Cheap Web Hosting 2018 : Our top 5
In 2018, I think it’s fair to say that every business, from sole proprietor to large enterprises needs an online presence. Namely, a website. But here’s the problem. Not everyone needs a fully developed e-commerce platform because we don’t offer thousands of products and we don’t have tens of thousands visitors every week.
Most of us need a site of 5-10 pages explaining what we do and why we’re the company you should choose. And for a lot of us, a budget is a consideration, $10 or less would be ideal. We all know, the statement “you get what you pay for” is as true for hosting as it is for everything else in life. But servers have got so good; the bar is so high, it’s raised the game for all hosts, even those that offer more budget packages can offer great performance at a good price.
Do we all know what a web host is?
In laymen’s terms, a web host is a company that have servers in a datacenter, often in different places around the world, that stores the files of your website. If you’re a large business, with a lot of visitors and thousands of pages to your site, you’re likely to need one of these servers dedicated to your business. Or what’s called a virtual private server (VPS).
But if you have a standard business website you don’t need all that server; you just need part of it. It’s called shared hosting, and because you’re sharing the server, you’re sharing the cost which makes your hosting much more affordable.
And in this article, that’s where we are going to focus on. The hosting providers that offer affordable packages that are perfect for small information based websites, like a business website or a small blog.
We’re going to looking at the best host that fall into the “affordable”. With that, we mean less than $100 per year. And we’re going to take into account the provider’s starter package. We’re also going to keep it straight up, and simple.
What’s exciting is that we started putting the list together, we have some of our favourite hosting providers and packages, including what we’re using on this site. Choose one of the hosts on our list, and you won’t be disappointed. They’re all excellent and have hundreds of thousands of happy customers. It’s now just a matter of picking the best host for your needs.
Before you go through our best cheap hosting providers and pick the one that speaks to you most. It’s important to know what features you should be looking. What’s important and what features are just frills.
The Features You'll Need To Consider
Setting up a website on your own domain, from a technical perspective, can be pretty easy and it certainly shouldn’t be expensive. Do you need email accounts(firstname.lastname@example.org)? How about some blogging software, connection to email marketing tools, e-commerce setup or file sharing capability?
Customer support is essential.
It’s great to have FAQ’s and forums, which most do, but if you’re new to hosting, there’s a lot of technical jargon you might be unfamiliar with, so it really helps to have a proactive customer support team. It’s not a lot to ask for chat support or phone support either. These are reasonable expectations to make. In some cases, you’ll have methods to connect instantly 24/7. Then you know they’re taking customer support as seriously as they should.
What to expect from a cheap host
You’re not going to get an all singing all dancing dedicated server or VPS. But you can expect a shared hosting plan or a WordPress hosting plan. With shared hosting, your website is set up on a server with other websites, and the hosting provider manages the usage to ensure you have the hosting you need during your spikes of traffic. Even though the server is shared, each user’s data is segmented so no other website owner will have access to your data. It’s safe.
The downside is, if the other sites on your server are using up the extra resources on the server, your website’s performance may be affected. With the right hosting, they can really limit this, depending on how they have the server setup. It’s just matter of using the right provider.
Another option at this price point is Managed WordPress hosting. WordPress is traditionally a blog platform but as most sites have a blog. With all the front end editor, WordPress is the simplest and most effective way to create and manage a website. With making it managed, you’ll have expertise at hand to help you set up and run your site, keeping it optimized.
Keep an eye on the small print
Some hosts have several tiers of service, which if you’re not careful will make costs spiral. You should be looking for hosting that offers a tonne of features as standard. Don’t let your head be turned by "large font" pricing. Also, the same goes for annual plans. They’ll show you the average monthly cost if you took advantage of the offer and paid for the full 12 months.
It makes sense for them because of human nature. If we’ve paid 12 months for it, we’re much less likely to change; we’ll get used to its failings over time. It also looks so much more appealing as a price point. But you don’t know if this hosting is going to deliver exactly what you need, and even though you’re not paying a lot, don’t settle for mediocrity. Take the monthly option, and you grow into the hosting and ensure it has everything you need.
Does the host offer cPanel and is the server LAMP/WAMP? These are the two big questions for any potential WordPress user.
Why page load speed is important
Your visitors are impatient. If they need to wait for a page to load, they’re prone to click off and go to your competitor's website instead. But it’s easily fixed You need page load speeds that are quicker than 3 seconds. That’s the slowest you should expect. And many in this list are quicker than 2 seconds.
Understanding what “unlimited” means
You’ll find that hosting providers like to WOW you with throwaway phrases like Unlimited Bandwidth. It’s both the truth and an utter lie. You can use all the bandwidth you need. They don’t put any limitations on your usage. But that’s not in relation to your package. Your package has limitations. When you reach those limits, you’ll be expected to pay more, as you use more.
It has benefits; it means that when you reach the capacity of your package, you can just continue without needing to migrate to another host or another server. But, it gives the impression that it means you get all the bandwidth you need at that price, which is just not true.
Let’s get started. Here are our top
WPEngine is a good example of a good WordPress Managed Host that we actually recommend very highly as their prices are competitive and we've never encountered problems with them. It's about weighing up the pros and cons of what's best for your needs when it comes to WP Managed Hosting Plans.
The Best Hosts For Your WordPress Site
We've already reviewed all of these hosts on the site before as we consciously know that a LOT of our users are going to be looking to host WordPress sites. However, it's not quite the same as addressing the WP issue directly like we're going to in this article.
You can find an easy comparison table below to see the three main factors we rate a host on, but if you scroll down a bit further you can check out our full reviews of each host for WordPress.
Remember these are just statistics we've gathered using our own benchmark tests, these figures may change over time.
Avg. Speed (Load Time)
Avg. Support Wait
* Above data collected on each site using lowest plan (shared).
All of our tests were performed using Pingdom, Uptime and our Support data was based on our own attemps at getting support over the course of one month. While it's worth mentioning that not all of these hosts are equal, these are still the five best hosts we've ever used for WordPress generally. So while some beat others by a mile, any of these hosts on a decent plan will outperform these metrics.
Still not decided? You may want to check out our in-depth review of each host to find out a little more information about each, as well as take a look at the various plans they offer.
Great for larger businesses, solo bloggers and affiliates who want to segregate their hosting needs to different providers.
InMotion is best for smaller affiliate marketers who need to host multiple sites on a decent speed / performance server.
Good for smaller businesses and affiliates, offers decent all round performance for those that need flexibility.
Excellent for solo bloggers and small-medium businesses who need a managed solution to take away guesswork.
Best for medium-large businesses, serious affiliates and bloggers who need the absolute best performance.
We've been hosted with SiteGround for a pretty long time now, and that is why they're our number #1 most recommended host full stop, not just for cheaper hosting. It has a lot to do with support. Yes, their performance is top quality, and their hosting is reliable we really appreciate that their customer support team is still US based. Most have outsourced their support to Asia with their VA’s using fake names and profile pictures. All this and it falls into this price category easily.
Background on SiteGround
Launched back in 2004, SiteGround is a well-respected hosting company that has over 10 years in the industry delivering first class solution to both companies and companies across the world.
We really feel that experience is important for a host. There are often little niggles and issues that need to be ironed out. Technology has a habit of being infested with bugs that need to be resolved. SiteGround has been there and got the t-shirt. They’ve gone through that stage, resolved the problems and come out the other side, a reliable, high performing host. Do you want to be the guinea pig for a hosting company?
A2 Hosting is a very reputable hosting provider that looks to deliver a good service at a good price. Now affordable doesn't have to mean poor quality. A2 does not scrimp and save over customer support, a usual strategy for many budget hosting providers, but rather, they have a highly rated support system that covers live chat, phone, and a ticketing system - With trained, US-based support agents.
They also offer very competitive pricing, which can get you unlimited domains, bandwidth, and disk space for under $5 per month. If your budget is tight, this should make you stand up and take notice! To top it all off, A2 offer a 30 day back money guarantee if you aren't completely happy with the service you got, you can walk away with your money back. But that's because they know they deliver a great service so why would you want to leave?
Our tests show a page load speed of 1.88 seconds. That’s a page that hasn’t been optimized. We can speak from experience with SiteGround. We like their testing so much; we host this site with SiteGround. A lot of hosting providers wax lyrical about their performance but SiteGround actually delivery. There might be some the score slightly better on the testing, but SiteGround delivers this performance consistently. We’re very happy with their performance.
The Servers used by SiteGround Hosting are second to none, which goes along way to explaining why they have near perfect uptime score. We’ve never had a problem with uptime at all. As far as we’re concerned it’s perfect. Siteground prefers to say it’s 99.9% reliable.
SiteGround Customer Support
We love their customer support. We love that it includes instant chat and phone 24/7, and we really appreciate the fact they haven’t tried to cut costs and outsource it to Asia. It’s great to have a good knowledge base, and we often use a ticketing system, but sometimes you just want to speak to someone, immediately, whether that’s over the phone or on instant chat.
Lightning quick page load speeds. Near perfect reliability, and really proactive and accessible customer support. It’s easy to see why we love it. These are not just empty words. We’ve tested it ourselves, we’ve seen what others have said, and it was so good, after testing we decided to use them for this very site. That’s how much we love it. We use it.
#2 A2 Hosting
The A2 Hosting provider is so good; we could comfortably interchange them with SiteGround, our top choice. It’s a real headache to pick one over the other. 1-second page load speeds are the kind of speeds you’d expect with a VPS (Virtual Private Server) which are a minimum of 5 times more expensive. They are super reliable and don’t seem to cut corners of customer support either. And, they’re super cheap too. Expect to pay around $5 a month, $60 a year, which is crazy cheap. They are that good.
A2 Hosting Background
A2 came into being just after the turn of the century. When they launched in 2003, they came with some serious game. They swung for the fence and hit it out of the park. Their page load speed is nothing short of astonishing, and a lot of it has to to do with how they invest in infrastructure. The slogan A2 uses "We provide services that we would want to use ourselves! ".
They have the right infrastructure in place which really helps them with reliability. They also like to take care of their customers too. Not as supportive as a managed service but for a shared hosting provider, they’re excellent. So often, you find “cheap” shared hosting packages wow you with features and shiny things. But they save on reliability and customer support because most of their customers have very simple sites. Seems a fair trade-off until you have a problem, which is when it becomes frustrating. A2 haven’t fallen into that trap.
A2 Hosting Performance
This is the fastest shared hosting service we’ve ever tested. By some distance. Not gossip or hearsay, but what we’ve tried out for ourselves. It’s superb. 3 seconds is the benchmark. 2 seconds is what we deem as fast enough. So to be even 1 second faster than that, to be almost as fast as a dedicated service or VPS is staggering This is even before you start to optimize the site, or use the Turbo Boost.
A2 Hosting Reliability
With such great servers in place, it’s not a surprise that their hosting is reliable. From time to time, you’ll find the odd complaint from users, but this is a really popular hosting provider, and you have to expect that from time to time. From our personal experience, their claim of 99.9% is not too far from the mark. More than you can expect from a shared hosting package of less than $5 a month. Outstanding and worthy of second place. If someone said they would rank them #1 it would be difficult to argue, it’s that close.
A2 Hosting Customer Support
They offer 4 different support channels. They are contactable by phone 24/7 which is great for international customers. So often it’s frustrating having to call late at night to be able to actually speak to anyone. There’s also live chat, a ticket system and direct email too. Which for $5 a month is impressive.
We don’t find A2’s support as inclusive as SiteGrounds, which is probably why we’ve made them our first pick, but for simple sites, and for the price, there can really be no complaints. 99% of other hosting providers offering shared hosting should look to A2 hosting as a benchmark.
They have the fastest shared hosting we’ve experienced, and we’ve made it our mission to test every sensible hosting provider that’s online. So we know what we’re talking about. They are super reliable, and they have great customer support too. The truth is, their performance is slightly faster than SiteGround, and their customer support is every so slightly worse. It really depends on what it is important to you. We’ve picked them as our 2nd choice, but there are arguments they could be our top pick.
#3 StableHost Hosting
We’ve found StableHost to be a good all round host. Perhaps not a master of anyone thing, such as A2 Hosting but we’ve really found it difficult to find a fault. They speed is well above acceptable, the reliability if first class, so is the customer support. There are tonnes of features on offer, and the pricing is great too. Affordable for everyone.
They keep things really simple. They started offering to host back in 2009, and they had one vision. To offer quality hosting at an affordable price. And that’s exactly what they do. But, they’re also smart. For a start, they saw the potential of SSD (Solid State Drive) which has revolutionized hard drives in hosting. They were not only the first shared host (that we know of) to offer this service, they are most definitely the cheapest.
StableHost has a minimum plan that starts at $3.95 per month, which is dirt cheap. We are extremely cautious of any hosting that’s under $5 per month. It’s impossible for a hosting provider to operate, make a profit for that price. But StableHost actually makes it work. It’s a good all-round hosting that delivers.
Boy, are they quick. Not quick for a cheap host, but quick for any shared host. In fact, in our testing, they are as quick as SiteGround. Less than 2 seconds, in fact. A lot of that is thanks to the SSDs they have incorporated into the infrastructure. We love their performance and so should you.
A lot of reliability comes down to the datacenters. The quality of the hardware and software, as well as the location of the datacentre, combine to play an important role in a host’s reliability. We’ve found that StableHost does pretty well regarding reliability, especially if you’re in the US where their data centers are located.
StableHost Customer Support
We love their support. It’s 24/7, and it’s instantly accessible. During our tests, we found a response time of 10 minutes, which is not too shabby, is it? The have a great knowledge base and loads of videos to talk help you. What we like is the attitude. Support is not a side note, it’s something they spend a lot of time on, and it shows.
StableHost really is a jack of all trades, they If you're looking for a solid host with a good track record & reputation, that won't break the bank - Then you've found it right here. I was super impressed on many levels dealing with the support staff and just how helpful everyone I contact really was. They are not as quick as A2 and not quite as good as SiteGround, but they’re pretty darn close.
#4 MDD Hosting
The technical expertise of the MDD Hosting's support is really where MDD Hosting’s strength lies. The speed of responses, even to the most complex question (And trust me we tested them) is superb. That’s complimented with top quality servers, reasonably priced shared hosting, above average uptime/ security which catapults them to our top 5 list.
MDD Hosting Background
MDD Host are well respected. Not one of the big players but a company that’s been involved in hosting long enough to have built a respectable reputation. Formed 10 years ago, they had a very clear vision of the hosting provider they wanted to be and how they wanted to get there. They’ve made it their mission to keep operations low key, and they have no plans to sell out, they want to keep it about the customer rather than the almighty dollar. I like the fact that they don't bite off more than they can chew and they stick to what they do and do well.
Just a couple of years ago, they reached a limit. They just couldn’t service any more customers; they’d maxed out their hardware resources. It caused them to create a high availability storage solution called Nimble Stores, which allows them to scale whenever they need which means they will never face the same problems again.
MDD Hosting Performance
Boy, they are quick. Over 45 days we tested the page load speed, no frills, no optimization. To give you context, that’s the fastest on the list. In fact, that’s faster than most VPS (Virtual Private Servers) and half of the dedicated servers available. It’s going to be instantaneous, and it wasn’t a “one-off” it was consistently that quick, over a 45 day period too.
MDD Hosting Reliability
You have to take the statistics hosting provider’s give with a healthy pinch of salt. From our experience, hosting companies have a bad habit of being creative with their statistics. Especially when it comes uptime statistics. We ran our own testing, just like we did with our speed tests. They offer 98% uptime. That’s from our own testing. We consider that to be the minimum requirement from a host. If you have a small business website or a personal blog, it’s good enough.
MDD Hosting Customer Support
When a company excels at something they need to be commended, MDDHosting has superior customer support. When throwing problems at the support team, we found response times to be around 6 minutes. They’ve got all the reactive customer support you’ll need too, like knowledge base and FAQ so you can get your own answers if that’s your cup of tea.
You’ll get a great hosting provider with MDD Hosting. The most outstanding page load speeds, perfect if you’re selling products because it will increase conversions. Customer support is equally superb, but the reliability is just OK. Not bad but others are slightly better. If you have a smaller website, 20 pages or less. Or you have a personal blog; it’s plenty reliable making MDD hosting a no-brainer.
With by far the best logo we’ve seen on a host, HawkHost is more than just a pretty face. You get an SSD host, with 6 data centers in 3 continents. And get 10 GB disk space for $5 a month.
When it comes to simple value for money, we think that HawkHost is probably the best host on the market right now. You get so much for $5 a month it’s incredible. For a start, they were one of the first shared hosts to move to SSD (Solid State Drives) which means their hardware performs better than almost all others.
They have data centers across 3 continents. It means latency is reduced significantly optimize page load speeds.They use cutting-edge redundancy strategies which means that if any or all of the system fails, they have a backup system to come online which means your data center could suffer an earthquake and you’ll stay online.
I've already mentioned that this hosting provider offers great performance at a great price. A lot of that is thanks to the implementation of SSDs. During our own testing, we found an average page load speed of a touch over 1 second. That is astronomical. Incredibly not the fastest on the list, but still, that’s what you expect from a server like a VPS, When you’re paying 4-5 times that much.
With by far the best logo we’ve seen on a host, HawkHost is more than just a pretty face. You get an SSD host, with 6 data centers in 3 continents. And get 10 GB disk space for $5 a month.
HawkHost Customer Support
This is the only time HawkHost in under par. They don’t offer any direct contact in their customer support. Not a phone number of live chat. In our testing, we’ve found that in normally takes around 30 minutes to get a message back when we submit a ticket. During peak times we’ve experienced 2-3 hours.
Staggering page load speeds of 1 second make it one of the fastest shared host solutions on the hosting scene in 2018. We accept a page load speed of 3 seconds, and to be considered quick you need to be 2 seconds or less. So anything around the 1-second mark is special. They’re also pretty special when it comes to reliability, being as close to 100% uptime as you can expect. 99.9%. It’s the best you can expect from a shared host.
The only downside is the customer support. It’s not great. However, we just felt that if you had a small website, a WordPress, then it’s very unlikely you’ll have a lot of problems that need fixing so the support won’t matter much. It will only matter if you have a more technical setup. A site that’s a little more complex. If that’s you, and you want great value for money and a super fast loading website You could do a lot worse that having your site hosted with HawkHost.
Choosing the right host for you is important, and it's difficult to figure out without a little guidance. In this article we've successfully demonstrated some of the key things you need to look at when doing your own research. We've tested our top 5 affordable hosts against each other on their basic plans and by doing so we've shown you how they perform.
So we hope you found our guide on the best hosting companies for wordpress useful, and if you have any questions or feedback be sure to let us know in the comments as we'd love to hear your thoughts.