Hosting a website doesn’t have to break the bank! We don’t want to recommend dirt cheap providers that aren’t any good, which is why we focussed on value for money for this article. These are the best cheap providers, so you know you’re getting a great service for your money.
There have been some shake-ups in recent years, – Dreamhost is now the best value provider, offering $2.95 a month for its cheapest Shared Starter plan. iPage remains second with $2.99/month but newcomer IONOS is hot on its heels below it.
In this article, we’ll review the six cheapest (and best value) providers, break down their strengths and weaknesses, and compare them all head-to-head. You’ll notice that all of the hosting plans we explore are for shared hosting. This is because shared hosting plans are typically the cheapest.
What Is Shared HostingShared hosting is when your website sits on a server with lots of other sites and shares resources (like bandwidth and storage space) with them. Sharing server resources makes this the most cost-effective way to host a website.
Cheap Hosting Providers: Head-to-Head Comparison
|Cheapest Plan Price (monthly)||Storage Space||Free Backups / Domains||Uptime||Value for Money|
If you’re not clued up on technical hosting terms, don’t worry. Here are some quick explanations of these features:
- Storage Space – How much file space you have for content and media on your website
- Backups/Domains – The ability to recover a previous version of your website/the URL of your site, e.g. websitebuilderexpert.com
- Uptime – How regularly your website is working online. For example, 99.97% uptime is the equivalent of your site being down for a mere two and a half hours each year.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at these six options individually. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive idea of which providers really do offer the best cheap hosting.
Cheapest shared plans and vest value for money ($2.95/month)
DreamHost keeps it simple and cheap. Its two plans are low on cost, costing just $2.95 per month when billed annually, but great value for money, advertising 100% uptime and unlimited storage. With an impressive value for money score of 4.4 out of 5, it’s our number one choice.
Cheapest shared plans and best value for money
- Quality shared plans
- Free daily backups
- 100% uptime
Paid Plans: $2.95 - $279 / month
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Free WordPress migrations
- 97-day money-back guarantee
- No 24/7 or direct phone support
- No industry-standard cPanel
- Disappointing uptime percentage
DreamHost Shared Hosting Pricing Breakdown
DreamHost has dramatically improved its value for money, jumping from 3.5 in our pre-2022 ratings to 4.4 out of 5 in our latest research!
DreamHost’s Shared Starter plan starts at just $2.95/month, although you will need to commit to a 12-month term to get that price. This is much less than other providers, though, and if you really want to, you can even opt to pay month-by-month for $4.95 per month – great if you want more flexibility over your subscription!
There’s also the Shared Unlimited plan, which starts at the same discount price of $2.95 per month. It offers unlimited storage and websites for that $2.95 per month introductory price, so it’s the wiser option for getting the most bang for your buck. That said, it’s worth noting that the Shared Unlimited plan renews at the higher price of $12.99 per month once your first year is over.
These renewal fees can be a killer if you don’t expect them, so let us break them down for you:
|Pricing||Shared Starter||Shared Unlimited|
|Monthly|| Deal price: $4.95 |
Renewal price (after three months): $7.99
| Deal price: $8.95 |
Renewal price (after three months): $13.99
|1 Year|| Deal price: $2.95 |
Renewal price (after one year): $6.99
| Deal price: $2.95 |
Renewal price (after one year): $12.99
|3 Years|| Deal price: $2.59 |
Renewal price (after three years): $5.99
| Deal price: $3.95 |
Renewal price (after three years): $10.99
If you don’t enjoy DreamHost, it offers a 97-day money-back guarantee after you open an account, so you can use and experiment in peace.
DreamHost Shared Hosting Features
DreamHost’s most enticing feature is perhaps that it doesn’t put a limit on how many people can visit your site each month. Although most small websites won’t attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, it’s nice to know you don’t have to worry either way.
It also boasts a fantastic 100% uptime guarantee! Most sites can promise a very good 99% uptime, but never the whole enchilada. DreamHost is so confident in its uptime, that the company will even refund you if your site ever goes down under its watch.
Free backups and domains are another two big selling points, while an SSL certificate and a website builder are nice touches. The main difference between DreamHost and competitors like Bluehost or HostGator is that DreamHost doesn’t use cPanel, an industry-standard dashboard. It does have its own bespoke dashboard, however, which is pretty easy to get to grips with.
Some of the downsides include a lack of phone support and not much variety of plans. Customers can still access DreamHost’s live chat and email 24/7, and it has a knowledge base and community center for queries
DreamHost Review – Learn all there is to know about this top money-saving provider.
DreamHost Pricing Review – Our in-depth look at DreamHost’s costs.
Best Web Hosting For Students – Check out the budget-friendly, student-oriented hosting providers.
Best for small websites on a budget ($2.99/month)
iPage only offers one shared hosting plan, which is suitable for hosting one site. However, it provides scalable bandwidth, which means there’s no set bandwidth limit.
Best for small websites on a budget
- Helps short-term growth
- Low introductory prices
- One data center location
Paid Plans: $2.99 / month
- Free domain included
- Unlimited disk space
- 24/7 support
- DIY website migration only
- No cPanel
- Pay extra for website restore and backup
iPage Shared Hosting Pricing Breakdown
iPage is our only nonmover on this list, keeping its second-position spot. This is due to the fact it only offers one shared hosting plan, which starts at $2.99 per month for an annual plan. There is no monthly option with iPage, they all must be paid in yearly totals. Here’s the skinny:
- 12-month contract: $2.99 per month ($35.88 total)
- 24-month contract: $2.49 per month ($59.76 total)
- 36-month contract: $1.99 per month ($71.64 total)
iPage’s discount prices are super affordable, but be sure to check its renewal prices too. If you opt for the 12-month plan, for example, you’ll go from paying $2.99 per month to paying $9.99 per month once your first year is over. Overall, though, it offers great value for money!
iPage Shared Hosting Features
iPage has raised its game when it comes to value for money, jumping from 3.7 in our pre-2022 ratings to a much more impressive 4.2 out of 5 in our latest research. iPage’s shared hosting plan is really great value, offering:
- Unlimited disk space
- Unlimited email accounts
- Unlimited subdomains
- A free domain name
- A free SSL certificate
- Scalable bandwidth
iPage also has great help and support, with phone options plus 24/7 live chat.
There are just a couple of places where iPage is a bit lacking, one of which is the price for backups. For $2.58 a month, you get one daily backup, and for $3.67 a month, you can have five. This is really disappointing when most hosting platforms give you daily automatic backups, like Hostinger.
Also, its one plan is a bit restrictive. While we like the simplicity, it does railroad you into choosing a plan that might not exactly be suited for your needs. A bit of variety in what a hosting platform provides is great, especially for all the different sites it could host.
iPage Review – Dive deeper into what iPage can offer.
Best for fast loading and site speed ($4/month)
IONOS offers three shared hosting plans, although there is an extra plan available for UK residents. What IONOS does give across all plans is its fast loading and site performance, all for affordable pricing.
Best for fast loading and site speed
Paid Plans: $0.5 - $30 / month
- Best site speed and performance
- 6-day automatic backups
- Great uptime
- Poor help and support
- Some plans not US available
- $50 set-up fee
IONOS Shared Hosting Pricing Breakdown
IONOS offers three shared hosting plans, although there’s an extra one available in the UK. IONOS doesn’t offer free trials but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee when you first begin, and if you decide a bit later than that, then no stress! There’s no cancellation fee!
For us yankees, the Essential plan kicks off with the cheapest price at $4 per month for the first 12 months. The next plan up is the Business plan, which starts at an incredible $0.50 for the first 12 months! Be warned, however, it goes up to $10 per month after your first year.
Finally, the Expert plan comes in at $8 per month for 12 months at the cheapest. If you want to get a run-down of all prices IONOS offers on its plans, fix your eyes down here:
- Monthly contract: $6 per month
- 12-month contract: $4 per month (then renews at $6 per month)
- Monthly contract: $1 per month for one month (then costs $10 per month)
- 12-month contract: $0.50 per month (then renews at $10 per month)
- Monthly contract: $16 per month
- 12-month contract: $8 per month (then renews at $16 per month)
All considered IONOS prices are some of the most reasonable we’ve seen! While cheap prices are great, you’re going to want to know what you’re getting for that price. Rest assured, IONOS delivers a range of great features across its plans and has a value for money score in our research of 4 out of 5!
IONOS Shared Hosting Features
IONOS’ best feature is its performance. In a landscape of Toyota Camry’s, IONOS is a Lamborghini Aventador with the fastest load times of all the shared hosting we’ve tested! It scored a 3.9 out of 5 in performance in our research – the best of any web host in this list!
If speed wasn’t enough, IONOS also includes plenty of fantastic features across its plans. With the Essential plan, for only $4 per month, you get one website, 50GB of storage, and a free domain for a year.
The Business plan improves on the Starter by giving you unlimited websites, unlimited storage, and unlimited databases for only $0.50 a month, which by our metric is a pretty great deal!
The Expert plan includes all of the above plus “Maximum CPU and MEM resources”. Across all the plans you get:
- Free domain for a year
- Free Wildcard SSL certificate
- Free professional email
- Daily backup and recovery (up to six days!)
- Free 24/7 support
IONOS is not perfect, however. While we mentioned its support is 24/7, that’s only for its phone service. There are no email or live-chat options for the introverted among us. It does still have a Knowledge Base and community center, however.
Another mark on its card is hidden fines. IONOS includes some hefty charges out of the gate from a quoted cost for migration, a $50 set-up charge, and additional monthly fees for Windows users – up to $60 a month!
1&1 IONOS Review – We’ll take a closer look at IONOS’ overall performance.
Cheapest alternative to Bluehost ($2.99/month)
Hostinger used to top this list but now sits smack bang in the middle. Its cheap selling point has been usurped by other builders, which makes it a slightly lower value choice compared to hosts like DreamHost. Hostinger still has its merits compared to other hosting providers – but its drawbacks are more noticeable now.
Cheap alternative to Bluehost
- Cheap introductory prices
- Good for WordPress users
- Low uptime percentage
Paid Plans: $1.99 - $109.99 / month
- Multilingual customer support
- Up to 200GB backup space
- Offers Linux Hosting
- No over-the-phone support
- No green hosting
- Low disk space on shared plans
Hostinger Shared Hosting Pricing Breakdown
Hostinger has taken a nasty tumble through our research scores. It used to have a 4.1 out of 5 value score for shared hosting pricing but has now dropped to 3.7 out of 5! Why did this happen? Well, sadly it just got overtaken by newer, cheaper upstarts in the hosting game, like IONOS and DreamHost.
Hostinger still offers quite an affordable rate with a lot of good features, but it’s no longer the stallion it used to be.
Hostinger’s shared plans range from $2.99 to $3.99 per month, when you choose a 12-month term. Like most of the providers on this list, Hostinger offers three different shared plans to choose from:
- Single – $2.99/month (renews at $5.99 after 12 months)
- Premium – $2.99/month (renews at $8.99 after 12 months)
- Business – $3.99/month (renews at $11.99 after 12 months)
Each plan gets cheaper as you commit more time to it. To get the cheapest rate available – just $1.99 per month – you’ll need to commit to a four-year plan, which is a pretty long commitment!
Hostinger offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, like most of the hosting platforms on this list. But less common is Hostinger’s student discount, which could save you 10% on your plan if you’re eligible!
Hostinger Shared Hosting Features
If storage be something ye seek, then Hostinger begins at 50GB for the Single Shared plan and then on to 100GB for the Premium and 200GB for the Business Shared plan. This also correlates to how much storage you get in automated backups for each plan, so you can rest knowing that you’ll never lose a version of your site.
To get unlimited email accounts and bandwidth, you’ll have to upgrade to either the Premium or Business Shared plans. Every Hostinger shared plan comes with at least one email account and 100GB of bandwidth, but on the Premium and Business Shared plans, you also get a free domain and Secure Shell (SSH) access. However, Hostinger lacks a good uptime percentage – at 99.90%, Hostinger’s promise is well behind that of its competitors. And while its existing customer services, from live chat to multilingual options, have been met with rave reviews, Hostinger is behind the times in that it doesn’t currently offer phone support or a Community center.
Hostinger Review – Learn more about Hostinger’s overall ranking.
Hostinger Pricing – Get acquainted with the ins and outs of the market’s cheapest host.
Best Managed WordPress Providers – The top platforms for easy WordPress hosting.
Best for shared hosting ($3.95/month)
With an overall shared hosting score of 4.7 out of 5, HostGator is one of our favorite shared hosting providers. It’s a solid option, providing reliable hosting and great support, but there is a downside of being slightly more expensive than other providers at $3.95 per month, billed annually, so it gets a value score of 3.6 out of 5 for pricing.
Best for shared hosting
- Very reliable
- Feature-rich shared plans
- Slightly expensive
Paid Plans: $3.95 - $159.99 / month
- Great support on all channels
- Unlimited storage on all shared plans
- Unmetered bandwidth on all shared plans
- Dashboard slightly outdated
- Backups cost $2.75/mo
- Only one website on cheapest plan
HostGator Shared Hosting Pricing Breakdown
HostGator may be an elegant beast swimming in the hosting watering hole, but it has a huge appetite. Crikey! Unlike other providers, HostGator’s 12-month plan is its cheapest option, the adorably named Hatchling Plan costing $3.95 per month.
There are three shared hosting plans in total, each offering up to a 70% discount for long-term sign-ups. These 12-month plans cost::
- Hatchling Plan – $3.95/month (renews at $8.95/month)
- Baby Plan – $5.00/month (renews at $11.95/month)
- Business Plan – $7.25/month (renews at $16.95/month)
HostGator is generally famed for dedicated hosting, but our research shows that its shared hosting service is the very best on the market.
HostGator Shared Hosting Features
In a while, you hosting crocodiles because HostGator offers a decent selection of shared hosting features. Having unlimited email accounts is a big plus, as is 24/7 dedicated support on both phone and live chat.
HostGator’s biggest draw, however, is its unlimited storage and bandwidth across all of its plans. There aren’t many hosting providers that provide this one their cheapest plans, so HostGator is definitely the one you want for bigger sites.
However, all is not cool in the lagoon. HostGator does not provide its own backups. Instead, it outsources backups to CodeGuard. This will require users to subscribe to another service, starting at $2.75/month.
You can only host one site on HostGator’s Hatchling plan too, but upgrade to the Baby or Business shared hosting packages and the world is your oyster, with unlimited website hosting. There’s also a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee on offer, so you’ve got nothing to lose by giving HostGator a try.
HostGator Review – A closer look at this popular provider.
HostGator Pricing Review – How much does HostGator cost? We’ve analyzed all the factors.
HostGator vs Bluehost – Compare these top providers from all angles, including affordability.
Most trusted by users online ($2.95/month)
Bluehost is the big name in hosting, being the number one recommended host by WordPress. For this prestige, you can expect a load of great features across its four shared hosting plans, as well as a slightly higher price – hence the slightly lower value score of 3.1 out of 5.
Most trusted by users online
- Highest average rating
- Strong features
- WordPress integration
Paid Plans: $2.95 - $139.99 / month
- Great for WordPress users
- Best customer satisfaction
- Excellent support team
- Only 50GB storage on cheapest plan
- Lots of additional costs at checkout
- No backups on cheapest plans
Bluehost Shared Hosting Pricing Breakdown
Similar to HostGator, Bluehost offers a 12-month plan as its cheapest option, costing $2.95 per month. Its 36-month plan, on the other hand, costs $4.95 per month.
There are four shared hosting plans to choose from overall, the most expensive of which retails at $13.95 per month on both 12-month and 36-month terms. The 12-month plans cost:
- Basic – $2.95/month (renews at $9.99/month)
- Plus – $5.45/month (renews at $14.99/month)
- Choice Plus – $5.45/month (renews at $18.99/month)
- Pro – $13.95/month (renews at $28.99/month)
As you can see, Bluehost’s renewal prices are a little more expensive than other shared hosting providers on this list. This is one reason why it scores 3.1 out of 5 for value in our latest research, despite its cheap $2.95 per month starting price.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Features
Bluehost is better known for WordPress hosting, and there are cheaper hosting providers out there. That said, the company really does put a premium on quality. Aside from its brilliant uptime and offering of free backups/domains, there’s also 24/7 support, plus an SSL security certificate. There’s even a full web design and marketing service, although you’ll need to book a consultation and get a quote for that.
Bluehost: The People's Champion?One of Bluehost’s notable features is the strong trust it has built with its users. In our research, Bluehost scored 4.9 out of 5 in market analysis, which factors in online customer reviews and customer satisfaction! When we tested it out ourselves, we were very impressed by the speed and quality of the team’s live chat responses.
Partially, we think this is due to its high search-value score and the fact that Bluehost provides a lot of in-depth guides for WordPress. Due to WordPress’ open-source nature, it provides little in the way of guides on how to actually use it. As its go-to hosting service, Bluehost picks up the slack – its in-house WordPress experts help beginners become WordPress wizzes in no time!
The main limitation of Bluehost is storage. You’ll be capped at 10GB on Bluehost’s Basic plan, so it’s not recommended for media-heavy websites. There are also no backups available on the Basic or Plus plans. Upgrade to any other shared hosting plan and you’ll get unlimited storage space, but we wouldn’t recommend it if you’re trying to manage a big site on a budget.
Bluehost Review – Find out more about this feature-rich provider.
Bluehost Pricing Review – Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.
Bluehost vs DreamHost – See how these top providers compare.
In this article, we’ve taken a close look at shared hosting, because it’s the cheapest type available. Sharing a server’s resources with other websites is cost-effective and great for smaller websites, like personal portfolios and blogs.
But if you find that your website is outgrowing a shared server – if you’re starting to upload more content or receive more monthly traffic, for example – then it’s probably time to upgrade to a hosting type with more resources. Fortunately, you don’t have to dive straight off the deep end! There are a few different tiers of web hosting to choose from:
VPS, or Virtual Private Server, hosting is the next step up from shared hosting. You’ll be given your own “virtual” server within a shared server, with more resources specifically allocated to your website. Prices typically range from $10–$90/month. Learn more with our guide to Cheap VPS Hosting.
Dedicated hosting is pricier and more powerful than VPS, because it provides an entire web server solely dedicated to your website and its needs. You’ll have more control over your hosting experience this way, but we don’t recommend starting with a dedicated plan unless you’re running a website that needs a lot of power and security, like a large online store. Prices typically range from $79–$520/month. Learn more with our guide to Cheap Dedicated Hosting.
Cloud hosting is slightly different from the other options. It’s a lot like shared hosting, except your site is stored on multiple servers – which means this is a more flexible option should anything ever go wrong (like if one server were to go down). Because Cloud plans are so flexible, prices typically range all the way from $4–$80/month. Cloud hosting is already a pretty cheap option, and you can learn more about it with our guide to the Best Cloud Hosting.
What about WordPress-specific hosting?
We’re glad you asked! If you’re running a WordPress site, then you have two more options to consider. Shared WordPress hosting is essentially the same as shared hosting, just tailored to WordPress websites in particular. This means you’ll get tools like one-click WordPress installation and automated updates. Cheap WordPress hosting options range from $0.99–$6/month.
Managed WordPress hosting is WordPress-specific hosting for larger sites. It usually comes with higher storage and traffic allowances, plus handy features like staging environments for testing website changes. If you’re stuck between VPS and dedicated hosting, and your site is built on WordPress, then this could be a great option. Prices typically range from $9–$35/month.
There you have it – an in-depth look at our top-rated cheap hosting providers. All of the prices we’ve discussed have been based on shared hosting plans, because, as we mentioned, these are usually the cheapest plans hosts offer. There are others out there who offer hosting at similar rates, but they didn’t stack up to this bunch when put through their paces.
To recap, here’s the cream of the shared hosting crop:
Best Cheap Web Hosting Providers
While IONOS is the cheapest provider with its promotional $0.50 per month deal, and iPage is also a very budget-friendly option, it is DreamHost that is the best value for money. It’s a cost-effective option for media-heavy websites, or those expecting high traffic.
There’s only one way to know for sure if a provider is best for your site, however, and that’s by trying it out. All six of these providers offer a minimum 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always give one a whirl to see what you make of it.
And now it’s over to you! Get out there, and find the right host to help you share your website with the world.