Best Cheap Web Hosting

Can Cheap Web Hosting Live Up To Premium Hosting Standards?

last updated

May 21, 2020

written by

Laura Hemmington

I’ve tested over 40 hosting providers and reviewed them in detail – here is my guide to the 5 best cheap web hosting providers in 2020.

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Cheap web hosting (or budget hosting) is very popular within the hosting market. In fact, it’s very common for a lot of people to host their websites at a fraction of the cost of what they used to, without breaking the bank or even host them for free.

Shared web hosting is a great step into the online world. It tends to be cheaper than other types of web hosting, like WordPress hosting or VPS hosting, and can be very reliable for most medium-sized websites.

Unfortunately, when people mention the term cheap web hosting, it can put people off. Why? Well, because cheap makes a service sound… cheap, and gives off the vibe it’s not going to be as good as a premium service.

Admittedly, that can sometimes be the case. However, I’m here to show you that there are decent cheap web hosting providers out there. I’ve made it my mission in life to give honest reviews and accounts of my experiences.

I’ve signed up for the best cheap hosting providers to give you the low-down on:

  • Pros & Cons
  • Overview of each best cheap hosting provider
  • Speed & Performance
  • Pricing
  • Features
I’m not here to tell you which web host you should sign up for, I’m here to help and to hopefully guide you towards the best cheap hosting, saving you time (and a lot of money).

recommended

Best all-round cheap web host

Best cheap web host for resources

also great

Best cheap web host for speed and performance

Best cheap web host for affordability

Best cheap web host for WordPress

Continue reading to find out more about my recommended cheap web hosts, where I answer common questions and hope to help you in your cheap web hosting journey.

Let’s make a start…

1. DreamHost

Speed & Performance

4.5/5

Pricing

3.5/5

Features

4/5

DreamHost Pros:

  • Free domain for 1 year
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • 97-day money-back guarantee

DreamHost Cons:

  • Doesn't use cPanel

Read our full review

If you’re searching for cheap web hosting, I’m going to assume price is one of your main concerns. If that is the case, DreamHost is my top pick for the best cheap web host. Prices start from just $2.59 per month (limited time offer), offering unlimited storage and bandwidth, generous features, and 100% uptime guarantee. You’re not going to find much better than that if you searched for it yourself!

Speed & Performance

DreamHost is one of the few web hosts that offer a 100% uptime guarantee. That means their SLAs guarantee your website will be online all of the time. That’s a pretty big promise so as you can imagine I was keen to test it out and see if the proof was in the pudding.

I signed up for DreamHost’s Starter shared plan which is currently on offer at $2.59 per month. Once I set my website up and published it, I started monitoring it using my UptimeRobot account. This would allow me to check the actual uptime status of the website at regular intervals.

DreamHost kept to their promise without fail. In the last 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days, my uptime has been 100%. Since monitoring my website, I haven’t experienced any downtime. When looking for a web host, you expect a solid uptime, but this is off the charts.

The server response time was also amazing; 141.32ms in the last 24 hours, which is well below the average, meaning my website is performing in the top 20% of all websites in terms of speed. That’s honestly incredible. Can you see why I recommend DreamHost now?

When I monitor my website’s performance, I think it’s important to analyse results across multiple platforms. I copied my website’s URL across to Bitcatcha which provides server response speed results in real-time. As you can see, the results were insanely good – I don’t think it’s possible to get better than that! Let me remind you, this is DreamHost’s Starter shared hosting package, making it the best cheap web host on our panel.

Pricing

Starter Unlimited
Websites 1 Unlimited
Domain Free Free
Traffic Unmetered Unmetered
WordPress Pre-installed Pre-installed
Free Automated WordPress migrations Included Included
WP Website Builder Included Included
Storage 50GB Unlimited
Free SSL Included Included
Price $2.59/mo $3.95/mo

DreamHost has two shared hosting plans; Starter and Unlimited. The Starter plan is currently on offer at $2.59 per month. Both plans include a free domain, unmetered traffic, WP website builder, and a free SSL certificate.

Starter: Ideal for small to medium-sized websites, personal websites, and blogs. All packages come with a pre-installed version of WordPress as well as WP website builder, which is perfect for beginners.

Unlimited: A solid choice for medium-sized websites or small businesses who want to grow their website. You’ll get unlimited storage and you can host unlimited websites, so it’s a great stepping stone before investing in Cloud or VPS hosting.

Features

One of the many reasons why I highly recommend DreamHost is because of the number of features you get on their cheap shared hosting plans. Not only that, but you get a 97-day money-back guarantee, which means you can host your website risk-free if you change your mind.

Let’s take a look at some of DreamHost’s awesome features not to be missed:

  • Uptime: We already know that DreamHost’s uptime is outstanding, but it needs another mention because they are one of the few hosts that offer a 100% uptime guarantee
  • Free Migration: If you already have a WordPress website hosted elsewhere, you can migrate it to DreamHost free of charge. The best part is that they’ll do all the legwork for you.
  • Free Domain: You’ll get a free domain for 1 year with DreamHost’s shared hosting plans. On top of that, you’ll also get free domain privacy & protection which is an absolute steal.
  • Control Panel: DreamHost’s control panel lets you access all of your hosting needs in one place. You can manage your web hosting, domain names, 1-click installs, and SSL certificates easily.
  • Automated Backups: DreamHost creates daily automated backups for you so you don’t have to worry about a thing. 

DreamHost Pros:

  • Free domain for 1 year
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • 97-day money-back guarantee

DreamHost Cons:

  • Doesn't use cPanel

2. HostGator

Speed & Performance

4/5

Pricing

4/5

Features

3.5/5

HostGator Pros:

  • Lots of promotions and discounts
  • Reliable web hosting
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth

HostGator Cons:

  • No free domain
  • Only able to host 1 website on cheapest plan

Read our full review

HostGator regularly has discounts and promotions running, which often makes it one of the best cheap hosting providers around. Currently, they have a limited time offer making their Hatchling plan just $2.08 per month. HostGator have been around the block, quite a few times. You may recognize them for their Alligator logo and tongue-in-cheek advertising, but they’re also popular for their solid web hosting efforts.

Speed & Performance

HostGator offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which isn’t a patch on DreamHost’s 100% uptime guarantee. However, it’s still good and means HostGator have confidence in their ability to provide a reliable service. They also offer a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, so if you do experience any issues or don’t like their services, you can get your money back.

HostGator’s uptime results were absolutely stunning, with 100% across the last 30 days. They’ve smashed their uptime guarantee of 99.9%, so I’ll keep monitoring my website with them to make sure this stays consistent.

On a bit of a downer, my server’s response time was 1206.69ms on average during the last 24 hours. I can see some obvious spikes so I wonder if something was negatively affecting the server.

Weirdly, the best server response time was in London, with a cracking 8ms response time. In the U.S. (E) the response time was 83ms (under 0.1 seconds), and the U.S. (W) was 144ms. Although my website audience and most of my traffic will be coming from the U.S., these are still really good results.

Pricing

 HatchlingBabyBusiness
Domains Allowed1UnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
StorageUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYes
Free Dedicated IPNoNoYes
FTP AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
POP3 AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
cPanelYesYesYes
Price$2.75/mo$3.95/mo$5.95/mo

HostGator comes second place in my best cheap web hosting reviews because they’re incredibly good value for money. All plans come with unlimited storage space and bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and access to cPanel.

Hatchling: With 1 domain allowed, the Hatchling plan is suitable for starter websites, personal websites, or small blogs. You’ll have access to cPanel so you can manage your hosting account in one place and take advantage of 1-click installations.

Baby: The Baby plan is ideal for small to medium-sized websites or small businesses. You’ll get unlimited domains, and plenty of resources to grow your website with.

Business: If you’re looking to sell online, the Business plan will be a great choice. You’ll get all the benefits from the Baby plan as well as a free dedicated IP and other benefits.

Features

I firmly believe that HostGator are very generous with their resources and features. Some cheap web hosts limit these so it encourages you to upgrade or take out a more premium plan. Not with HostGator; they try and make everything fair, offering all their great benefits to all their customers.

Here are some of my favourite HostGator features:

  • Support: HostGator’s support is 24/7/365 including live chat and a toll-free number. You can contact them anytime, meaning if you have an issue in the middle of the night, you can hopefully get it resolved.
  • Website Builder: If you haven’t yet created a website, you can make use of HostGator’s free website builder that comes with all of their shared plans.
  • 1-Click Installs: Many people use 1-click installs to get their website’s off the ground. For example, when you take hosting out with HostGator, you can install WordPress for free.
  • Advertising: All of HostGator’s shared hosting plans include $100 Google Adwords credits and $100 Bing credits absolutely free. A great incentive to start marketing your website and growing your business.

HostGator Pros:

  • Lots of promotions and discounts
  • Reliable web hosting
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth

HostGator Cons:

  • No free domain
  • Only able to host 1 website on cheapest plan

3. SiteGround

Speed & Performance

4.5/5

Pricing

3/5

Features

4/5

SiteGround Pros:

  • Awesome uptime and performance
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • Multiple data centers worldwide

SiteGround Cons:

  • Limited storage
  • No free domain

Read our full review

SiteGround is well known for providing a variety of web hosting services which offer superb performance and speeds. Much of this is down to SiteGround’s in-house technologies and software that they have developed themselves. In addition, SiteGround offer incredibly good value for money hosting from just $3.95 per month. Whilst it’s not the cheapest host on my review list, it is still very affordable and your website will perform awesomely.

Speed & Performance

SiteGround’s 99.9% uptime guarantee means that if your website’s uptime drops below this figure, they’ll award you credits which can be applied to your account. It’s very generous and shows confidence in their ability to provide a stable and reliable service.

I signed up for SiteGround’s StartUp plan as I was intrigued to find out whether their boasted high speeds were only available on the more expensive plans. I felt this would prove the point one way or another. I monitored my site with UptimeRobot to get the following results.

If I’m being honest with you, I kind of expected great results from SiteGround. In the last 30 days, my website’s uptime has been 100%, and in the time I’ve been monitoring them, I’ve not had a single second of downtime – incredible work!

On top of this awesome result, SiteGround’s server response time was brilliant too, averaging 222.21ms in the last 24 hours. There were a few spikes in server response time as you can see from the graph, but this didn’t affect how quick my server was.

When I checked my website’s URL against Bitcatcha’s server response tool, I was impressed to see my server speeds with SiteGround were consistently good. If you’re looking for a cheap web host that also offers incredible performance and speeds, who won’t let you down, I can highly recommend SiteGround.

Pricing

 StartUpGrowBigGoGeek
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
Storage10GB20GB30GB
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYes
Daily BackupYesYesYes
Free CDNYesYesYes
Free EmailYesYesYes
WP-CLI and SSHYesYesYes
DatabasesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Dynamic CachingNoYesYes
On-demand backup copiesNoYesYes
Free Site TransferNoYesYes
StagingNoYesYes
CollaboratorsNoYesYes
GitNoNoYes
White-label clientsNoNoYes
SupportStandardStandardPriority
Price$3.95/mo$5.95/mo$11.95/mo

SiteGround isn’t the cheapest web host, which is why they aren’t at the top of this review list, however, they are still very reasonably priced. Their StartUp plan is only $3.95 per month, offering great features and resources.

StartUp: Ideal for personal websites, blogs, or even small businesses looking to get their foot in the door. There are plenty of resources and features suitable for beginners.

GrowBig: If you expect your website to reach up to 25,000 visitors per month, GrowBig is ideal for budding business owners and medium-sized websites.

GoGeek: Online stores will benefit greatly from SiteGround’s insane performance and speeds, as well as more storage, priority support, and white-label clients.

Features

SiteGround is a solid cheap web host, and are also recommended by WordPress. I’d, therefore, suggest if you’re looking for an affordable way to host your WordPress website, check out SiteGround.

I mentioned they had some cool in-house features, so let’s check some of them out:

  • Managed WordPress: WordPress will automatically be installed for you if requested, along with automatic core updates, and expert WordPress support
  • Daily Backups: SiteGround runs daily backups of your website, and store up to 30 of them. This is a great fallback if anything goes wrong with your website.
  • SG Optimizer: One of SiteGround’s own WordPress plugins, SG Optimizer helps to optimize your WordPress website to get the best performance and speeds from it.
  • SG SuperCacher: SiteGround’s SuperCacher has multiple layers of caching, including Static Cache, Dynamic Cache and Memcached

SiteGround Pros:

  • Awesome uptime and performance
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • Multiple data centers worldwide

SiteGround Cons:

  • Limited storage
  • No free domain

4. Hostinger

Speed & Performance

3/5

Pricing

5/5

Features

3/5

Hostinger Pros:

  • Very cheap web hosting
  • Generous features
  • Good uptime

Hostinger Cons:

  • Lots of limitations on cheapest plan

Read our full review

Hostinger has dabbled in the cheap web hosting market since 2004. They are now receiving over 15,000 new sign-ups every day and serve reliable web hosting to millions of customers. They are famously known for their cheap web hosting, costing just $0.99 per month which is some of the cheapest web hosting I’ve ever come across.

Speed & Performance

Hostinger offers their customers a 99.9% uptime guarantee as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like their services. Hostinger is one of the few cheap web hosts that are really open and honest about their server status, to the point you can see how all of their servers are performing.

After signing up to Hostinger’s incredible $0.99 plan, I started monitoring my WordPress website with UptimeRobot. I wasn’t too sure what to expect from such a cheap web host, so it was a gambling game for me. 

Hostinger’s uptime results for the last 30 days were great. This is actually a lot better than I was expecting so I’m really pleased with this. However, I did notice that the latest downtime recorded lasted for 26 minutes which is quite a long period of time. 

I decided to take a deeper look at my website’s previous downtime and was less than impressed. Whilst the last 30 days have been great, there have been numerous occasions where my website’s downtime has lasted more than 20 minutes.

On the plus side, Hostinger did perform very well in my server response time tests. With UptimeRobot, the average response time in the last 24 hours was just over 500ms, and with Bitcatcha, U.S. (W) was 14ms and U.S. (E) was 88ms. 

Pricing

 SinglePremiumBusiness
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
Bandwidth100GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Email accounts1UnlimitedUnlimited
99.9% uptimeYesYesYes
Processing Powerx1x2x4
BackupsNoWeeklyDaily
Free SSLYesYesYes
Free domainNoYesYes
Price$0.99/mo$2.89/mo$3.99/mo

Hostinger’s pricing plans start from a mere $0.99 per month making it very cheap web hosting. Whilst Hostinger are the cheapest host in this list, they haven’t nabbed the number one spot because their resources and performance just aren’t quite up to scratch compared to the other hosts.

Single: Hostinger’s Single plan is suitable if you want to host one small or personal website, such as a blog. 

Premium: If you want to grow your existing website website or set up a new small to medium sized website or small business, the Premium plan is ideal.

Business: When you’re ready to start selling online, Hostinger’s Business plan comes into play. With unlimited resources and 4x processing power and memory, it’s definitely the best around. 

Features

Hostinger’s pricing plans are incredibly affordable, but that doesn’t mean they scrimp on features. In fact, I think a lot of their features are comparable to other cheap web hosts, but maybe don’t lack that last bit of oomph to push them higher in my review rankings.

Here are some of Hostinger’s finest features:

  • Website Builder: Sign up to any of Hostinger’s shared hosting plans and get 1 month free with their website builder. Its drag and drop functionality makes it easy to create a website.
  • WordPress Optimized: Hostinger is optimized for WordPress, so you’ll be able to host a WordPress site with faster speeds and better performance than with other shared hosting.
  • Free SSL: All of Hostinger’s shared hosting plans include a free SSL certificate which means your website will look professional, rank higher for SEO, and protect your customers’ data.

Hostinger Pros:

  • Very cheap web hosting
  • Generous features
  • Good uptime

Hostinger Cons:

  • Lots of limitation on cheapest plan

5. BlueHost

Speed & Performance

4.5/5

Pricing

3/5

Features

3/5

BlueHost Pros:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 100% uptime

BlueHost Cons:

  • Only 50GB storage on lowest plan

Read our full review

BlueHost is another web host recommended by WordPress, offering cheap shared hosting from just $2.95 per month. BlueHost has been at the hosting game for a long time, and are well known for their reliability and affordable prices. However, once it comes to renewal, things change a little at prices hike up to $7.99 per month, on top of the add-ons and extras they try and include at checkout.

Speed & Performance

Unfortunately, BlueHost doesn’t have an uptime guarantee. When I come across a host without any SLAs it does worry me quite a lot. However, BlueHost are a well-known provider and they’ve been around for years, so there must be a reason for this.

I signed up for their Basic plan and started monitoring my website with UptimeRobot. I installed a clean install of WordPress, so I hadn’t optimized my website at all.

Despite not offering an uptime guarantee, my website with BlueHost had 100% uptime over the last 30 days. I do wonder why BlueHost still hasn’t got on board with an uptime guarantee, but their customers obviously love them, and I can see why.

BlueHost’s server response time was solid too, averaging out at just 219.75ms over the past 24 hours. That’s below average in terms of response speed, which means my website would be considered a fast website – a great result, especially with a clean WordPress install.

I ran my website’s URL through Bitcatcha to see real-time data on BlueHost’s server response time. My website visitors are based in the U.S. so it was great to see these were some of the lowest response times recorded at just 46ms and 30ms. Worldwide, the results were impressive, with the highest response time in Bangalore at 255ms.

Pricing

 BasicPlusChoice PlusPro
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage50GB SSDUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYes

Yes

Yes

Yes
PerformanceStandardStandardStandardHigh
Subdomains25UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SpamExpertsNoYesYesYes
Domain Privacy + ProtectionNoNoYesYes
Price$2.95/mo$5.45/mo$5.45/mo$13.95/mo

BlueHost’s pricing is very reasonable if you’re in your first term, however, once renewal arrives, prices soar and will cost you over double what you paid to begin with. BlueHost is a great host at the start, but I wouldn’t rush to recommend renewing with them if you’re after cheap hosting.

Basic: The Basic plan is ideal for small websites or personal blogs as you can only host 1 website. There’s limited storage compared to other plans, but 50GB should still be plenty.

Choice: The main difference with the Choice plan is that you now have unlimited storage and subdomains, as well as SpamExperts. These are great tools if you want your medium-sized business to succeed.

Choice Plus: Because the Choice Plus is the same price as the Choice plan, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to choose it. You’ll get domain privacy and protection for free.

Pro: When you’re ready to create an online store or grow your medium to large websites, the Pro plan can support your needs, as well as offering high performance and a dedicated IP.

Features

BlueHost’s features are somewhat lacking, mainly because they don’t really offer anything out of this world, or much different to any other web host. However, if you’re not looking for something fancy, their web hosting is very decent.

Some of BlueHost’s best features include:

Marketing Credits: U.S. and Canadian users will be able to enjoy $100 marketing credits for Microsoft Advertising and $100 for Google Ads.

Free SSL: All shared hosting customers will receive a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate to keep your site secure.

Resource protection: If you exceed your allocated resources, BlueHost will move you across to an isolated server so you don’t affect other shared users or your own website.

Add-ons: BlueHost certainly like their add-ons, as they try and include them at checkout. However, some of them may be of genuine interest to you so it’s worth checking them out.

BlueHost Pros:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 100% uptime

BlueHost Cons:

  • Only 50GB storage on lowest plan
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Frequently Asked Questions...

Here are some of the most common questions we receive about web hosting

Shared hosting refers to the most common type of web hosting. Customers share a server with lots of other people, including the resources on the server. Shared servers are suitable for small to medium sized websites, personal websites, and blogs.

The most popular types of web hosting include shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, Cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting. Each type of hosting is suitable for different purposes and level of skill.

In order to move your website from one web host to another, you’ll need to migrate or transfer your website’s files. Lots of web hosts offer this service for free, though some do charge. You’ll need a file transfer tool, like FileZilla, to securely move your files across.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in that customers still share a server with others, but there are fewer people sharing the resources. 

VPS hosting is suitable for people who are seeking better performance and reliability from their web hosting. You won’t share as many resources as you would with shared hosting, so servers tend to be faster and more stable, which is ideal for small businesses.

VPS hosting is ideal for small businesses or websites that receive medium traffic. Websites with higher traffic tend to benefit from VPS hosting more than shared hosting due to more resources being available.

Cloud hosting and VPS hosting are very similar. However, the main difference is that Cloud hosting uses multiple servers to spread resources and customers across, as opposed to using just one server which is the case with VPS hosting.

Personally, I believe it’s a sign of a great web host if they offer an uptime guarantee. Granted, not all hosts who offer an uptime guarantee stick to their SLAs, but it often shows confidence in their ability to provide a good service. If you want reassurance that your website will be online more than offline, an uptime guarantee is essential.

Technically anyone can rent a dedicated server, however, it is recommended for more advanced users due to the nature of the server setup and maintenance. 

Most web hosts will either offer a free domain as part of their hosting package, or they will allow you to purchase a domain name from them. If you do need to purchase a domain name, I’d recommend looking at domain name providers, rather than hosting providers, as you may find a better deal elsewhere.

About the Author...

Laura Hemmington

Laura Hemmington

Laura is an enthusiastic technology researcher, writer, and reviewer. She takes pride in her precision and dedication to the hosting market, and is somewhat of a seasoned pro in these realms.
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