We feel like a bit of a philosopher, so guess this: if a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? And if you don’t have your own website in the ever crowded wasteland of the World Wide Web, do you really exist?
Well yeah. The answer is obviously “yes” to both. But just like that mighty stunning oak tree, there won’t be anyone to marvel at your greatness and sing your praises (and potentially bring you business) if you don’t have a nice little corner of the web carved out for yourself. . The question is, where to start?
Signing up for a web host is one of the very first steps to getting your website up and running, whether you’re using a small business, advertise your talents or just blog for fun. The trick is to find one that meets your needs. and your budget: you shouldn’t pay extra for features you’ll never actually use (think unlimited storage and email), but at the same time some of the free options might not include all the tools you need for your site.
Cheap hosting wasn’t always a thing, but many of the larger providers now offer more affordable options that anyone can use to build their own website. These budget hosting plans generally come with fewer features than some of their premium counterparts, but they’re still perfectly sufficient for individual needs. (Plus, you can always upgrade in the future if you need to scale.)
With that in mind, remember that not all cheap hosting services are created equal, and there are still plenty of things you need to consider before entrusting your web presence. But don’t worry: we’re about to answer some of the most common questions on the subject so you can make the best possible decision for your cheap web hosting needs.
What is a web host, anyway?
Simply put, web hosting is a service that lets you rent space on a secure server where you can store files and publish a website. You are essentially claiming a parcel of Internet land where your online content lives.
We’ll specifically talk about cheap hosting plans that cost no more than $5 a month, but you can click here for a list of our favorite web hosts at all price points.
What is the difference between cheap shared hosting and dedicated hosting?
Shared web hosting means that your site will be hosted on a server that also hosts other people’s sites. No one else can see or touch your files, but you will all be able to tap into the same resources (i.e. storage and bandwidth). This brings down the per person price of hosting there, but since you’re sharing the same space and features, your site’s performance may be affected if another person’s site on the same server gets a lot of traffic. traffic.
On the other hand, dedicated hosting gives you a server all to yourself, so you won’t have to worry about someone else hogging the resources. Unfortunately, plans are generally more expensive for this type of hosting, so be prepared to split if you’re looking for a good deal on web hosting.
A middle ground might be a virtual private server (VPS) where the server space is shared, but by far fewer sites – i.e. you’re far less likely to experience performance issues from your server colleagues. This option is more expensive than shared hosting, but way cheaper than taking the dedicated route.
What is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress itself is a free and open source content management system (CMS) ideal for creating highly personalized websites, but especially blogs. If this is the kind of site you are going to build, your best bet is to consider WordPress Hosting. It is a special type of hosting service optimized for websites created using WordPress. this will make it easier to transfer your content from the WordPress CMS to your host’s server, and will generally still be quite cheap. (Bonus: a WordPress hosting provider usually handles all backend updates and technical stuff, so all you have to worry about is your content.)
What can you reasonably expect to get with a cheap hosting plan?
Whether it’s a portfolio site for your photography, an online store, or a simple landing page with basic contact information for your business, your vision and needs for your website will ultimately dictate the parameters you should look for in a web host.
For example, you’ll probably get between 10 and maybe 25 GB of storage included with a cheap hosting plan. That should be enough for simplistic, mostly text-based sites, but if you plan to upload a fair amount of high-quality images and videos, you better splurge on an unlimited storage option.
When it comes to site traffic limits, you’ll find that most hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth, even with their cheapest plans. This means you won’t be charged extra or limited based on the amount of traffic coming to your site. You may also see references to “unlimited” bandwidth, which is basically a set amount of bandwidth you can use to transfer as much data as you need. The maximum server speed may be limited, but you won’t have to pay extra for heavy traffic.
Most budget hosting plans will also add a free domain for one year and a free SSL certificate for your site. (It stands for Secure Socket Layer, a security protocol that encrypts your traffic.)
What are the non-negotiables when it comes to cheap hosting?
Regardless of how much space you’ll need or how much you’ll pay to host your site, any self-respecting web host (cheap or not) should provide their customers with solid 24/7 support options. . the week. You don’t want to be caught with your site down, period.
Along the same lines, you absolutely shouldn’t compromise when it comes to your web host’s uptime. If your site is down, your audience or customers can’t reach you, which almost always results in lost sales and opportunities. (Seriously, your web host only has one job – to host your site – so reliable uptime isn’t too much to ask.) Fortunately, most web hosts meet uptime guarantees of 99% or better.
What should I pay attention to when choosing a cheap web hosting plan?
To keep costs low in the long run, be sure to read the fine print before committing to a budget hosting plan. Most web hosts offer multiple tiers of service, and they often sweeten the deal on mid to high tier plans with special introductory prices. It’ll seem like a bargain – and it is at first – until it reverts to its normal monthly rate and you’re stuck paying for a bunch of features you don’t actually need. It’s usually best to stick with the lowest tier option that only includes your must-have features, even if it technically costs more than a discounted premium plan for your first few months.
Also, be on the lookout for vendors that require you to commit to a long-term plan in order to get the lowest monthly price. If you’re not sure what you’ll need over time or as your site grows, you’ll probably want to avoid a multi-year contract.
Now that you know what to look for, keep reading: Below we’ve rounded up some of the best cheap web hosting plans for a variety of needs so you can get the best value for your money. .