The Cheapest Web Hosting Plan for Beginners
If you are planning to start a new website but can't decide what type of web hosting to get or have no idea how much to pay for it, this post will help you find the cheapest and probably the best hosting plan to start with as a beginner.
All websites with a custom domain name (e.g. example.com) need some sort of web hosting, regardless of whether the website is a personal blog, an online store or a company site. What I mean by web hosting is that it is a service provided by companies or individuals by renting specifically configured computers (servers) in order to host websites and make them continuously available on the Internet.
"Wouldn't it be Cheaper If I Host My Website on My Own?"
You may have heard claims that hosting your website on your own would be cheaper. In about 99% of the cases, that claim is not true; because if it was, most professional website owners would be hosting their websites themselves.
If you have ever thought of hosting your own website to reduce your operational costs, you should quickly skip that option unless you are a business that is running a huge website and you have an IT department and technical infrastructure with high bandwidth Internet connection to set up a complicated hosting environment.
For the basic needs of an average website that you will build, it is almost always much cheaper and more efficient to have it hosted by a professional web hosting company. That's because, considering that you will need a separate computer (or server) to host your website since you will need to allocate stable resources such as processor and memory, a high speed Internet connection and uninterrupted electricity for 24/7 to keep your website online, the cost of hosting it yourself will be beyond comparable. I am not even mentioning the countless software and hardware issues you will run into when you try to host your website yourself.
In conclusion, your next best option is to find a high quality and affordable web hosting company with a suitable plan for you, which is what I will be talking below.
The Cheapest Web Hosting Plan
The web hosting plan I will talk about is the cheapest that I was able to find -based on its quality and features- during my days of research in which I checked and compared hundreds of different hosting plans from dozens of web hosting companies. If at any time, you find a better hosting plan for a cheaper price, please let me know and I will update this post.
Now, let's continue with the cheapest web hosting plan for beginners.
Namecheap Value Plan
Namecheap (affiliate link) is a domain registration and web hosting company that has been in operation since 2001 and I personally used them as my main domain registrar for about 7 years, and now I am currently hosting my websites (including this one) with them.
I will try to keep this post not to sound as a promotional one because I want to be as objective as I can even though I have been a satisfied customer of Namecheap for so many years. The main reason I am featuring them on this post is because 1) I have always had a positive experience working with them and 2) their hosting plans are among the cheapest that you can find on the web, while preserving a certain level of quality.
As a beginner, the type of hosting you will need is shared hosting, as it is the cheapest and easiest to use with a control panel (see cPanel basics). VPS hosting is recommended for larger websites and they don't usually come with a control panel. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive and it is the final stage that you will consider when your website(s) and their traffic grow considerably larger.
If you visit Namecheap and go to their Shared Hosting plans page, you will see four shared hosting packages with different pricing. The one you should choose as a beginner is the Value plan. Obviously, you can choose other plans too depending on your needs but Value plan will most probably be more than enough for you to start with.
The Value plan costs $9.88 for the first year. If you do the math, it is about $0.83 per month. Less than one dollar a month for the first year to start your website. After the first year, it costs $38.88 per year, which equals to $3.24 per month. Still, combining with the first year price, it is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, web hosting plan you can find for the quality and features it offers.
It has two datacenter options, one in the US and one in the UK. Depending on your target visitors, you may choose one of them. It offers 20 GB storage space which will be more than enough for your website, unless it consists of huge files. An average business website with 10-15 pages or a blog would be no more than a couple of hundred MBs at the most.
With this plan, you can host 3 websites (3 separate domains), which is also great if you are planning to build multiple websites for your different projects or businesses. Additionally, the bandwidth is not limited for this plan. It says "Unlimited" but still there are terms and resource usage limits you will be bound to. For an average website, it will be ok in most cases. Unless your website grows too big or unless you host a web application with highly busy usage, the storage and bandwidth of this plan will be more than enough for your basic websites.
In summary, Namecheap's Value Shared Hosting Plan is the cheapest web hosting plan based on its features and the quality of the service you will get. One thing to note, they don't offer phone support, but they have excellent live chat support that responds pretty quickly. Unless you are a person who prefers to communicate only via a phone, I don't think this will be an issue for you. For example, in my 8 years of working with websites and hosting companies, I never needed to contact them via phone.
If your domain name is ready, once you decide on the hosting plan of your choice and purchase it, your next step will be to add your domain to your hosting account. If you are in the process of moving your website from a different hosting provider to Namecheap, you should also pay attention to these important points while moving your website to a new host.
I hope that this post will help you save some money on your web hosting and I wish you good luck with your website :)
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