5 Ways to Save Money on Web Hosting
You shouldn’t cheap out on a web host; there are no two ways about it. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable web hosting that’s also reliable.
If you properly weigh your options and choose a long-term plan that perfectly aligns with your business needs, you can end up saving a lot of money.
In the following article, we will share 5 of the most effective ways to find the best affordable website hosting, without having to compromise on quality.
1. Research your options
If you search for low-cost web hosting on Google, you will see tens of thousands of results. There will be many free and shared hosting options that will catch your eye. The offered rates will sound too good to be true. And sometimes they are.
As a golden rule, don’t consider free hosting options if you are building a professional website. Despite their claims, they are never reliable, especially not for the longer run.
In a shared hosting environment, you share server space and resources with other websites. Shared hosting plans are great for smaller websites that aren’t expected to rapidly grow. They are usually inexpensive, and relatively more reliable, provided you choose the right company.
You will find thousands of affordable shared hosting companies with one Google search. Go through the top results, check subscription plans, keep an eye out for any hidden charges/limits, read customer testimonials and reviews, and shortlist the worthy ones.
For more help in choosing the right web hosting, check out this article: How to Choose the Best Web Hosting for Your Online Business
If you are lucky, you may find a reputable company offering inexpensive web hosting services as part of a limited-time promotion. At this point, it boils down to one thing – which company caters to your personalized needs the most?
Get in touch with multiple companies, share your needs with them, and see if there is any room to negotiate. If a company can’t provide a plan that fulfils all your requirements, then it doesn’t matter if they are offering you reasonable rates.
All in all, research as much as you can before deciding. Time spent at this stage will save you a lot of money in the long term.
2. Purchase a long-term hosting plan
Hosting providers usually offer lower rates on long-term subscriptions. E.g., if you purchase a month-to-month package, you are going to pay a larger per-month fee than you would on a 2-3-year subscription.
A long-term subscription plan is a win-win for both parties. The hosting provider is guaranteed revenue for a long period of time, and you get many desired features for a discounted price.
However, ensure that your host offers you the ability to add or remove resources in the middle of a subscription period. This flexibility may come in handy at a later stage.
With that said, be extra careful when signing a long-term contract with a hosting company. Yes, you may be getting an affordable shared hosting package, but are you absolutely sure of the company’s credibility and reliability?
The promise of lower costs may seem very enticing, but there are more important things to consider. Does the company guarantee maximum (over 99.5%) uptime? What kind of security have they implemented on the servers? Do they offer SSL certificates and incremental backups? Have they been hacked in the past?
What about their customer support? Are they available 24/7? What do current customers say? The bottom line is: Due diligence is important when choosing any web hosting company, and the stakes are a lot higher when subscribing for a longer time period.
3. Free domain names
Most hosting providers offer free domain names with their subscription plans. Some even offer multiple free domain names if you choose the premium package.
This is a sure-shot way of saving money, but the same caveat applies here: Don’t choose an unreliable, low-cost web hosting company simply because it’s offering a free domain name. And the best part is: you don’t have to!
There are many credible hosting companies, some with millions of customers, that offer free domain names with their plans. While searching, you must ensure that you find a company that fits the following criterion (in that order):
- Reliable and trusted by many.
- Offers all the features that you want.
- Takes security very seriously.
- Has reasonably priced plans, with free domain names.
4. Choose what you need – no more, no less
Almost all hosting companies offer some add-ons with their default packages. These add-ons can be supplementary services or additional resources. They are important because they allow people to customize their orders beyond what the default plans offer.
During checkout, you must review any-and-all add-ons. Some tricky hosts offer really low rates on their plans, but include add-ons to your order, increasing its overall cost. This should be an instant red flag; who knows what else they are not being transparent about?
With that said, if there are any useful or required add-ons, like SSL certificates or incremental backups, it makes sense to include them. However, while comparing hosts, make sure you consider the overall costs of the packages, including the add-ons.
You should also not exclude necessary features from your package simply because it adds to the costs. For example, you may be able to cut back costs by removing 24/7 monitoring and customer support from the package, but do you really want that?
Cyber-attacks have been rising more than ever before. Active monitoring enables early breach detection, which is crucial in preventing data loss/downtime. 24/7 customer support is also critical as timely technical assistance can solve problems before they escalate.
5. Wait for promotions
Many web hosts offer promotional rates on special occasions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday etc. These discounts usually come every November and can go as high as 70-80% off.
But promotions aren’t limited to special occasions. Some hosts may randomly release promotions, to gain a competitive advantage, and/or to attract more customers. However, almost all promotions run for a limited time. So, if you find your preferred host offering a good deal, grab it before the promotion is over!
Beware of those cunning hosts that may use deceptive pricing strategies to fool customers. E.g. a host may double the original price of their package, then offer 50% off on it. This would make it look like you are getting a deal, when in fact, you are paying full price.
To avoid situations like these, it’s recommended to stick to reliable hosts, already trusted by customers worldwide. A reliable host will never be dishonest to existing or potential customers!
Choosing web hosting can be a tricky, sometimes overwhelming, decision. So, be sure to take your time, weigh your options, and make an informed, prudent decision.
What are the most affordable ways to host a website?
- Research extensively to find a reputable host that offers reasonable prices, without compromising quality. This may seem like a daunting job at first, but if you take your time reviewing multiple providers from the top Google search results, you will inevitably find a host that fits your needs perfectly.
- If applicable, go for a shared hosting plan. Shared hosting costs more than free hosting, but it is far more reliable and secure. Since you are sharing server resources with other website owners, you only pay a fraction of the cost. However, if you have a large website that’s constantly growing, shared hosting may not be the answer for you. Instead, go for a reasonably priced VPS, cloud server or dedicated server instead.
- Save on domain costs. Many service providers offer free domain names with their subscription plans.
- Be wary of unnecessary add-ons. Only choose what you need – no more, no less.
- Wait for promotions to get a good deal. E.g. On Black Friday, you may get up to 70-80% off!
How much does it cost to host a website?
The exact costs of hosting a website can differ from host to host, and from package to package. At HOSTAFRICA, we offer the following subscription packages:
- For web hosting (first three months): R15.80 per month for the Starter package. R21.80 for the Basic package. R39.80 for the Power package. R59.80 for the Business package.
- For fine-tuned WordPress hosting (first three months): R19.30 per month for the WordPress Starter package. R33.80 for the WordPress Basic package. R59.80 for the WordPress Power package. R99.80 for the WordPress Shop package.
- For Linux VPS server hosting (first three months): From R22 per month to R820 per month, depending on the CPU vCores, RAM, and storage you choose.
- For KVM Cloud server hosting (first three months): From R26 per month to R980 per month, depending on the CPU vCores, RAM, and storage you choose.
- For Windows Cloud server hosting (first three months): From R98 per month to R1140 per month, depending on the CPU vCores, RAM, and storage you choose.
- For dedicated server hosting: From R1600 to R2625 per month, depending on the CPU, RAM, and storage you choose.