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

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When it comes to cheap hosting, no one can beat GoDaddy. Their $1 web hosting plan is the absolute lowest price for hosting in the market. Actually, wait that’s not true. You can get hosting for just 1 cent from Hostgator – but that’s just the first month and you have to renew at the regular price afterwards. If you plan on hosting your website for more than a month, then you won’t find anything better than GoDaddy.

Wait – Does GoDaddy Host Websites?

Yes! They are the single largest web hosting company on the planet. Despite EIG going on a buying spree and purchasing one company after another, they still don’t come close to the market share of GoDaddy. Most people associate GoDaddy with domains, but they have a huge web hosting presence as well. Not just hosting, but GoDaddy’s add-on services are numerous, including WordPress support services, SEO branches, and website designing.

The Most Economical Web Host?

The famous $1 web hosting plan is a special GoDaddy offer that’s not directly available on their website. If you click the link above, it will take you to a page where you can sign up for a maximum of 12 months – for a grand total of just $12 dollars. Other hosting providers like Bluehost and Hostgator give deep discounts for the first billing cycle as well. 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 have to renew your hosting plan at the regular price.

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

Why is GoDaddy So Cheap?

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

Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, DreamHost and InMotion’s cheap web hosting “per year” prices are pretty much the same after the discount billing cycle is over. So while it may look as if GoDaddy is a lot cheaper than other hosting providers, that’s just an illusion. The actual cost difference between all the providers is just a dollar or so per month!

In case 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. 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 10 years!

Cheaper to Purchase Regular Economy Package in the Long Term

If you think about it, you’re not really saving money at all in the long term with the $1 hosting plan if you want to purchase for longer than a year. That’s because after 1 year, you’ll be paying the full cost of GoDaddy’s economy hosting which is currently $7.99. 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.

In fact, if you extend the billing cycle to just 2 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 in which you save money with $1/month, is if you plan on hosting for just one year, and nothing else.

Still think GoDaddy is cheap?

$1 Web Hosting is Basically just GoDaddy Economy Hosting

GoDaddy’s 1-dollar hosting plan is their regular shared hosting at its lowest tier – also called “Economy Hosting”. With it, you get the usual features one would expect from such a plan – including 1 website. You also get the standard 1-click installation of a bunch of applications like WordPress, Joomla and 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 really puts the icing on the cake. Other hosts give you a free domain with signup as well like Bluehost and DreamHost, but not at this low monthly price!

GoDaddy Server Space with Basic Hosting

The $1 hosting plan comes with 100 GB of storage space. This should be enough for most basic websites. The higher tier plans come with “Unlimited” space – but those are subject to the regular hosting restrictions against unreasonable usage etc.

1-dollar Domain Purchasing

You get a free domain with $1 hosting from GoDaddy. In case you want more than one, you can make a one-time purchase of 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 their domain services, so it’s not surprising that they can offer these low prices for domains. If you want to purchase more than one domain, you’ll have to buy it at the undiscounted price of $9.99 per year.

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 your PHP versions, and a whole bunch of other functionalities that you would probably never use. It’s the single most famous control panel, and 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!

What About Month to Month Hosting?

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

GoDaddy Month to Month Hosting only with Deluxe and Above

If you really want a “no commitment” month to month hosting, my suggestion is that you choose DreamHost instead. Though you can’t apply the discount coupon for monthly hosting, you can still just purchase it on a monthly basis. It’s not very economical though!

Does GoDaddy Offer Free Hosting?

Only in very specific 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

After this though, you’ll need to upgrade to the regular web hosting price. This is the only free hosting that GoDaddy offers.

Also Get GoDaddy E-mail without Hosting

GoDaddy also offers e-mail services without the attached hosting plans. For just a few bucks a month, you can get an inbox with your business domain name, without actually purchasing web hosting. I’m not sure about who would use something like this since most businesses need a website anyway. And if you have web hosting elsewhere, that same location will give you e-mail service as well.

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 about this in my detailed GoDaddy review. But to summarize, yes. They’re an acceptable web host, and they have pretty decent customer support. Their help chat however, is only available Mon-Fri at 5AM – 6PM 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

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