If you have a website that you manage with a team (or just work on by yourself), you are probably already using WordPress for the ease and versatility it offers. If you aren’t using WordPress, chances are you have at least heard about it, and for a good reason!
You would be surprised to learn how many of the sites you visit every morning to get your daily news updates are actually using WordPress!
Generally, many people find that WordPress is easy to use, even if no one in your workplace is a major techie. In fact, WordPress is so flexible as a platform; it has been predicted that up to a third of all websites on the Internet are using WordPress.
It’s probably best not to go out of your way to try to stand out from the crowd, at least in this specific case.
After all, millions of people are using WordPress for a reason, whether it’s the diverse range of plugins and templates out there or the fact that installation is free.
In fact, WordPress is the foundation of my wife and I’s entire online business. Receiving over 800,000 page views a month now, it has grown into a full blown authority site, the goal you want to accomplish with a website.
But although WordPress is free, this does not mean that hosting a website that uses it will be.
Don’t panic, though. Affordable (and even free!) options are out there.
Benefits of WordPress
Here are some basic functions and benefits of using WordPress over any competing web development tool:
With over 50,000 plugin possibilities, every WordPress site is completely unique and catered to your own needs
Low maintenance costs, even when using a paid third-party web hosting provider
Marketing-friendly services like SEO and mailing list plugins
The ability to allow multiple employees to make updates and use website-associated emails
It is very user-friendly, even for those who have little to no experience with web management
Free Providers Vs. Cheap Providers
There are free options out there for hosting a WordPress website − but should you trust them?
At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. Some free hosting platforms are actually very well-known for being secure and easy to use (we’ll also go through how you can create your website using WordPress.com directly).
However, paid hosting platforms are often going to offer better storage and bandwidth, along with superior customer service and the possibility of a warranty.
Another thing to be aware of is the fact that most paid providers will allow you to upgrade your package at any time (and some free providers might allow you to upgrade to a paid package).
Here are the top nine free and cheap options that have budget-friendly packages available:
Not being biased here but A2 Hosting is my absolute favorite for a ton of reasons.
First, it’s dirt-cheap.
It’s just $60 for the first year, which is something around $5 per month.
And the best part is their quality and service are rocking.
I built my successful funnel using this hosting service and so glad I made the right decision from the start. There are tons of cheap or even free but crappy hosting providers that can’t hold a candle to any of what A2 does.
Bang for Your Buck
For just a measly $3-ish a month, you can get unlimited storage, unlimited transfers, free SSL and SSD, free and quick site transfer, and 5 databases for one website.
That’s the Lite plan and also the cheapest and the most basic of their plans.
Take it up to a few notches, and you have the Turbo, which is their “fastest service yet”.
At $9.31 a month, you’ve got unlimited websites, unlimited transfers, unlimited databases, unlimited storage, cPanel, their usual freebies…
And their exclusive “Turbo” server option to supercharge your hosting.
I’ve never had a single failed experience with these guys but if for some reason you’re not 100% satisfied with their service, you can get a money-back guarantee anytime.
Another heavyweight in terms of web hosting, Bluehost also offers affordable (but unfortunately, not free) services for anyone looking to create a WordPress website.
For the most part, customers turn to Bluehost for three core reasons: affordability, reliability, and security.
Bluehost is a platform that has been around for a long time and has gained a well-earned reputation for being reliable and consistently providing high-quality services.
Additionally, some business owners are nervous about taking a chance on a smaller or newer company. After all, your website has the potential to be a major source of revenue for your business (and will be packed with your original content).
You want to make sure your website will be safe, and that is completely rational. You can be positive that with BlueHost, you are paying for secure services, all at affordable rates that many struggle to find elsewhere.
A Closer Look At Pricing
Bluehost’s basic plan is literally $2.95. It’s hard to compete with these prices, especially considering the fact that the plan is actually quite comprehensive despite being labeled “basic.”
Although you can only host one website with the package (meaning it’s not a good fit if you need to manage multiple domains), you will get unlimited bandwidth with this plan.
You will also get 50GB of storage space, unlimited MySQL databases, and a maximum of five email accounts associated with the site. That’s a lot of perks for just under three bucks, to be completely honest.
Bluehost is also a very strong company when it comes to providing customer support. They offer 24-hour telephone and live chat support, as well as email ticket support.
Although other platforms might save you (literally) a couple of dollars, very few free web hosting providers are able to provide comprehensive, all-hours customer support.
Finally, the basic plan comes with a month-long money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the quality that Bluehost provides, you can always get your money back and keep searching.
If the basic plan is not sufficient for your needs, Bluehost does offer other packages, including a more comprehensive option that costs just $3 extra per month.
Many of the plans listed here are cheap − but few are quite this cheap.
Hostinger plans start just under two bucks a month, and customers will get a free domain name along with unlimited bandwidth and disk space. If you think, however, this lower price might mean you will have to sacrifice vital services and customer support, think again.
Low-Budget But High-Quality
Hostinger has over 25 million clients, which is a pretty good sign that they are a reliable and secure option for web hosting.
Additionally, unlike many free providers, Hostinger does not expect customers to go without reliable and easily accessible customer service. They offer live chat support directly on their website, making it very easy to get in touch when need be.
Like many low-budget web hosting providers, you are able to upgrade to a more costly and comprehensive package if need be. Luckily, even their pricier plans are still easy on the wallet.
Unlimited Sites For Less
For just $3.50 a month, you can access a number of enhanced features such as optimized speed. This package works for multiple domains as well − in fact, you can use this package for unlimited sites.
Even a lot of more expensive web hosting options typically have a limitation on the number of websites you can use, with the maximum typically being under ten. That’s why Hostinger is a great, ultra-affordable option for businesses that need to manage multiple sites.
SiteGround is a little bit smaller than some of the older and more famous web hosting providers listed here.
However, this does not mean that the company has not built its own admirable client base. On the contrary, over two million domains are using SiteGround, including many WordPress websites.
Like many web hosting providers, one of the SiteGround’s greatest strengths is the fact that it offers a menu of packages for the needs of different businesses and individuals.
The StartUp package is the most affordable option. However, it does not have the ability to handle the high web traffic you might be hoping for.
With this package, you can expect your site to be able to handle up to 10,000 monthly visitors. For an emerging business just getting started, this is not terrible web traffic.
However, if you plan on using web traffic to drive sales or pick up advertising revenue, you probably have your eyes on a bigger audience.
No matter what sort of business you are in, it is entirely possible to expect 10,000 visitors per day, if not even more.
That being said, if you are just getting started, chances are this package will be more than enough to help you build your brand and gain visibility. You can always upgrade to a more comprehensive package as time goes by and your popularity starts booming.
No Experience, No Problem
A lot of business owners want to make it big online, but not all of us have many skills when it comes to navigating the web and operating a great website.
This is perfectly okay. It’s a lot to ask small business owners to thrive in their field while also brandishing the web development and design skills expected of experienced professionals.
No matter which SiteGround plan you opt for, you will get a free drag-and-drop page builder. This feature will allow you to take on a lot of creative control when it comes to how your website looks, feels, and functions.
Even if you have no previous experience managing a website, and even if you are not a particularly artsy or visual person, you can create a quality website that will leave professional graphic designers jealous.
If you are looking into investing in a new web hosting provider, you might be frustrated if you have already put a lot of hard work into your existing website.
You may have invested hours upon hours into creating a website. You may have even forked over money for a professional to make it look great.
The idea of it all going down the tube when you switch providers can be very stressful and discouraging. That’s where SiteGround can help.
Using SiteGround, you can transfer one web page per account to SiteGround’s system. This means that, if you love your website a lot, you do not have to worry about losing it in the transition.
Yet another option that comes in at less than three dollars per month, InMotion offers three core plans: Launch, Power, and Pro.
In general, these titles are pretty appropriate. If you are just beginning to build your visibility online, Launch will likely be sufficient for your needs (that’s the plan that’s just $2.95 a month).
As your business gains traction and web traffic, you will have the opportunity to upgrade to a more comprehensive plan.
Better Money Back Guarantees
It is relatively normal for web hosting platforms to offer free or low-cost trial periods. Some even offer a brief window in which you can get your money back if you are not entirely satisfied.
But very few are as generous as InMotion. If you are not completely happy with your InMotion plan, you have a full three-month period to get a full refund.
This is pretty awesome compared to many web hosting providers that offer trial periods or money-back guarantees that last even just a couple weeks. With 90 days, you will have enough time to figure out your website and decide whether it is right for you.
Are you interested in supporting a smaller company when it comes to your web hosting needs? If so, CloudAccess might be worth taking a chance on.
Ultimately, CloudAccess does not even come close to the success of the more popular options on this list. Even many mid-sized businesses still have larger client pools than this smaller scale company (which has about 10,000 customers in total).
However, sometimes, small businesses mean tailored services that are attentive to your unique needs.
Not only does CloudAccess have its own professional support team, but they also offer free tutorials to help empower business owners who are just learning the ropes of web development and design.
Made for WordPress
CloudAccess is built specifically for WordPress and Joomla. The end result is that businesses looking to use other content management systems should probably keep searching, but WordPress fans are in exactly the right place.
CloudAccess also has a focus on keeping your content safe and secure. Daily backups are taken of your site, meaning you will never have to worry about losing your vital information.
The Best Part
CloudAccess offers unlimited email addresses. They are well-known for their high speeds.
They offer unlimited bandwidth and an Easy Cloud Control Panel (CCP).
But none of these things count as the best thing about CloudAccess.
The best thing about CloudAccess is that they offer free web hosting services.
Yup, that’s right. Despite offering packages that are similar in both quality and quantity as many paid competitors, you can create your own WordPress website using CloudAccess without paying a single dime.
CloudAccess does have paid packages at competitive prices, but if you are just about to launch your first website, you might as well opt for the free version.
GreenGeeks is a web hosting provider with a unique twist: every hosting plan is powered with the help of 100% renewable energy.
As business owners, we make a lot of decisions that have a greater impact on the world around us. We might choose to use less plastic packaging for our products, select eco-friendly shipping options, or offer vegan and cruelty-free product lines.
But we often do not consider the ecological impact of our day-to-day responsibilities, including operating our websites. The truth is, however, that every action we take will factor into our carbon footprints.
GreenGeeks aims to solve two core problems at the same time: the need for high-quality web hosting, and the need we have as a society to drastically cut back on fossil fuel emissions.
Helping You With Two Types Of Green
There are lots of reasons why running a greener business is appealing in virtually any industry.
In many cases, it can be a great marketing tool. People are more concerned than ever before with the state of our planet, and they are more inclined to support businesses that share their personal values.
No matter what kind of business you own, you can earn a certain degree of bragging rights by listing the various actions your business takes to protect the environment (including powering your site with renewable energy).
On top of everything else, it is true that environmental issues are serious, tangible issues in modern society. They deserve our attention, and every little action we take to make the world a better place is important.
But how does GreenGeeks’ green energy commitment size up to our need to take care of another form of green: our cash flow?
Pretty well, in this case.
With GreenGeeks, you can host a website for under three dollars a month. This price point is quite similar to many other web hosting providers on this list.
Additionally, the company offers many features that are quite similar to most competing brands, including unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and a range of three different package options.
It just goes to show that protecting the environment does not need to break the bank.
Sometimes a company name tells you everything that you need to know.
The mission of FreeHostia is simple: they offer web hosting services, completely free of charge. One of their available hosting plans includes installing a WordPress site with 5 GB bandwidth and 250 MB storage space.
Additionally, this free plan does come with a couple of added perks, like up to five domains and three associated email accounts.
High Speeds, Less Bandwidth
Although free web hosting providers sometimes have a reputation for slower speeds, this is not the case for FreeHostia. FreeHostia has a high-speed server network that ensures that, even without a paid plan, you can still have great speeds. However, many low-cost paid plans offer unlimited bandwidth, making it hard to compare with FreeHostia’s 5GB plan.
It might come as a surprise, but FreeHostia does still offer customer support, even though it’s a free service.
Overall, FreeHostia is not the number one choice for anybody who prioritizes great customer service. Given the high volume of clients and the fact it is a free service, you are likely to wait longer to get support.
However, if being put on hold or being patient when it comes to customer service is not a concern of yours, you might simply be relieved to know that customer service is available at all.
If you want a WordPress website, one of the options that you have available to you is… WordPress!
While you can use any option on this list for your WordPress site, you can actually set up a free website directly through WordPress.com.
Although WordPress has a reputation for being tailored towards blogging, this is not the only way you can use it. From sales to video marketing, many successful websites in every field have been created using WordPress.
Many people choose to use a web hosting provider to power their WordPress site for a number of reasons, including:
Access to 24/7 customer support
Better speed, storage, and bandwidth
Unique template and plugin options
More choice in terms of domain names
Although WordPress does work hard to keep its services free to use, they do have to make revenue somehow. For this reason, they have a number of paid upgrades available, including superior plans and anti-spam software.
WordPress gained its popularity because it is so versatile and can support every type of web content. Maybe you focus on images and videos, or perhaps you want to operate an online store or keep in contact with your customers through mailing lists.
WordPress can help you manage all of this content, despite being well-known for publishing blog content. WordPress is also very friendly towards businesses using search engine optimization (SEO), which is an essential tool for virtually any business to grow and thrive online.
In fact, certain WordPress plugins are specifically designed for SEO-marketing purposes, making the process even easier for businesses.
Is It Worth Cutting Out The Middleman?
So, WordPress fans really have three options: they can use WordPress directly to host their website; they can use a third-party or forgo using a WordPress site altogether.
The third option is truly not worth it. No competitor is as reputable and popular as WordPress is, and there is a reason for it.
WordPress is versatile, reliable, secure, and very easy to use. Even if you love a challenge, forgoing WordPress is simply not worth the headache.
While millions of people use WordPress without the help of a third party, there are a few core reasons why it might not be the right option for your business.
Typically, businesses who do not use a third party can expect lower speeds using WordPress. Overall, a third party web hosting provider can help you make sure all of your storage, speed, and security needs are met.
WordPress without an additional web hosting provider is significantly more “bare bones,” and comes without a lot of additional perks.
If you do want to invest in customization, you might end up spending more money than if you just went with a third party.
With so many plans available for under $100 per year, you can have access to an endless number of templates and constant customer support with a third party.
On the other hand, using WordPress to add customizations and additional plugins on a per-item basis can quickly add up.
Finally, a primary source of revenue for WordPress is from advertising.
Depending on your own values and preferences, having ads running on your page might not be right for you.
After all, you might end up having your brand being associated with a company that has nothing to do with your own, and it can be a general eyesore for customers.
Instead, you might find yourself unable to settle on just one provider, especially when everything on the market has its fair share of pros and cons.
So how can you possibly be expected to decide?
When choosing a provider, consider the following questions:
What packages can your business afford?
Which providers offer free (or low-cost) trial or refund periods?
Can I upgrade to a paid/pricier plan later if I feel like I need it?
What do the people I trust and respect recommend?
Does the provider offer packages that are tailored to the needs of newer businesses?
Is any sort of warranty or protection offered?
Does the provider have an attractive, easy-to-use interface?
Is free customer service available?
Keeping Your Creative Control
One of the biggest perks of using WordPress is that you and your staff can maintain creative control of your site, all while making the most out of the tools and templates available to you.
WordPress has such user-friendly features that adding links, videos, and stunning visuals to your website is incredibly easy.
Additionally, users can choose from a wide range of templates and visuals without having to do any complicated graphic design work. If you want to have the final say on the way your website looks, and the content published there, but do not know how to create it all yourself, WordPress is perfect for you.
These basic functions of WordPress will be available no matter which web hosting provider you choose.
In general, the perks you are paying for when selecting a paid web hosting package includes higher speeds, more bandwidth, and access to certain templates and development tools.
This is why you should not stress yourself too much when it comes to choosing a provider. No matter who you go with, you will benefit from the unique features that only WordPress offers.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but one thing is for sure: once you’re settled in and reaping the benefits of your new WordPress site, you definitely won’t have any regrets.
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Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.