Web Hosting Price Comparisons are Misleading (Here’s Why)

When you’re comparing web hosting deals, chances are that price is a factor. Yes, features are important. Yes, it’s crucial to understand the hidden details that differentiate one service from another. Like balancing greater disk space with “SSD” functionality. But you can’t ignore price completely, and many people are looking for the cheapest deal for a given feature set.

To compare prices, people generally visit the home page of the hosting companies, and look at the prices of the products. Maybe they search for coupons, and other special deals. But the main point of reference is the prices displayed on the respective websites.

Displayed Hosting Prices are Misleading

However, most people don’t know that these prices are misleading! They’re not wrong as such, but they don’t tell the whole story. Let’s take two examples of SiteGround and Hostgator. Here are the monthly web hosting prices for the first two plans of SiteGround:

SiteGround Web Hosting Prices

And here are the hosting prices for the first two plans of Hostgator:

Hostgator Web Hosting Prices

Now on the face of it, it seems that Hostgator’s plans are cheaper. Let’s leave aside the features for the moment. At a promised 60% off the regular hosting price, Hostgator seems much cheaper than SiteGround. But wait! There’s a catch. And here’s why.

Different Renewal Periods Between Hosting Providers

Many people don’t realize that not all hosting providers display the prices for the same renewal time periods. Hostgator and Bluehost prices for example show the monthly cost for a 36 month subscription. SiteGround on the other hand, shows prices for 12-months, or 1 year. So if you just want 1 year of hosting, you will suddenly find that Hostgator’s and Bluehost’s plans become much more expensive! No more 60% discount as promised.

How expensive? Let’s take a look. Once you click through the buttons and look at Hostgator’s check out page, the real prices of the plans are revealed. Like this:

Hostgator's Actual 12 Month Prices

We see that the low price promised on the front page of Hostgator only applies to a 3-year or 36 month subscription. The actual 12-month or 1 year plan suddenly doubles in price!

On the other hand, here is SiteGround’s checkout page for web hosting:

SiteGround Hosting Plans 12-months

Unlike Hostgator, the price displayed on SiteGround’s homepage is for a 12-month renewal period. There’s no sticker shock later down the line when you go to the checkout.

So if you were enticed into Hostgator over SiteGround simply due to the price difference on their homepages, you’ll be in for a shock when you see the actual amount you’re going to pay.

The Importance of Standardized Price Comparisons

Given what you’ve seen above, it’s crucial to compare apples to apples and only look at standardized prices for 12-month periods across all hosting providers. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy as some providers hide their 12-month prices deep into the checkout process.

And that’s where my site comes in. I’ve already done the hard work for you. All price comparisons on this site are standardized to a 12-month renewal period, so you can accurately gauge how much you’ll be paying for the features you want. This often means that you will see higher prices in the tables here, than on the homepages of the respective hosting providers. But the prices on this site are the real deal.

So if you want to look at web hosting, VPS, WordPress, or Cloud hosting prices, this site is the only one that will give you accurate information. Here are quick links to the comparisons:

  1. Web hosting comparisons
  2. WordPress hosting comparisons
  3. VPS hosting comparisons
  4. Cloud Hosting comparisons

I hope this makes your life easier, and helps you select the best plan for you. Happy shopping!

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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