Cheap WordPress hosting: pay less for the best
WordPress is the most popular way to build a site. For marketing purposes, providers are often selling services that are “optimized” specifically for it to cash in on beginner users. But which of those services are actually great options for cheap WordPress hosting?
In reality, name it how you like – shared or WordPress hosting, it’s the same stuff. To get a real deal, WordPress-oriented services like SiteGround and WP Engine are in no way cheap.
But some shared hosting providers did optimize their service to be a great choice for cheap WordPress hosting. That’s why I decided to test cheap WordPress hosting providers to see if they are actually better for WordPress or is it just a marketing strategy.
Now let’s see the options for the best budget WordPress hosting.
Best cheap WordPress hosting: ranked
- Hostinger – best cheap WordPress hosting for performance
- DreamHost – entirely WordPress focused platform
- HostGator – affordable no-fuss WordPress hosting
- Bluehost – user-experience focused inexpensive WordPress hosting option
- HostPapa – beginner-friendly hosting with generous resources
Use the list above to jump through providers. And if you don’t know what you’re looking for yet, there are some tips at the end of this post to help you out.
1. Hostinger: best cheap WordPress hosting
|Features||Free SSL, automatic backups, SSD storage, LiteSpeed web server|
|Best for||Cheap performance-focused WordPress hosting|
Hostinger is the cheapest WordPress hosting provider on this list. You can get it as low as $1.39/mo if you pick standard shared hosting plans. WordPress-labeled option adds Cloudflare and WP-CLI integrations, but the pricing starts from $1.99/mo. No matter which option you choose, Hostinger is known for its speedy performance, ease of use, and expert-level support.
But let’s talk about the topic of the day – pricing and value.
Both Single Shared ($1.39/mo) and Single WordPress ($1.99/mo) will provide you with:
- 30GB storage space
- 100GB bandwidth for around 10 000 monthly visits.
- 1 website and 1 email limit
- Free SSL and daily backups
They are both hosted on the same servers with the same configurations. But, Single WordPress additionally comes with WP-CLI and Cloudflare already installed, hence the pricing difference.
But the surprising thing is the renewals:
- Shared Single renews at $2.99/mo rate.
- WordPress Single renews at its initial $1.99/mo rate.
In this case, it’s best to go with WordPress Single to get the most bang for your buck. Initially, it’s a tiny bit more expensive, but pricing doesn’t increase on renewal.
Not only Hostinger is very reliable with 100% uptime, but it also manages to load websites fast. All thanks to the technology used.
In 2 months of monitoring, Hostinger had 0 outages. It was online 100% of the time, which is a very hard-to-achieve result.
Response time averaging at 511ms is not equally impressive. It’s a little better than average, but nothing to fuss about.
What’s impressive is page load times. Hostinger loaded a WordPress demo website in less than a second. If that’s not a good result, I don’t know what is.
Other performance metrics in this graph are great too:
- Largest Contentful Pain, which is supposed to be up to 2.5 seconds, is just 849ms. Very speedy.
- TTFB, which indicates the initial server reaction is just 207ms – an almost perfect result.
So performance considered – Hostinger has almost no space for improvement. It’s both reliable and fast.
And there are a couple of reasons why Hostinger is able to make WordPress websites so fast:
- You get to pick one of its 7 server locations: the US, UK, Singapore, Brazil, Indonesia, Netherlands, and Lithuania. The closer the server is to your visitor – the faster will be the load times.
- Servers are powered with LiteSpeed web server that comes with a built-in caching engine. It’s one of the fastest available delivery methods plus, it comes pre-configured. Just turn it on, and you’re good to go.
- Latest PHP versions, WordPress updates, and other software updates are always available. This contributes to speed as well.
As a cheap host, Hostinger really does a lot in terms of performance.
Overall, Hostinger is an example of what cheap WordPress hosting should look like. Sure, it’s not reaching the level of managed services. But performance and features are amazing for the price you pay.
- Cheapest shared hosting prices starting at $1.39/mo
- Servers in 7 locations across the world
- Easy to use control panel
- Features for boosting performance
- Free domain is not included in the cheapest plan
2. DreamHost: entirely WordPress focused hosting
|Features||Automatic WordPress install, free domain, free SSL, BlodGrid builder|
|Best for||Cheap WordPress hosting for small business websites|
One of only 3 providers recommended by WordPress, DreamHost is actively contributing to the platform’s development and offers a service that’s focusing entirely on it. That comes in the form of security features, a control panel, and the ease of setting up a WordPress website. All this starting at $2.59/mo.
So what tools does DreamHost have to offer when it comes to WordPress?
- DreamHost offers a true 1-click WordPress installation. Not the fill-out-a-bunch-of-forms type of thing. No, just one click, and your WordPress site is ready.
- If you have a site already hosted with another provider, you can take advantage of DreamHost automated migration plugin. No more than 30 minutes (depending on the size of your site), and it will be working on DreamHost’s platform.
- When hosted on DreamHost, your WordPress sites come with BoldGrid website builder plugin. It’s a drag-and-drop editor with 200+ templates that are not otherwise available on WordPress. A useful tool, especially for beginners.
But most important of all, it’s among the cheapest WordPress hosting providers.
DreamHost has 2 plans: Shared Basic ($2.59/mo with the 3-year plan) and Shared Unlimited ($2.95 with the 1-year plan).
Both plans will give you a free domain and SSL, unlimited bandwidth, daily backups, and domain privacy.
- Basic comes with 1 website limit and 50GB storage – more than enough for a small-to-medium-sized website. At the same time, email is not included.
- Unlimited offers unlimited websites and storage. Plus, it adds emails as well.
It’s best to pick the Unlimited plan with DreamHost with 1-year subscription. This is the cheapest yearly WordPress hosting option – just $35.40 for the whole term.
Performance-wise, DreamHost is pretty strong. It has very reliable and speedy servers, plus, it loads websites fast.
In 2 months, DreamHost had just 1 minute of downtime, putting uptime at >99.99%. It barely can get better.
As for response time, it’s also very speedy, 231ms average. Plus, the fluctuations are not too big, showing reliability.
And this allows for fast page load times.
DreamHost fully loads a WordPress website in 1.6 seconds. Considering that users only start getting impatient at around 3 seconds – we have a lot of wiggle room. Just keep in mind that it might be worse in locations other than the US – that's the only place where DreamHost has servers.
Similarly, other metrics that search engines are considering are also great:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is at 1.4 seconds. Way better than the maximum recommended 2.5s.
- TTFB is 219ms – almost fits the perfect 200ms.
Performance won’t cause you any trouble with DreamHost. It’s reliable and fast.
Overall, DreamHost is one of a few affordable WordPress hosting providers that are actually delivering a CMS-focused service. This provider offers both cheap domain and hosting for WordPress, and not many can promise to do that. It’s inexpensive yet fast – great for small business websites.
- Cheapest WordPress hosting with free domain
- Automatic website migration
- Intuitive control panel
- Free daily backups
- Servers are only in the US
3. HostGator: affordable WordPress hosting
|Features||Free domain, SSL, cPanel|
|Best for||No-fuss beginner-friendly WordPress plans|
HostGator reaches this list for both its affordable WordPress hosting prices and ease of use. Shared hosting plans start at $2.75/mo for unlimited server resources. It’s also one of the few contenders using cPanel for hosting management, making it as straightforward to use as it gets.
Talking about WordPress-specific features, HostGator doesn’t really have anything to knock your socks off. Its main attraction comes from the ease of use:
- The main user dashboard has the shortcuts to all essential website setups – you can install WordPress, set up email accounts, reach databases, and access file manager all in one place. For me, it took just a couple of minutes to have a website running.
- cPanel is also there, so you get this standard and classic way to manage both basic and more advanced configurations.
This makes HostGator a no-fuss and low cost WordPress hosting option.
And cheap it is. HostGator’s 3 plans range from $2.75 to $5.95 a month. All of them come with unlimited storage and bandwidth. You’ll also get a free domain and SSL certificate.
Hatchling comes with 1 site limit. This is perfectly fine if 1 website is all you need. But Baby, for just $0.75 extra lifts that limit.
Meanwhile, Business adds a dedicated IP, PositiveSSL, and SEO tools – not essential, but there if you need them.
I personally purchased the Baby plan. $3.50/mo for 3 years seems to offer the most bang for the buck. The total is just $126.
For this very low price, my HostGator-hosted website delivered very decent performance results. It was reliable and loaded a WordPress website fast.
Monitored for a bit more than 2 months, HostGator had just 3 outages. That’s >99.99% uptime and one of the best results on this list.
Response time had a couple of higher peaks but was still good. 525ms average response time is a little better than the market’s average.
The page load time was also good – HostGator fully loaded a WordPress website in 1.2 seconds.
Other metrics are nothing short of impressive either.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is at 1.1s. Websites should fit into 2.5 seconds to be labeled as good.
- TTFB is the best one on this list, at 154ms. Up to 200ms is considered excellent.
Really impressive results from HostGator here – surprising for such a low price.
Altogether, if you need a no-fuss reliable option – HostGator is one of the best available. It’s cheap, easy to use, and powerful.
- Free domain and SSL included
- cPanel for hosting management
- Easy WordPress website setup
- Unclear resource limits
4. Bluehost: best WordPress hosting for beginners
|Features||Functional and easy control panel, free domain, SSL, WordPress staging|
|Best for||Cheap small WordPress site hosting|
An extremely popular name in the hosting industry, Bluehost offers multiple hosting solutions. However, it mainly focuses on WordPress. In fact, Bluehost is also one of the 3 providers recommended by WordPress creators. Its WordPress hosting plans’ prices start from $3.95/month and managed hosting prices start from $9.95/month, making it also one of the cheapest managed WordPress hosting solutions. You get to use a platform that caters exclusively to the needs of WordPress.
- Upon the first login to the platform, Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you. You’ll even get to pick a theme during this process.
- WordPress websites also come with a built-in management area. You can set up Cloudflare CDN in a couple of clicks there, and manage the global plugin and update settings.
- WordPress installation comes with Bluehost's own plugin. It features a website staging tool, caching settings, and global update management.
These are just a couple of features that make Bluehost user-friendly for WordPress sites. The interface is very powerful and has many tools that you’ll discover to be helpful.
As for the price, only one plan can be considered as cheap, and that’s Basic, for $3.95/mo.
Basic comes with a 1-site limit, so consider if that’s enough for you. Other than that, 50GB SSD storage is very generous, and you’ll get a free domain, SSL certificate, and 5 email accounts.
You can choose the Basic plan with 12, 24, and 36-month billing options, the monthly rate remains the same $3.95. At the same time, picking a longer billing term guarantees lower renewal prices. Also, see if a special discount is waiting for you at the checkout cart.
While Bluehost is not the provider that’s focusing on performance and speed, it still delivers competitive results and scores high in terms of reliability.
Bluehost has a very high 99.99% uptime result – just 11 minutes of downtime in more than 2 months.
Response time is also very speedy, averaging at 361ms. The first half of the monitoring was slower and had a big spike, but the speed improved massively later.
As for page load times, Bluehost is not exceptionally fast. It fully loaded a WordPress website in 1.8 seconds.
This is a good result in itself, but the metrics are pretty average.
- Largest Contentful Paint, at the same 1.8 seconds, is okay. We still have some wiggle room till the maximum of 2.5s.
- TTFB, standing at 1 second, is a little concerning. That’s a slow server reaction, delaying the overall page load. Sure, that’s just one metric, but worth looking into.
So performance considered, Bluehost is quite average. It’s very reliable, but the speed is not exceptional.
Altogether, Bluehost is all about user experience and functionality. That’s very attractive for beginners. My recommendation is to use it for personal blogs, portfolios, and small business sites.
- The most functional and user-focused dashboard
- WordPress staging included
- Free domain and SSL
- Slightly higher prices
- It is not focused on speed
5. HostPapa: budget WordPress hosting with generous resources
|Features||Free training session, cPanel, free domain, SSL|
|Best for||Low cost WordPress hosting for beginners|
HostPapa features affordable shared and WordPress hosting plans – both options are entirely the same, hosted on the same server and offering the same server resources. The starting price is $3.95/mo.
HostPapa is one of the best options for new users:
- It uses a standard cPanel control panel for website management. All the settings and tools are standard and intuitive. Plus, there’s an endless stream of tutorials that you can find online.
- You can also book a free 30-minute training session with HostPapa. Choose whatever hosting-related topic you wish, and the support agent will guide you through it. It can be a basic WordPress installation or even an eCommerce setup on WordPress.
That’s an amazing combo of stuff that you get. By using HostPapa, you can learn some web development basics that will pay dividends later.
While it might look tempting to buy a “WordPress-labeled” plan, it’s best to stick with HostPapa’s basic shared options. While entirely the same, they feature better discounts.
HostPapa has 3 hosting plans: Starter ($3.95/month), Business ($3.95/month), and Business Pro ($12.95/month).
Pro immediately falls out of the cheap WordPress hosting category, so let's see what's the deal with Starter and Business.
Both plans will give you a domain name, SSL certificate, and unlimited bandwidth.
- Starter ($3.95/mo) comes with a 2 website limit and 100GB SSD storage – a very generous pack for an entry plan. It renews at a $9.99/mo rate.
- Business ($3.95/mo) offers unlimited websites and storage. Plus, it’s hosted on a less crowded server for better performance. It renews at $14.99/mo.
So while you can initially get a more powerful plan for a very good price, renewals will make justice later.
For the majority of WordPress users, Starter will be the best fit. 2 websites and 100GB storage, plus no other expenses, is a great deal. However, if you’re building a bigger business website, the Business plan is also attractive.
HostPapa's performance is quite average compared to other providers on this list. It’s very reliable, but speed could definitely use some booster.
In almost 1 month, HostPapa kept 100% uptime. That's a round 0 outages whatsoever.
The response time… Well, it leaves room for improvement. HostPapa averages at 1.19s, which is a lot. At the same time, I see a trend of improvement.
Page load times save the situation. HostPapa loaded a WordPress website fully in 1.5 seconds.
All metrics are quite good:
- Largest Contentful Paint is just 1.2s – not the fastest on the list, but well above average.
- TTFB is 572, which is okay. Sure, improve that server response time and this will follow.
Considering performance, HostPapa isn’t entirely impressive. Reliable – yes. Fast – kinda average.
Altogether, HostPapa is a great way for beginners to start a cheap WordPress website. A training session and ease of use are the best features this provider offers, not to mention, it's a great option for cheapest WordPress hosting with free SSL.
- One-on-one training session
- Cheap and generous plans
- cPanel, free domain, and SSL
- Slighly higher pricing
- Slower server response times
Cheapest WordPress hosting compared
After reading about all the cheapest WordPress hosting providers, you might have more questions than answers. To help you out, I made this helpful table for you to see the most important features compared.
|Host||Cheapest price/month||SSD storage||Bandwidth||Free domain||SSL||Staging|
Cheap WordPress hosting: final recommendations
With each cheap WordPress hosting provider being the best for something, a little recap is needed.
Here’s what area each of the providers excels at:
- Hostinger – cheapest WordPress hosting and best service overall with a focus on performance.
- DreamHost – WordPress innovator offering ease of use and good performance.
- HostGator – no fuss, easy to use WordPress hosting with cPanel.
- Bluehost – best cheap WordPress hosting in terms of functionalities and user experience.
- HostPapa – best inexpensive WordPress hosting for beginners with personal training and cPanel included.
Tried and tested, these are the best bunch you can get. At the same time, pick a provider wisely for your needs – that saves headaches!
Choosing a cheap WordPress hosting provider
When putting this list together, my team and I went through at least a dozen of providers. Who knew that keeping track of everyone’s pricing is a full-time job in itself?
Nonetheless, the providers on this list proved themselves over the long run. They are not one-hit wonders, rather – marathoners.
But this experience also taught us many valuable lessons that I hope will make your experience better. So when picking a cheap WordPress provider, here’s what you should consider:
The first thing to address here is your WordPress hosting needs. Consider storage, bandwidth, traffic, customer support, and security, amongst other things. Once you’ve figured these details out, you can hunt for a cheap provider (and plan) that can meet these needs.
More is better but more is also more expensive. So when hunting for offers on a budget, it’s best to pick the optimal amount and not pay for what you don’t use. But, generally, small blogs and personal websites don’t require all that much space and bandwidth. Here, you can probably get away with a minimum of 1GB storage and 5GB bandwidth. For more wiggle room, go for 4GB - 10GB storage and 10GB bandwidth. But all providers on this list offer much more.
For medium-sized sites or if your sites see higher traffic, you’ll need to upgrade your resources to at least 5GB storage and 50GB bandwidth. But, this is just the minimum. I’d recommend for you to ramp these numbers way up.
If you have your eyes on large-scale projects, bear in mind that these websites will be especially demanding on resources. Opt for a plan that has at least 30GB storage and 200GB bandwidth. Plus, this is where you’ll definitely need advanced security solutions like web application firewalls with custom rules, DDoS protection, and backups.
For a better picture, you can have a look at this table:
|Resources||Small website||Medium website||Large website|
|1||3 - 5||More than 5|
|Examples||Personal blog, business landing page, portfolio||Agency, small online store, media-heavy portfolio||Media-heavy website, larger online store, high traffic publications|
If you’ve shopped around, you’d have seen “unlimited” on various providers’ websites. Mostly, you’ll see “unlimited” storage and bandwidth. Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, no. That’s a trap, and you don’t want to be snared by it.
“Unlimited” in this case doesn’t equal to without limits. Instead, the provider is banking on you not maxing out its resources. But, if you do call its bluffs and maximize the resources, you’ll almost certainly see a decline in performance. In some cases, the provider can even terminate your account without notice.
Of course, these caveats and restrictions aren’t usually on a provider’s homepage or pricing page. Instead, they are hidden away in the Terms of Service (ToS), which most of us stay away from out of fear of dying from boredom.
Features that make up “WordPress-optimized hosting”
While WordPress-optimized hosting is usually just a marketing trick to get your attention, some features do have an upper hand in this matter.
Here are a couple of things you can look for to give your WordPress site a boost:
- PHP version – as WordPress is written in PHP, it benefits from the latest version updates and developments. Look for a provider that’s quick to implement the latest PHP version. Currently, most providers are running PHP 7.4, but it’s being quickly replaced by PHP 8. This ensures the best speed and security available.
- Web server – Nginx is now preferred over the good ol’ Apache. Nginx is capable of handling more traffic straight out of the box. There’s also a newcomer LiteSpeed Web Server (LWS), that’s outperforming Nginx in many cases.
- Hypertext transfer protocol – look for HTTP/2 support and check if HTTP/3 implementation is in progress. Each new version comes with speed improvements in delivery times. The faster the files can travel – the faster your site will load.
- Caching – caching is one of the main ways to improve website loading speed. Web servers like LiteSpeed already come with their own caching engine, and providers using such servers often pre-configure the settings so you can enjoy a fast website out-of-the-box.
This is the pack of features that will 100% have an impact on how your website performs. Providers marketing themselves as WordPress-optimized should have all of these features included.
Hosting pricing terms and all the little billing details are already infamous. So, before committing to a seemingly cheap WordPress plan, make sure that you know all the little things that will happen to your bank account.
I’m talking here about in-advance payments, renewal pricing, and surprises in the checkout cart.
Long commitment period
Providers always advertise the cheapest price on their beautiful landing pages. But very few of them tell you that you’ll need to pay 3 or even 4 years in advance to get that price.
If you have the budget to pre-pay – all is fine. You’ll get that great monthly rate. At the same time, shorter terms usually translate into higher monthly (and renewal rates).
That said, a long-term hosting contract could be an economical solution if you’re ready and happy to commit to the provider. In any case, it’s still a good idea to confirm that the provider has a reasonable money-back guarantee — just in case you change your mind.
By the way, if that’s not an option for you, DreamHost offers good month-to-month and yearly terms.
Another billing-related detail is that the cheap price will hike uphill when your introductory term ends. In fact, I saw renewal prices double, triple, and even (outrageously) 10x that of the initial prices.
This one is 99% of the time unavoidable, so it’s just a thing to check beforehand – will I be able to pay that rate, or will I need to migrate?
Hostinger today surprised me with this one – its WordPress hosting renewal prices do not increase. So grab it while it lasts.
Checkout cart surprises
Let’s say… All is going well: you score a deal with a low monthly rate and affordable renewals for your up-and-coming WordPress site. But a tiny detail catches your eye… For some reason, the price doubled in the checkout cart. What happened here?
If this happened to you – believe me, you’re not the first one. Hosting providers like to decide what is best for you and often add extra services to the cart.
Some of these add-ons can be useful additions to your plan. But, more often than not, most of these extras are completely unnecessary.
In any case, the automatic addition to your cart is usually done right before checkout to catch you unaware. So keep your eyes peeled for them.
It’s also not uncommon for some vital features to be missing from the plans. Worry not, all providers on this list are fully equipped. But in case you are looking at a different host, keep the following in mind.
Often, security features are subjected to this treatment. For example, you may find that the plan doesn’t come with an SSL certificate. Alternatively, you may even need to shell out more money for basic security options like firewalls.
Picking a good host is easy. Yet knowing your needs and all the possible work-arounds is very much adviced. This will save you a ton of headaches and will help lauch a website quickly.
Cheap WordPress hosting FAQs
Which is the cheapest WordPress hosting?
The cheapest WordPress hosting provider is Hostinger. This provider offers the best overall service and focuses greatly on performance.
What is WordPress hosting?
WordPress hosting is a service that's marketed for WordPress website hosting specifically. More often than not, it's the same as all shared hosting plans. In some cases, providers take care of speed optimizations for WordPress (and other PHP apps), as well as add extra management features.
Can I host my WordPress site for free?
Yes, you can host your WordPress site for free. However, it’s not recommended. Free hosting is infamous for poor performance, absurd server resources, and even disappearing with all of your hard work. It's always better to go cheap rather than free.
Is cheap WordPress hosting reliable?
Yes, cheap WordPress hosting can be reliable. By choosing cheap plans, you are paying for what you need only. There might not be a lot of space to grow or many extra features, but performance and ease of use considered, it's a reliable way to get your site online.