To be honest, finding cheap hosting for WordPress is easy. There are many different cheap hosting services out there and nearly all of them are compatible with WordPress. So, the issue at hand here isn’t really finding out how to get cheap hosting for WordPress, but how to find a WordPress hosting service that is both cheap and reliable. Unfortunately, as you may have learned the hard way, cheap hosting for WordPress usually comes at other costs such as your site going down frequently, very slow loading times which kill your SEO, a complete lack of customer support, having your site get hacked on a regular basis, nearly non-existent customer service, etc.
For the purposes of this article, I’m not going to focus so much on finding a cheap hosting service, but rather, I’m going to focus on the most cost effective WordPress hosting service to go with. In addition, I’m going to assume you have very little knowledge of how to run a web server or what web hosting even really entails. If you’re already well rehearsed in managing web servers, this article is not for you, but if you’re just looking to have someone host your site with as few headaches as possible so that you can focus your efforts on your own strengths, than this is about the best advice you’re going to get.
Learn From My Mistakes!
I have used more than a dozen web hosts over the years in my constant search to find cheap hosting for WordPress. My biggest experience with cheap WordPress hosting companies was back a few years ago when I built up a private blog network (PBN) of 50 different sites. Obviously, hosting 50 WordPress sites is very pricey, and due to the nature of PBN’s, I had to use several different hosting companies to make it all work. These cheap hosting companies made running a private blog network a disaster. Simply managing all the unforeseen issues with these cheap WordPress hosting companies was costing me several hours per week. This is when I really learned that so-called “cheap” hosting isn’t really all that cheap.
Why Cheap Hosting For WordPress Will Actually Cost You More
In order to drive this point home, I’d like to tell you a story…
Many years ago, my naive self signed up for hosting through HostGator, a well known hosting company and likely the most popular at the time. I was going to use HostGator for all of my main money-making sites, which was about 6 or 7 sites. At first, everything was great. My prior host (SiteSell.com) was charging me $29 per month, per site. I felt pretty good about changing over to HostGator which I could host an UNLIMITED number of domains on for just $5 per month. They promised everything from site backups to increasing my site speed to a user friendly control panel, and while I had some minor hiccups at first getting everything set up, they were delivering.
But then the problems started…
First, I woke up one day and ALL of my sites were down. Well, not just down. They all displayed a blood red screen warning users that the site they were trying to access was compromised and if they continue it may harm their computer. I also had several emails from Google letting me know about my sites being hacked, and that they would not be sending me any search traffic until the issue was resolved. As someone who relies heavily on Google search traffic, this had me in a panic.
But no worries – I have site back ups! No problem, right!? I deleted everything off my account and reuploaded my sites from the backups. Boom, I was back online and all was good.
….Until about 2 weeks later when it happened again.
About a month later, I go to access my websites and they are taken down with an error page. “Great, I got hacked again!?” Not this time. Nope – this time it was HostGator that took my sites down. Why? Because I had exceeded the allowable monthly limit on page views for my account. They didn’t send me anh warning in advance, and when I tried to contact customer service, I was stuck on the phone for over an hour all while my money-making sites were down. In order to get my sites back up, I’d have to pay them more money.
Then they started wanting more money for website backups because I was exceeding my limit on how many backups I could store. Then I noticed my site speed was performing terribly, and it was due to the shared server I was on. It was just a complete disaster, and I finally had to take my business elsewhere.
DISCLAIMER: I have not used HostGator in many years, so I have no idea if what I stated above is accurate today, but I do know I will never personally use their services again.
How Much Money Cheap WordPress Hosting Ended Up Costing Me
Yeah, I was pretty excited to be going from $29 per site to $6 per site per month, but in the end, I was spending WAY more than $29 per site through cheap WordPress hosting. Due to HostGator being a fairly “bare bones” hosting service, I had to add on many additional services. I unfortunately can’t remember the exact total of all the services I was paying for, but just the security service I was using cost me $25 per month alone! That doesn’t include additional services I ended up paying for like a third party Content Delivery Network (CDN) to help speed up my website load times, a third party website backup service so I didn’t have to pay the ridiculous HostGator fees, and even hiring programmers to help resolve issues with my web server since customer service was nearly non-existent. In total, I’d estimate I was spending more than $35 per month on each site using “cheap hosting for WordPress” due to all the additional services and upgrades I needed, not to mention the lost revenue when my sites were down and the increased blood pressure I had to deal with.
Look For The FULL PACKAGE!
Instead of just looking for cheap hosting for WordPress, find the best value hosting, instead. In other words, instead of just looking at which WordPress hosting company is the cheapest, look at the entire package and what they include to determine which one is actually the cheapest. For example, in addition to basic web hosting, you’ll want the following services to be included and integrated right within your hosting dashboard:
- At least 20k visits per month – A lot of people worry too much about the number of visitors per month that are allowed in hosting services. If you’re just setting up a new WordPress site, just make sure you get about 20k website visitors per month included in your plan. If you get to the point where you’re getting that kind of traffic, you’ll be earning enough money that upgrading won’t be a big issue. I do recommend that 20k visits per month should be the minimum, however.
- Automated website backups – Make sure your site is able to be automatically backed up every day and saved both in your dashboard as well as locally. Many services will even allow you to link a DropBox account and have it automatically backed up there, too. The main thing is to have your host backup your files as well as having another location where everything is backed up. I backup to my current web host, my DropBox account, and locally on my computers hard drive. If a web host does not include backups, it is absolutely necessary to use some other type of backup service.
- Fast servers and/or CDN services – Website loading time is a big factor in how well sites rank in search engines, so finding a service with proven loading times or included content delivery networks (CDN’s) is very important. This is one of the greatest downfalls to cheap hosting for WordPress and is where they save the most money. Unfortunately, it’s pretty damaging to your site.
- 24/7/365 customer support – If your website goes down, you need someone you can call up on the phone, no matter what time of day or night it is, even if it’s a holiday (and sometimes ESPECIALLY if it’s a holiday). Make no mistake, even if you sign up for the absolute best and most expensive WordPress hosting service, you will absolutely need to talk to support at some point, maybe even several times per year. For those of you in North America, I very highly recommend using a hosting service that only uses North American based phone reps. If you can, try to research customer service complaints about any WordPress hosting company you are considering and pay special attention to what customer service wait times usually are. The WordPress host I use, for example, has wait times of under 5 minutes and I usually get connected immediately. This type of support should not be taken for granted, they are amazing.
- Staging Environment – While this one isn’t exactly a requirement for web hosting, I like to also recommend people sign up for a web host that includes what is known as a “staging environment”. If this sounds too technical to you, don’t worry. It just means you can make changes on your site without those changes going live, so if you screw everything up, your live site isn’t impacted. This feature isn’t just for high level programmers, it’s actually ESPECIALLY important for those of us who are liable to make mistakes when trying to tweak our websites.
So, when you’re looking for how to get cheap hosting for WordPress, make sure you take the entire package of what you get with your subscription into account. At second glance, most of the cheap web hosts for WordPress end up becoming the most expensive, and the more expensive hosts turn out to be the cheapest.
Who I Use For ALL Of My WordPress Sites
While certainly not the cheapest option, for the past three years, I have personally used WPengine and I could not be happier with them. Now, I admit that this service is not for those just looking to build a WordPress site to play around on. But, if your intent is to build an affiliate marketing business or any other type of online business, then WPengine is the only option I can personally recommend to you.
While I wish everyone would take my word for it that the “expensive” services like WPengine are absolutely worth the cost, and actually save money in the long run, I also realize that some of you just can’t afford such a service right now or you would like to explore some other options. Instead of leaving you hanging, I decided to create a list of truly cheap hosting for WordPress. While they might not be the best WordPress hosting services, these are some of the better cheap hosting services you can get for WordPress.
A List Of 10 Cheap Hosting Services For WordPress
So there you have it. While my top recommendation is WPengine.com due to many of the reasons I stated in this article, I hope the above list of cheap hosting for WordPress is helpful.