A good website is defined by the experience offered to it’s visitor. I strongly believe that a good site must engage the audience with clear message, good design and interactions that help a viewer obtain the desired result as fast and easy as possible.
Pages load time and the website’s uptime are also extremely important factors of that experience. The faster a page loads the better the experience.
So what happens when you want fast page loads and great uptime but you have a small budget?
Meet cheap web hosting.
But cheap doesn’t always mean unreliable, slow page load or poor uptime, as I have found out over the years.
In this very competitive field cheap doesn’t mean unreliable anymore. There are a few big and small providers that have affordable web hosting services of good quality.
Why should you consider my recommendations ?
If you have read my previous articles you probably know that I’m a freelancer with 15+ years of experience. So you can imagine with how many hosting providers I’ve interacted up to this point. As a hint: over 30, big and small companies.
Shared hosting, cloud, vps, dedicated (managed and unmanaged), reseller hosting, you name it and I have probably interacted with it.
In this post we will be taking a look at the best cheap shared hosting providers that I had the pleasure of testing their services over the years.
The main features I’m taking into consideration are:
1. THC Servers
Let’s start with number one on my list, by far the best cheap and reliable hosting company I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with over the years.
That’s mostly due to the fact that their support is, simply put, awesome. To my knowledge, all their employees are working on-site, so any issues that may arise are dealt with promptly. Not that I’ve had any issues related to downtimes or things like that, but they helped me with different plugins and software related issues that I’ve had with my websites. Other companies simply don’t do that. Trust me.
They claim a 99,99% uptime, and from my experience this is accurate. I use UptimeRobot and other similar apps for monitoring websites.
Price related, they’re not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either.
The hosting plans start at 1.95$/month if you pay yearly and 3.95$/month if pay monthly. I wouldn’t call it expensive, seeing all the benefits they offer.
- Awesome support
- Great Uptime
- Reliable service
- Page load times, a bit slow.
The 2nd largest ICANN-accredited registrar in the world, with over 11 million registered domains, Namecheap also provides cheap and good quality hosting services.
I tested them for about 2 years on different projects and was mostly satisfied with their services. Like with all large companies, the support is not always helpful on different issues, you need to wait to be transferred to different departments or submit tickets and wait for an answer.
Other than that, I have no real complaints. Their servers are outstanding, they have a great custom client interface, lots of add-ons and extras, overall a great experience.
Other than very cheap domain names, even free ones on first hosting purchase, their hosting prices are also cheap. If you on a monthly basis the price is 2.88$/month, on yearly plans they have a 50% discount, price is 15.44$/year , i would say a great deal.
- Intuitive, yet complex user interface
- Great prices, especially for domains
- Good uptime
- Support is not always helpful
Hostinger started out as the free hosting provider, 000webhost.com. The hostinger brand was born in 2011. I’ve tried the past year, and my feelings are mixed. Their support is good, not stellar like the one offered by THCServers, but good overall.
They offer multiple locations worldwide and i have to say it makes a difference. The page load times are the best i’ve experienced by far. Uptime though is not always on par with what they claim. I’ve had 9 hours of downtime on one of my websites in one month. That’s way below the 99.99% uptime claimed on their site.
They also provide a custom client interface for managing your website. It’s similar to cPanel but more intuitive for new users.
Their support has always been helpful and i haven’t experienced long waiting times in order to get an issue solved, so can’t complain here.
Price-wise, they have great discounts for their 4 year plan. If you purchase a hosting account for a period of 4 years, the price drops to 0.88$/month. The downside is you’re stuck with the same company for the next 4 years. The monthly plans are not so great, the price is 7.99$/month , way more expensive than the competition. Another great thing is they offer a free .com domain for all new accounts.
- Very fast page load times
- Easy to use interface
- Good support
- Not so great uptime
- Can’t access live chat if you’re not logged in