Trying to find reliable, cost-effective and high quality web hosting can be a real pain. It’s a jungle out and trying to find the right provider to fit your needs can be a real marathon and this is why I started BestCheapHosting.com. Here we look to bring to our users honest, informative and useful information that will help you with any of your web hosting needs. We review the best brands, tackle the key topics and bring you closer to some of the best deals around. Take a look!
Main types of Hosting
Top 3 Hosting
Most importantly, the question is not about simply identifying the cheapest option, but also the best web hosting to match your website’s goals. Luckily, the market has expanded significantly, and today you can find cheap web hosting that doesn’t sacrifice quality to deliver a great deal. Read on below to learn more about what cheap hosting is, and how it can help you get your website off the ground. Then, explore our expert reviews and see what others are saying in our user reviews to uncover the right option to suit your web hosting demands.
What is Web Hosting?
If you’re building a website, the first thing you’ll need to find somewhere to store all its assets, content, and data. Traditionally this was done with on-premises servers which are connected to the web, but these are expensive and inefficient if you’re planning to scale at any point after you launch. You may have heard the term floating around, but it’s worth asking: What is web hosting?
Hosting companies offer you the ability to create the infrastructure you need for your business without having to overpay or overextend yourself. Sometimes you may not even need more than a basic server to host a small blog or single-page website, but you’ll still need some form of hosting.
Cloud hosting today is used for a variety of purposes, but it can get costly quickly depending on which services you use. Cheap hosting takes cloud servers a step further, prioritizing an affordable service aimed at small business owners and content creators who are seeking to build an online presence.
How Does it Work?
Instead of requiring that you have your own servers, web hosts have data centers that store users’ data and house virtual servers that users can rent out as necessary. As an alternative to purchasing a new server whenever you need more space or bandwidth, you can simply expand your plan to fit your new needs. The best hosting services can offer these benefits along with significant cost reductions in terms of monthly expenses and related overheads.
One important question many newcomers to the market ask for instance, is, what is VPS? Virtual private servers, or VPS for short, give you a dedicated storage server for your website. However, these types of package are expensive if you’re endeavoring to build a small website. Cheap hosting provides packages and hosting types that are more in line with a small content creator or small business’ needs. This includes shared hosting, which lowers your costs, as well as a limit on how many websites you can build at once. However, limitations are a small price for a service that grants you quality and affordability.
Why Do I Need a Host?
Before you can build it, you should understand what is needed to host a website. Hosting is vital for your website because otherwise, you’d have nowhere to store your web content. Today, most companies have moved their web assets (their website content, files, data, and more) online to make it easier for visitors to access pages, all while providing an overall better experience.
Without the right web hosting (such as a cheap dedicated server or even shared hosting) you won’t be able to bring your website online. Additionally, your hosting provider will often be the same company that hosts your domain (your website’s online address) so it’s doubly important to make sure you’re choosing the right one. The best hosting sites don’t sacrifice the tools you receive in order to deliver an affordable service. Indeed, many platforms offer you a very small website hosting cost when compared to the benefits you collect. To successfully build a web presence, you’ll need to choose a web hosting solution.
Is there a Difference Between Hosting Services?
When you start looking, you may be under the suspicion that there’s no real difference between one web hosting provider and another. If you’re just entering the market to look for a website hosting solution, it may appear that all you really need is space and a domain.
Web hosting services offer storage space and bandwidth as a minimum, but the way they supply this space, as well as the tools they give you to manage it is the real difference between a platform that will help you build a better website and not being able to get online. Even if you’re only choosing to go for cheap web hosting, you’ll still be able to differentiate between providers. Here are some areas where web hosting sites can vary:
- The amount of bandwidth and storage capacity they offer you every month
- The back-end tools such as cPanel they provide to administer your hosting
- Additional tools such as email hosting, one-click integrations
- The types of server alternatives, such as a VPS server or dedicated hosting
When you’re analyzing the available companies, either by reading through HostGator reviews from users or exploring our expert Hostinger review, you’ll notice we always list out each feature, as well as how well a company offers it.
Do I Need any Technical Knowledge to Sign Up for Web Hosting?
The good news about web hosting is that you don’t need to be a tech expert to get started. You may still be asking yourself, what is web hosting, really? The answer is that it’s not another challenge to solve, but a powerful tool that can get you online quickly, regardless of your skill level.
Especially when you sign up for cheap web hosting, which is expressly aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as individual content creators, these companies understand that your main priority should be your work. Thus, they offer great tools that let you get the best WordPress hosting, for instance, with a single click, or help you scale your storage space with a simple dial. In this manner, you can easily get started with web hosting, even if you’ve never attempted it before.
Does My IP Location Affect the Host?
While we’ve gotten used to thinking that digital equates to instantaneous, data actually has to travel between points during communication, so it’s definitely not immediate. Instead, data travels (albeit at very high speeds) from transmission to recipient, meaning that if the data’s point of origin is far away from you, it will take longer than if it were around the corner from your computer.
For most web hosting services, this means that where users are situated along with where virtual servers are located are important considerations. Indeed, when you’re searching for web and domain hosting, you should seek out companies that offer multiple data center locations, or at least some that are closer to your geographic location. Website hosting services that give you that flexibility offer faster connection speeds and a better overall experience for your visitors.
What Features Should I Look For in a Hosting Provider?
Before settling on your host, you should make sure they can meet your needs and requirements. Here are some web hosting features to keep an eye out for:
- Back-End Administration – You may be reading reviews and wondering, what is cPanel? This nifty dashboard lets you manage all your host settings from one location. This is a bare minimum that most web hosting tools should include in their services.
- Database Versatility – Website design is unique, and you may use different tools to connect to your website, such as an Apache virtual host or an SQL versatility. Make sure your host lets you choose how to build your site.
- Types of Hosting – You may be fine with shared hosting, or require reseller hosting, or you may even be looking for a free VPS service. Make sure your chosen platform offers the type of hosting you need.
- One-Click Installations – Tools like Softaculous make building your website easy by enabling you to add the tools needed (such as Shopify and WordPress) with a single click and minimal hassle.
How Can My Online Business Benefit From a Web Hosting Service?
Here are some of the advantages that the best web hosting services deliver for your online business:
- The most obvious benefit is that you gain cheap and efficient website hosting services at a fraction of the cost of traditional cloud or on-premise hosting.
- Cheap web hosting also comes filled with features that make building and maintaining your website easy and efficient.
- You can conduct some research and find, for instance, the best WordPress hosting service to help you optimize your website exactly for your needs.
- You can scale simply and quickly when needed, all without having to lock yourself into a plan that forces you to overpay for space and bandwidth you don’t need.
- The variety of hosting available means that no matter what your website or business is, you’ll find a service that offers specific tools designed to help you.
The Difference Between Domain Name and Web Hosting
When you start looking for domain hosting, you may be confused to discover that you’re finding links to web hosting services. If you’re not familiar with how the web works, the first question to answer is: what is a website domain? Your domain is your website’s online address. When people type in your website into their search bars, your domain name is what points them to your site.
This means that in many cases, you’ll need two types of hosting: one for your website itself, and one for your domain hosting. Fortunately, today most web hosting services include free or cheap domain hosting, so your web address will come included in your starting price. Before you ask, “what is my domain name?” you’ll be able to choose it yourself once you build your site.
- Versatile Hosting
- High Uptime Guarantee
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Expansive Customer Suppo
- Independently Owned Datacenter
- Emphasis on Migration
- Freebies Galore
- Strong Support Team
Free Hosting vs. Paid Hosting
You may be tempted to opt for free website hosting instead of a paid plan, and if you’re looking for a bare-bones solution just to get started, you may be on the right track. However, free hosting doesn’t always mean great hosting. Here are some reasons why you should consider paid hosting if you can:
The Main Problems With Free Hosting
One of the biggest issues is that your bandwidth—or how much traffic your website can host—will be limited, making it hard to grow your user base without losing service or paying more.
When you choose a free hosting service, you’ll often have to display ads for other companies or services on your site, as this is how companies can afford to give you free tools.
Choosing a free option means that what you see is what you get. If you need more bandwidth, access to different tools, or more, you’ll have to pay for the privilege.
Why It’s Better to Pay For Hosting
Paid hosting, even at its most affordable, often comes with guarantees for uptime, speed, and reliability.
The starting bandwidth caps are much higher with paid options, and in some cases there may not even be any restrictions at all.
PHP, .HTAccess, SSL, MySQL, FTP, and More
Paid hosting lets you access the tools you need to build your website, with few limitations. This includes a variety of scripting languages, database tools, and even some of the best free website builder tools.
Paid options also give you greater control over your website and server thanks to built-in administrative tools such as cPanel.
Host Multiple Domains
If you need more than one website or landing page, free hosting may not do the trick, as it’s often meant for single, small websites that are just getting started.
While you’ll pay more upfront, paid hosting also means you won’t have to pay to add services and bandwidth down the line, saving you money over the long-term.
Most free hosting gives you access to a knowledge base and a FAQ section, which isn’t always enough. Paid options give you better support that is more accessible and always available.
Top 10 Types of Hosting
Shared web Hosting
You may wonder, just what is shared hosting? This type of hosting lets you create a virtual server on a data cluster that shares resources with other users, giving you slightly fewer resources, but lowering the overall cost of hosting.
Reseller Web Hosting
Reseller hosting is meant for individuals who are seeking to either build their own hosting service or provide hosting to their clients. With the best reseller hosting, you can rent hosting space and resell it with your own branding.
Virtual Dedicated Server
A virtual dedicated server is stored on its own instance of a data cluster and doesn’t share resources with anyone else. Even a cheap dedicated server gives you better resource management and privacy.
Dedicated Hosting Service
Dedicated server web hosting services give you the ability to set up your own servers in data clusters that don’t share resources. The best dedicated server solutions let you manage your own servers and resource usage.
Managed Hosting Service
If you need your own private host, but don’t want to deal with setting it up, you can sign up for managed web hosting, which gives you the benefits of a VPS without the hassle. These servers are preconfigured and can include variants such as managed WordPress hosting.
Cloud hosting services are based entirely on cloud storage and infrastructure, making it easier to scale up or down, and access your files from anywhere. Free cloud hosting comes with some limitations, but usually most services include Cloudflare free SSL and other great base features.
Virtual private servers, (or VPS servers, as they’re known sometimes) are private instances of virtual servers that give you full control over installation, management, and root access. Cheap VPS services are still great for privacy and give you more flexibility if you’re familiar with web design.
If you’re looking to simply build a blog or small site, dedicated WordPress hosting supplies all the tools and plugins you need to make a great website on the popular CMS, right out of the box. The best WordPress hosting will even offer tools like website builders, SEO features, and more.
Although Linux remains the most popular, sometimes your job, website, or preference will mean you choose a Windows hosting option. These tools are the same as Linux, except that they use the Windows operating system. Windows web hosting tends to be slightly pricier.
If you work extensively with PHP, having a platform that offers free PHP web hosting is a must. These types of services include PHP hosting alongside support for multiple scripts and other programming tools.
One of the bigger concerns with online hosting is security, which is a bigger topic today than ever before. Cheap web hosting, which usually offers shared hosting, is technically a greater vulnerability, but a large majority of the companies that offer website hosting today also include encryption such as SSL, privacy tools, and reliable firewalls to keep you safe.
Web Hosting For Free
If you’re just looking for a quick startup, you may be better off searching for free website hosting. While it may not offer many of the benefits paid plans and subscriptions, free web hosting does reduce your costs to almost 0 and means that you can focus on building a better product with those resources. Once you start growing, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
My final costs
Though cheap hosting is accessible to everyone, you should still take a deep look before signing on with the first company you find. Read our reviews to understand each company’s website hosting cost, as well as explore cheap VPS, integrations, and support for your site to make the smartest choice. Cheap hosting is excellent, but the right host is the difference between success and an abandoned website. Read our expert reviews and see what others are saying about our top-rated cheap web hosting companies.