There are a number of cheap web hosting options out there. However, a cheap web hosting service for a personal blogger is going to be drastically different than what a small business owner may be looking for.
We would like to examine some of the best hosting options that are available based on what your end goal is. By the time you finish reading this, you’ll know what your options are and which option may be right for you.
I’d like to start out with a warning. If someone is offering a hosting solution that is less than one dollar, run the other way.
There are so many reasons why you should avoid cheap web hosts. The first reason to avoid these cheap web hosts is that they often have a shared IP. It can be easily hacked and easily compromised. Second, your website is going to be hosted alongside a bunch of junk/spam blogs. Google hates these. Third, these services are cheap and of low quality.
If you want a cheat sheet for why you should avoid hosting services for under $1, here it is:
Some of these sites are out of commission for minutes and hours straight. If you want quality and if you want your website to be up, stay away from cheap web hosting.
Different Types of Hosting
Hosting can be divided into five types:
Have you ever had roommates? If so, you understand the concept of shared hosting. A shared hosting site is where a number of websites are posted on the same IP. Really, this makes sense because most small businesses do not need an entire server to themselves, especially if they’re using WordPress or some other undemanding CMS.
This allows multiple businesses to use one dedicated server to meet all of their traffic needs. Of course, shared hosting has its pros and cons.
For example, with shared hosting, you have no access to any of the other sites that share your IP. Shared hosting is the cheapest form of hosting, and this is why so many online businesses use it.
With shared hosting, you can get quality service for a reasonable price. Just remember the “under a dollar” rule we discussed at the outset.
SEO hosting is designed to house multiple spam websites for the purpose of SEO or link building. These services practice what is referred to as “turn and burn.“ This means the host can create revenue and then ditch their customers.
Dedicated is the polar opposite of shared hosting. With a dedicated host, there is one IP that is assigned to your website. It is basically the same as renting a physical space on a server at a data center.
Obviously, this is an expensive option and is primarily used by businesses or individuals who require extreme reliability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
VPS hosting is the hybrid child of shared and dedicated hosting. With this service, you rent a portion of a server or an IP. You can then create a dedicated server on the cloud. You have a number of robust features and an impressive amount of bandwidth. VPS servers allow you to create a singular IP on the cloud using droplets.
CDN’s, or content distribution networks, work by forwarding your IP to a unique IP that’s used by hundreds or sometimes thousands of other websites. Since the IP is used by so many websites, Google trusts it.
CDN’s allow you to avoid making multiple requests on the server side for information because your website’s content is distributed over the web. CDN’s are simple to install and use.
If you want to use a great CDN, find a simple shared hosting plan and then add Cloudflare to it. This is going to increase the speed, security, and anonymity of your site.
What’s the Best Cheap Hosting Option for You?
In this section, I’d like to focus a little bit on the kind of cheap hosting plan that’s right for you.
If You’re a Blogger
Are you a blogger looking to create a simple website? Shared hosting is really all you need. With shared hosting, you’re able to save a ton of money.
If your blog becomes successful and your traffic increases, you can easily scale things up. Don’t waste money committing to a expensive dedicated server when the resources on a shared server are more than sufficient.
For Small Businesses
Are you a small business owner? Most small businesses are going to have the same needs as a blogger would. Most small businesses don’t get a ton of traffic to their website and use their website as more of a reference for their customers. For this reason, shared plans are usually enough for small businesses.
If your site is just getting three visitors a month or if you’re getting up to 4,000 visitors a month, shared hosting is likely right for you. Again, if your needs increase, pop over to a dedicated plan. You should know that picking the wrong hosting service can have financial repercussions. Picking the right one can save you money from the get-go and in the future.
A huge mistake that small business owners make is picking the cheapest host. Cheap hosting usually ends up being expensive. As you try to add more features or as you try to move your site over to another host, the fees start to pile up. Once you’re done, you end up paying three or four times what you originally paid for your shared hosting plan.
The is point, don’t go cheap on your web hosting and don’t settle for the lowest priced plan. If you are spending under a dollar, you’re getting junk and are going to regret it.
There is a caveat that we would like to mention. If you are hosting for e-commerce, then shared hosting may not be the right option for you. This is because e-commerce sites have a lot of graphics, a lot of media, a number of interactive features, and videos. In this situation, I would recommend opting for a dedicated server plan.
You may save three or four dollars a month using a shared hosting plan as opposed to a dedicated server. But just think about the amount of revenue you could possibly lose each month if your site does not function well and if it’s not up when your customers want to purchase something.
Remember, customers are spoiled these days. If they have to wait more than a few seconds for anything on your site, they’re going to leave immediately.
Why SSL Is Important
If you are thinking about e-commerce, do not underestimate the importance of SSL protection. This is known as secure socket layer protection. This creates a protected barrier that allows your computer to pass their secure information without worrying about hackers or other individuals who have malicious intentions.
Most financial institutions will reject transactions on websites that lack SSL. Again, this is were cheap hosting services will get you. The initial fee is very low, but then they will tack on a $60 fee for installing SSL on a yearly basis.
I think by this point you get the message. You can go cheap, but if you do, you’re going to end up spending more money in the future. Here’s the thing about starting a website, especially an e-commerce site, you don’t know how it is going to grow. While you don’t want to overspend, you definitely want to prepare yourself for potential future growth.
Hosting Options Worth Looking at
#1 – SiteGround
Reasons why we recommend this host service:
When it comes to hosting, SiteGround is the name to beat. We have a number of clients using SiteGround servers, and we expect more to use them in the future. The reason for this is that SiteGround offers an amazing price and consistent, reliable uptimes.
It seems that many in the hosting industry have become complacent. They quit caring about what’s best for their customers and are focusing on just making money. SiteGround is different. They understand that it was their stellar service that made them so popular, and they are committed to innovating in their field. Here are some of the things they offer:
If you are selling any products online, having SSL is a must. Getting it for free means that you can save up to $80 a year. And, if you want Google to respect your site, it best be SSL ready.
You just cannot beat the support staff at SiteGround. They are knowledgeable, they are friendly, and they are eager to help you troubleshoot any issue, be it technical or general.
It is very rare that you will have a website that goes down using their service. They have a 99.9 percent uptime with almost no downtime.
#2 – A2 Hosting
Reasons why we recommend this host service:
A2 Hosting for our money is on the same level with SiteGround. They’re one of those businesses that understand that if they’re going to keep their customers, their quality levels must be high. They offer unbelievable service, phenomenal uptime, and amazing support.
Technical Support and Help
A2 Hosting has an awesome live chat. This means that if you have an issue, you get a solution right away. There’s no need to wait. The staff is knowledgeable and can handle any issue that might arise.
A2 Hosting’s data centers avoid downtime by taking advantage of the latest in technology. This means that website outages are almost a non-issue with them.
A2 Hosting provides a number of amazing incentives, including free SSL as well as other free add-ons. You’ll be impressed with how easy it is to transition from one account to another.