Cheap web hosting is awesome.
If you're looking for something quick and easy to setup for a new site, business or project then budget web hosting is just the ticket. Need I say more?
Is cheap web hosting a good idea?
Okay, okay. Here's why you should go for the cheapest web hosting possible when you're just starting out:
- It's cheap! Who knew cheap web hosting would be cheap, right? You don't wanna be investing huge chunks of cash if it's a side venture or simple site with minimal (less than 2,000 visitors per day) traffic. Any more than $4 a month and you're over paying. Capiche?
- They are stupidly competitive. The world of web hosting is cut throat and companies are competing feverishly to get their grubby mitts on your cash. This works to your advantage because they offer huge amounts of bandwidth, databases, and web space to entice you in.
- It's beginner friendly. If you're just starting out words like a VPS or dedicated server might make less sense to you than that awesome Spanish radio station your car keeps tuning in to. For first time site owners, easy is always the best option. Anything else is no bueno, señor.
- You can upgrade later. If your beloved site does go gangbusters and you find the cheap hosting isn't keeping it then you can upgrade easily anyway. Contrary to popular belief, moving a site from one host an other isn't actually that difficult. Expect a post on that soon.
- You get support. When I first got one of those pesky VPS (virtual private servers) I didn't realise that support wasn't included. If the site ever crashed (which it did) I was on my own in the trenches taking grenades. Shared hosting comes with support included. A definite plus for noobs.
But isn't shared hosting less reliable? Will my site crash?
Well, I've been building sites for years and I've built them up to 1000s of daily visitors before I eventually switched to a more powerful hosting plan.
Even when I did switch it was more because I felt I should rather than because I needed to. I'm weird like that.
In summary: cheap web hosting is epic. It gets you online quickly and lets you build your site for virtually nothing until you have decent web traffic – at which point you can migrate easily if necessary. No-brainer, IMO.
Want some recommendations for cheap web hosting? I got you covered.
Cheap Web Hosting Reviews
As you can imagine, I've splashed the cash on dozens of web hosting companies over the years. Some have been amazing and I still rely on them today, others have sold out, gone under or just plain sucked.
Here are the budget web hosting plans that I rely on. Solid as a rock.
I'll be honest. BlueHost is one of the only “big boy” hosting companies I haven't actually used. Maybe it's because their site looks like it belongs back in 1999. What can I say? I'm a web design elitist.
Edit: I now am a customer of Bluehost and I'm very happy with them, too. Read my Bluehost review for more information. I now host this site with Bluehost
Still, they come highly recommended by top companies like WordPress. They make the software that powers about 20% of the web so they know a thing or two about hosting. From just $2.95 per month, with all the usual unlimited features you expect of hosting nowadays, they're a pretty dependable choice.
Highly rated hosting! Not many cheap web hosting options come with an endorsement from a Goliath like WordPress & WordPress know their stuff. Big time.
Web Hosting Hub.
At $3.95 a month, Web Hosting Hub is an absolute bargain. For less than a cup of coffee (Starbucks is daylight robbery, people!) you'll get incredible web hosting and all of this good stuff:
- Free domain name for new customers.
- Unlimited everything! (disk space, bandwidth, databases, awesomeness)
- Help available to you 24/7.
- $150 advertising vouchers for Google.
- 90 day money back guarantee.
By the way, that $3.95 is a bit of a discount exclusively to Site Beginner readers. You're welcome.
Top hosting pick! My #1 pick for anybody starting out is definitely Web Hosting Hub. The deal is awesome, the price is right, and the support staff are great if you need them.
InMotion are actually the parent company of the Web Hosting Hub brand above. They are a little more business focused and are perfect for when you need a little more oomph. Site Beginner is actually hosting on one of their VPS servers and I am very happy with the service. (They didn't pay me to say that either!)
What I really love about InMotion is that they take a regular backup of your account. As someone who has experimented on live sites and lost a ton of work in the process this is worth its weight in gold. Gold, I tells ya!
The hosting I use! Did I mention I use InMotion Hosting for Site Beginner? Cool. You get incredibly affordable business class hosting, from a solid company, and the back up thing is truly epic. What more could you want?
I recommend both the $5.95 Launch package or their VPS-2000 if you want lightening quick performance. Like me.
I've been with HostGator for 5 years. They are one of the most dependable, well known web hosting companies on the web. Their support staff always hook me up when I inevitably break something (although you do have to pay for backup restores on shared hosting) and if you ever need to get help quickly their Twitter support is great.
They are slightly more expensive than other hosting companies though and I personally would always recommend the cheaper alternatives for most people because there isn't much difference between any shared hosting. Still, they are awesome if you want a well known brand.
Reliable hosting! They don't come much more reliable than HostGator. With almost 10 million sites hosted with them, they kinda know what they are doing.
I've had their Baby plan for 5 years and never had a single problem with the service. I also had a VPS with them before InMotion Hosting and I have to say both the speed of the site and the support was incredible.
JustHost offer absolutely stupidly cheap web hosting. At $3.25 a month, it's one of the lowest prices on the web. The problem? I've had some down time (when my site was unavailable) and for most people this can cause a huge loss of revenue, reputation, branding and all that good stuff.
I always say that cheaper is better, but if that comes at the expense of performance and the site, ya know, actually being available, it's not worth it.
I still use them for my play sites and test sites, but I don't think I'd use them for a serious website. Sorry JustHost.
Dirt cheap hosting! Looking for bargain basement web hosting and not fussed about your site crashing every now and then? JustHost might be just the ticket.
Would you believe me if I told you there was a host that cheaper than JustHost? Enter GoDaddy. You might know them from their Superbowl ads. Like the one where the geek makes out with Bar Refaeli. The supermodel.
Anyway, they have a plan that is $2.99 a month. It's for one domain only whereas all the ones I mentioned so far are unlimited domains but it IS cheap. My problem is that their admin interface is confusing, riddled with upsells and just a minefield to navigate.
Cheap but confusing! If you only need the one website and don't mind an admin panel that takes 5x as long to navigate than with other hosting then GoDaddy is the company for you.
Bonus points if you like mildly sexist advertising and Dana Patrick greeting you on the homepage when you visit.
Mediatemple is the hosting choice for hipsters. Dig it?
It's more expensive than your standard hosting, starting at $20 a month, but if your site gets lots of traffic and/or crashes a lot it could be a step up.
The big sell with Mediatemple is that your site is on a grid, so the theory goes that if you get a spike of traffic, the thousand servers your hosting is spread across will cover it.
I haven't used the Grid-Service since 2008 but whenever I got massive traffic spikes of 20,000-50,000 visits in a day (Sigh. I miss Digg.) it definitely did not handle it. No sir.
Their VPS, which they call a Dedicated Virtual, is much more robust. Problem is, they are more expensive than the competition and their servers are unmanaged – which means you have to do all the techy server admin stuff. I'll stick to InMotion Hosting or HostGator, thanks.
Hipster hosting! All the cool kids use Mediatemple. Apparently.
And that, dear reader, is a run down of the cheap web hosting options available to you. Like Morpheus with Neo in the Matrix, I can only show you the door. You have to walk through it.
Any questions about hosting you can comment, tweet or contact me. Always happy to help a budding website builder.
Until next time.