Whether you’re building a small site to promote your personal brand or a s, you’re going to need a web server. Sure, you could buy a server, pay your ISP for a dedicated IP address with plenty 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 that is worth absolutely nobody’s time so that’s where web hosting plans come in.
Depending on your needs, you can spend as little as $1.99 a month for a low-bandwidth, shared plan or more than $200 for a dedicated server with a lot of storage and processing power. Below, we’ll show the best cheap web hosting deals right now for the main types of plan: shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud and WordPress.
Note that our best web hosting deal recommendations are based on price and features alone. We have not benchmarked these services so cannot vouch for their uptime or download speeds. However, you can expect any of these services to have about a 99.9 percent uptime and likely comparable speeds. Performance differences are likely to be slight so shopping based on price and features makes sense.
Registering a Domain
If you are building a new website, the first thing you need is a domain name. You can’t publish a website or even register 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 such as to manage your domain names so that it’s easier to change services, without incurring extra fees. Register with a company that specializes in domains such as Namecheap or GoDaddy, but don’t use those companies for site hosting.
Main Types of Web Hosting
Before looking for the best web hosting deals, you need to decide which type of plan will best meet your needs.
- Shared Hosting ($2 – $12/month): The most popular and cheapest form of web hosting, shared, means that your site is on the same physical server as an undisclosed number of other users’ sites. Performance should be solid if you are not expecting more than 50,000 to 100,000 visits per month. However, you likely won’t have admin access to the server, and PHP scripts you run will probably 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 preloaded. However, there’s nothing stopping you from buying a regular shared hosting plan and installing WordPress on your own.
- VPS Hosting ($20 – $100/month): If you’re expecting a decent amount of traffic, you need admin controls or you just want to be able to run a script for as long as necessary, a Virtual Private Server is the way to go. While they are physically on the same machine as other accounts, VPSes have their own dedicated RAM, CPU cores and storage that’s exclusively yours, so they function and perform a lot like standalone servers. You even have admin access to tweak server settings, install custom software and run scripts without a timeout.
- Dedicated Hosting ($79 – $500+): You get your own computer that lives in the host’s data center, which you have total control over. This is the most expensive option, because the company is renting you a whole computer. Keep in mind that you are responsible for keeping the software on it up to date.
- Cloud Hosting ($10+): Rather than having an account on one physical server, your site’s data and processing are distributed across several boxes. As with VPS, you pay for a certain amount of dedicated RAM, CPU cores and storage, and prices are usually lower. However, you may not have admin-level access.
Best Cheap Web Hosting Deals
Cheap Web Hosting Deal Tips
- Pay for multiple years up front: Most web hosting companies want to lock you in. so the introductory prices they display on site are often only if you pay upfront for one, two or often three years. Though this is more of an investment and it locks you in, we recommend going for it, because the savings are significant.
- Minimum specs: If you’re paying for VPS, Dedicated or Cloud hosting, we recommend going for a plan with at least four cores, 4GB of RAM and 100TB of storage.
- Forget Windows: All the plans we recommend here are for Linux-based hosting. You can pay extra for Windows hosting plans, but they aren’t worth the premium. For example, Liquid Web charges $30 more per month for its 4GB Windows VPS than its 4GB Linux VPS.
- Don’t put stock in bandwidth or storage listed as “unlimited” and “unmetered.” These mean that you won’t be charged a fee if you go over a certain amount of bandwidth, but if there’s no limit specified and you get too much traffic–much like unlimited data plans for smartphones–you will probably see either slowness 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.