The web hosting industry is perhaps one of the most diverse industries in the world, catering to the needs of anyone that would like to get involved online. Whether you own a small business, a large corporation, or simply would like to blog about your hobbies and goals, you can be sure that there is a plan available that is suitable for you. 

Web hosting plans come in many flavors, from Windows to Linux, shared to dedicated, and everything in between. Although the selection of plans is vast, the general consensus is that you'll get what you pay for. However there are some ways to get a lot more for your buck.

Find Authentic Review Sites

If you're stuck trying to figure out exactly which web hosting provider you're going to choose, you shouldn't feel alone. In fact, there is an entire online niche created just to help consumers choose a web hosting plan.

 The problem with trusting any review site is that most of them are biased and are not entirely truthful in their review of other web hosting companies. For this reason it is absolutely imperative that you only heed reviews from sites that are established providing authoritative content you can trust.

Web Hosting Forums and Discounts

One of the best ways to find cheap deals on web hosting plans is to browse through web hosting forums. Since forums are interactive message boards you can be certain that you'll find some great input and opinions from the more experienced members. Many web hosting providers advertise on forums like these, as they know that these forums are a good source of targeted traffic. To attract people to new offers and build their client base, web hosting companies will often offer exclusive discounts on web hosting forums. These discounts can be used at checkout when purchasing your plan. With the help of a popular web hosting forum like web hostingtalk you should be able to find a plan that is affordable yet suitable for your needs.

Web Hosting Directories

Another way to find cheap web hosting providers is via a web hosting directory. These directories provide comprehensive lists of web hosts, along with prices, plans and other information about each web hosting company. Many times, people that frequent web hosting forums find information on these directories that is then shared in the forums. 

New web hosting companies advertise on these directories in an attempt to build a client base from scratch, so it is easy to find discounted plans. The only downside involved with choosing a newer web hosting provider is the lack of customer reviews. Nonetheless, many legit web hosting companies got their start advertising on web directories, and the clients that got in first were locked in with the cheapest rate, so it is definitely worth checking out if you're in search of an inexpensive web hosting plan.

3 Methods for Finding Cheap Web Hosting Easily

With the web hosting industry being in such heavy competition it is relatively easy to find web hosting plans that claim to be cheap and provide unlimited features. However, finding a plan that actually has startup costs and provides an adequate amount of server resources for the growing online business is a bit more difficult. Unfortunately, the majority of hosting providers charge hidden fees, setup costs, and require at least one year payment in advance, greatly increasing the overall startup cost of a web hosting plan. 

Thus, a plan that is said to cost five dollars a month often requires a year's payment in advance, thus it would actually cost $60 plus setup fees, which can range from $5 to $20 depending on the hosting provider. Consider the following three methods to find real cheap web hosting quickly and easily.

Online Hosting Communities

One of the best ways to find quality web hosting providers with cheap hosting plans and low setup costs is to become a reputable member of an online hosting community or web forum. 

These communities are full of experienced webmasters that are constantly searching for the best deals in the hosting industry, sharing advice, and providing links to reputable service providers that they have used in the past. By utilizing the previous experiences and expertise of these forum members it is possible to avoid many of the scams that are becoming so prevalent in the web hosting industry.

 The experienced members of an online hosting community can also provide invaluable advice pertaining to building and maintaining a successful online business.

Web Hosting Discount Sites

Some website owners earn their living by placing advertisements for various web hosting providers on their sites along with reviews of their services. 

These website owners are known as affiliates, and are effectively marketers that are paid to advertise the services of various web hosting providers. In order to solicit new customers, many affiliates are able to provide discounts and rebates for utilizing certain web hosting services. 

Affiliates are also trained to recommend and review hosting services that will be affordable, reliable, and desirable for their visitor base. 

Most web hosting review and web hosting discount sites will not point you in the wrong direction, because they know that their future income relies on providing the most accurate reviews and recommending the highest quality of service.

Newly Established VPS Providers

Although virtual private server hosting usually costs about $10 to $20, or more, most newly established VPS providers do not require you to pay for a year up front. 

Thus, the start up cost of the VPS host plans from relatively new hosting providers are usually cheaper than the start up cost of a shared hosting plan from a reliable host. Some VPS hosting providers may also offer a month of free hosting, a free domain name for life, and various unlimited features.

 It is also important to note that VPS hosting is more powerful and more reliable than the shared hosting environment, which is offered by the majority of cheap web hosts.

How to Find and When to Use Cheap Web Hosting

Shopping for affordable web hosting services while on a budget can be a difficult task without the right mindset, experience, or expertise. Unfortunately, the majority of cheap web hosting plans offered by major hosting providers in the industry today are overrated and under-featured. Nearly every hosting provider offers a cheap shared hosting plan that is specifically designed to accommodate the needs of webmasters on a budget.

 Although these plans typically promise unlimited features, such as unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and the ability to host an unlimited amount of domains, in reality, cheap web hosting plans have very real restrictions and limitations that need to be considered.

The following information teaches you how to find and when to use cheap web hosting services, without falling victim to the endless selection of web hosting scams online.

Comparing Cheap Web Hosting Plans

The key of picking the right cheap web hosting plan involves comparing plan features and prices with prospective competitors in a predetermined fashion based on a set of criteria. 

Before creating and narrowing your list of potential web hosting providers, you'll need to establish your requirements as a webmaster. By knowing what will be needed for your website or network of sites, you can effectively reduce the likelihood of server downtime and slow page loads.

 It is imperative to ensure that you are comparing two plans of equal caliber, which have similar feature sets.

 Most major web hosting providers offer a plethora of plans that have varying amounts of server resources, thus the first step in comparing plans would be to decide how powerful your web server needs to be beforehand.

 After determining your requirements as a webmaster, it is best to proceed with the comparison by choosing the cheapest plan offered by the most reputable company, with reliability and support holding precedence.

Pros and Cons of Cheap Web Hosting

Cheap web hosting usually includes a limited amount of server resources, regardless of whether the hosting provider markets these resources as unlimited. 

The majority of cheap web hosting plans operate in a shared hosting environment, which means the web server that you will be utilizing will be shared by dozens or even hundreds of other webmasters simultaneously. 

This can greatly reduce the efficiency and reliability of a server, and can therefore lead to more site downtime and pages that load slowly when your site experiences traffic surges. 

On the other hand, cheap web hosting gives novice webmasters and the average citizen access to all of the tools and resources needed to build and maintain small to medium-sized websites.

When to Use Cheap Web Hosting

Cheap web hosting should be utilized anytime you're on a budget and need access to basic server resources for a small to medium-sized project. 

If you've never purchased a web hosting plan before, and are looking for a cheap and easy way to make your entrance into the online community, cheap web hosting is the ideal solution. Cheap web hosting should not be utilized by online business owners that are planning on building and maintaining a large network of sites. 

Web hosting is also not ideal for programmers, web developers, or online service providers that intend to build their own client base.