Posted: 18 Sep 2019 07:34 AM PDT
Shared hosting is the most cost-effective way to host your website. So if you’re looking for the cheapest web hosting plans, look no further than shared hosting.
The problem is that so many hosting providers out there offer shared web hosting services.
Trying to find the best shared hosting service can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. That is, if you don’t know where to look.
I’ve seen so many website owners just pick the first or the cheapest option they find. Then down the road, they end up running into problems with their website. You don’t want this to happen to you.
That’s why I’ve taken the time to research and identify the best shared hosting plans on the market today.
Whether you’re launching a new site from scratch or looking to change hosting providers, you can use this guide to find the best option for your new website.
Here’s a preview of the 8 best shared hosting plans on my list:
Now lets begin!
What is shared web hosting?
Since the majority of you are probably new website owners, let me take a moment to explain exactly what shared hosting is and how it works.
With a shared hosting plan, your website will be hosted on the same server as other websites. This means that you’ll be sharing (hence the name) server resources with those other sites as well.
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That’s the reason why shared hosting is so cost-effective compared to VPS hosting or dedicated hosting plans.
Shared hosting is like renting a bedroom in a house with other roommates. You have your own room, but you’re sharing supplies and resources in the house. If one of your roommates has a bunch of friends over and they eat all of the food or use all of the soap, there won’t be anything left for you.
This is the major downside of shared hosting. If another site on the same server has tons of traffic, it can slow down the loading speed on your website.
Shared hosting is an entry-level service offered by most web hosting providers.
Who is shared hosting for?
Shared hosting is best for new websites, small websites, bloggers, and small businesses. If your website is just a few pages and doesn’t require lots of on-site interaction, then shared hosting is the best option for you.
It’s an ideal choice for websites that aren’t expecting large volumes of site traffic.
Shared hosting is not scalable. So if you plan on doubling your traffic every month for the next six months until you reach 200,000 monthly visitors, you’ll need to find a VPS, dedicated server, or cloud hosting plan instead.
While I mentioned the downsides associated with shared hosting, it’s not something that new or smaller sites should worry about.
A small website can handle a little bit of downtime or slightly slower loading speeds once in a while in order to keep their web hostings costs down.
Best shared hosting providers and plans
There are literally hundreds of different shared hosting plans available today. If you’ve already done a quick Google search, then I’m sure you’re aware of this.
All of those plans are not created equally. Some are significantly better than others.
If you need a shared hosting plan for your website, these are the providers you should be considering.
Bluehost stands out for its performance compared to other web hosting companies. They definitely don’t fall short of the competition in terms of uptimes and speed.
Like most hosting providers, Bluehost offers a variety of plans, each with different features and price points. Although unlike most of the providers we’ve seen that offer just two or three plan options, Bluehost has four.
Overall, the Choice Plus plan is my best overall pick from these options. With a starting price point the same as Plus plan, it’s worth paying a few extra bucks per month when it comes time to renew.
I can’t really justify the price jump for the Pro plan. You get extra spam protection and a dedicated IP. But if those are a priority for you, then you could get an upgraded plan elsewhere.
Bluehost is a top choice for new or beginner websites that plan on scaling in the near future. They provide you with the ability to upgrade your plan as needed, with just a few clicks.
So if your site is brand new and you’re not planning to prioritize traffic for a couple of years, then you can definitely get away with the Basic plan for the time being.
Bluehost pricing is straightforward, but they will charge you for add-ons.
To get the best possible rate, then you need to lock in your plan for 36 months. That’s another reason why I lean toward Choice Plus over the Plus and Basic packages. Even if you’re paying a little extra for resources that are going unused right now, it’s worth it for when your site eventually scales.
It will only end up costing you an extra $30 per year to go with Choice Plus over Basic for the first three years. That’s a great price for a reliable shared hosting service.
While shared hosting is typically for new or smaller websites, SiteGround is a great choice because it gives you room to scale. They offer three different shared plans, each offering more web space and the capacity to handle more monthly visitors.
So you could start with their entry-level plan, and eventually upgrade as your site gains popularity.
Here’s a brief overview of SiteGround’s three shared hosting plans:
If your website is brand new, you probably won’t be getting 10,000 monthly visitors for quite some time. But with that said, I’d still recommend the GrowBig plan over the StartUp option.
The introductory rate is only $2 more per month, and it can accommodate more than double the monthly traffic for when your site eventually scales.
Plus, the GrowBig plan comes with on-demand backups and a free site transfer. That’s an important feature for those of you who are switching from another hosting provider.
The GoGeek plan is for small, simple websites that are expecting tons of website site traffic. I’m sure the majority of you won’t fall into this category, but I know there are a handful of you out there.
GoGeek comes with three levels of super-caching, advanced priority support, white-label and client management services, and pre-installed Git.
Some of you are just looking for a cheap web hosting plan. DreamHost has cost-effective shared hosting, without sacrificing performance.
DreamHost is shared hosting made simple. They only offer two plans that are both very straightforward.
The Shared Starter plan is the best option for brand new websites. There is plenty of site storage and it comes with five subdomains. The biggest downside is that email accounts from your domain aren’t included, but you can add-on that option.
I’d recommend the Shared Unlimited plan because it comes with added benefits like email, unlimited subdomains, and unlimited storage.
Both plans come with WordPress pre-installed, a WP site builder, SSD storage, and a free SSL certificate.
Bluehost guarantees a 100% uptime rate. If they fail to meet that promise, you’ll receive compensation for every hour of downtime, which is up to 10% of your next pre-paid renewal fee.
They also offer a 97-day money-back guarantee. In my experience, 30 days seems to be the industry standard. So Bluehost really stands behind their product by tripling that period.
For those of you who already have a WordPress site, the Bluehost experts will migrate the site to your new account for a $99 fee. If you fall into this category, I strongly recommend taking advantage of this service.
For those of you who prioritize customer support, InMotion Hosting will be a top option for you.
Their rates fall in-between SiteGround and Dreamhost. However, the price jumps for InMotion’s renewal rates aren’t as drastic as the competition. So you won’t have to worry about paying triple price when it’s time to renew your plan.
InMotion has three shared hosting plans for you to choose from.
All shared hosting plans also come with a free domain, marketing tools, and security suite.
Unlike other plans we’ve seen so far, InMotion’s entry-level plan offers hosting for more than one website, unlimited disk space, and unlimited email. This is a great value for the price.
The Launch plan is the best option for beginners. Power is made for small business websites, and the Pro plan is made for developers and growing businesses.
Compared to some of the other providers on our list, InMotion really stands out when it comes to their customer support. This is definitely something to keep in mind as a new website owner.
If you’re having trouble and neep help, it’s nice to know that their team is available for you 24/7.
For those of you who decide to go with the Pro plan, you’ll get a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If InMotion fails to deliver on that promise, you’ll get credits toward free hosting.
Speaking of credits, all InMotion shared hosting plans come with $150 in free advertising credits, which can be very useful for a new website. It’s a great way to gain some exposure through popular search engines.
HostGator is another cheap shared hosting option. But for a cost-effective hosting solution, they still offer great support.
All HostGator shared plans come with unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, a free SSL certificate, and free domain. Pricing for each is:
Both the Baby and Business plan come with unlimited domains, while the Hatchling plan is for a single domain.
The Business Plan comes with added benefits like a free dedicated IP, free SEO tools, and a free upgrade to Positive SSL.
Overall, HostGator is a great value. The new customer rates are definitely on the lower end of the spectrum, but the renewal rates aren’t too expensive. Plus, you can lock in the introductory rate for three years.
HostGator offers a $100 Google AdWords credit and a $100 Bing Ads credit for all shared hosting plans.
If you’re considering HostGator, I’d recommend the Business Plan, even for beginners.
It’s not often that I pick the top-tier pricing as the go-to plan for everyone. But with HostGator, I think that the value for that plan is the best. The add-ons that come with the Business Plan are worth the higher pricing. Ultimately, it’s still less than $15 per month, even after you renew.
In addition to 24/7 server monitoring, 24/7 live chat and phone support, HostGator also has more than 500 video tutorials and nearly 700 help articles if you want to learn how to do things on your own.
GoDaddy is another well-known name in the web hosting industry. They offer quality shared hosting plans at competitive rates.
If you decide to go with GoDaddy for shared web hosting, your site will benefit from high uptime rates and fast loading times. Both of which are crucial components of web hosting.
GoDaddy offers four shared hosting plans. Each one is made for different types of websites.
As you can see, all of the GoDaddy plans are affordable. There’s something for everyone on this list, and it’s very straightforward.
If you’re starting a simple blog from scratch, you can get away with the Economy plan.
For those of you who have a small business and expect heavy site traffic, you’ll be better off with the Ultimate plan.
You always have the option to level-up if you need more resources. GoDaddy will actually send you an alert if you’re getting close to exceeding things like your memory or CPU. That way you can stay on top of things.
A2 is another top option for shared hosting. They offer one of the fastest shared hosting services available on the market today.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of their three shared hosting plans.
A2 Hosting offers affordable pricing for all of their plans. The introductory rates rival some of the lowest we’ve seen in this guide.
With that said, I’d go with the Swift plan at a minimum.
While the Lite plan is the cheapest, you might as well upgrade to get unlimited databases, even if you’re not planning to take advantage of unlimited websites.
Swift is less than $1 more per month when you first sign up, and only $2 more per month when you renew. That extra $24 per year is worth double the resources.
For those of you who have a need for speed, the Turbo plan will be best for you. It’s probably the fastest shared hosting plan offered by any provider on our list. A2 is already known for its speed, and Turbo is their top of the line shared plan.
While it ends up being $18.99 when you renew, it’s still cheaper than some of the other high-end plans we’ve looked at so far. Overall, A2 hosting is priced in the middle range compared to the competition.
Furthermore, A2 Hosting offers free site migrations for their shared plans. If you recall, other providers charge an added fee for this service.
They have excellent customer support as well, which is always a nice bonus. Overall, I can’t find much of anything bad to say about A2’s shared hosting plans.
Unlike other providers on our list that have multiple plan options, iPage offers just one plan for shared web hosting.
It’s about as straightforward as it gets. Their plan costs $1.99 per month when you sign up, and $7.99 per month when you renew. Overall, this definitely puts them in the best cheap web hosting category.
Even though they offer low prices, iPage has great features like:
That’s a lot of “frees” and “unlimiteds” for such a low-cost plan. Even though iPage advertises a free online store, PayPal integration, and other ecommerce features, I wouldn’t use them if you have an ecommerce site.
Overall, iPage is best for smaller websites. Be aware, they do charge extras for things like site transfers, but that’s expected for a low-cost web host.
Shared web hosting is the most popular option for new websites, blogs, and smaller websites. The vast majority of you will be more than satisfied with this type of web hosting.
With that said, there are lots of plans out there to choose from. There are definitely options you can eliminate right away based on your needs, while others should jump out at you as a suitable choice.
Here’s a recap of the best shared hosting plans on my list:
No matter what type of website you’re creating, I’m confident that you’ll find a the best hosting plan for your needs in this guide.
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