Shared web hosting plans offer the cheapest way to get a website up and running. In this hosting review, you will find out about the best cheap web hosting services that offer shared hosting plans.

Web hosting providers have developed a range of website hosting solutions to cater to a variety of customers, including individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Startups and eCommerce businesses are obvious target markets for web hosting companies.

The three main configurations of web servers that web hosting services offer are:

  • Shared servers
  • Virtual private servers
  • Dedicated servers

The difference between these three systems is that in both the shared plans and the virtual private server (VPS) systems give customers space on a server but the dedicated server gives each customer its own server. The difference between shared server hosting and VPS hosting solutions is that the VPS is segmented by virtualization right down to touch the underlying hardware – even the operating system is separately installed for each account.

Although shared hosting plans put customers on the same server and a common operating system, each customer has a secure account and an individual file directory structure. Customers have to be prevented from getting access to the operating system because that would make it easier for one to get down to the root directory and then get access to the directories that serve the other accounts.

Two other options that you might see are cloud hosting and reseller hosting. A reseller plan is usually a dedicated server with the virtualization software that creates the VPS hosting plans installed on it. The reseller account holder divides up the server and sells it on those segments.

The cloud server term can be applied to any web hosting configuration. However, a more precise definition applies to a dedicated server plan that has a cloud platform, such as OpenStack, installed on it.

Why you need a shared hosting plan

Shared web hosting plans offer the best web server access for those individuals and businesses that have very little money to spare. These hosting plans cost very little – some are even free and ad-supported.

Bigger businesses can afford much more bespoke solutions and don’t have to pay attention to cost as much as small entrepreneurs. The inclusion of many of the tools that any individual would need to create a website makes these web hosting services particularly attractive to those who want to put together a website without hiring a web development company.

An example of the tools included with shared hosting packages is the content management system (CMS). The offer to provide these platforms pre-installed, or accessible through an installer from a software library for free cuts out the need for expert skills.

Examples of CMSs that many share web hosting providers include for free are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. These CMs can be adapted or extended with plugins such as WooCommerce, which is an eCommerce framework. An eCommerce alternative that is frequently made available by shared hosting providers.

Another feature available from shared web hosting providers is a website builder. Some shared hosting companies offer this as a separate hosting plan, while others include a website building platform as a free bonus with their shared web hosting packages. Examples of widely-used website builders include Weebly, Wix, Zyro, and Prestashop. WordPress hosting plans also make it very easy to create and manage a website.

The inclusion of a website builder makes shared web hosting packages ideal for individuals with no technical knowledge and no money to hire skills.

When you need shared hosting plans

Shared hosting plans are better suited to small businesses, particularly when they are startups. Larger, more established businesses with a significant web presence are more likely to opt for a dedicated server package or Amazon Web Services options.

Almost all shared hosting services are run on Linux web servers. You don’t need to worry about the issue of the operating system. So, if all of your computers run Windows, you won’t need to wait until you renew your hardware and replace it all with Linux machines. Your own computers don’t need to be compatible with the webserver.

How to choose a shared hosting plan

The account security measures of shared hosting systems mean that there is nothing fundamentally risky about this category of hosting packages. However, in a cost-cutting race to be cheap, many shared web hosting services skimp on security measures and a number of data breaches have occurred in this sector.

You have to be careful about which shared server hosting companies you decide to go with. Shared plans offer great value for money and present almost no risk if you know where to look. Risk can be further enhanced by selecting a shared plan that includes a money-back guarantee.

The best cheap shared hosting plans

When looking for a shared web hosting plan, check out all of the free bonuses included with the hosting service and evaluate the price with those benefits included. For example, a website needs a domain name and that costs money. Therefore, if one shared hosting plan is slightly more expensive, but includes a free domain name, it would represent better value. Here is our list of the best shared hosting providers in 2020.

  1. Bluehost
  2. HostGator
  3. DreamHost
  4. Hostinger
  5. A2 Hosting
  6. GreenGeeks
  7. WP Engine
  8. InMotion Hosting
  9. SiteGround
  10. GoDaddy
  11. HostPapa
  12. iPage

 

Bluehost

Bluehost logo

Bluehost is a great choice for those seeking a shared hosting plan. The shared hosting services are available as three hosting packages. Bluehost also offers WordPress hosting plans, including a managed WordPress plan, which includes a human support team and the plugin library includes WooCommerce, which converts WordPress into an eCommerce platform.

Shared hosting accounts include an installer which makes it easy to set up the free software available with the plans. Features of all shared hosting plans include the cPanel control panel, a free domain name, and a free SSL certificate. Bluehost also offers a VPS hosting package and a dedicated server hosting option.

Pros

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain name
  • Unlimited bandwidth with higher plans
  • Unlimited SSD disk space with higher plans
  • Unlimited websites with higher plans
  • Unlimited subdomains with higher plans
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • WordPress and WooCommerce platform available
  • Cloudflare CDN available as a paid addon
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Email accounts cost extra

 

HostGator

hostgator logo

HostGator has three shared hosting plans. It also has three specialist WordPress hosting plans. The shared hosting plans include the entry-level Hatchling plan for one website. The other two plans, Baby and Business, allow unlimited websites.

All plans include the option to include WordPress, which gets set up by an automatic installer. All plans include the cPanel control panel, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain name. All plans can get free site migration and the Business hosting plan also includes free SEO tools and a dedicated IP address. HostGator also offers VPS hosting plans and dedicated servers. The company also performs domain registration.

Pros

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain name
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited websites with all but the basic plan
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Unlimited FTP accounts
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • PHP 5 support
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • WordPress add-on is free
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No free website builder – it costs extra

 

DreamHost

DreamHost logo

DreamHost offers two shared hosting plans: Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited. The basic plan is for one website and the higher plan allows unlimited websites. The features of the two shared hosting plans from DreamHost are exactly the same except that email accounts are a paid addon in the basic plan and included in the unlimited plan.

Pros

  • Free Domain included 
  • Unlimited Bandwidth 
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • WordPress pre-installed 
  • Free website migration for WordPress sites
  • Free website builder for WordPress
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Support for PHP 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3
  • Free SSL certificate (Let’s Encrypt SSL)
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • 97-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Free website builder only applies to WordPress hosting

 

Hostinger

Hostinger’s web servers fulfill the hosting needs of 29 million customers. It’s shared hosting services are available in four plans. The basic plan, which is called Single Web Hosting caters to one website. This plan includes one email account and has limits on the amount of storage space and bandwidth. The other three plans host unlimited websites, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain name. All plans get a free SSL certificate source from Let’s Encrypt SSL. Cloudflare CDN is available as a paid addon. Hostinger has specialized WordPress hosting plans and also offers VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and domain registration.

Pros

  • Unlimited bandwidth on all higher plans
  • Unlimited email accounts (except for the Single Web Hosting plan)
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Unlimited FTP accounts
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No free website builder

 

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers four shared hosting plans. While the Startup plan is for one site, the other three plans can host unlimited websites. The upper plans also include unlimited SSD storage space, a free SSL certificate, and unlimited email accounts. All plans include the cPanel control panel, free Cloudflare CDN and DDoS protection, security features, such as malware, unlimited email accounts, and a free website builder. A2 Hosting also offers VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting plans.

Pros

  • Unlimited SSD storage space (except for on the Startup plan)
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited SSD disk space
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • Free website builder
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free FTP accounts
  • MySQL 5.6
  • Choice of data center location
  • WordPress hosting option
  • A no-hassle anytime money-back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Server Rewind backups not included in the Startup plan

 

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks has an eco-friendly angle on its web hosting services and has WordPress hosting, reseller hosting plans, and VPS hosting as well as shared hosting plans. The data centers located in the USA, Canada, and Amsterdam operate web servers with SSD disks arrays, high-speed technology, and advanced security features. 

Technical support is available around the clock and the company gives a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.  The shared hosting services of GreenGeeks is presented as three plans. These are Lite, Pro, and Premium. Lite only hosts one website and the other two plans allow unlimited websites on each hosting account.  All plans include a free domain name, unlimited SSD disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.

Pros

  • Free domain name
  • Free website transfer
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free FTP accounts
  • Free CDN
  • Free website builder
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited SSD disk space
  • WordPress hosting option
  • Magento 2 available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Support only available in English

 

WP Engine

WP Engine is a specialist managed WordPress hosting service. The hosting company has four hosting plan levels. These start with the Startup plan, which hosts one website. The Growth plan hosts 10 sites and the Scale plan hosts 30 sites. The top plan is a custom service that also hosts up to 30 sites. Unlike most of the shared hosting plans on this list, WP Engine doesn’t offer unlimited server resources or a free domain name. However, each plan does include a free SSL certificate, a free CDN, and a library of free WordPress themes and plug-ins.

Pros

  • Free site migration
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free CDN
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Limits on server resources
  • No free domain name
  • No uptime guarantee

 

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers secure and manageable shared hosting plans. It has three plans, called Launch, Power, and Pro. All plans include some very good security features, including a free SSL certificate, SSH access, Spam Safe protection for email accounts, and malware protection. All plans also get a free website builder, free site migrations, Google Apps integration, and access to 400 free applications.

Pros

  • Free domain name
  • Free website transfer
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free FTP accounts
  • Free website builder
  • Unlimited SSD disk space
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • WordPress and 400 other applications for free
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • No CDN service

 

SiteGround

SiteGround is recommended by WordPress.org for WordPress hosting and the ease of adding the WooCommerce plugin makes SiteGround a good option for eCommerce startups. The web hosting provider has three shared plans called StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. The hosting service promises 99.9 percent uptime and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The StartUp plan hosts one website and the other two plans allow unlimited websites. All of the plans include managed WordPress, a free CDN, free email accounts, a free SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and daily backups.

Pros

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free FTP accounts
  • Free website builder
  • Free CDN
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • WordPress hosting
  • Weebly website builder
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • No free domain name offer

 

GoDaddy

godaddy_logo

GoDaddy is the world’s largest web hosting company and also the largest domain name registrar in the world. The web hosting service offer shared hosting plans run either on Windows or Linux with four plans on each operating system. All plans include unlimited bandwidth and a free domain name, however, only the two top plans include a free SSL certificate. 

The email system is implemented through Office 365, which all shared hosting clients get free access to in the first year. The Economy plan only hosts one website, while the other three plans host unlimited websites and provide unlimited disk space.

Pros

  • Free domain name
  • WordPress hosting plan available
  • Choice of Linux or Windows servers
  • Uptime guarantee of 99.9%
  • Security features and DDoS protection
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Free SSL certificate not included with cheaper plans
  • Cancellation window is only 48 hours

 

HostPapa

HostPapa specializes in web hosting for small businesses. The company offers three shared hosting plans, called Starter, Business, and Business Pro. The Starter plan hosts a maximum of two websites and the other two plans host unlimited websites. All plans get a free domain, a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt SSL, a free CDN, and a free website builder.

Pros

  • Free domain name
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free CDN
  • Free website builder
  • WordPress hosting available
  • Uptime guarantee of 99.9%
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Free SSL certificate not included with cheaper plans
  • Cancellation window is only 48 hours

 

iPage

The iPage offers one shared hosting plan that hosts unlimited domains and includes a free domain name, a free SSL certificate, a free website builder, free site migration, and a free unlimited email accounts. The shared plan is a great choice for WordPress hosting. An installer in the hosting account will set up WordPress and import templates and plugins from the iPage free library.

Security features include SiteLock security scans Other benefits are unlimited storage space and unlimited MySQL databases.

Pros

  • Free domain name
  • Free website builder
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Free eCommerce software
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 phone and chat support

Cons

  • Only one shared hosting plan