Types of Web Hosting Discounts

Searching for the best web hosting deal can be confusing, because each host has a slightly different spin on the way they offer discounts. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself hit with a surprise bill at the end of the year. This is one of the reasons why hosting prices are misleading. So here’s a quick 5-minute guide to the different types of web hosting discounts.

Table of Contents

1. Coupons for the First Billing Cycle

Coupons are the first thing you think of when you want “deals”. And coupon usage is a time-tested way of offering discounts on web hosting. These are typically applied for a limited billing period, and then you pay full price for the service on subsequent bills.

An excellent example of web hosting coupons is Hostgator. Their list of coupons is legendary, and covers all hosting scenarios and products. You can get a separate coupon for 1, 2, or 3 years. Plus they also offer a free domain name.

Discount Billing Cycles Vary

Remember to check exactly how long the discount period lasts, as this isn’t always explained clearly. For example, Liquid Web’s coupons never last for longer than a few months. Some others last for years. Obviously the longer period for which you can apply a coupon, the greater total savings over the lifetime of your web hosting.

“Dummy” Coupons

Some web hosts want to give the appearance of having coupons, without actually needing to provide one. These coupons are applied automatically on checkout and don’t require any intervention from your end. An example of this is A2 Hosting.

2. Flat Discounts for a Limited Period

The second type of hosting deal is a flat discount without the need for any coupon. This discount applies for only a limited time period, exactly like the coupons mentioned above.

The best example of this is SiteGround, which offers huge discounts for the first year, and then ratchets up the prices considerably. Many customers have in fact been hit with bill shock after receiving their first “full” bill – $240 for the popular “GrowBig” plan. Bluehost is another provider that has flat discounts without any coupon code.

Functionally, these discounts behave in the exact same way as coupons, but with considerably less flexibility. You either take what they give you, or you take nothing at all.

3. Recurring Discounts – The Hidden Gem

One form of savings that isn’t well publicized, is the recurring savings for longer billing cycles. The idea is simple – regardless of the initial coupon or discount, many web hosts will reduce the value of subsequent bills if you sign up for longer time periods.

For example, Hostgator has regular coupons for the first billing cycle – we all know this. However, did you know that they also reduce their “per month” prices when you sign up for longer? Here’s a screenshot demonstrating the price difference:

Types of Web Hosting Discounts - Recurring Savings
Recurring Savings with Hostgator for Longer Billing Cycles

You can see here, that if you sign up for one year, the regular “per month” price is $8.95/m after the first billing cycle. However, when you sign up for 3 years, the price drops to just $6.95/m. That’s around 23% extra savings. Per year! And those savings add up each time you renew.

Combined with regular coupons, these extra savings become massive the longer you stay with a given host. NameHero also has recurring savings, which makes it a very attractive option since they also have the 2nd type of discount on sign up. Another example is the WordPress specialist hosting company Kinsta.

Others like Bluehost don’t give any indication of these recurring savings. So if you’re looking for a web hosting company for the long term, consider one that has lower prices for each billing cycle.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the different ways in which hosting companies provide coupons and discounts. All of them fall into one of these three categories. So here’s hoping you find what you’re looking for. Good luck!

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!

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