↑
In 2010, I came across AwardSpace when I was trying to find the best free hosting services. I didn’t know anything about WordPress back then so I found a free HTML website-theme.
A great feature of AwardSpace is their “ad-free” hosting. You do not have to worry about advertisements slowing down your website. Under the umbrella of their free plan, you can also get a free email account email@example.com.
Did you notice the .dx.am? You can also get a free domain with the free hosting, but your (free) domain would end in “.dx.am”.
AwardSpace owns the domain dx.am and allows free or temporary customer domains to be part of their domain. The .am is actually the internet country code for Armenia.
A cPanel is included in free hosting plans. The control or cPanel is simply a dashboard that allows you to more easily manage your site. Without it you would have to be a bit techy and have extra time on your hands.
For a recent project in 2020, I signed up for AwardSpace’s basic plan and this provided me with a cost-effective solution for hosting two websites. It has been great so far, so I recommend signing up!
- Totally free
- Free domain and email address
- Great for website development
- Free hosting has limited features and will need upgrade when traffic increases
- Their main data center is in Bulgaria, Europe (but still super-fast)
- Control panel may be mildly confusing for newbies
InfinityFree claims they will be around for a long time, but the age of the company is difficult to ascertain. I think they are somewhat new and are sponsored by ifastnet.com (another hosting provider).
I have added them in this list because they offer a ton of freebies and they have 300,000 clients, which is surprisingly good for a fairly new hosting service company. Here’s what they offer:
- Free hosting
- Free SSL Certificate (a nice freebie indeed)
- 10 email accounts
- Up to 400 websites
- Unlimited subdomains
- Unlimited Bandwidth*
- Unlimited Storage*
*Although they do not restrict bandwidth and storage, you will get a warning if you go over the server capacity. You might want to upgrade as your traffic increases.
So, what is the downside? If you are just starting out or running a small site this option is totally doable. However, the process capacity is understandably limited, and they do not have the same level of customer support as other (even free) providers.
You can always switch to a higher tier of hosting for the additional support. In addition, their SSL certificates appear to be self-signed which is mildly concerning. If you are not collecting tons of data or doing financial transactions, it’s not a big deal.
- Lots of free things and value
- Free SSL (so your site appears “trusted”)
- Their platform had independent speed tests and passed with flying colors
- Although bandwidth and storage are “unlimited”, there’s still a limit capacity
- Self-signed SSL means a very advanced attack may breach site data
- Small web hosting company and it may lack infrastructure benefits
Byethost is a U.S based provider that claims to have the largest and fastest network dedicated solely to free hosting.
As we draw close to the end of the first three totally free hosts, I wanted to mention a few things about free vs paid web hosting service.
It costs around $17.00 to register a domain name. Yes, some free hosting providers will give you a free domain, but it will have a yoursite.mx.am or wordpress.yoursite or similar extension rather than a top-level domain ending such as .com, .net., or .org.
That’s not too bad considering you can get a free domain and hosting and email for testing, development, or full-fledged personal and business use. With Byethost, you can save money compared to other web hosting services.
Your domain privacy will cost around $13.00, annually. Your personal information like address and phone number can be private. This is free with Byethost.
Many web hosts allow you to create a WordPress site, which is okay. However, with a free hosting like Byethost, you don’t have to reply on site builders like Wix and Weebly. Your site will heavily use their software and applications, which always seem slow and clunky.
I recommend Byethost if you want to stay away from site builders like Wix and Weebly. With that said, here’s some pros and cons of Byethost.
- Totally ad free hosting, free webmail account
- U.S based network, 24/7 support, unlimited addon domains
- They offer a special account type where you can become a hosting provider
- Although bandwidth and storage are “unlimited” you can reach a limit eventually
- As with any free hosting you will need to upgrade if traffic or business heats up
- Smaller than some other providers you may lack infrastructure benefits
7 Cheap Hosting Service Tips
Too often people get very confused in picking the right web hosting for their personal and business site. Here are 5 tips you should consider based on my past experience.
There are often promotional deals both online and on the site itself. I have snagged a few “promo codes” and gotten a domain name for .99 cents or 30% off an entire order. However, don’t spend too long trying to find these, the site usually offers their own discounts.
You get what you paid for
Web hosting companies there to serve you and you are paying for the product. There are several hosting providers that offer similar value and technology. If you feel less than satisfied, you can easily switch providers or obtain a refund within a 30 day of the purchase date. In other words, you are not obligated to continue using their service.
Create a long-term strategy plan
Picking the right web hosting company is similar to building up a business. You must have a long-term plan that mitigates any future issues and risks. For instance, if your site has lots of images, it will show down the performance of your website.
Does it make sense to get a mid-level sort of plan rather the cheapest plan available? The answer is yes.
Does it make sense to buy a 3-year web hosting plan versus a 1-year plan? Probably. You can save more money by choosing a 72-month option.
Privacy and security certificate is important
Do you see the little lock icon in the address bar of your browser? This will tell the user if your site is trusted or not.
An SSL certificate tells Google the site is encrypted/safer than a site with no SSL. This isn’t a huge deal, but it is a confirmed ranking factor, a site with SSL is slightly favored in the search engines.
Your privacy is important. You can choose to make your domain ownership private by purchasing “privacy”.
Many hosting offers will include $100 dollar Google and Bing ad credits ($200 total). This often translates to you paying $25 on pay per click ads and then the $100 credit kicks in – giving you $125 worth of ads for $25.
Will your visitors be mostly U.S traffic?
Although most web hosting companies consider international visitors, you have to consider where your site will be hosted. Some hosting companies do not have that option.
What is the site for?
Are you a photographer? Will the site have lots of audio or video? Will it be a simple page with an emphasis on speed? You have to consider whether your site will be image heavy or not. The more images you have on your server, your website performance will suffer.back to menu ↑
Top hosting questions before choosing a plan
There are times when a hosting plan will not include technical support. There are many instances when you need a little help and time is of the essence. It is very valuable to be able to get assistance from a tech person as quickly as possible.
You will notice most companies with a claim of %99.9 uptime. However, this is not always the case. And some plans will have downtime included as part of their package.
This is somewhat rare but some super free hosting plans will want to put their ads on your site.
On a personal level, this could be you easily switching to a more robust plan when needed and without a lot of hassle or price change. There are some hosting options for startups that will allow you to scale and it would automatically increase storage & bandwidth as your site grows.
The SSL makes your site safer and helps with overall SEO. It’s a must have.
If you plan on adding multiple domains in your primary account, make sure they have this option. This will allow you to add as many domains for your website.