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The 6 best cheap web hosting services of 2022

Is the price right?

All the above web hosting providers are well-established companies, and at a glance, they all extend pretty much the same entry-level offerings. The cheapest plans offer shared hosting for an introductory price of a few dollars a month. So what’s the catch?

For starters, these plans offer storage space and bandwidth on servers that are shared with other customers. The more sites that share a single server, the more likely your visitors are to encounter slow performance; shared servers also offer a greater risk of security breaches.

Some of the low, low prices you see on the landing page for these web hosting services are introductory offers. When the promotional period ends, the regular prices can be significantly higher. 

Likewise, the low advertised price might require a lengthy commitment. At HostGator, for example, the advertised starting prices range from $2.75 to $5.95 a month, but when you click the Buy button, you’ll see that those rates are for a three-year contract. If you’d rather go for a month-to-month deal, the price ranges go up dramatically, to $10.95 to $16.95, which is also the price you agree to pay when the promo period ends.

Another common gimmick is the “limited time” offer: Buy now before the price goes up! Some of the hosting providers we checked out included a countdown clock on the home page. When we went back a few days later for a second fact-checking pass, the countdown clock had been magically reset.

Those prices might still be a good value, but you’ll have to dig a bit to make accurate long-term comparisons.

Upsells and options

Those dirt-cheap teaser rates are designed to lure you in, and some web hosting providers are not shy about making up the difference by charging extra for features like backup and site migration; here, too, you’ll have to factor in those costs before you can make an informed choice.

A low-cost shared hosting plan is probably good enough for a personal website. It’s also adequate for a basic business site whose main purpose is to serve as an online calling card and a landing page for visitors who want to know more about your organization. It’s not a good choice for a site that occasionally needs to handle large spikes in traffic or e-commerce.

If you choose a cheap plan, expect regular upsell offers for more full-featured (and significantly more expensive) plans. Those upsells come in a wide range of plans. Some of the most popular include these:

Website builder tools Typically, you don’t get much hand-holding with these services, as you might with turnkey solutions like Wix, Squarespace, or Wordpress.com. Some hosting providers do offer wizard-driven tools that allow less technically sophisticated customers to build a site by pointing and clicking. DreamHost, for example, offers its theme-based Remixer tool as part of a shared hosting plan.

Managed WordPress hosting Most of the companies listed here have a managed WordPress offering that insulates customers from the chore of managing the underlying web server or installing and maintaining their own WordPress instance. Most such offerings include a selection of ready-made themes; others include WordPress-oriented website builders.

Virtual private servers (VPS) In the bare-bones shared hosting environments, multiple tenants share the hardware and software resources of a single server. In a VPS, multiple tenants share the physical server hardware, but each server instance is isolated from the others using virtualization software, with resources (memory and storage, for example) assigned directly to the VPS. This configuration ensures that performance remains consistent, regardless of what’s happening with other sites that share the physical server hardware. It also dramatically reduces the likelihood of security issues that can affect accounts in a shared hosting environment. This type of solution can be managed or unmanaged, and costs significantly more than a shared hosting plan. 

Dedicated servers This is the most expensive option of all, with physical hardware dedicated to a specific customer and not shared with other accounts. This option is most appropriate for high-traffic websites that can’t afford any downtime, but the price is far from cheap. At A2 Hosting, for example, the non-promotional price for a managed dedicated server starts at $200 a month, compared to $70 for a managed VPS and $11 for a basic shared hosting plan.

Choose this cheap website hosting service…

If you want…

A2 Hosting

A high-quality hosting service that allows for plenty of options to upgrade in the future

Bluehost

A host that excels in allowing you to run unlimited websites on the same server 

DreamHost

A host that allows templates and an easy interface for new website-builders

HostGator

To run websites that load in the blink of an eye

Hostinger

A host that allows you to run your website without breaking the bank

InMotion Hosting

A website host that gives you 10 domain addresses on just the base plan


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