Looking for a web hosting service on a limited budget? As a discerning customer, you’re probably hoping for something that gives you good value for your money, not just any cheap hosting package that can get the job done in the interim.
The good news is that you can get a solid web hosting plan for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee. But the trick is knowing the features to look out for in a good web host: guaranteed uptime, server speeds, security measures, beginner-friendly tools, support for scripting languages, and after-sales support.
Read on for more information about the five best web hosting services and what they offer for less than $5 a month.
Whether you are a beginner or a long-time website owner, HostGator has versatile plans to meet your requirements. They’ve got everything from your basic shared hosting all the way to high-powered dedicated servers, so as your website gets more and more popular, you can scale your plan up.
But which of their many web hosting plans can you actually get for less than $5 a month? HostGator offers two such plans:
- The Hatchling plan is a single domain shared hosting plan. You get unmetered storage, bandwidth, and 75 pre-installed applications to spruce up your website. You also get loads of other features, such as a free HostGator website builder, website transfer service, $100 in Google AdWords and Bing credit, and even a free SSL certificate.
- The Baby plan has all the great features of the Hatchling plan — but bumps you up to unlimited domains instead of just one. This means even more savings in your pocket if you happen to run an agency or multiple websites.
Both plans are solid, in my opinion. Those new to website building should always look out for beginner-friendly tools such as website builders and one-click app installers. Plus, given that Google started marking websites “not secure” and then lowering their website rankings if they didn’t have SSL certificates, these are definitely something you want to make sure you have in your basic hosting plan.
If you decide you can afford to pay a little more than $5 a month, check out their Business plan instead. This upgrades your free SSL certificate to the more trustworthy Positive SSL certificate. A Positive SSL cert provides far greater security for both you and your visitors, since it’s backed by a $10,000 warranty and secures your subdomains in addition to your domains. You’ll also get advanced SEO tools to help you boost your rankings in Google and a free dedicated IP address that’ll protect your email sending reputation and the security of your website.
The downside is that the under $5 rate is only applicable for the initial term: HostGator will charge you double or even triple the rate upon renewal. You’re also locked into an initial contract term of three years. That said, they do have a 45-day money back guarantee, so you could just try it out risk-free to see if they work well for you.
If you’re looking for high-performance servers and world-class support, then InMotion Hosting is the right web host for you.
They’ve got everything from shared hosting all the way to dedicated servers, but only their Launch plan is within our budget, since it’s priced at just $2.95 per month.
Plus, unlike HostGator, InMotion Hosting also only locks you in for a single year to be eligible for that promotional rate.
This shared hosting plan gives you the following great features:
- Unlimited SSD storage
- Unlimited monthly data transfer
- Unlimited email accounts and storage
- Two hosted domains
- Free website migration service
- Free backups every 48-72 hours
- Free website builder
- Free domain registration
- 400+ free pre-installed applications
- Free SSL certificate
As you can see, that’s a lot of value for an entry-level plan. Many of the features you get with InMotion Hosting would cost you a premium with most other providers, not to mention that you also get access to their world-class support. The best part is that InMotion Hosting gives you double the assurance of HostGator: you’ve got 90 days to evaluate the service and ask for your money back if you’re not 100% satisfied.
IT connoisseurs will certainly appreciate the SSH access, as well as support for PHP 7, Ruby, Perl, Python, and other popular languages. You’ll also be very happy with speeds that can be up to 20 times faster, thanks to their business-class hardware and lightning-fast SSDs.
If you can afford to pay a few dollars more, their Power plan is well worth your consideration. This bumps you up to up to six domains per account and gives you an e-commerce ready plan complete with PrestaShop and OpenCart pre-installed.
Bluehost is well known in the industry for its superior WordPress-optimized hosting plans and expert WordPress support.
If you’ve already decided that WordPress is the CMS you’re going with for your website, then their all-inclusive shared hosting plans may be worth your consideration. At contract lengths of 12, 24, 36, or even 60 months, their Basic plan is priced at under $5 a month and is hard to beat.
Here’s what it includes:
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 50GB SSD storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Five email accounts with 100MB storage each
- One-click WordPress installation
- Access to the Bluehost App Marketplace
- WP-CLI for multiple installations of WordPress
- Detailed visitor analytics
This plan is perfect for single-website owners who want to get their WordPress website launched quickly, but also need lots of room for their website to grow. Having a free one-year domain registration thrown in means you don’t have to look elsewhere; the Basic plan provides you with everything you need to get started fast.
That said, if you can afford to pay a bit more than $5 a month, their Plus and Choice Plus plans are also excellent buys. With these, you get a WordPress staging environment so you can test out the look and feel of your website before it actually goes live, domain privacy, spam protection, and a free CDN to improve website loading speeds for your visitors.
The Choice Plus plan also comes with automatic backups, which will come in extremely handy if you’re planning on installing third-party scripts on WordPress. Since WordPress is open-source, some of these third-party apps may not be compatible with your installation from the get-go, meaning it could occasionally break your website. This is where being able to restore your website from a backup copy comes in handy.
All of Bluehost’s shared WordPress hosting plans include 99.9% guaranteed uptime, 24/7 expert WordPress support, free access to the Weebly drag-and-drop website builder, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hostinger is famous for balancing cheap prices with high-quality hosting. They can do so because they’re basically a hosting wholesaler: they’ve got a massive network of servers and data centers along with a customer base of over 29,000,000, so they can afford to charge less for each individual plan.
Going with Hostinger guarantees you the lowest prices for shared hosting plans. For less than $5 a month you can get their Single Shared Hosting and Premium Shared Hosting plans.
- The Single Shared Hosting plan includes one website, one email address, 10 GB SSD storage, 100 GB bandwidth, one MySQL database, and a website builder. This is perfect if you plan on building a single website with a decent amount of media, but with only one MySQL database available, you won’t be able to run many scripts — and perhaps none at all, if you plan on setting up a WordPress installation.
- The Premium plan bumps you up to unlimited websites, unlimited email addresses, unlimited SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited MySQL databases, and a free domain registration for the first year.
These plans also include free BitNinja Smart Security, which affords you full-stack protection against XSS, DDoS, malware, and other cyber-attacks. This is especially important if you work in an industry prone to DDoS and other hacking attacks.
Unfortunately, neither of these plans include a free SSL certificate or daily backups, which make HostGator, InMotion Hosting, and Bluehost better choices in that regard — especially if you plan on running an e-commerce website.
If you decide to pay a bit more than $5, the Business Shared Hosting plan includes all the benefits from the Premium plan plus daily backups, a free SSL certificate, and four times the amount of processing power and memory.
All of Hostinger’s shared hosting plans include 99.9% uptime, quality customer support, and a 30-day money back guarantee.
iPage is one of the veterans in the web hosting industry. They boast really cheap, one-size-fits-all web hosting plans with an efficient drag-and-drop website builder. For less than $5 a month, you can get their Essential plan with a one, two, or three-year contract offering a free domain for the first year. The plan comes with the following:
- Unlimited add-on domains
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited disk space
- Scalable bandwidth
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- E-commerce support
- iPage website builder supporting up to six pages
- One-click app installer
- Enhanced security suite
- $100 Google AdWords credit
- 1GB free cloud storage
Presently, iPage is running a 75% promotion off the regular monthly price. This iPage shared hosting plan offers you a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s recommended for users who need a strong package with unlimited features for a very low price. The plan is especially suitable for those who want to build an online store quickly, since it features a shared SSL certificate.
You can opt for a one, two, or three-year contract to get a rate under $5/month. If you’re not as concerned about aesthetics and more concerned about mobile-responsiveness, functionality, and efficiency, then iPage would be an ideal choice for you.
Great Offers – Low Price – Happy Clients
The best web hosting providers are strong in different areas and emphasize the unique aspects of their plans to accommodate the needs of different demographics. This means that when choosing your budget-friendly hosting provider, you’ll have to consider your short-term as well as long-term needs. To make an informed decision, it’s best to check out detailed reviews on each of the vendors.
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