Budget hosting sounds like a great idea. After all, no one wants to pay more than they need to. But when it comes to finding the best budget hosting, there’s more to it than simply searching for the lowest priced offer.
If you do search for the best budget hosting plans, you’re going to likely see results from providers offering cheap hosting at the top of the results. While many of these providers offer quality hosting at lower prices, not all of them will have everything that you need.
When looking for a budget hosting plan, you really do need to do your research so you don’t wind up locked into a plan that cannot meet your requirements.
So to help you, we created this guide to explain what to look for, and what to be careful about when it comes to choosing the best budget hosting.
After reading this guide, you should have all the information you need to decide if budget hosting is for you. If it is the right type of hosting, then you’ll have all the information to help you find the right provider and at the right price.
What is Budget Hosting?
The definition of budget web hosting is more than just cheap hosting. Cheap, after all, is a relative term. However, if you were to place a price on what would be considered budget hosting a good example would be under 10 dollars a month. Some are significantly lower, like Bluehost.com‘s offerings.
Of course, for those few dollars a month, you should be getting some essential features and services that we will talk about in a bit.
Budget web hosting is going to be set up on a shared hosting plan. That means you will have a small portion of a server to host your site on. Your directory will have a storage allotment and your hosting plan will restrict the amount of bandwidth you have each billing cycle.
The main difference between budget hosting and shared hosting plans are the services, support, and features you can access. Even the best budget hosting plans do not offer everything that you would get with a higher priced — but still relatively affordable — shared plan.
Who is Budget Hosting For?
Budget hosting is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on getting their website online. This includes:
- Personal websites and blogs
- Small businesses
- Affiliate websites
- Startup businesses
However, budget web hosting may not be for everyone who’s looking to host a website on the cheap.
For example, if you need to host your site on a Windows server, you likely won’t find a budget hosting plan. This is due to the licensing costs associated with the server’s operating system. Sites that require multiple databases also may have trouble finding a budget host as they generally restrict their databases to only one.
Finally, anyone looking to host multiple sites on the same plan may not find budget hosting to be the best option. Budget web hosts generally only allow you to host one site in your directory.
So, if you have no restrictions on the server operating system, can work within the limited services, and are only planning to build one website budget hosting may be just what you need.
Pros of Budget Hosting
Budget hosting offers a number of benefits. Obviously, the cost is the primary one. For less than sixty dollars a year, you can host a website. These plans often include a free domain as well so you aren’t charged anything until that domain comes up for renewal.
However, the cost is not the only benefit. There are others as well.
1. Easy to set up
With the best budget hosting plans, your account and site are easy to set up. Generally, you only need to provide payment information and the server is ready to go. Your hosting provider creates your account almost instantly.
Getting your site online is easy too. If you have it built already you only need to upload the files and the site is live. If you need to build your site, many budget hosting providers offer site building applications as well as applications such as WordPress and Joomla! to get you going.
2. No need to maintain servers
Since you are renting space on a server from the hosting provider, you will not need to setup, configure, or maintain your servers in any way. The host will handle all this and make sure that your servers are secure and up-to-date.
Cons of Budget Hosting
Whenever you’re cutting costs, you can expect to get less. This makes up the majority of the drawbacks that you will see when it comes to budget hosting.
1. You have no control of your server mates
Budget web hosting is attractive to businesses, but it is also attractive to less desirable sites as well. You may be sharing server space with malicious websites, sites with adult content, or sites that have questionable content. This may affect you, in the long run, should the server you host on develop a poor reputation.
2. You may not get all the features you need
In order to offer hosting at a lower cost, budget web hosts often scale back on what they offer. This could include some of the features you may find on a hosting plan that only costs a few dollars more. You may find that a budget host does not offer a good management console or that they don’t support the installation of web applications.
3. Restricted services
To make money, budget web hosts need to get as many sites onto one server as they possibly can. This means you will have less storage space for your site’s files.
You will also have less bandwidth available to you. If you reach the capacity on traffic, your site may go offline until the bandwidth allotment resets. You may also find that the server does not have the processing power that other plans offer. This could mean your site loads slower which could affect your search engine optimization and irritate visitors.
Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Budget Hosting
Remember that when you’re looking for the best budget hosting you can’t just look for cheap. You are looking for a hosting provider that fits your budget, not just the one that costs the least amount of money.
The reason you have to consider these two points differently is that cheaper options often leave out some of the most important essential features and services.
So look for a host that offers the following:
1. A good control panel to manage your site from
This can be something like Plesk or cPanel, or it may be a proprietary control panel. As long as it meets your needs you should be good.
2. Support for web applications
If you plan on using WordPress, ZenCart or Joomla! you are going to want to make sure that your budget hosting provider will support these applications. They may not have an easy install, which is fine. As long as they support them you are in good shape.
3. Good technical support to help you when you need it
Cheap web hosts often use a ticketing system for support. This means you don’t have access to support via chat or phone. If things go wrong, it may be a while before anyone can help you. Look for a budget hosting provider that makes 24/7 support via phone a priority like Bluehost.com does on their front page.
Free domains are also something you should look for. Granted, any hosting provider is only going to give you a year’s worth of registration for free. However, that could save you $10 when launching your website.
What to Pay Attention to When Choosing a Budget Web Host
One of the most important things to pay attention to when choosing a budget hosting provider is upselling.
Cheap hosting providers lure customers in with promises of extremely low monthly costs. Then, the customer finds out that this plan is void of many basics. For a small upcharge, they get access to these features and services.
Read the fine print and make sure that any hosting provider you are considering isn’t going to nickel and dime you with upcharges.
Also, pay attention to the domain you are hosting your site on. You should expect to have a top-level domain, not a subdomain. The last thing you want is to have a URL like yoursite.hostingprovider.com.
Budget hosting providers offer you a great way to save money if you’re just getting started with having a website.
Most providers will offer plans that you can grow into as your site takes off. However, make sure to carefully examine a potential hosting provider before you hand over any form of payment. Make sure that they can support your needs.
The best budget hosting providers will be transparent and upfront about what they offer in their low-cost plans and what you will need to pay extra for. Be careful not to fall into the trap that many cheap hosting providers set by offering you low monthly costs and then hitting you up later for extras that another provider includes in their plan.
You can save a lot of money and get a reliable hosting at the same time, you just need to make the effort to research all the possibilities.