When it comes to things that are needed, the cheap options aren’t always the best ones.
Your web hosting is extremely important to the success of your blog, so you should stay away from cheap options…
Actually, some of the best web hosting out there today can be purchased for as low as $5 a month or less! The key is knowing which ones are worth your time and money (because let’s face it, not all of them are).
So, what is the best blog host for you?
People get stuck in bad hosting ruts all the time, and if you’re trying to build a strong and profitable blog, you can’t afford to have poor hosting. Not only does it leave a bad impression on your visitors, but it hampers your chances of ever winning them over.
There’s nothing worse than starting a website and then finding out you’re stuck with a poor hosting performance.
Luckily for you, I recently pieced together a web hosting guide for beginner’s.
Here’s what we’re covering today:
- An overview of today’s web hosting services
- A rated list of the cheapest (and best) hosting services currently available
- Common problems (and how to avoid them) with cheap web host options
Today’s World of Affordable Web Hosting
When I say cheap web hosting, I’m really talking about valuable and affordable hosting solutions that will run you less than $5 per month.
In the past, this number of was higher, but today you can find some really low options. I’ve even seen services for as low as $1.95 a month!
What we’re looking for is cheap hosting but with the essential features your blog needs.
As of today the concept of “standard features” covers the following:
- The power to host between 50-100 semi-active domains on a server
- Basic web statistics
- Auto script installations
- Updated PHP and MySQL
- After-sale technical support
- 99.5% server uptime
As a bonus, it would be good to have server backups, malware scanning, and dedicated IP + SSL certifications.
The Top 5 Cheap Web Hosting Options
Before we look at some of the common problems (and solutions) when it comes to cheap web hosting, here are five of my top picks for web hosting that won’t break the bank:
1. Web Hosting Hub
As my personal favorite, Web Hosting Hub has just recently achieved mainstream success, though it’s been around since January 2005.
Based out of Virginia Beach, this service provider is currently under the management of InMotion Hosting which has over 10 years of experience in the industry.
Not only are the options here cheap (the cheapest you’ll find if you click the link above), but the company also supports the highest refund period in the industry which is 90 days for a full refund.
Combine this with a 99.8% average uptime and a solid list of features, and you have one of the best hosting options out there for the price. (less than $5 a month!)
Web Hosting Hub Rating:
2. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting has been around since August of 2001 and is known for great speed, uptime, and customer service. Here you can find an unlimited plan for $3.92 a month, with other options on the higher end.
All three plans are powered by a Solid State Drive Speed Boost. SSD hard drives load a lot faster so this is a great bonus.
With unlimited storage, transfer, emails, domains, and subdomains, there are plenty of features on hand. Support is there for blogging platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
Uptime here is great and speed is the name of the game so you won’t have to worry about a slow website.
A2 Hosting Rating:
You’ll find no shortage of BlueHost reviews out there that talk up the features, free domain, and the money-back-guarantee.
Those are all positive features for sure, and BlueHost also boasts a very high uptime performance, so that’s another positive.
The user dashboard is really easy to use and it’s more user-friendly than most. Add-on features are available too with support for things like 404 settings, dedicated domain management, Spam Hammer, Weebly, Cloud Flare, and others.
The user support portal is stellar here as well. There’s a gigantic knowledge base for customers, and they even have a YoutTube channel as well for video tutorials.
The only downsides here are CPU throttling that can hurt your site’s performance, two large outages in 2014, and expensive renewal rates.
The domain for iPage has been around for 10 years, but a relaunch in October of 2009 brought it into the spotlight.
The first thing that stands out about this service is the price: $1.99 per month.
This brings you a good chunk of the features you expect like unlimited hosting, a free domain name, webmail, support, and 99% server uptime.
The service is cheap, the features are there, the order process is smooth, and the hosting is powered by reusable energy.
What’s not to like?
5. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is based out of California and Virginia. It has been around since 2001 and offers a number of service options in a variety of packages.
Possibly the best aspect of this company is the stellar customer service. It has an A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau as well.
Price is the big reason to go with this hosting service.
It’s nice and cheap to start, but you should be wary of the renewal fees because they can sneak up on you.
InMotion Hosting Rating:
Web Hosting Usage Statistics
Common Issues With Cheap Web Hosting (And How to Avoid Them)
While it’s generally accepted that cheaper things are not as good, this isn’t always the case with hosting. While it’s true that hosting companies are a business like any other (they want to make money), you can still get around a lot of the problems that comes with cheap hosting…
…if you know how that is.
Lucky for you, that’s exactly why we’re here. With this information, you’ll be able to find and counter common issues. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?
1. Unnecessary Software Add-Ons
Many cheap hosting companies make up their profits by charging for add-ons and software. Makes sense, like popcorn and soda at the movie theater, but just like those things, you may not need additional software.
In some cases, you may be forced to sign up for a free trial on something that will cost you down the pipeline.
How to avoid this:
- Be smart when you’re signing up, look for the fine print.
- If there are any required free trials, make sure you cancel them before you’re charged.
- Check with the hosting company prior to signup so you know what to expect.
2. Unstable Servers
The best thing to do before signing up is to read reviews and track the average server uptime for hosting services.
If you notice a lot of server outages and slow speeds, then you may be looking at some unstable servers that were thrown together a little too quickly.
Do Your Research:
- Find user reviews and see what the overall server quality is like
- Look for monthly tracking to see if there are outages or drops
- As always, anything less than 99% uptime is unacceptable.
3. Bad Neighbors
Years ago a lot of cheap hosts had spammers and hackers running sites on their servers. These kinds of neighbors are no good for your own sites performance, and you run the risk of being hacked yourself.
This isn’t too much of an issue nowadays.
If you detect that anything is off:
- Keep your account secure, don’t use easy passwords or leave your username as “admin.”
- If you feel that something is amiss, request that your site be relocated to another server.
- Avoid other common blogging mistakes that could falsely show issues.
4. Black-Listed IP Addresses
This one can be killer on your site’s performance and results. These IP addresses will be identified as spam by email accounts and other networks.
In order to avoid being grouped into this category, there is fortunately an easy way to fix this or avoid it entirely.
Check Your IP:
- Use a tool like Spamhaus to check your IP address when you sign up.
- If possible, you can also obtain a list of the IP addresses from the host and check them before you even sign up.
- Issues can be resolved by having your website relocated or by having the hosting service white-list the IP.
5. Lack of Technical Support
For those who are just getting started, good technical support both during and after the sale is very important.
Before you sign up, have a chat with the tech support to see how they help out, and maybe ask them a few curveball questions to ensure they know their stuff.
6. Ridiculous Cancellation Fees
Some cheap hosting options will hide a bunch of cancellation fees in their terms. This means that if you cancel and you want your money back, you may be missing a chunk of it.
There’s no reason to give into something like this.
Here’s how to tell:
- Go to the Terms of Service page and use a search to look for “Cancellation” or “refund.”
- Anything beyond a domain registrations fee and SSL certificate fees is not worth it.
7. Low MySQL Database Count
In some cases, hosting services will place a limit on the MySQL databases that you can use. Anything less than 100 is too little.
Here’s what to look for:
- Unlimited MySQL databases are ideal, look for this before your sign up.
8. High Renewal Fees
When you sign up for hosting, you typically receive some sort of promotional price. It makes sense that this price would be higher the following year, but in some cases it’s a lot higher.
When you’re faced with this issue, there are two options:
- You can change web hosts each period to avoid the renewal fees.
- Sign up for a longer period if you get a money-back guarantee so you can avoid fees
- Look for a hosting service that has low renewal rates.
9. Cheap Price Requires Long-Term Subscription
If your eyes catch a low rate for each month of hosting, be sure to check and see if there’s a requirement for how long you subscribe.
Sure, you want to pay $4.95 per month for hosting, but if you have to commit to five years, that’s way too long!
The place could close up shop and you would be out of luck. Don’t fall into this:
- Don’t sign up for anything longer than 2-years to be safe
- You can also find year-by-year contracts.
10. Limited Inodes
This problem isn’t so much of an issue these days, but it does link to a good practice that we should also remember to do.
Unlimited hosting isn’t exactly unlimited, so keep these things in mind as you build your website:
- Delete unnecessary files
- Keep your email inbox clean
- Download emails to your computer if need be
- Optimize your databases
Bottom Line: Cheap Web Hosting Isn’t Always Bad!
While you may be tempted to go for the best options available, don’t break the bank when you’re first starting out. You don’t need to have a VPS or a dedicated web host right when you build your site.
At least 90% of all the successful blogs out there started with a shared web host, and you can too.
The best thing for you to do as a web owner is to know what signs to look for, and avoid when it comes to choosing your hosting. You can absolutely pay less and still have all the services you want and need.
Thanks for reading and be sure to share your own tips for finding the best web hosting in the comments below!