$1 Web Hosting – What You Get (And What You Don’t)

GoDaddy’s $1 web hosting plan isn’t always available. But it’s the lowest price for hosting in the market, except for Hostgator’s PENNY discount for one month of hosting – check out the HostGator coupon code 2024 list for more details.

What you Get for $1/month

For a buck every month, you get the following

1. $12 For 12 Months Hosting – But No More!

The famous $1 web hosting plan is a special GoDaddy offer not directly available on their website. If you click this link, it will take you to a page where you can sign up for a maximum of 12 months. The $1/m deal isn’t always available. Other hosting providers like Bluehost and Hostgator also give deep discounts for the first billing cycle. But nothing less than 12 bucks for a year of hosting.

The catch is that you can’t extend the plan for longer than a year. After one year, you must renew your hosting plan at the regular price.

2. Disk Space, CPU Limits

GoDaddy’s $1 web hosting is just the standard hosting package with these limits:

  1. One website (domain name)
  2. 100 GB Storage
  3. Free e-mail for the first year
  4. Free domain if you sign up for a year in advance
  5. So called “unmetered bandwidth” (not really)

The “unmetered bandwidth” claim is a bit misleading. In reality, you have these limits on GoDaddy’s $1 hosting plan:

  1. Can’t Use more than 25% of 1 CPU core
  2. No more than 512 MB RAM
  3. Can’t have more than 100 website connections at a time
  4. Can’t have more than 100 active processes at the same time
  5. 1 MB/s Disk I/O

All these are taken from GoDaddy’s hosting agreement. These limitations essentially put a cap on how large your site can grow with the basic hosting plan. So “unmetered bandwidth” within these limits 🙂

3. 1-Dollar Domain Purchasing

You get a free domain with $1 hosting from GoDaddy. If you want more than one, you can purchase a .COM domain for $0.99. This doesn’t include the $0.18 ICANN fee per year.

This offer is restricted to just one domain per customer, and they will renew at the GoDaddy yearly domain cost. It’s probably best known for its domain services, so it’s unsurprising that it can offer these low prices. If you want to purchase more than one domain, you’ll have to buy it at the undiscounted price of $9.99 per year.

4. cPanel – What is cPanel?

The $1/month plan includes cPanel hosting. cPanel is the control panel from which you administer your site. You can access your databases, create FTP accounts, view your visitors, switch PHP versions, and many other functionalities you would probably never use. It’s the most famous control panel, and it works only on Linux. The Windows equivalent is Plex.

When you purchase your hosting from GoDaddy, you get your web hosting login credentials in your e-mail. To access cPanel, follow these steps:

  1. Visit https://[youripaddress]:2083/ or https://[yourdomainname]:2083/
  2. Log in using your GoDaddy website credentials
  3. Click “Web Hosting”
  4. Select the account you want to administer and click “Manage”
  5. Select the cPanel admin interface and you’re good to go!

Here are the cPanel login URLs for other hosting providers.

What you DON’T Get for $1/Month

Now that we’ve looked at what we get, it’s time for the other side of the coin. Here’s what you DON’T get:

1. No Free SSL – the Elephant in the Room

The real killer is SSL. While $1 web hosting might seem incredibly cheap, it’s useless without an SSL certificate. Google already penalizes plain “HTTP” results in searches, and Chrome now shows a warning whenever you visit a site without HTTPS.

In today’s day, no one should have to pay for SSL. Big behemoths like Bluehost and Hostgator realize this. That’s why Bluehost recently introduced free SSL, and Hostgator followed suit just one month later and now gives its users free Let’s Encrypt certificates. GoDaddy is left lagging as the only major web host that still makes users pay for the privilege of HTTPS.

Charging for SSL changes the price comparisons entirely.

2. No Month to Month Hosting

GoDaddy offers monthly hosting only for a small subset of its plans. You can only get it with regular shared Linux hosting for the Deluxe and above plans. Also, there’s no month-to-month hosting with a free domain. You must purchase hosting for at least a year to avail yourself of the free domain offer.

GoDaddy Month to Month Hosting only with Deluxe and Above
GoDaddy Month to Month Hosting only with Deluxe and Above

If you want a “no commitment” month-to-month hosting, I suggest you choose DreamHost instead. Though you can’t apply the discount coupon for monthly hosting, you can still purchase it every month. It’s not very economical, though!

Why is GoDaddy So Cheap?

It’s good to be wary of cheap stuff, especially regarding web hosting. And we’ve already established that the $1 web hosting plan is the most affordable on the market. So what’s the catch? Why is GoDaddy so cheap? The truth is that it’s not! The only cheap thing is the initial discount of $1 a month for 12 months. After that, you’ll renew your plan at the regular GoDaddy economy hosting price, which is entirely comparable with all the other basic hosting packages of other providers.

GoDaddy’s regular prices are pretty much the same after the discount billing cycle is over. So while it may look as if it’s cheaper than other hosting providers, that’s an illusion. The cost difference between all the providers is just a dollar or so per month.

If you’re worried about getting some special watered-down web hosting from GoDaddy, set your mind at ease. It’s nothing but the standard economy web hosting package, and the only difference is that you can only sign up for 12 months @ $1/month. With the economy package, however, you can carry forward your discount for a stunning ten years!

Cheaper to Purchase Regular Economy Package in the Long Term

If you think about it, you’re not saving money in the long term with the $1 hosting plan if you want to purchase for longer than a year. That’s because, after one year, you’ll be paying the full cost of GoDaddy’s economy hosting, which is currently $8.99. If, on the other hand, you purchase economy hosting at the regular discounted price (not $1/month), you can lock in your savings for many more years, and that will outlast the savings you get from the $1 web hosting plan in the first year.

If you extend the billing cycle to just two years with the regular GoDaddy economy plan, you will save a lot more money than with $1 hosting for the first year and the undiscounted price for the second year. So the only scenario you save $1/month is if you plan on hosting for just one year and nothing else.

Still, think GoDaddy is cheap?

Alternative to GoDaddy – HostGator

So what do you do if you want the cheapest web hosting? In my opinion, HostGator pricing beats GoDaddy, hands down. Most of the time, GoDaddy’s $1/m deal isn’t available, and with HostGator, the discounts are year-round. I suggest looking at the HostGator coupon codes and finding one that works for you.

What About Other GoDaddy Hosting Packages?

This article only examines the scope and limitations of the $1 hosting deal. You can find the web hosting price of all their other plans by applying the appropriate GoDaddy hosting coupon to their other services.

GoDaddy has two tiers of shared web hosting – regular and business. They also have $1 WordPress hosting, the WordPress equivalent of the shared hosting plan. And, of course, they have the normal hosting progression of VPS and dedicated servers.

$1 Web Hosting is just GoDaddy Economy Hosting

GoDaddy’s 1-dollar hosting plan is their regular shared hosting at its lowest tier – “Economy Hosting”. With it, you get the usual features one would expect from such a plan – including one website. You also get the standard 1-click installation of many applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, DDoS protection, and security. You also get 1GB of MySQL database space.

A nice bonus is that GoDaddy has expanded its product offerings so much that it can afford to litter its hosting packages with freebies that no other provider can give you. For example, you also get 1-year of free Outlook 365 e-mail. In addition, their global data centers allow you to transfer your website to any of their global data centers so you can choose the server closest to your potential customers.

Finally, you also get a free domain! For me, this puts the icing on the cake. Other hosts give you a free domain with signups, like Bluehost and DreamHost, but not at this low monthly price!

Does GoDaddy Offer Free Hosting?

Only in particular circumstances. For example, when you purchase a domain, you get a trial period of shared “Web Hosting with cPanel (Free Trial with Domain)”. You can redeem this with credits. So when you log into your GoDaddy dashboard, you can avail of the additional offers as shown here:

Does GoDaddy Offer Free Hosting
Does GoDaddy Offer Free Hosting

After this, you’ll need to upgrade to the regular web hosting price. This is the only free hosting that GoDaddy offers. Check out my article on free web hosting to see what you get and what you don’t.

Also, Get GoDaddy E-mail without Hosting

GoDaddy also offers e-mail services without the attached hosting plans. You can get an inbox with your business domain name for just a few bucks a month without purchasing web hosting. I’m unsure who would use this since most businesses need a website. And if you have web hosting elsewhere, that same location will also give you e-mail service.

But if there is a circumstance where you don’t want or can’t host your e-mail with your hosting provider, or you don’t have a web hosting service, then GoDaddy’s email hosting is for you!

Is GoDaddy a Good Web Hosting Service?

You can read more about what I think in my detailed GoDaddy review. But to summarize, yes. They’re an acceptable web host with pretty decent customer support. Their help chat, however, is only available Mon-Fri from 5 AM – 6 PM Arizona time UTC-7. If you try and access this service outside these times, you’ll get the following message:

Chat agents are currently unavailable, please call.

GoDaddy Help Chat not Available
GoDaddy Help Chat not Available

Surprising that phone support is 24×7, but chat support is not! Apart from this caveat, I don’t think you can go wrong with GoDaddy. They’re a pretty good hosting service, and their $1 web hosting plan is the cheapest for that duration!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!