Best Web Hosting for Students: the Top 5 Budget-Friendly Providers
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Students everywhere are taking intuitive steps to get noticed, make money, or meet their grades. Whether it’s building an online portfolio, starting a business, or setting up a site as part of your course, creating a website has tons of benefits.
And the good news is, there are plenty of hosting providers out there who won’t charge you a month’s rent just to keep your website up and running. Whether they’re dirt cheap prices, student discounts, or entirely free plans, we’ve found providers for even the most cash-strapped amongst you. Compare them below and read on for our more detailed reviews:
The Best Web Hosting Providers for Students
We’ll give you an overview of each provider, with details on pricing, insight into how it performed in our research, plus tips on who qualifies for the lowest prices. There’s no time to waste, so let’s get to it.
Are you looking for something a little easier?
If you want to combine website building with hosting that’s managed for you, check out Squarespace. Its plans start from $16 per month, and you can save 50% on the first year of your new Squarespace plan.
All you need is a valid school email address!
Unsurprisingly, you can’t use this offer alongside any other offer codes, but you can apply the discount to up to three websites under the one school email address.
Head on over to Squarespace today and search for your school to get started!
Compare the 5 Best Student Hosting Providers
When you’ve got deadlines to hit and parties to go to, you don’t have much time to sit around researching the finer pros and cons of different hosting providers. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work – use our handy chart below to compare key features and narrow down which hosts best suit your needs. Here’s a comparison of each host’s cheapest plan:
|Storage||50GB||Unmetered||100GB||Unlimited|| 50GB |
|SSD storage||✅||✅||✅||❌|| ✅ |
|Bandwidth||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unlimited||Unlimited|| Unmetered |
|Starting price/month||$2.95||$2.75||$2.49||$1.99|| $2.59 |
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||45 days||90 days||30 days|| 97 days |
|cPanel||✅||✅||✅||❌|| ❌ |
|Email addresses||5||Unlimited||50||Unlimited|| ❌ |
|Free SSL||✅||✅||✅||✅|| ✅ |
|Free backups||✅||✅||❌||❌|| ✅ |
|Free domain||✅||✅||✅||✅|| ✅ |
|Free CDN||✅||❌||❌||❌|| ❌ |
Best Overall Hosting Provider
Best overall hosting provider
- Best for WordPress users
- Great value for money
- Lots of free perks
Paid Plans: $2.95 - $119.99 / month
- Best host available for WordPress users
- No risk, 30-day money-back guarantee
- Generous plans include tons of freebies
- A little pricier than competitors
- Only 5 emails included on cheapest plan
- Only 50GB storage on cheapest plan
Bluehost is the best overall provider on our list, and starts it off with a bang. It’s a reliable and well-known provider with a great track record. It performed solidly in our research, coming out first overall, and wowed us with its WordPress features – and no wonder, as it’s also the number one recommended provider by WordPress itself!
Bluehost’s cheapest plan is its Basic shared plan at just $2.95 per month.
For $2.95 per month you get the usual SSL certificate, plus unmetered bandwidth and 50GB storage. This plan supports one website, and includes a free domain and free backups. You unlock more features as you upgrade, and Bluehost’s range of tools makes it a scalable choice.
You get a lot for your money – you won’t find free domains and free backups with all providers – plus a strong and reliable service across the board. Renewal prices aren’t bad, either, with the Basic shared plan renewing at $7.99 per month after your first term.
We recommend Bluehost because of the way it combines impressive features with affordable prices and top notch support. There might be cheaper hosts out there, but Bluehost is worth every buck – especially if you have a baby WordPress site and want to give it the best start in its virtual life!
- Read our full Bluehost Review to find out more
- Explore how much Bluehost costs in our Bluehost Pricing Review
- Find out why Bluehost is so good for WordPress users in our list of the Best WordPress Hosts
Best for Uptime
Best for uptime
- 99.99% uptime guarantee
- Generous features
- Unlimited emails
Paid Plans: $3.95 - $159.99 / month
- Incredible uptime helps prevent crashes
- No risk, 45-day money-back guarantee
- Provides unlimited storage and emails
- No free CDN included
- Value for money could be better
- Slightly dated control panel design
If you want the best uptime on the market, HostGator has got all bases covered. It also offers a great range of hosting types, from shared to dedicated, and it’s good at what it does. HostGator is that student who isn’t top of every single class, but is still the teacher’s favorite. In our research, it performed particularly well in dedicated hosting.
Like most providers, HostGator’s cheapest prices come with its shared hosting plans, which start at $2.75 per month. The adorably named Hatchling plan gives you 60% off the original price, and throws in some nifty features too. It includes:
- Free SSL
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unmetered storage
- One-click installs
- Unlimited free email addresses
Apart from not giving you free backups or a free domain, HostGator ticks all the boxes in its shared hosting plans. Once your first term is up, the Hatchling plan renews at $6.95 per month.
- Read our HostGator Review to learn more about this popular web host
- Check out our HostGator Pricing Review for a run down of its costs
- Are you a student with a side hustle? Find out if HostGator is right for you in our review of the Best Web Hosting for Small Business
Best for Shared and VPS Hosting
Best for shared and VPS hosting
- Student discount provided
- Save up to 58%
- Powerful features
Paid Plans: $3.49 - $539.99 / month
- Best host for shared and VPS hosting
- No risk, 90-day money-back guarantee
- Powerful and feature rich plans
- No free CDN included
- Pricey renewal costs
- Less easy if you don’t have a .edu email
InMotion is a top quality hosting provider with excellent features. In our research, it came out as the best provider for both shared and VPS hosting. If you need either of these, then InMotion is a great place to start looking.
InMotion provides a student discount on its shared hosting Power plan. Usually this reduces the regular price of $13.99 to $5.99 per month. However, our readers get a special discount so that you only pay $2.49 per month!
The Power plan is InMotion’s middle shared hosting plan, recommended for small businesses, and has the features you need to easily build and manage your site.
The Power plan comes with a great range of features, including a free domain for one year, free SSL security, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited email. You can also say hello to marketing tools and 24/7 support, so you won’t be alone if your site crashes at 4am!
If you want to grow your site, InMotion’s Power plan will comfortably set you on your way to bigger and better things.
How generous is the discount? You can pay $2.49 per month for the six month plan and the 12 month plan. That’s 58% off when you sign up for 12 months!
The discount applies to your first term – after that, the Power plan will renew at its regular rate of $13.99 per month. The free domain lasts for a year, then renews at $15.99 per year.
It’s always worth checking what sales the provider is running at the time you sign up. Often, the promotion for new users can be cheaper than the student discount, and you can usually lock that price down for up to three years. So make sure you’re getting the best deal you can.
To sign up for InMotion’s student plans, all you have to do is type in your .edu email and claim your discount. If you don’t have a .edu email address, that’s okay – ring up the Confirmations Team with your student ID to hand, and they’ll set you up.
- Discover more about this provider in our InMotion Hosting Review
- InMotion is best for shared hosting – see how it compares in our list of the Best Shared Hosting Services
Best for Cheap Prices, but at the Expense of Speed
Best for cheap prices, but at the expense of speed
- One-size-fits-all plan
- Very cheap hosting
- Low uptime: 99.94%
Paid Plans: $2.99 / month
- Tons of features for such a cheap price
- No risk, 30-day money-back guarantee
- Freebies include domain name and email
- Not much scalability
- No free backups or CDN included
- Not very powerful or fast hosting
iPage has a very simple and appealing price structure for its shared hosting – in fact, it has just one price. Its ‘one-size-fits-all’ shared hosting costs $1.99 per month for everyone, until the promotional period is over. That’s 75% off its regular price!
iPage isn’t the most powerful or speedy provider out there, but it is one of the cheapest. Its single shared plan starts out at $1.99 per month, and comes with features to benefit both small and growing sites.
The best part for students is that there are lots of free extras that come with this plan. Free domain, free SSL, free drag-and-drop website builder, free domain transfer, free 24/7 support, free email address… the list goes on and on!
In fact, iPage can impressively boast that it includes over $500 worth of extras in all its plans.
The promotional price lasts for your first term, then automatically renews at $7.99 per month. Your free domain lasts for one year, renewing at $14.99 per year after that. Anyone can sign up to this plan, so don’t worry if you’ve lost your student ID card!
- Read our iPage Hosting Review for more details on its pricing, performance, and features
Best for Storage Space
Best for storage space
- Plenty of storage growth
- Good WordPress plans
- Support could be better
Paid Plans: $2.95 - $379 / month
- SSD storage is ideal for large sites
- No risk, 97-day money-back guarantee
- Another good choice for WordPress users
- No free emails or CDN included
- Support isn’t as good as competitors’
- SSL isn’t pre-installed on cheapest plan
DreamHost is another provider on this list which has been officially recommended by WordPress, so if you need hosting for your WordPress site, this is a good place to look. It also stood out in our research for the amount of storage space it includes in its plans.
DreamHost’s cheapest plan is its Shared Starter hosting plan for $2.59 per month. For that, you get hosting for a single website, a free domain, free SSL security, and WordPress comes pre-installed. All these things are designed to make running your site as easy as possible.
DreamHost’s shared hosting plans also come with a 97-day money back guarantee, which is very generous and means you can sign up risk-free.
The $2.59 per month price applies to the three year plan, so this price would last for that three year term and then renew to the regular rate of $4.95 per month.
- Read our DreamHost Review for a full breakdown of its pros, cons, features, and more
Are There Any Other Web Hosts For Students?
We’ve explored the very best hosting providers for students, based on our in-depth research.
However, these aren’t the only hosts that you can choose from, so we’ve also lined up two of the best (aka free) web hosts for you to take a look at. We haven’t included them in the main part of this review because we haven’t put them through our rigorous research process yet!
These are the best free web hosting providers:
Before you get too excited, though, it’s worth noting that most hosting providers will make you pay for your hosting after a certain amount of time.
Let’s take a look at just what you get with these providers, and the free student hosting they offer.
Now that you know the basics offered by both providers, we’ll dive into more detail for each of them.
Best for Free Student Hosting
AccuWeb Hosting was founded in 2002 and offers a range of hosting options, including shared, cloud, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting. It also caters for other services, such as domain registration and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates.
AccuWeb Hosting takes pride in its positive customer relationships, guaranteeing 99.99% uptime, hassle-free cancellation, and 100% customer satisfaction. That’s quite a promise!
AccuWeb Hosting Pros and Cons
|Free until you graduate||Requires some work to apply|
|Lots of features||No free SSL included in student hosting|
AccuWeb’s student hosting gives you the basic features from its shared hosting plan. These include:
- 2GB SSD storage – space to store your site’s data, with fast SSD (Solid State Drive) storage for the best performance
- 30GB bandwidth – the amount of data that can be transferred between your site and its users, this determines how much traffic your site can handle
- 25 free email addresses – ideal for running a business
- Free backups – your site is safe from crashes or data loss
- Free CloudFlare – speeds up your site and keeps it safe from online threats
You can host a single website with the free student plan, and won’t have any pop-ups, banners, or advertisements cluttering up your pages. Although 2GB storage doesn’t sound like much, it should be more than enough for most average-sized websites.
If you already have a website, you can migrate it to AccuWeb’s student plan for free. Because AccuWeb uses cPanel for its control panel, it’s easy to install any extras you need – such as WordPress – with a single click.
The downside of AccuWeb’s hosting package is you don’t get a free SSL certificate included. SSL encrypts information like login and credit card details which pass through your site, and is essential for any website.
You can buy SSL directly from AccuWeb from $49 per year, or find cheaper deals through a registrar like GoDaddy.
The good news is, your hosting will remain totally free until you graduate!
As long as you’re a student at a well-known university (or about to become one) and can give documentation to prove your enrolment, then you’re eligible to apply.
The actual process of applying takes a little more effort, but shouldn’t take up too much of your time. First, you have to like and follow AccuWeb on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Once you’ve ticked that off, you need to create a two minute video on what you think the next big technology trend will be in the next 10 years. Publish it on one of your social channels like YouTube, then send AccuWeb an email – it’s best to send this from your student email account.
AccuWeb says it offers two to three students free hosting accounts every day. Our top tip would be to search YouTube for ‘AccuWeb Hosting Free Hosting for Students’ to see other candidates’ videos. If you give feedback to AccuWeb on your experience, you apparently have an even better chance of getting your account approved.
Best for Unlimited Features
InterServer.net is a hosting provider offering a wide range of services, from standard shared hosting to dedicated servers. It’s known for being a budget friendly provider with a helpful, 24/7 support team.
InterServer.net Pros and Cons
|Clear price plan means you know what you’re signing up for||Only free for the first year|
|Unlimited storage, bandwidth, emails, and websites||$5 renewal cost is pricey compared to other deals|
InterServer.net includes a solid range of generous features in its free student hosting plan. That’s because it’s actually the Standard Web Hosting package, which usually costs $5 per month. You get unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited websites, and unlimited email. That’s a lot of unlimited!
You also get free backups and a free SSL certificate, so you don’t have to worry about any extra costs creeping in. InterServer.net uses SSD storage for better performance, and features the easy to use cPanel as its standard control panel.
InterServer.net’s student plan is free for the first year. After that it renews at $5 per month, which isn’t bad, although you might want to search around to make sure you don’t miss out on even better deals.
It’s easy to sign up for the year’s free student hosting – all you have to do is sign up using your student email address (ending in .edu), or contact InterServer directly.
Best Web Hosting for Students: Summary
This article has gone through the best providers for students, from zero dollar plans to hero hosting providers that charge a little for a lot more quality. We’ve compared them, and broken them down to give you the best idea of which one is right for you.
5 Best Web Hosting Providers for Students: Recap
The best student hosting provider is Bluehost. It’s the best overall, so if you’re unsure which host is best for you it’s a good idea to start with Bluehost’s shared plans. It’s also the best WordPress host, so bear that in mind when choosing!
HostGator has impressive uptime, and InMotion is a powerhouse of features (especially on its shared and VPS plans).
If you have the time and motivation to create a video for AccuWeb Hosting, then this is your best choice for getting free hosting, as you won’t have to pay at all until you graduate. However, you will have to pay for your own SSL certificate, and there’s no guarantee your application will be successful.
You might actually find the best deal amongst the regular sales for new customers offered by most hosting providers. Like finding a bargain in a brand store rather than a charity shop, this can give you the guarantee of long-term value and quality. You can lock your sale price in for up to three years, whereas student discounts often end after just one year.
Whichever one you choose, you can expect low prices and great things from all these providers – the only question is, which one will you opt for?
Best Web Hosting for Students: FAQs
Read more about the Best Cheap Hosting Providers to compare over 50 plans!
Read about the Best cPanel Hosting Providers in our in-depth review.
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