Find Cheap Web Hosting Service That Doesn’t Suck (2018)

Article by Jerry Low
Updated: Aug 13, 2018

 

This guide is written for those who are looking for a cheap web host. In this article, we will take a closer look on market prices, common problems with cheap hosting providers, and compare the cheapest hosting plans offered by the 10 companies I recommend.

Table of Content / Quick Link

 


 

FTC Disclosure

WHSR receive referral fees from companies mentioned in this page. Our opinions are based on real experience and actual server data. Please read our review policy page to understand how our host review and rating system works.

 


 

How cheap are budget hosting services today?

Hosting prices have changed drastically over the last 10 – 15 years. In early 2000, a $8.95/mo package with basic features was considered cheap. Then the price dropped to $7.95/mo, then $6.95/mo, $5.95/mo, and lower.

If you look at some of the cheapest plans I hand-picked below – you’ll notice that today, some shared hosting services cost less than $1 per month.

Must have features in a budget hosting plan

There are a number of factors you need to consider when choosing a web hosting company. You’ll need to understand your needs and choose a web host that suits your needs. What makes a web host good for you may not be right for me.

That said, however, budget hosting plans today usually come with “standard” features.

A good budget hosting service should at least cover sufficient server resources to host one low traffic (~1,000 visits per day) website.

On top of that, the budget host should comes with adequate features, including (but not limited to) basic server maintenance features, email hosting and web mail services, auto script installations, latest version of PHP and MySQL, live-chat technical support, 99.9% server uptime, and reasonable server network speed.

It would be a plus if the host can provide regular server backup, periodic malware scanning, and additional dedicated IP as well as one-click Let’s Encrypt SSL activation.

However, bear in mind that you are paying the price cheaper than a cup of coffee – be realistic and understand that there’ll be drawbacks with these low-cost hosting deals. We will discuss about the solutions to these common problems in the later part of this article.

 


 

10 Best Cheap Website Hosting to Consider (Cheapest Plans in 2018)

To date, we have tested and reviewed more than 60 hosting companies. To build this list, we compared the cheapest hosting plans from different companies and picked up the best 10 based on our star-rating.

1- InMotion Hosting

Cheapest plan signup at: $3.99/mo

InMotion Hosting is reliable, features-rich, and best of all, affordable.

Launch plan starts at $3.99/mo. It allows users to host 2 websites (generous feat) and comes with a free domain, SSH access, PHP 7 support, full support in Cron and Ruby, and $150 free advertising credits (for U.S. users only – Google Adwords and Yellow Pages). What’s more – if you are a first time customer, folks at InMotion Hosting will help migrate your site for free.

I think InMotion Hosting is one of the best hosting companies in market and host my important sites at InMotion Hosting. This site you are reading right now, is hosted at InMotion VPS.

InMotion Hosting uptime record

* Click image to enlarge.

Budget hosting choice: InMotion Hosting - Uptime record
Dec 2017 / Jan 2018: 100%

Budget hosting choice: InMotion Hosting - Uptime record
Feb/Mar 2017: 100%

Budget hosting choice: InMotion Hosting - Uptime record
Jun/Jul 2016: 99.95%

In brief, below are the pros and cons of InMotion Hosting’s Launch package. To find out more, read my in-depth InMotion Hosting review here.

 

Pros of InMotion Hosting

  • Solid server performance, uptime >99.95% TTFB ~400ms
  • Free domain name for first year
  • Good live chat and email support
  • Free site migration for first time customers
  • Entry level plans (Launch) packed with all necessary features to host a business website
  • 90 days money back gurantee (industry’s #1)

Cons of InMotion Hosting

  • Hosting prices increase during renewal
  • Choice of server locations in United States only

Visit: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/business-hosting

 


 

2- Hostinger

Cheapest plan signup at: $2.15/mo

hostinger homepage

Hostinger provides free hosting service through 000webhost.com and paid hosting services via the brand Hostinger.com.

At time of writing, Hostinger claims that their platform is hosting more than 29 million users from 178 countries.

I like Hostinger for its innovative server features that you don’t get with other budget hosting providers.

Features that you don’t get with other budget hosting

Their Single Web Hosting Plan allows you to host 1 website with 10 GB disk space and 100 GB bandwidth and supports advance cron jobs, Curl SSL, MariaDB and InnoDB database, as well as weekly backup.

The $2.15/mo plan also comes with free BitNinja Smart Security, which protects you against XXS, DDoS, Malware, and a number of other cyber attacks; and Mail Assassin, which protects you from spam mails.

Hostinger - best cheap hosting in term of features
It’s the innovative features that make Hostinger ticks.

In case you are considering Hostinger’s cheapest plan, here are the quick pros and cons:

 

Pros of Hostinger 

  • Free domain name for first year
  • Up to 61% discount on signup, plans start at $2.15/mo
  • Server optimized for best WordPress site performance
  • Free site migration for first time customers
  • Innovative features, support Curl, Cron Jobs, MariaDB, and InnoDB.
  • Free BitNinja Smart Security (prevent XXS, DDoS, malware, and script injection attack)

Cons of Hostinger

  • Hosting prices increase after first term
  • Host only one domain per account
  • No SSH / sFTP access for budget plan

Visit: https://www.hostinger.com/web-hosting

 


 

3- InterServer

Cheapest plan signup at: $4.00/mo (20% discount if you signup for 3 years)

Self-deemed a budget-friendly hosting provider, InterServer specializes in shared, VPS, dedicated, and co-location hosting solutions.

Two things I like the best about InterServer:

  1. The company do not increase their price after first term – InterServer shared hosting plans is locked at $5/mo, and
  2. They allow users to host unlimited domains at below $5/mo (most budget plans we discuss in this article allow only one domain per account)

These two factors made InterServer the best choice when you plan to host multiple (low traffic) websites in one account for more than 5 years.

Use Promo Code “WHSRPENNY”

Interserver - top budget hosting choices
InterServer price is locked for life when you signup. Use our promo code, WHSRPENNY, to try them out for $0.01 (first month only).

I started using InterServer since 2013 and visited the company HQ at Secaucus, New Jersey in 2016. Their server performance was rock solid and technical supports are superb (all done by in-house staffs). You can read my detail InterServer review here.

 

Pros of InterServer

  • Rock solid server performance, hosting uptime above 99.97% based on our record
  • Signup price ($5/mo) locked for life while others increase their price after first term
  • Technical support 100% done in-house
  • Host unlimited domains and email accounts
  • Free site migration for all new customers
  • Company founded and lead by two good friends – Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri; Over 20 years of proven business track record.

Cons of InterServer

  • Does not provide free domain name (additional cost of $15/year)
  • Server location in United States only – the company build and run their own data center in New Jersey.

Visit: https://www.interserver.net

 


 

4- A2 Hosting

Cheapest plan signup at: $3.92/mo

A2 Hosting is fast, reliable, and cheap. Their shared hosting comes in three flavors – Lite, Swift, and Turbo.

Lite, the cheapest plan of all, allows users to host 1 website, 5 databases, and 25 email accounts.

You wouldn’t know Lite is a budget plan by looking at its features: Full SSD storage, SSH access, Rsync, FTP / FTPS, Git and CVS ready, Node.js and Cron support, and pre-configured for best WordPress performance (using in-house built WP plugin – A2 Optimized).

A2 Hosting Anytime Money Back Guarantee

Anytime Money Back Guarantee: A2 Hosting will return your money whenever you want to cancel your subscription.

 

 Pros

  • Excellent server performance; TTFB < 550ms
  • Risk free – anytime money back guarantee
  • Entry level plans (Lite) packed with all necessary features to host a business website
  • Choice of server locations in United States, Europe, and Asia.
  • Plenty of room to grow – users get to upgrade their servers to VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting

 Cons

  • Host only one domain per account
  • Does not provide free domain name  (additional cost of $15/year)
  • Live chat support not 24×7 based on my live chat test.

Visit: https://www.a2hosting.com

 


 

5- WebHostFace

Cheapest plan signup at: $0.69/mo

The mainstream has yet to discover WebHostFace, making this an amazing hidden gem.

We interviewed WebHostFace boss, Valentin Sharlanov, twice on WHSR Blog (here and here). A test site was setup at WebHostFace in early 2016 and we have been tracking their server performance since then. You can check out the results we got in this detail WebHostFace review.

WebHostFace cheapest hosting plan is incredibly low price at signup – their cheapest plan, Face Standard, costs only $0.69/month at signup. The plan comes with 15 GB disk space, RV Site Builder, free CDN, SSH access, and daily backup.

Unreal! $1.09/mo hosting with SSH access and daily backup.

 

Here’s what I like and dislike about WebHostFace in a nutshell.

Pros

  • Extremely cheap – only $0.69/mo during signup
  • Acceptable server performance, average hosting uptime above 99.9%
  • Excellent live chat support based on my study on hosting company live chat system
  • Secured hosting environment – Built-in DDoS mitigation and brute force detection
  • Choice of server locations in United States, Europe, and Asia.
  • Full range of hosting solution for upgrade – to VPS and dedicated hosting

Cons

  • Host only one domain per account
  • Price increases 10x when you renew ($6.90/mo)
  • Does not provide free domain name  (additional cost of $15/year)
  • Mixed results in our recent server tests – Our test site’s TTFB goes beyond 2,400 ms.

Visit: https://www.webhostface.com

 


 

6- HostPapa

Cheapest plan signup at: $2.95/mo

HostPapa - cheap hosting

Founded in 2006 by Jamie Opalchuk, HostPapa is based in Ontario, Canada.

I did an interview HostPapa founder, Jamie Opalchuk, in December 2016 – it was an interesting session. We talked about the company operations and business focus; Mr. Jamie was very transparent and helpful with his answers.

We have been tracking the web host since mid 2017. You can learn more about my experience in this detail HostPapa review.

Personally I found HostPapa an okay host – they are not the best but their cheap price tag is definitely a huge plus – considering that the cheapest plan also comes with free domain name, 100 GB storage, and 120 free pre-built site templates.

In summary, here are HostPapa’s pros and cons –

Pros

  • Recent server uptime performance meet industry standards. Uptime > 99.98%
  • Free domain name on signup – Save ~$15 (domain registration fee)
  • Reputable company with good business track record (BBB Accredited Business with A+ rating)
  • Helpful live chat support based on my experience
  • Eco-friendly hosting – Reduce your carbon footprint

Cons

  • Lack of options in server locations (host in Canada only)
  • Expensive renewal fees – Starter Plan costs $9.99/month after first term

Visit: https://www.hostpapa.com

 


 

7- FastWebHost

Cheapest plan signup at: $2.95/mo

FastWebHost Homepage

FastWebHost (FWH) cheapest hosting plan (named as “Value”) starts as low as $2.95/mo.

We like FastWebHost budget plan for its price and security features. You’ll get basic hosting facility plus DDoS protection and CloudFlare CDN when you signup on their Value plan.

Read Jason’s FastWebHost review and Abrar’s Best Indian Hosting Providers to learn more about the company. We have done some extensive tests on FWH and think they are one of the best shared hosting services in India.

For those who are considering FastWebHost, here’s a quick view on the pros and cons.

 

Pros

  • Free DDoS Protection and Cloud Flare CDN
  • Free domain name for first year (save ~$15)
  • Reasonable renewal rate – the same plan renews at $5.95/mo after first term
  • Choice of server locations in United States, Netherlands, India, and Hong Kong
  • Full range of hosting solution for upgrade – VPS, Dedicated and Managed WP plan

Cons

  • Host only one domain with 20 GB disk space per account
  • Low priority support and server resources when you subscribe to the cheapest plan

Visit: https://www.fastwebhost.com/

 


 

8- GreenGeeks

Cheapest plan signup at: $3.95/mo

Founded in 2006 by Trey Gardner, GreenGeeks has benefited from his extensive experience in several large hosting companies. Today, Trey and his experienced core team of professionals have built GreenGeeks into a healthy, stable and competitive company.

The company’s roots lie in North America and has served over 35,000 customers with more than 300,000 websites. As an eco-friendly company, it has dedicated itself to leaving a positive energy footprint and replaces used energy with triple the energy credits that are used.

But that’s not all – On top of being environmental friendly, GreenGeeks is also very budget friendly. Their all-in-one, 300% green shared hosting plan costs only $3.95/mo at signup (using promo code TAKE60OFF).

Here’s a quick view on GreenGeeks pros and cons. You can also learn more about GreenGeeks in Timothy review.

GreenGeeks – Certified Green Company

greengeeks green certificate

Recent Speed Test on GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks speed test - TTFB below 120ms.
GreenGeeks speed test from London server. Test site TTFB falls at 120ms.

Pros

  • Environmental friendly – 300% green hosting (industry’s top)
  • Excellent server speed – rated A and above in all speed test
  • More than 15 years of proven business track record
  • Free domain name for first year
  • Free sites migration for new customers
  • Well worth the money – $3.95/mo to host unlimited sites in one account (with daily backup)

Cons

  • Our test site goes below 99.9% uptime in March / April 2018.
  • Customer complaints on billing practices.
  • A non-refundable $15 setup fee is charged during purchase.
  • Price increases to $9.95/mo after first term.

Visit: https://www.greengeeks.com

 


 

9- One.com

Cheapest plan signup at: $0.25/mo

One.com has garnered a considerable amount of recognition and awards over the course of the past several years. It was named the UK’s best budget web hosting provider by the UK Web Host Directory in 2009, was awarded the Editor’s Choice award by PC Magazine Netherlands & Belgium in 2009, and was named the best web host provider in Netzsieger’s comparison of web hosts in 2013.

At WHSR, we received a free account from One.com last year and started testing the hosting service out in December of 2015. Turn out – the budget host is not bad at all.

One.com Starter Plans is small but very affordable and practical for newbies.

Here’s what I like and dislike about One.com hosting.

 

 

Pros

  • Cheapest hosting deals in market – Signup at $0.25/mo, renewal at $1.89/mo after first term
  • Good in-house website builder with professional design templates
  • Dedicated server resources for all account – each account gets 25 GB storage and maximum of 512 MB RAM
  • Solid server performance based on Net Craft tracking.
  • Host unlimited email accounts

Cons

  • Short money back trial period (15 days only)
  • Pricing and checkout process are rather confusing
  • Additional, non-refundable setup fees of $15
  • Limited website builder features (only 5 pages)
  • Host only one domain name per account

Visit: https://www.one.com

 


 

10- iPage

Cheapest plan signup at: $1.99/mo

iPage - Notable Budget Hosting Choice

iPage has been around since 1995 (based on domain WhoIs records) but didn’t gain recognition until it underwent a company relaunch back in October 2009. Founded by Thomas Gurney in Burlington, Massachusetts, the company has since gained traction for being a hosting provider that caters to those with a limited budget.

iPage all-in-one plan (named Essential) allows users to host unlimited domain and email accounts. The cost of hosting multiple domain in one account with iPage is really, really cheap – signup at $1.99/mo and renews at $8.99/mo. I did some calculations and compared the 5-year hosting costs in my iPage review – check them out here.

Pros

  • Ultra cheap price tag – 200 – 300% cheaper than peers
  • Host unlimited domain names in one account
  • Free one year domain for all new customers (save ~$15)
  • Newbie-friendly: Smooth on-boarding process

Cons

  • Mix results in our recent server speed test
  • Prices jump to $8.99/mo when renewal
  • Limited website builder features (only 6 pages)
  • Unlimited hosting limited by other constraints
  • No free site migration for first-time customers
  • Users can only host their sites in United States
  • Website help portal is not helpful at all
  • Does not support Cron job, SSH access, and SFTP

Visit: https://www.ipage.com

 


 

How to be Smart and Benefit from Cheap Hosting Plans?

So… you want a cheap web host?

That’s very smart of you. A good web host is a must for all websites and blogs; BUT it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.

You can always start your website on a budget web host and upgrade later as your site traffic grows. Web hosting companies are always happy to take your money when you decide to go for an upgrade.

Budget hosting horror stories, anyone?

But then again – I am sure you have heard of all the horror stories with budget hosting providers.

When I first started my online business, I got stuck in not one, but two, ridiculous hosting deals.

The first was Network Eleven – a horrible hosting company that no longer exist today. Network Eleven had the worst billing system in hosting history and they refused to process my cancellations for months. Eventually, I had to cancel my credit card to stop them from further charging me.

Next was Gate.com. I forgot the reason I signed up on them (as I was already using BlueHost at that time) but I remember clearly how terrible was the deal. They were charging around $150 a year (not a very cheap rate by 2005 market standards) but allowed only one domain and imposed strict limitation in server usage. To make things worse – Gate.com was often inaccessible due to server outages.

These experiences suck.

I do not want that to happen on you. Hence, the following writeup.

Common Problems (and Solutions) with Cheap Hosting Plans

So far we have covered a list of cheap hosting services to consider.

Now it’s time for some useful tips on how to deal with the common problems that arise in cheap hosting deals.

 


 

Problem #1: Aggressive Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

Most low cost hosting companies have aggressive up-selling and cross-selling practices.

Budget hosting companies are in market to make money.

And they do so by selling or recommending add-on services and web applications such as SSL certificates, advanced email hosting featuresdomain names, CDN services, email marketing tools, and more.

While some of the offerings are straightforward, some trick their customers to sign up for free trials. When the trial ends, they charge their customers high prices for the services. Their customers end up paying premium prices for services they simply wanted to try and likely don’t even need.

Screen shot from iPage’s order page. Do you need all these features? Check carefully when you place your order.

 Solution

Be very caution during the check out process, make sure that the hosting company did not sign you up on any software or web service trial. You can check with the web host live chat support if in doubt and ask if you have signed up to any web services.

Be skeptical with every emails and suggestions you receive from your hosting company. Avoid clicking blindly and do your research before signing up for any add-ons in your account.

In short, be a smart consumer, problem fixed.

 


 

Problem #2: Rushed servers

Some budget hosting companies tend to overload their capacity and host way too many websites in one server.

The practice is known as overselling. While overselling is good in bringing the hosting cost down (learn more in my other article – The Truth of Unlimited Hosting); it some times jeopardize user experience. A website hosted on a crowded server leads to slow response rate and frequent down time.

 Solution

A slow and often down server affects your website user experience and Google rankings badly. This is why we emphasize so much on server uptime and response rate in our hosting reviews. No one should host their sites on a slow and unstable web host.

Once you signup to a new hosting:

More tips: What is hosting uptime?

Uptime refers to the amount of time that your website is up and running, available to visitors and potential clients; anything that isn’t uptime is downtime – and to oversimplify it, downtime is bad.

Downtime means that people can’t reach your site which can be frustrating to potential visitors while also costing you traffic and revenue. Additionally, if people aren’t able to reach your site the first time, they may not try again. That said, hosting providers provide minimum uptime guarantees which is a guarantee that they’ll have your site up and running that percent of the total hours in a day.

Don’t deal with hosting providers that give less than 99.9% uptime guarantee. If your existing hosting provider is constantly doing less than 99.9% uptime, it’s time to switch web host.

Uptime samples published in WHSR

InMotion Hosting uptime record (Feb/Mar 2017): 100%. InMotion Hosting shared hosting plans start at $2.95/mo, compare and learn more at https://www.inmotionhosting.com/.
A2 Hosting uptime record (Jun 2017): 100%. A2 Hosting shared hosting plans start at $3.92/mo, compare and learn more at https://www.a2hosting.com/.

More about uptime monitoring tools (which to use)

There are literally dozens, if not more, of server monitoring tools available online – some are free and some costs upwards of thousands of dollars annually.

Some run simple HTTP checks to confirm whether your site is running, while others perform very complex back-end jobs to monitor more than 50 checkpoints simultaneously.

The various tools run every end of the spectrum, which can be a bit overwhelming to users, but also ensures that there is a tool out there to fit your needs and budget.

For example, I use free tools like Uptime Robot, Monitor Us, and Pingdom frequently to track a web host.

If you are running a enterprise level websites and looking for more powerful tools, check out Nagios Uptime and Cacti.

 


 

Problem #3: Bad neighbors

Occasionally, cheap hosts are infiltrated by what are commonly referred to as bad neighbors.

These bad neighbors are spammers who eat up the server resources or careless webmasters who get hacked. If you share a server with spammers, there won’t be enough resources left for you. If you share a server with someone who gets a Trojan or computer virus, your site might get infected too.

 Solution

Back in old days, cheap web hosts are often exploited by spammers and hackers. I believe this does not happen that often these days as hosting companies normally will have very strict policy against spammers and hackers.

If your account was hacked from the inside, request for a relocation and ask the host can shift you to another server block.

 


 

Problem #4: Black-Holed IP

You usually get a shared IP address when subscribe to budget hosting. In rare occasion, this shared IP address might be black-listed due to other users’ activities.

 Solution

It’s recommended to check your web host IP on SpamHaus Block List as soon as you got your account. Or better, ask them for a list of IPs to check before signing up.

To determine your website IP address, type the following code in your PC command prompt.

nslookup yoursiteaddress.com

If unfortunately your server IP is on the list, there are only two things you can do: 1. Push the web host to white-list the IP; and 2. request for relocation or a change of IP address.

 


 

Problem #5: Poor technical support

Some cheap hosting companies have poor customer support and fail to respond to customer requests timely. The slow response times are not always due to a lack of caring. In some cases, cheap hosts simply don’t have enough technical staff members to attend to customer problems.

 Solution

There is not much we can do with a hosting company that runs on poor after-sales support.

If other aspects (price, hosting performance, features, etc) are good – then you might want to stay and just deal with it. Else, the only choice you have is to leave them.

For newbies who prefer to get spoon-fed support, the best thing to do is to avoid hosting companies with bad service. Talk with the support department before you place your order, ask related technical questions (such as inodes limits, CPU cycles, Ruby on Rails, etc) and judge their quality based on the responses.

For your reference, I did an undercover experiment and talked to 28 hosting companies support in 2017 – see what I found out in this study.

Screenshots of my live chat record at WebHostFace. My chat requests were answered within seconds, and my questions were answered professionally. The overall experience with the web host support staff was excellent.

 


 

Problem #6: Hidden fees & charges

Some low cost hosting companies have suspicious business practices and unclear terms and conditions.

As pointed out by Lucas Johnson from this hosting guide

One of the most common mistakes I see a lot of small business owners make is picking the absolute cheapest host.

What happens is you save money initially but in the future as you try to add different features to your site or move it over to another host those same service providers charge you multiple service fees and add on tons of extra paid features.

 Solution

The hidden charges explains why the cheapest host may not be the best budget hosting choice.

Avoid, I repeat, avoid any cheap web host that charges unreasonable cancellation fees.

Read TOS (quick tip: go to the host’s ToS page, press Ctrl + F, search for keyword like ‘cancellation’ and ‘refund’) clearly and make sure how cancellation is done. The web host may charge for the domain registration (which may goes up to a one-time $25 fee) and SSL certificate fees; but anything more than that is a no-go.

Do not go with those with fishy cancellation policy no matter how cheap they are.

There are always terms and conditions behind attractive cheap hosting offers (source: A2 Hosting).

 


 

Problem #7: Fees increment after first term

Cheap hosting companies don’t always stay cheap.

In fact, many lure customers in with cheap prices, and then jack up the renewal fee two or three years later.

Unfortunately, this is the industry norm. Many of these companies lose money during the first two or three years they have a customer, so they charge the higher prices later to recoup their losses. A lot of customers don’t realize they are going to pay higher prices and they get sticker shock when they see the auto-charge on their credit card statement.

 Solution-1: Host Hoping

Renewal price for cheap hosting plans are normally higher than signup price.

For example, iPage promo price is $1.99/mo during signup and when it comes to renewal, it will go up to $9.99/mo (at time of writing).

The same policy runs on most budget hosting companies including A2 Hosting, GreenGeeks, Hostgator, Bluehost, InMotion Hosting, and so on.

The ultra-low price tag is how hosting companies lure customers to switch host.

For renewals, the only way to keep prices low is to do ‘web host hoping’ (meaning, keep switching host every time when the contract expires). And, for budget hosts that provide ‘Anytime Money Back Guarantee’, I would recommend to sign up for a longer subscription period as it allows you to enjoy the low price a little longer (and take back money if you do not like your host any more).

Interserver does not jack up their price on renewal (source).

 Solution-2: Stick with companies that offer acceptable renewal rates

Some budget web hosts allow customers to lock in at low renewal price upon signup.

For example, InterServer and FastComet lock the renewal price at your signup rate.

The price you sign up for is the price you renew your hosting subscription in future. For example, FastComet customers who sign up three years at $2.95/month will be able to renew their plans later at $2.45/month. Same goes to InterServer – which allow customers to renew at the signup price.

 


 

Problem #8: Long subscription period

Long Subscription Period for Cheap Hosting Price

Some web hosts will request their customers to subscribe for a very long period in exchange of the low price tags.

Many years ago Lunarpages marketed its shared hosting deal as $4.95/mo. But the $4.95/mo deal is only available for customers who are willing to pay 5 years up front – which is a rip-off. 5 years! Anything can happen online in 5 year time; Lunarpages might just take your money and close shop.

 Solution – 

Unless you can cancel and ask for a refund any time during the subscription period; else any contract longer than 3 years is a no-go.

 


 

Problem #9: Limited allowable inodes

Some budget hosting will limit inode usage in users account to control storage capacity and server resources.

 Solution 

I don’t stress much on inodes these days, but I wouldn’t go with 50,000 inodes per account.

The easy solution is to read company’s ToS (quick tip: go to the host’s ToS page, press Ctrl + F, search for keyword like ‘inodes’ and ‘number of files’) clearly before you sign up.

On the other hand, it is your responsibility to limit the number of inodes on your account. Understand that unlimited hosting is not limited. Keep any duplicated files in your account, delete unnecessary files, delete emails regularly (empty inbox and download emails to your local PC instead), and optimize your databases.

Example: Hostinger allows up to 250,000 inodes per shared hosting account (which is generous for a $2.15/mo host). Learn more about Hostinger in Jason’s review.

 


 

In a nutshell: Not all cheap web host are bad

Not all shared hosting companies are bad. Low cost shared hosting plans are very popular and powerful these days. More than 90% of individual blogs hosted by shared hosting plans.

And these blogs work just fine.

It does not make your site ‘cooler’ or better simply because you opt for an expensive hosting solution.

Not to mention there are plenty of things can go wrong too with a dedicated or VPS hosting, too.

Some site owners subscribed to VPS or dedicated hosting simply because of their ego – with the kind of mindset where they think they are different and better. But that’s not true. In fact, I know some small business owners who have switched over to dedicated hosting when they didn’t need it, and they have regretted it. They have spent money on unnecessary server resources and expert technical assistance when shared hosting would have been fine.

Until you have built up a high traffic site / blog, there is no need to put that much of time and money into a powerful hosting plan. It’s just a waste of time and money.

Instead, put your focus on content and marketing.

Also read – To understand if you are overspending on certain area, check out our recent market study on website building cost.

Understanding your needs in website hosting

If you are buying something you don’t need, you are wasting money no matter how cheap or good it is.

And that is why you need to know your hosting needs before you choose a new web host. Before you leave this page to buy a web host, make sure you have basic understanding in web host and domain name. Think thoroughly about our own needs and answer these questions –

  • What kind of website are you building?
  • Do you want something common ?
  • Do you need Windows applications?
  • Do you need a special version of software (ie. PHP)?
  • Does your website need special software?
  • How big (or small) can the web traffic volume go?
  • What is your 12 (or 24) months budget for the website?
  • How much of this money should go into hosting?

For starters –

  • Pick a web host that you can afford for at least 2 years. Your site / blog may not make any money at all, particularly at first, so you want to be sure you don’t have to shut the blog down because of lack of funds.
  • You don’t need the very best (but costly) web host for now. An affordable shared web host should be good enough for now. Just remember to check about space limitations and server uptime.
  • Right now you should focus on building useful content and growing your community. You should spend more on marketing and content. Get a good newsletter service and start building your email list, start social media marketing ads, get in touch with local bloggers and hire them to promote your blog, etc.
  • Ask questions about customer service and if they will help you understand running a website because you are new to blogging.

For seasoned bloggers and site owners –

  • As part of your job now is to make sure your readers can navigate smoothly within your blog. You need a very reliable and fast web host.
  • You should track your site uptime and response speed with tools like Pingdom and Uptime Robot.
  • Monitor your blog memory usage and know your limit – once your blog hits 80% of the allocated memory (this the usual bottleneck you’ll first bump into with shared hosting), then it’s time to consider upgrading to VPS hosting.
  • Also, consider using an SSD hosting for faster site speed.

That’s all!

I hope you find this guide helpful. Cheers!

 


 

Relevant Resources

We have also published a number of actionable guide and helpful hosting reviews for those who are searching for a web host.