Everyone loves to get a great deal. That’s why it’s worth it to shop around to get the best possible rate for web hosting.
However, finding the cheapest web hosting plans isn’t always easy.
It’s common practice in the web hosting industry for providers to advertise really low introductory rates. But in order to get the lowest possible monthly rate, you’ll have to pay up-front and in-full for at least a year.
Basically, the longer your contract terms are and the more you pay upfront, the cheaper your monthly rates will be. It’s also worth noting that your rates could double or even triple when it comes time to renew your plan. The best price will always be for your first contract.
So you can’t just take the advertised rates at face value. What might sound like affordable web hosting initially, could end up costing you much more than you anticipated.
The word “cheap” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. A friend of yours could recommend a hosting plan that’s cheap to them, but way out of your price range.
Plus, the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Some hosts have low rates but provide terrible service. This will end up costing you more money in the long-term.
That’s what inspired me to write this guide.
I’ve taken all of these factors into consideration to identify the most affordable web hosting plans that are worth using. All of the options in this guide are shared hosting plans, which will always be the most cost-effective way to host your website, regardless of the provider you choose.
Whether you’re looking for month-to-month plans, annual options, or the best possible rate, you’ll be able to find the best web hosting provider for your website below.
The Best Month-to-Month Hosting Prices
For those of you who don’t want long-term contract commitments, you’ll need to find a web hosting provider that offers month-to-month pricing. These prices will be a bit higher than the cheapest advertised rates, but you won’t be locked in for multiple years.
If you’re looking for an affordable web hosting option, DreamHost is a top provider to consider. More than 1.5 million websites worldwide are hosted by DreamHost. They have an outstanding reputation, so don’t assume that their low rates are a reflection of their quality.
DreamHost offers month-to-month web hosting plans starting for less than $5 per month.
- Shared Starter — $4.95 per month
- Shared Unlimited — $10.95 per month
There are no setup fees and no strings attached. You can cancel whenever you want without committing to more than one month at a time. These are two of the most straightforward low-cost plans in the industry.
Both plans come with a free website builder, WordPress pre-installed, and a free SSL certificate.
Email comes free with the Shared Unlimited plan and starts at $1.67 per month with the Shared Starter plan.
I like DreamHost because their customer service team is 100% in-house. They don’t outsource agents like other web hosting companies. However, the trade-off is that live chat and email support is only available for 16 hours per day.
With that said, DreamHost has an extensive knowledge base of FAQs and guides making it easy for you to find help on your own.
Not only are you able to sign up month-to-month, but you’ll also be refunded if you’re unhappy. DreamHost has an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee. Check out my complete Dreamhost review for more details about them.
Hostinger isn’t the most well-known name in the hosting industry, but they offer affordable web hosting with month-to-month contracts.
Here is an overview of Hostinger’s monthly rates:
- Single Shared Hosting — $9.59 per month + $4.99 setup fee
- Premium Shared Hosting — $14.49 per month + $4.99 setup fee
- Business Shared Hosting — $18.99 per month + $4.99 setup fee
The biggest difference between the three options is the server resources and the number of websites that can be hosted. The available disk space is 10 GB, 20 GB, or 30 GB, depending on the plan you choose.
The Single Shared Hosting plan has 100 GB of bandwidth and it’s good for one website. The Premium and Business plans have unlimited bandwidth and up to 100 sites can be hosted.
All three plans have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7/365 customer support, and an easy-to-use website builder.
I like Hostinger because their service is reliable and they don’t force you to commit long-term. However, the month-to-month plans do not come with lots of freebies and extras. These are some of the add-ons that you’ll want to consider:
- SSL certificate — $11.95 (one-time payment)
- Daily backups — $0.95 per month (free with the Business Shared plan)
- Cloudflare CDN — $9.95 (one-time payment)
- SEO toolkit — $9.99 per month
- Priority support — $1.99 per month
At a minimum, I’d recommend the SSL certificate and daily backups. These are both pretty standard must-have features in web hosting. The Cloudflare CDN is a good value as well.
A2 Hosting is known as one of the fastest web hosting providers in the industry. So the fact that you can get affordable month-to-month pricing from such a reputable provider is a great option.
The monthly rates offered by A2 Hosting are a bit different compared to the providers that we’ve seen so far.
A2 gives a discounted rate off of the first month of the month-to-month contract. The renewal rates for each subsequent month are higher, but still affordable enough to fall in the cheap web hosting category. Let’s take a closer look at the pricing for these plans.
- Lite — $3.70 for the first month, then $9.99 per month
- Swift — $4.81 for the first month, then $12.99 per month
- Turbo — $9.25 for the first month, then $25.99 per month
If you’re in the market for cheap web hosting, then you probably won’t consider the turbo plan, since it renews for $26 per month. Although this plan will give you the fastest speeds.
A2 Hosting offers a free SSL certificate with all three plans. However, you’ll need to pay an extra $4 per month if you want a dedicated IP. Site builders, backups, spam protection, and Cloudflare cost extra as well.
Another reason why I recommend A2 Hosting is because they provide cPanel control panel. This feature will make it much easier for you to manage your hosting experience.
HostGator – $10.95 per month
HostGator’s entry-level rates are a bit higher than some of the other month-to-month plans that we’ve reviewed, but they are still one of the best cheap web hosting providers in the industry.
In terms of the value, one of the reasons why I like HostGator so much is because the month-to-month rates are exactly the same as the 3-month contracts and 6-month contracts.
So for those of you who don’t want to commit, even for a few months, there’s no reason to.
- Hatching Plan — $10.95 per month
- Baby Plan — $11.95 per month
- Business Plan — $16.95 per month
At first glance, the $10.95 starting point may seem high, but it’s really not the case.
Are there cheaper options available? Yes. But when you factor in the setup fees and renewal rates of those other providers beyond the first month, $10.95 is still very affordable.
The fact that there is only a $1 difference between the Hatchling and Baby plans is another bonus. In my mind, this pricing structure makes it a no-brainer for you to sign up for the Baby plan.
Even if you only have one domain right now, being able to add more down the road without switching plans is worth the extra $1 per month.
Additional features like SiteLock monitoring, professional email, SEO tools, and daily backups will cost you extra.
HostGator has 24/7/365 support via phone, email, and live chat. They offer instant account activation without any setup costs as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee.
SiteGround is another top name in the web hosting industry. They have a great reputation and host websites all over the world.
Their month-to-month pricing is a bit unique. SiteGround offers a low rate for the first month, advertised as a trial. Then the rate increases for each subsequent month.
All trials have a one-time setup fee, which actually makes the trial more expensive than the other months. This is a bit unusual, but it shouldn’t be a reason to turn you away from using SiteGround’s month-to-month plans.
Here’s a deeper breakdown of their pricing:
- Startup — $3.95 + $14.95 setup fee trial, then $11.95 per month
- GrowBig — $5.95 + $24.95 setup fee trial, then $19.95 per month
- GoGeek — $11.95 + $24.95 setup fee trial, then $34.95 per month
Truthfully, the GoGeek plan price point probably falls outside the range of what most people would consider “cheap” for web hosting. But with enough resources to accommodate roughly 100,000 monthly visits, it’s a great option for a larger website that needs affordable web hosting.
For those of you who are starting a new website, you should be fine with the Startup plan.
The Best Annual Hosting Prices
If you’re willing to commit to a web hosting plan for at least one year, you’ll get a cheaper monthly rate if you pay for 12 months upfront. These plans will take more out of your pocket initially but save you money in the long-run.
iPage – $2.99 per month
iPage has been around for more than 20 years. They are known for website builders and affordable web hosting. More than one million websites use iPage for hosting services.
I recommend iPage because their annual pricing rates are cheap and straightforward.
As we’ve already seen, other hosting providers offer multiple plans at varying price points. The pricing depends on features and resources.
But iPage pricing is based solely on your term length. Then you can customize your plan with additional products.
The base price for an annual web hosting plan is $2.99 per month, which translates to an upfront total of $35.88 for the year.
Here are some of the additional features that you can add to customize your plan:
- Daily backups — $14.99 per year
- Website security — $19.95 per year
- Pro website builder — $131.88 per year
- SiteLock — $23.88 per year
- Domain privacy — $9.99 per year
- WordPress optimization — $36.00 per year
- G Suite business — $36.00 per year
Most of you won’t need all of these. But you’ll probably want to add-on the domain privacy and added security at a minimum. That would bring your upfront annual total to $65.82.
iPage offers a free SSL certificate and a 30-day money-back guarantee for its annual plans as well.
Overall, iPage has some of the most affordable annual web hosting plans in the industry. Read my full iPage review for more on them.
We already reviewed SiteGround’s month-to-month pricing. But their annual rates are appealing enough for me to mention them again here.
In most cases, web hosting providers give you better discounts for longer contract terms. But SiteGround offers the same monthly rate for 12-month, 24-month, and 36-month contracts.
You’ll still have to pay upfront, but you don’t need to commit for three years to get the best rate.
- Startup — $3.95 per month ($47.40 per year)
- GrowBig — $5.95 per month ($71.40 per year)
- GoGeek — $11.95 per month ($143 per year)
So if you know that you want to use SiteGround for at least one year, these annual rates are much more affordable then the month-to-month options that we discussed earlier.
Bluehost – $4.95 per month
More than 2 million websites across the globe trust Bluehost for web hosting. Since launching back in 2003, Bluehost has become one of the best and most well-known hosting providers in the industry.
Bluehost plans are pretty unbeatable when you compare the price to the performance and quality of service that you’re getting in return.
Let’s take a closer look at the annual rates for Bluehost shared hosting plans.
- Basic — $4.95 per month ($59.40 per year)
- Plus — $7.45 per month ($89.40 per year)
- Choice Plus — $7.45 per month ($89.40 per year)
- Pro — $18.95 per month ($227.40 per year)
In terms of affordable web hosting, most of you probably won’t need or want the Pro plan.
But the Basic plan is a great option for a new or small website.
If you have the budget to spend a little bit more, the Plus and Choice Plus plans are offered at the same price for the first year. So I’d recommend Choice Plus, as it comes with extra benefits like site backups and domain privacy.
Just be aware that all of these plans renew at higher rates after the first year. The renewal rate for Choice Plus is $16.99 per month ($203.88 per year) compared to $12.99 per month ($155.88 per year) for the Plus plan.
For an extra $4 per month, I’d still lean toward Choice Plus as the best value.
All plans come with a free SSL certificate and unmetered bandwidth. The basic plan has 50 GB of storage, and the other three have unlimited SSD storage.
Bluehost also offers $100 in advertising credits for Microsoft Advertising as well as $100 in credits for Google Ads. The free advertising can balance out some of your hosting costs. Read my full Bluehost review for more info about them.
InMotion – $4.99 per month
The web hosting plans offered by InMotion are great for small business owners. So if you’re looking foe cheap small business web hosting, these are the plans that you should consider:
- Launch — $4.99 per month ($59.88 per year)
- Power — $6.99 per month ($83.88 per year)
- Pro — $13.99 per month ($167.88 per year)
Again, you need to pay upfront to lock in these annual rates.
Most entry-level plans limit you to host just one website. But the Launch plan from InMotion allows you to host two sites.
All plans come with unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email, security suite, marketing tools, and a free SSL certificate.
InMotion has a free one-click installer for more than 400 apps as well as one-click data backups and restores.
Another reason why I recommend InMotion is because of their 90-day money-back guarantee. This assurance should make you feel more comfortable about paying for a year in-full when you sign up.
While InMotion does have some add-ons like a dedicated IP and backup management, the plans seem to have more basic features included then some of the other providers out there. Learn more about them by reading my in depth InMotion hosting review.
GoDaddy – $6.99 per month
When most people hear the GoDaddy name, they automatically associate it with domain registration. But GoDaddy is also a reputable and affordable web hosting provider.
GoDaddy’s hosting plans are a great option for website owners that don’t want to spend a fortune to host their websites. Here’s an overview of the annual pricing offered by GoDaddy.
- Economy — $6.99 per month ($83.88 per year)
- Deluxe — $9.99 per month ($119.88 per year)
- Ultimate — $14.99 per month ($179.88 per year)
- Maximum — $28.99 per month ($347.88 per year)
As you can see, GoDaddy has an option for varying budgets.
In most cases, the majority of you wouldn’t need to look beyond the Ultimate plan. This choice will give you enough features and resources even if you’re expecting heavy traffic to your complex site.
All plans come with unlimited disk space, except for the Economy option, which has 100 GB. Memory ranges from 512 MB to 2 GB, depending on the plan you select.
I like GoDaddy because they make it easy for you to scale your resources if you’re outgrowing your existing plan.
GoDaddy’s renewal rates after the first year are very reasonable as well. Other hosts will double or triple renewal prices, but GoDaddy only adds on an extra $2 per month for annual renewals. The Maximum plan actually renews at the exact same rate.
This pricing structure makes it easier for you to calculate your hosting costs long-term.
Cheapest Long Term Hosting Plans
To get the absolute cheapest monthly rates available, you’ll need to lock in a contract for more than one year. This will cost you more money upfront, but save you in the long run.
Here are some of the most affordable long-term plans offered by the providers on our list above.
- Hostinger — $0.99 per month (48 months paid in-full)
- iPage — $1.99 per month (36 months paid in-full)
- DreamHost — $2.59 per month (48 months paid in-full)
- HostGator — $2.75 per month (36 months paid in-full)
- Bluehost — $2.95 per month (36 months paid in-full)
- A2 Hosting — $2.96 per month (35 months paid in-full)
- InMotion — $3.99 per month (24 months paid in-full)
In addition to locking in the lowest available rates, you’re also delaying your renewal upcharges.
If you know that your site will be up and running for at least a few years, a long-term contract will offer the most value. Just make sure you sign up for a plan with a money-back guarantee, so you can opt-out at the beginning if you’re unhappy.
Calculating Your Actual Hosting Costs
Web hosting costs aren’t always transparent. You can’t just look at the advertised rate on a website and assume that’s what you’re going to pay.
No matter which hosting provider you use, there are other costs that you need to be aware of. In addition to your base rate, these are the factors that contribute to your actual hosting costs.
Intro pricing and renewal rates
Whether you commit to one month, one year, or four years, your first contract will always be your best offer. But you need to understand what you’re going to be paying when your contract expires.
Let’s look at an example, using iPage, which has the lowest annual rates on our list.
The introductory pricing rate for a 12-month contract, paid in-full, is $2.99 per month. So your base hosting cost is $35.88 for the first year. However, iPage annual plans renew at $9.99 per month, so you’ll be paying a $119.88 base cost for each subsequent year.
Hosting providers are always changing their introductory offers. It’s common to see prices slashed around the holidays, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. But with that said, I wouldn’t recommend waiting until you see an offer like that to start your website.
If you’re short on cash and don’t want to commit, then month-to-month hosting plans might be more appealing to you. But shorter contract terms translate to higher monthly rates.
For example, HostGator’s entry-level pricing starts at $10.95 per month with no long-term commitments. This will cost you $131.40 over the course of the year, which is very affordable.
However, if you lock in that same exact plan for 36 months and pay upfront, the monthly rate drops to $2.75. So you’ll get three years of web hosting for $99 total. That’s less than the cost of one year at the month-to-month rate!
You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons here. The downside of locking in a long-term contract is that you lose the flexibility to change your plan if you’re unhappy or outgrow your resources.
With that said, I’d still lean toward locking in the best long-term deal you can find. You can always continue using your same hosting plan even if you change domain names.
Add-ons and freebies
Most web hosting providers will offer extra features built-in to the base cost of your web hosting plan. Some providers offer more than others. Although the price of a plan typically reflects the number of add-ons you’re getting.
In addition to web hosting, common add-ons, freebies, and extras include:
- SSL certificate
- Domain registration
- Setup costs
- Daily backups
- WordPress integration
- Advertising credits
- Marketing tools
- SEO tools
- MySQL databases
- Domain privacy
- Website builders
The list goes on and on. It’s important to take all of this into consideration.
One plan may look more appealing at face value, but you’ll have to pay extra for basic features. Whereas another provider may have higher base prices, but deliver more in terms of extras and freebies.
As your website scales, you’ll eventually need to look beyond the cheapest web hosting option. At some point, your traffic and website will exceed the limits of an entry-level shared plan.
The next logical step is to upgrade to VPS hosting or a cloud hosting plan.
While this may not happen for several years, you should take a look to see what types of upgrades are offered by various web hosts. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a provider that will make it easy for you to upgrade to another type of web hosting.
So review those upgraded plans so you can budget and calculate your hosting costs accordingly for the long term.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on web hosting, especially if you have a new or small website. But finding the best cheap web hosting provider can be difficult because the rates depend on so many different factors.
I do not recommend choosing a web host based solely on price. You also need to factor in the quality of the service that you’re getting.
If your site crashes or goes down, you want to make sure that your hosting provider is available to fix the situation immediately.
Here’s a recap of the most affordable web hosting plans that I would recommend:
- DreamHost — Starting at $4.95 (month-to-month contract)
- Hostinger — Starting at $9.59 (month-to-month contract)
- A2 Hosting — Starting at $3.70 (month-to-month contract)
- HostGator — Starting at $10.95 (month-to-month contract)
- SiteGround — Starting at $3.95 (month-to-month contract)
- iPage — Starting at $2.99 (annual contract)
- Bluehost — Starting at $4.95 (annual contract)
- InMotion — Starting at $4.99 (annual contract)
- GoDaddy — Starting at $6.99 (annual contract)
The first thing you need to do is decide if you want a month-to-month plan, annual plan, or long term contract. Then you can evaluate the host based on features, resources, and customer service.
So if you’re in the market for cheap web hosting, these are the providers you should consider.
In addition to using this guide to find the best plan for your needs, you can also use it to calculate your actual hosting costs.