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Deciding on a web hosting provider is like picking the right restaurant for a Saturday night dinner. There are so many options, and you want to get the right bang for your buck.

Your website directly reflects your business, so choosing a web hosting provider that fits your budget while having the features you need is hard to come by.

That’s why many business owners question the reliability, security, and speed of a web host.

Keep reading, and you’ll learn everything you need to know about cheap web hosting plans, whether cheap hosting is right for you, and some of the most common misconceptions.

What is web hosting service?

Web hosting is a service that allows businesses to publish their websites on the internet. Hosting providers offer space on their servers where website visitors can store and access website files and data.

Essentially, it’s like renting space on the internet for your business.

The web hosting service industry is not small — the total revenue of this industry is expected to reach nearly $157.90 billion in 2024 and will continue to grow.

It is important to look for factors like website speed, reliability, and security in your web hosting provider. Considering these factors when choosing the cheapest web hosting service and solution can affect your user experience (UX).

Related content: What exactly is web hosting?

Types of web hosting

There are various types of web hosting services available to meet different website and application requirements, each with its own unique features and benefits. Below are some common forms of hosting:

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a more economical option than most other hosting types, as these plans share the same server and resources. Multiple WordPress users use the resources of a single web server simultaneously. Shared hosting plans are also easier to manage, making them an excellent choice for beginners and small businesses without an IT team.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting provides unparalleled performance, security, and control. With an entire server dedicated to a single user, it ensures consistent and optimal performance, making it ideal for resource-intensive applications. Although it is more expensive, it is the preferred option for businesses seeking maximum reliability and customization.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting revolutionizes WordPress performance with unmatched speed and scalability. Bluehost Cloud is designed for high or unlimited traffic websites, leveraging a global network of servers for seamless content delivery and 100% network uptime. This managed WordPress hosting provides fast, secure, and reliable hosting, ideal for those requiring the best in WordPress compatibility and expert support.

VPS Hosting

VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting balances cost efficiency with flexibility. It is suitable for growing websites and applications that require more resources and control than shared hosting. You can scale resources as needed and enjoy increased security. VPS is ideal for businesses with varying traffic demands and a need for customization.

Related content: Types of Web Hosting and How to Choose the Right Plan

Is cheap web hosting reliable?

Yes, a cheap web hosting service can be reliable, provided you choose a reputable provider known for offering high-quality services at an affordable price. Researching different web hosting providers and considering factors like uptime, customer support, and overall performance is essential.

When evaluating various web hosting providers, consider the distinction between cheap and affordable. An affordable web hosting service provider like Bluehost offers fast, reliable, and high-quality hosting services.

In contrast, a cheap web hosting provider might lack security, reliability or website speed. And according to Google, the probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from one to three seconds — which no one wants.

Here are some potential red flags to avoid in cheap web hosts:

Red flags to avoid when choosing a cheap web hosting provider.
  • Hidden fees and unexpected costs
  • Poor server performance and slow website loading times
  • Limited customer support
  • Inconsistent server uptime or unexpected downtime
  • Lack of essential features like free SSL certificates and email accounts

To make an informed decision on the cheapest hosting plan, be sure to read customer reviews and testimonials. Positive feedback from real users can indicate that a web hosting provider offers reliable services at an affordable price.

The most common types of web hosting companies are shared and dedicated hosting. However, their differences go beyond the price. So, let’s delve into which is best for your website.

What to expect from cheap web hosting

  1. Shared Hosting: Cheap web hosting often involves shared hosting plans. In a shared hosting environment, different websites share the same server resources. While this makes it an affordable option, it also means that the performance of your website may be influenced by the activities of other sites on the same server. This can lead to potential slowdowns during peak times or if other websites experience high traffic.
  2. Fewer value-added features compared to expensive hosts: Low-cost hosting plans may come with fewer advanced features compared to more expensive hosting providers. This could mean limitations in terms of storage, bandwidth, security features, and helpful customer support. Advanced features like automatic backups, a free SSL certificate, or dedicated IP addresses may be available only in pricier hosting plans.
  3. Long commitments to get the lowest prices: To avail of the lowest prices in cheap hosting, providers often require users to commit to long-term contracts. This could involve signing up for one, two, or even three years of hosting in advance. While this reduces the per month costs, it also means a longer commitment, and switching hosts before the term ends might incur additional fees.
  4. Promotional pricing: Most hosting providers offer promotional pricing to attract new customers. These initial prices are often significantly lower than the regular rates. However, it’s important to be aware that once the promotional period ends, the hosting costs may increase. Before signing up, it’s crucial to understand the renewal rates and factor in the long-term costs.

Is cheap web hosting a good option for you?

For lots of website owners, the downsides of cheap website hosting can be more significant than the money saved. If you run a small business or have a tiny WordPress blog with low traffic, you might find dependable and fast hosting that doesn’t cost much, even if it means giving up some handy features like automatic backups.

Also, going for affordable web hosting is a smart move when you’re starting your first website because it helps you keep your costs low. If you find that the basic, budget-friendly option doesn’t meet your needs as your website grows, you can always switch to managed WordPress hosting or another premium hosting service.

How to choose the best cheap hosting?

Choosing the right web host is crucial for the success of your website or application. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to switch to a new host just a few months after signing up with your current provider. So, it is important to do your research well in advance.

Website migration can be a stressful experience, and not all web hosts offer this service for free. It is best to choose the right host from the beginning to avoid the need to migrate your website later.

To guide you in choosing the right web host, here are some essential steps and considerations:

Step 1: Determine your hosting needs

Before you choose a hosting plan, it is important to consider what you need. Start by making a list and answering these questions:

  • Which type of website are you’re building? (eCommerce site, personal blog, portfolio, etc.)
  • What is the expected traffic and resource requirements?
  • What CMS you’ll use to build or manage the website? (WordPress, Joomla, etc.)

This information will help you create a checklist and compare different web hosting providers.

Step 2: Choose right type of hosting plan

There are different types of hosting plans. It includes shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting. Once you decide on the type of server you need, you can begin comparing hosting plan features.

Step 3: Compare important features

Firstly, check if your web host offers performance and reliability as it can affect both your website and its SEO campaign. Choose hosts offering 99.9%-100% uptime and solid-state drives (SSDs) for quicker data access.

Secondly, consider the quality of the customer support provided, especially if you are a beginner. Every hosting provider is different and has unique features, and even intermediates and experts need help sometimes.

So, check the level of support offered by the web host, such as live chat, phone, or ticket system. You can also check reviews and testimonials to assess the provider’s responsiveness and helpfulness.

Lastly, evaluate web host’s security standards since security is a critical ranking factor and a key determinant of how users interact with your website. If your website appears insecure, no user will trust it.

Related content: Website Security Tips to Keep Your Site Safe from Digital Threats

Look for hosts that provide SSL certificates for secure data transfer. Some hosts may charge you a fee for the certificate, while other hosting providers may offer it for free for a specific period, usually a year, before starting to charge you. Some also offer free SSL certificates as long as you are hosting your website with them, like Bluehost.

So, check whether you will receive the certificate for free and how long it will last. Also, access backup policies and frequency. Some provide regular backups, while others do that weekly.

Some web hosts may charge a small fee to back up your data. Keep that in mind when searching for the right host. A small fee for backup services is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you are on a budget, you should choose a host that will not charge you for this service.

Lastly, look for security features such as:

  • Firewalls and malware detection
  • DDoS protection
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Access controls
  • Security audits and monitoring
  • Privacy protection

If your website or application is likely to experience rapid growth or unpredictable traffic, it is recommended that you opt for a scalable host. Scalable hosting, such as Bluehost, is an excellent choice if you are looking for something dependable and cost-effective.

Step 4: Review pricing and other terms

Web hosting companies usually have a higher renewal rate than the initial offer suggests. So, check their renewal rates, also for services like free domain name, free SSL certificate, etc. Consider signing a long-term contract to save money on hosting fees.

It’s always a good idea to check the refund policy of your hosting provider just in case you need to switch hosts. If you’re not quite ready to commit, but want to see how a host works, look for ones that offer free trials or money-back guarantees.

Web hosting services often use the terms “unlimited” storage and “unmetered” bandwidth, but it’s important to read the fine print in their Terms and Conditions to understand the limitations.

If your storage is advertised as unlimited, there may still be conditions. For instance, if you use more resources than other users on a shared server, your web host may ask you to remove files from your site.

When a web hosting company offers unmetered bandwidth, they generally aren’t closely monitoring your site’s visitor numbers. However, if your traffic exceeds a certain amount, such as 300,000 in a month, the host may require you to upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS).

Cheap web hosting vs. dedicated web hosting  —  How to choose?

Choosing between shared (cheap) and dedicated web hosting can feel complex as both options have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Your decision ultimately depends on factors like budget, monthly traffic and the nature of your business.

Here’s what you should keep in mind to make an informed decision:

Things to keep in mind when choosing a hosting type for your website.

Price

Shared web hosting offers an affordable entry point for small businesses and bloggers with unlimited websites. With resources divided among multiple websites, the overall expense remains low.

On the other hand, dedicated hosting comes at a higher price due to exclusive server use. The higher investment suits businesses with increasing traffic and performance demands.

Performance

With shared hosting solutions, multiple websites share resources like disk space and memory. A sudden surge in traffic for one website could affect the performance of others.

While this issue might not be a downside for smaller websites, larger websites trying to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) might struggle. For instance, page speed affects user experience — a central ranking factor for SEO.

Dedicated hosting offers an edge for website speed and stability. If you’re anticipating significant traffic growth, dedicated hosting provides the flexibility to scale resources alongside your needs.

Scalability

While performance focuses on increasing the current capacity of your website’s speed and loading times, scalability refers to your website’s ability to handle growth and increased demand.

Shared hosting may provide enough resources for start-ups and smaller websites. But as your business grows, so does your need for hosting scalability.

Dedicated hosting allows for seamless expansion by addressing increased traffic with increasing processing power and storage capacity. Again, if you anticipate significant growth, consider dedicated hosting from the onset because of its flexibility.

Security

Most shared web hosts have ample security. However, the nature of sharing resources with other websites can pose a risk.

Dedicated hosting offers higher protection since you hold greater control over the server environment. If you handle sensitive data, your business will benefit from the enhanced security measures of dedicated hosting.

Control and customization

With shared hosting, your provider controls infrastructure like hardware and software configuration to ensure optimal website performance.

Conversely, dedicated hosting can help optimize your own website, so it runs as fast and as smoothly as possible. This added control enables you to customize your price, performance, scalability, and security to your specific needs.

How to sign up for cheap web hosting through Bluehost

The only cheap thing about Bluehost is its prices. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your WordPress or other website needs by choosing Bluehost as your web host provider.

With affordable shared and dedicated hosting options, you can rest assured knowing your website will be fast, reliable, and secure.

To get started, you’ll want to head to bluehost.com.

Head to the top left corner of your screen. If you have a WordPress website, click WordPress and WordPress Hosting.

If you want to create a website through Bluehost or host another domain, click Web Hosting and choose Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting, or Dedicated Hosting.

In the top left-hand corner, you’ll find Shared, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting options.
In the top left-hand corner, you’ll find Shared, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting options.

Next, pick the plan that suits your needs.

Then, you’ll have to transfer your domain to Bluehost, fill out your personal information, and you’re all set.

Setting up or transferring your domain to Bluehost.

Common questions regarding cheap web hosting services

Is cheap web hosting worth it?

A cheap web hosting service can be very reliable, provided you choose a reputable provider known for offering high-quality services at an affordable price. Researching different providers and considering factors like uptime, customer support, and overall performance is essential.

Can I upgrade my cheap web hosting plan with Bluehost in the future?

Yes, most web hosting providers, including Bluehost, offer easy upgrades to higher-tier plans as your business grows and needs more resources. Whether you want a cheap hosting plan or a comprehensive WordPress hosting plan, we’ve got you covered.

Am I eligible for a free domain with an affordable hosting plan?

Many affordable hosting plans, like those from Bluehost, include a free domain name for the first year as part of their hosting package.

What kind of support will I get with a cheap web hosting plan?

Reputable providers like Bluehost offer 24/7 customer support through phone, email, and live chat, even on their affordable plans.

Can I run my business website with a cheap hosting plan?

Absolutely. Cheap hosting plans, especially from high-quality providers, can handle small business websites and blogs effectively. Although dedicated servers offer more flexibility, shared hosting plans go a long way. We recommend shared hosting to small businesses and bloggers starting out.

Can I run a WordPress website on a cheap hosting plan?

Yes. Many cheap hosting plans, including Bluehost’s, support WordPress and come with one click WordPress installations. These affordable plans are optimized for WordPress performance, ensuring a smooth user experience and fast loading times for your website.

Can I host a website for free?

While free hosting options exist, they usually have limited features, resources, and support, making them unsuitable for serious business websites. These providers often limit custom domains, require ads and display logos on your website.

Is cheap hosting reliable?

While some cheap hosting providers like Bluehost offer great reliability, others may suffer from frequent downtime and slow performance due to overselling resources.

Will cheap hosting affect my website’s SEO?

Even with a cheap hosting plan from Bluehost, you will get stable performance and good uptime, which means you will not have any issues executing an effective SEO strategy to increase your search engine ranking.

  • Minal Agarwal

    Minal is the Director of Brand Marketing at Bluehost. With over 15 years of business experience in the technology industry, she strives to create solutions and content that fulfill a customer's needs. She is a dog mom and a stickler for calendaring.

    Education
    Masters in Marketing Management
    Previous Experience
    Strategic Partnerships, Customer Success, Events and Community
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