best cheap web hosting reviews
Cheap web hosting: top 8 hosts that cost less than $3/mo
So you have the perfect idea for your new blog or company website.
But there’s a problem… Building a new website is expensive.
So you’ll need a CHEAP web hosting that is reliable and fast.
Something that doesn’t cost more than $3/mo.
Luckily, we’ve been reviewing and testing different web hosts (across all price ranges) for years and have compiled a comprehensive list of the best cheap hosting companies on the market.
In this guide, we will help you sort through the masses of providers to find a company that suits your needs and budget.
Let’s get started.
The Top 8 Cheap Hosts of 2017
After reviewing countless hosts, scouring the internet for reviews, and testing many of these services ourselves, we have compiled a list of the 8 best cheap web hosts in 2017.
1. HostGator Cloud ($2.99/mo)
- Load Time: 521 ms
- Uptime: 99.99%
Out of all the hosts we have reviewed HostGator Cloud is by far the best performing host overall.
They offer reliable web hosting for relatively cheap prices ($2.99/mo).
Their last 12 month uptime is 99.99% with only a handful of downtime. Another good thing about HostGator Cloud is that they’re fast – average load time of 521ms.
They offer a good (and knowledgable support) with an average response time of 3 minutes.
The web hosting package for HostGator Cloud (NOT HostGator shared) is normally $13.99/month, however, for a limited time they are offering all hostingfacts.com readers a HUGE discount at only $2.99/month.
Just use the code HOSTINGFACTS at checkout.
Host with HostGator Cloud
Click here to read HostGator Cloud Review
Click here to check HostGator Cloud Avg. Uptime and Load Time
2. Hostinger ($2.15/mo)
- Load Time: 540 ms
- Uptime: 99.98%
Coming in second place we have Hostinger.
While being one of the cheapest web hosting providers, they seem to provide awesome performance.
We haven’t monitored them long enough to give more adequate data, but on the first glance they look good – uptime of 99.98% and load time around 540ms.
This means, for a relatively cheap cost, you don’t have to worry about your website being down on a regular basis – it will be up most of the time.
The only thing that is going to be down are their prices, which are really low. Cheapest plan is only $2.15/month. At this kind of price and performance it’s a complete bargain.
They also offer 24/7 Live Chat via their website which is a solid perk to have.
Host with Hostinger
Click here to check Hostinger Avg. Uptime and Load Time
3. Bluehost ($2.95/mo)
- Load Time: 510 ms
- Uptime: 99.98%
Bluehost currently hosts over 2 million websites, and it is one of the most popular, inexpensive, shared hosting options available – For a reason.
They are well used (and recommended) by a lot of webmasters and bloggers.
They offer great uptime – 99.98% – and their average load time based on last 12 months data is 510ms. In comparison with a another cheap host -HostMetro (2257ms) – your site will be 4 times faster.
In addition to that they are VERY beginner friendly and and if this is your first host, you’ll be able to get a free domain from them, too. Lastly, they also offer 24/7/365 live chat to all of their customers.
The biggest disadvantage in their offering is that the cheapest plan only comes with 36+ months commitment. If you decide to use their services for less than 12 months, you’d need to pay $4.95/mo).
Host with BlueHost
Click here to read our review of Bluehost
Click here to check Bluehost Avg. Uptime and Load Time
4. InMotion Hosting ($2.95/mo)
- Load Time: 644ms
- Uptime: 99.97%
Coming in fourth place, InMotion isn’t a bad service for the price that you pay.
They’re great for small business owners as they services is tailored towards this.
With a respectable uptime – 99.97% and relatively fast customer support (despite the lack of instant activation for people outside US) InMotions hosting services are pretty standard for the $2.95/month price.
As many others, they also provide instant support via 24/7 live chat.
Where InMotion falls short, however, is with their relatively slow (644ms) load times (more than 140ms slower than HostGator) which can pose some problems for potential buyers.
Host with InMotion
Click here to read our review of InMotion
Click here to check InMotion Avg. Uptime and Load Time
5. MDDHosting ($3.00/mo)
- Load Time: 635ms
- Uptime: 99.95%
In fourth place, we have the web hosting company MDD Hosting.
Offering services since 2006, MDDHosting knows a thing or two about running a hosting server.
And while they boast impressive customer service and uptimes that are on par with HostGator and other more expensive companies, the questionable support quality and higher price point prevent us from giving MDDHosting a full endorsement.
Click here to read our review of MDDHosting
Click here to check MDDHosting Avg. Uptime and Load Time
6. iPage ($1.99/mo)
- Load Time: 881 ms
- Uptime: 99.94%
iPage hosting is cheap…
At $1.99/month iPage will cost you less than a Starbucks coffee. But is it too good to be true?
Any service that cheap is bound to come with its challenges and performance issues, and sadly, iPage is no exception.
While they have a respectable customer service team in place, neither the customer service nor the low price can make up for the slow load times and inconsistent uptime.
Within last 12 months, they’ve managed to achieve a uptime of 99.94% and average load time of 881ms. As you can see, iPage falls short on the performance end. We think they’re just overselling their services at such a cheap cost.
There’s also a ton of negative reviews on the internet about iPage so be aware.
Click here to read our review of iPage
Click here to check iPage Avg. Uptime and Load Time
7. HostMetro ($2.95/mo)
- Load Time: 2,199 ms (unacceptable)
- Uptime: 99.30%
With HostMetro, you get what you pay for…
Actually, in my opinion you get far less than what you pay for.
Sure, at $2.95/mo they are a cheap hosting provider.
However, with some of the worst uptimes of last 12 months – 99.30% – and load times that we have ever seen from a cheap provider, there really isn’t any way that we can recommend HostMetro to any of our audience members.
We will revise the uptime/load time after we’ve gathered more positive data, but at this point we highly recommend you to avoid this hosting provider at any cost.
Click here to read our review of HostMetro
Click here to check HostMetro Avg. Uptime and Load Time
8. WebHostingPad ($1.99/mo)
- Load Time: 1,907 ms
- Uptime: 95.99%
The final web hosting service on our list comes in last place for one reason and one reason only – uptime.
Over a period of 15+ months, the average uptime of WebHostingPad is 95.99%. What does it mean? Well, to be brutally honest, it means more than 300 hours of downtime per YEAR.
Another concerning thing is their load time. Want to know the average? It’s 1,907ms (again, one of the worst we’ve yet to seen after reviewing nearly 30 web hosts).
Yes, they are super cheap and provide OK customer support, but if you ever truly care about your visitors, please avoid this hosting provider.
Click here to read our review of WebHostingPad
Click here to check HostMetro Avg. Uptime and Load Time
7 Important Things to Consider When Choosing Cheap Web Host
#1. Decide How Cheap is Cheap?
In this review, we compared web hosts that cost less than $3.00/month. We know that the definition of the word “Cheap” means different things to different people and varies considerably from industry to industry.
However, when it comes to web hosting $3.00 is a pretty standard figure for shared hosts (which we will explain in the next section).
If you’re OK paying more, considering taking a look at one of the best performing web hosts here.
#2. Uptime Matters a Lot (99.95% and above)
Few things matter more when selecting a server than the amount of uptime you experience.
With server downtimes and outages posing a huge threat to your website’s performance and your company’s bottom line, it’s important to choose a server with reliable uptimes.
Anything from 99.95% to 99.99% is considered “good” in the industry.
However, if you aren’t careful when selecting a cheap web host, you can expect uptimes as low as 97.45% with equates to more than 2,500 outages!
According to the Ponemon Institute “2016 National Survey on Data Center Outages”, power related issues are the leading cause of unplanned outages in data centers. And the total cost of downtime is $8,851/minute(!).WebHostingPad is cheap, but take a look at their speed and uptime (!)
#3. Avoid Slow Web Hosts (650ms and below)
Your website speed is important.
Both for the experience of your users and the search engines for which you are trying to optimize.
An average speed is anything below 600 ms, however, some cheap hosts have speeds as slow as 2.5 seconds. Having a slow speed can basically destroy your website, you’ll lose traffic and probably some money, too.
#4. 24/7/365 Live Chat vs. Tickets Support
Depending on what you use your website for, support can be a crucial factor when selecting a service provider.
If you use your website for business purposes, having a 24/7 live chat feature can mean the difference between successfully closing hundreds of new leads and losing hundreds of disgruntled clients because of server errors.
#5. Read Third Party Customer Reviews
In addition to our own personal experience, we researched countless third party reviews to ensure that we didn’t get lucky with our experience or receive some sort of special treatment due to the nature of our company.
#6. Sign up Process – There might be upsells
The signup process for a new web host should only take a matter of seconds. However many providers turn this process into a minefield of superfluous upsells, making it all but inevitable that you will unnecessarily spend extra cash for crap upgrades.
#7. Terms and Conditions – a.k.a. the fine print
If you have been on the internet for any appreciable amount of time, then it’s safe to assume that at some point in your life you have felt the burn of the fine print.
Maybe you were charged an unexpected activation fee when you setup your cable, or got refused a refund for a product you purchased, but whatever the nasty surprise might have been, it was undoubtedly buried in the fine print.
You know what I am talking about…
The “Terms and Conditions” that you must acknowledge to have read (but never actually do).
Luckily for you, when examining each of these web hosts, we did all of the dirty work for you, meticulously digging through the fine print with a finer toothed comb to guarantee that you don’t get slapped with any unexpected charges or surprises.
2 Main Types of Cheap Web Hosting
While there are a number of ways to define web hosting services, for our purposes, we are going to differentiate web hosting based on the technology being deployed in each instance.
1. Shared Hosting (starts from $1.99/mo)
As far as budget hosting options go, it’s hard to beat a shared server.
But as the old adage goes… “You get what you pay for” and these servers tend to come with their fair share of headaches and problems. Here’s why:
Shared servers are a lot like apartment complexes. You have room for hundreds or even thousands of people and can, therefore, expect to pay a lower monthly rent. But it only takes one tenant with a faulty smoke alarm for the entire complex to have a bad day. In the world of web hosting, this is known as the “Bad Neighbour Effect”.
Because you are sharing server space with 999+ other customers and that space is not equally partitioned, it only takes one website with a faulty line or code or influx of visitors to bring your website’s performance to a screeching halt.
If one website on the server receives an unexpected stream of traffic it could be using more than 75% of the server’s available RAM, leaving you and the 998 other clients to operate on only 25%.
It’s also important to remember that the customer service for shared servers is, shall we say, lacking. The reason for this is simple. If you have 1,000 people paying you $3.50/month, is it really worth it to pay a customer service rep $8/hour to resolve one person’s problems?
But shared hosting isn’t all bad.
Despite the technical challenges that it presents, it also serves as a great equalizer on the internet, allowing young entrepreneurs and struggling startups in other countries to build and scale their companies without breaking the bank.
If you want dig further into understanding what is shared web hosting, consider reading these two articles from Techopedia and WebsiteSetup.
2. Cloud (starts from $2.99/mo)
A cloud based server is essentially a scalable version of a VPS.
By allowing you to tap into and use the resources of several servers across a network, you are able to scale your website in ways that you couldn’t with traditional servers.
As an added benefit, Cloud servers also provide a greater level of protection against DDoS attacks which are designed to crash your server and prevent you from serving your audience.
While Cloud based hosts are great, since most companies are migrating their servers to cloud systems anyways, they don’t make much of a difference if you are already in the market for a VPS.
Cheap Web Hosting Review Conclusion
Just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean you should settle for a low quality web host.
There are dozens of options on the market that strike the perfect balance between affordability and quality, and with a little bit of research you can easily find a provider that matches your needs and your budget.
- HostGator Cloud: $2.95/month
- Hostinger: $2.15/month
- Bluehost: $2.95/month
- InMotion: $2.95/month
- MDDHosting: $3.00/month
- iPage: $1.99/month
- HostMonster: $2.75/month
- WebHostingPad: $1.99/month
What cheap hosting providers have you used? Would you recommend any of them? Let us know in the comments below. We can also test and try more cheaper hosts, so shoot your suggestions to us :).