A reliable web host is a must for all websites and blogs, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. I have always been telling people about this: Not all cheap web host sucks! Some budget web hosts are as good as that VPS hosting deal you were looking at. And hey, that “awesome” web business idea you have in mind doesn’t need a dedicated hosting yet. You can host it on a shared hosting first and make the switch after it accumulate enough buzz.
When I first started my venture on the Internet, I stuck in not one, but two, ridiculous hosting deals. I was spending senseless money on a reseller hosting account that I do not need and on a web host that has literally less than 10 features. The first one was Network Eleven (I am not even sure if they are still around or not) – they still owe me about a hundred bucks as they refused to process my cancellations for months; and the second one was Gate.com. Both companies were the classic examples of businesses running on “charge as much as we can; deliver as little as possible” motto.
Those experiences suck, but I only have myself to blame on. That is the price of being naïve.
I do not want it to happen on you. Hence, I wrote this article. This is not about me, it’s about you. I am here to show you the truth, teach you how to be a good cheap-host-hunter, and help you save some money on hosting.
So, ready? Let’s rock and roll.
This cheap hosting guide consists of the following subjects –
First, let’s define the term “cheap”.
In order to fall into the ‘cheap web hosting’ category, how cheap a hosting plan needs to be?
Being in this line for more than a decade, I see hosting prices drop drastically for the past 10 years – first, we called $8.95/mo cheap, then $7.95/mo, $6.95/mo, $4.95/mo, and it goes as low as $1.95/mo in certain occasions these days.
Quick answer: Below $5/mo, with adequate features.
By adequate features, I mean hosting services that come with features that match current market standard. The standards may change from time to time (for example years ago a $5/mo hosting deal can get you only 6 addon domains, 5GB storage, and 10GB data transfer; now everything goes unlimited).
At this time of writing, a standard cheap hosting deal should at least cover sufficient power to host at least 50 – 100 not-so-active domains with basic web statistics support, email and web mail services, auto script installations, updated PHP and MySQL, basic after-sale technical support, and at least 99.8% server uptime. It would be a plus if the host can provide regular server backup, periodic malware scanning, and additional dedicated IP as well as private SSL certifications; but honestly you really can’t ask for too much with a host cheaper than your coffee.