Microsoft’s Windows is the world’s leading computer operating system (OS), accounting for approximately 64.27% of the market. Linux is a distant sixth, with a market share of just 2.9%. However, Linux is the preferred operating system for web hosting, commanding a market share of more than 70%.
While this may seem odd, it is perfectly understandable. Linux is an open-source operating system, meaning you can install it on your server without a license. You also have several language, database, and distribution options (distros) to choose from. Linux hosting is cheaper than Windows hosting and offers greater community support, security, reliability, scalability, and compatibility.
While Windows Server operating systems are not open-source, Windows hosting is easier to use, compatible with Microsoft technologies, eligible for comprehensive Microsoft customer support, and the preferred option for gaming servers. We have made the task of gauging the best cheap Windows web hosting providers easier for you. Here are our top picks.
Best Cheap Windows Hosting on Shared Servers
Windows hosting on a shared server permits many websites to share the resources of a single Windows server. Given the popularity and ease of use associated with Windows OSs, Windows shared hosting is naturally a beginner-friendly option. However, it is associated with limited use cases, and Linux shared hosting is largely preferred.
If you are a first-time website or small business owner or an ASP.NET developer, a Windows shared hosting plan is a good fit. HostGator, InterServer, and AccuWebHosting, in particular, are among the best Windows hosting providers for shared hosting. Read on to learn about the plans these hosts and others offer.
Founded in 2002, HostGator is a cheap and reliable web hosting company that provides a ton of web hosting options, scaling from easy to expert level. It hosts more than two million websites, of which 30% of customers are web professionals. Each website hosting plan includes features like unlimited bandwidth, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and one-click installs for your favorite apps.
- Strong hosting to launch your ASP.NET site
- Install apps with a single click via Plesk
- FREE domain and unlimited bandwidth included
- Award-winning support from the HostGator team
- Support for ASP.NET, PHP, Python, and MVC
- Get started on HostGator now.
HostGator is one of the best hosts for Windows shared hosting, especially for ASP.NET developers. It offers two plans, each of which includes stellar features like powerful administration tools (SmarterStats, scheduled tasks, file manager, secure directories, etc.), programming tools (ASP, ASP.NET 2.0 (3.5, 4.0, and 4.7), AJAX, MVC 5.0, GD Library, SSICurl, and PHP), a Plesk control panel, Microsoft SQL 2016, and much more.
These plans offer all the flexibility and power ASP.NET developers need: The Personal Plan is a beginner-level plan, with features like Windows Server 2016, unlimited databases, instant backups, email capabilities, real-time server monitoring, and around-the-clock live chat and phone support. The Enterprise Plan is more expensive, offering additional features that suit enterprise-level applications.
InterServer is renowned for offering hosting plans suited to more experienced customers, so we are not surprised it provides outstanding support for ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL). With two datacenters in the US and promising proprietary technology (like InterShield Protection), the Windows shared hosting stalwart should be one of your top picks.
It offers a single, cheap plan for Windows shared hosting with an option for domain registration at an additional cost (web hosts generally offer a free domain name). Standard hosting features include an ultra-fast web server, SSD caching servers, speed optimization, unlimited SSD storage space, weekly backups, a free Cloudflare CDN subscription, and 24/7 customer support.
- ASP.NET, ASP, MSSQL, Silverlight, and MVC6
- FREE RAID-10 storage and SSD caching servers
- Unlimited storage, websites, transfer, and email
- Automated weekly backups and FREE CDN
- NO contracts and price is guaranteed for life
- Get started on InterServer now.
The Windows hosting service also includes numerous email capabilities and one-click cloud app installs, like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Joomla! Here comes the fun part — InterServer offers support for numerous Windows Server OS versions, unlimited MSSQL and MySQL databases, Microsoft SQL 2019, support for languages including PHP, ASP.NET, .NET, and Classic ASP, Plesk for central management, and support for modules like ODBC and Silverlight.
It is worth mentioning that InterServer’s Windows shared servers only use 50% of their resource capacity, thereby allowing the web host to support the growth of websites on their servers without facing performance issues.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular and trustworthy web hosting companies in the world, and the world’s top domain registrar, with approximately 35 million websites calling GoDaddy home. It offers budget-friendly, secure, reliable, and feature-packed plans that suit beginners, developers, and business owners.
Despite its popularity, GoDaddy did not make it easy for us to locate its Windows shared hosting plans (its shared hosting plans are Linux-based by default). To access this page, click on the Web Hosting option, scroll down to the Web Hosting FAQ section, click on the first question (“Is shared hosting the right type of web hosting for my site?”), and select the Windows plans using Plesk option.
- Windows Server with 24/7 security monitoring
- Recommended for ASP.NET, ASP, and SQL users
- Unlimited MySQL or MS SQL databases
- 1-click installs for 50+ FREE apps
- FREE domain from the world’s top registrar
- Get started on GoDaddy now.
You will be redirected to the Windows shared hosting page. GoDaddy’s cheap Windows shared hosting plans are recommended for ASP, ASP.NET, MSSQL, and MySQL users, and include features such as a Windows Server 2012 R2 license, unlimited MSSQL and MySQL databases (included in the most expensive plan), support for Classic ASP, ASP.NET, AJAX, CGI, etc., a Plesk control panel, real-time security monitoring, DDoS protection, and much more.
You can also install more than 50 web apps like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! in a single click through your Plesk control panel. Additionally, the Windows hosting provider offers Windows VPS hosting plans as well, so check them out.
AccuWebHosting provides cutting-edge, robust, and flexible web hosting services that resonate with all kinds of customers. The web hosting company is particularly attractive to Windows hosting enthusiasts, with numerous Windows hosting options on offer. It is one of the only web hosts that offers managed Windows shared hosting services.
AccuWebHosting’s managed Windows shared hosting plans are powered by Microsoft technologies, are low-priced, and are suitable for .NET websites. These plans are equipped with sufficient SSD storage space, Windows Server 2022, Microsoft SQL 2019 Standard Edition, a dedicated application pool, a Plesk control panel, and free emails.
- Built for speed with Windows 2016, IIS 10, and the latest ASP.NET tools
- 100% SSD storage and optional Cloudflare CDN
- MSSQL 2017 databases and Visual Studio integration
- Centralized management via Plesk control panel
- Free account transfer and daily website backups
- Get started on AccuWebHosting now.
Features that meet the fancy of developers include IIS 10 hosting, high-trust ASP.NET access, and tools like ASP.NET Core, MariaDB, and PHP. All of these features are included in AccuWebHosting’s cheapest Windows shared hosting plan, the Beginner ++ plan, and all other plans. You can opt for a higher-priced package if you need more domains, storage, bandwidth, or memory.
It is worth mentioning that AccuWebHosting manages more than 120,000 Windows websites and has 20+ years of hosting experience, making it a great fit for Windows hosting. You should also take a look at its Windows VPS hosting plans.
Almost everyone is on the lookout for a side hustle nowadays, so why not give reseller hosting a shot? For those who don’t know what reseller hosting is, it’s when you buy hosting services from a parent company and resell them under your own brand name. ResellerClub is the first name that springs to mind when I think of reseller hosting. It offers plenty of reseller hosting services, of which Windows shared hosting is a popular option.
ResellerClub offers four Windows shared hosting plans to help you begin your Windows web hosting business. The R1 plan is a solid starting point, but we recommend purchasing the R2 plan at a minimum to get the most value for your business. The R2 plan gives you unlimited websites, decent SSD storage space, unlimited emails, unlimited Plesk accounts, Cloudflare security, and performance-optimized infrastructure — all of which you can pass on to your clients.
- Developer-friendly and affordable Windows hosting
- Unlimited disk space, data transfer, and email accounts
- FREE SSL, DDoS protection, and ClamAV antivirus
- SSH access and support for ASP, ASP.NET, and PHP
- FREE Plesk Onyx and 1-click app installs through Parallels Panel
- Get started on ResellerClub now.
Now, let’s get technical. The Windows hosting specifications include a Windows Server 2022 license, IIS 10, ASP.NET frameworks, Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and 2017 software, and much more (all plans have these specs). While the Plesk control panel is a godsend for hosting, the WebPro panel makes managing your Windows reseller hosting business easy. You can also take advantage of the ResellerClub mobile app when you are on the go.
It should be noted that it is not mandatory to start a business with this plan. You can also use a ResellerClub Windows shared hosting plan to build large projects for personal use or to serve clients. Developers will find this handy when they’re designing and building websites.
Best Cheap Windows Hosting on Virtual Private Servers
Just because a VPS gives you more performance than a shared server does not mean you have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. These plans offer high performance, are more secure, are highly scalable, and are only slightly more expensive than shared plans.
If you are an experienced ASP.NET developer, own a business that is heavily dependent on Microsoft products, a hardcore gamer, or looking for a robust hosting plan to meet complex information technology (IT) needs, you are at the right place. Here are the best plans for cheap Windows hosting on virtual private servers.
IONOS takes the cake for perfectly balancing performance and price. It’s one of the cheapest web hosts around, but do not mistake its affordability for a lack of quality. The web hosting service offers remarkable web hosting plans, uncompromising cloud computing services, and priority customer support. You can trust IONOS in the long run, especially if you are searching for a reliable Windows VPS hosting plan.
IONOS offers powerful Windows virtual servers with full root access, fast SSD NVMe storage, unlimited traffic, ISO-certified datacenters in the US and Europe, and DDoS protection. You can choose from five plans. The cherry on top: each plan includes varying processing power, memory space, and storage space.
- Powerful Windows VPS for $12/month
- 100% SSD storage and 99.99% uptime guarantee
- Full root access and optional Plesk control panel
- Unlimited bandwidth and instant scalability
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
Choose your preferred datacenter location before selecting a plan. We recommend purchasing the VPS Windows L plan, because it’s powerful and includes ample NVMe SSD storage space. Once you have selected a plan, click on the Configure option to set it up. You can choose either a Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2022 license.
You can also add an Acronis-powered backup and recovery solution to your cheap VPS plan at an additional cost. Checkout once you have configured your plan and enjoy the benefits of Windows VPS hosting with IONOS.
Hostwinds is a modern web hosting provider that offers high-performance and budget-friendly hosting plans with personal-level support. With an uptime promise of a tremendous 99.9999%, Hostwinds’s infrastructure is completely redundant, ensuring your website is online at all times. If you add its excellent unmanaged and managed Windows VPS plans to the mix, there is much to like about Hostwinds.
Depending on your budget and technical proficiency, you can choose a self-managed or managed Windows VPS plan. Self-managed Windows VPS plans are considerably cheaper and include infrastructure-level support only. Managed Windows VPS plans are better overall, and include around-the-clock expert assistance. Choose wisely.
- Managed or unmanaged virtual servers available in Windows or Linux
- Cloud hosting with hourly or monthly billing
- Instant upgrades without downtime
- FREE around-the-clock monitoring
- Automatic nightly backups available
- Get started on Hostwinds now.
We will talk about Hostwinds’s unmanaged Windows VPS plans. You have ten options at your disposal, each with different CPU, RAM, storage space, and bandwidth specifications. All plans include load balancers, an enterprise firewall, real-time monitoring, nightly backups, instant scalability, three Windows Server OS options, Hostwinds’s proprietary Cloud Control panel, and snapshots for Windows server backups.
You can add resources like storage space, RAM, and CPU cores to your VPS server plan at any time through the Cloud Control panel, so don’t worry if your demands are likely to change with time.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting provides all the resources necessary to publish your website on the internet, including server space to store your website’s data, appropriate tools and services to build your website from scratch, provisions for robust security, enhanced speed, eCommerce, and much more.
There are several categories of web hosting, each serving unique purposes. They include shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated server hosting, and WordPress hosting.
The preferred option for beginners and the most economical of the lot, shared hosting, refers to sharing server resources amongst multiple website owners. This includes resources like disk space, memory, and CPU time. You can think of shared hosting as living in an apartment building with several other tenants, sharing resources like elevators, staircases, car parking, etc.
Cloud hosting draws on pooled cloud computing resources from a network of physical and virtual servers, with each hosting participant receiving a share of these resources. As more servers are involved, cloud hosting offers greater resources to all participants (than shared hosting). It is an extremely reliable, flexible, scalable, and cost-efficient hosting option.
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting refers to partitioning server resources into virtualized server environments, with each participant getting a slice of the pie. Each virtualized server environment guarantees baseline resources, with a provision for additional resources should your website experience a sudden traffic spike. Root server access is a fascinating feature.
As the name suggests, dedicated hosting guarantees a single physical server for personal use, which you can configure as you please. While dedicated hosting is the most expensive hosting category, it offers the highest level of hosting security and performance. Dedicated hosting should be the favored option for enterprises and businesses with a large budget.
There are several other categories of web hosting, but these are the most popular ones. Other hosting categories include reseller hosting, storage hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and PHP hosting.
What Is an Operating System?
I use the latest Windows operating system, Windows 11, and it sure is fast (Windows 12 is around the corner, buckle up, folks!). An operating system is the most important computer system software without a shadow of a doubt, and it is in charge of all resources and operations, acting as an interface between the software and hardware components of a computer.
You can think of an operating system as the brain of a computer — without it, your computer is useless. Some popular operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux.
The main functions of the operating system include:
- Backup and recovery
- Providing a user interface (allowing you to read this article!)
- Device management
- File management
- Job accounting
- Memory management
- Process management
- Resource management
When purchasing an OS, take into consideration your budget, technical knowledge (some OSs are complex to understand, like Linux), and security needs. You also need to consider application compatibility.
What Is the Difference Between Windows and Linux Hosting?
While Windows hosting and Linux hosting are not like chalk and cheese, there are considerable differences between the two. Linux and Linux server distributions are open-source software. Popular Linux distros for hosting include Debian, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS, Ubuntu, and AlmaLinux.
Windows Server OSs, on the other hand, are not open-source, meaning that Windows hosting is inherently more expensive than Linux hosting (you will have to pay a fee for a Windows hosting license). Linux also offers more languages (Perl and PHP) and database options (IBM Db2, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL) than Windows hosting.
If you are looking for a cheap web hosting plan and have the technical ability to learn the ins and outs of Linux, Linux hosting is a no-brainer, especially for SMBs. Unless mentioned otherwise, all web hosting plans offer Linux or a Linux distro as the OS option. If you rely on Microsoft technologies and products and have the budget to pay extra for a Windows Server OS license, go ahead and purchase a Windows hosting plan.
Why Should I Use a Windows Server?
A Windows server is suited to specific audiences and is not the first-choice hosting option for most people. Here are four reasons why you should opt for a Windows server hosting plan:
- You love Microsoft products: If you swear by Microsoft technologies and want to integrate Microsoft products like Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint into your hosting plan, there is no better option than a Windows server hosting plan. If you are an ASP.NET developer, Windows hosting is your only option.
- A Windows operating system just feels right: Given the popularity of Windows OSs, the learning process required to use Windows hosting is little to none. If you have a substantial budget, you can also purchase a managed Windows hosting plan and sit back and relax while the pros take care of your website.
- You believe customer service is the new marketing: While Linux has a supportive community, if you run into a roadblock, you will have to reach out to your web host’s support team or a Linux forum or watch tutorials, which can be exhausting. With a Windows hosting plan, you need not run around for support, as Microsoft’s customer support team is at your service. Simply contact them for timely and reliable solutions.
- Gaming is life: Finally, if you are a gamer, a Windows server should be your only option, as NVIDIA Virtual Machine Image (VMI) grants users quick access to a virtual gaming machine running on a Windows Server OS.
If any of these reasons strikes a chord, purchase a Windows hosting plan now!
How Much Does Windows Hosting Cost?
Despite the obvious popularity of Windows operating systems, few web hosts offer Windows hosting, the primary reasons being Linux hosting is cheaper, more secure by design, less prone to downtime, highly scalable, and compatible with a greater set of software and technologies.
That said, Windows hosting has its own charm, particularly for Microsoft enthusiasts, ASP.NET developers, and gamers, and if you opt for a Windows hosting plan for shared hosting, it could cost anywhere between a few dollars and $20 per month, excluding add-ons. The longer the plan duration, the more affordable it is (so always opt for a longer plan).
A Linux hosting plan for shared hosting is much cheaper in comparison, costing approximately half as much.
Why Are Windows Servers More Expensive Than Linux Servers?
A Windows server is more expensive to implement than a Linux server, as you will have to pay a separate fee for a Windows Server OS license. While you do not pay for the license in full for Windows hosting, your web host pays a perpetual monthly fee to Microsoft for its products, and it charges you a certain amount in turn.
Windows servers also need more resources than Linux servers and, therefore, have higher infrastructure costs. Additionally, Linux hosting offers more features that meet the needs of web designers. Although Windows is the most common OS, it has limited use cases for hosting, as mentioned earlier.
Overall, while Linux servers are a better fit for most, Windows servers suit niche audiences and may be a better fit for enterprises with complex IT environments.
Which Is the Fastest Cheap Hosting Provider?
A2 Hosting is one of the best web hosting providers around due to its superb combination of super-quick and affordable hosting. A2 Hosting’s infrastructure is ultra-reliable (with a 99.9% uptime promise) and backed by blazing-fast technology. AI-boosted performance optimizations increase the webpage loading speed of your website substantially.
- Windows shared hosting fine-tuned for performance
- Hosted atop SwiftServer platform for ultimate speed
- Opt for Turbo Servers for up to 20x faster page loads
- Support for all major Windows-friendly software
- FREE migrations and Plesk Onyx control panel
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
To put it into perspective, a website hosted on A2 Hosting has a page loading speed of merely 0.295 seconds! Shared web hosting plans, in particular, are exceptional. The Turbo plan, for example, is budget-friendly, offers unlimited NVMe SSD storage, and is bolstered by the web host’s Turbo technology.
A2 Hosting’s VPS hosting plans offer great value for money as well and suit small, mid-sized, and large businesses. IONOS is another fast web host, and it is even cheaper than A2 Hosting. Keep in mind that a good web host offers a webpage loading time of under two seconds. With a page loading time of 1.23 seconds, IONOS ranks among the best in the business.
When Do I Need Shared Web Hosting or a Virtual Private Server?
There is a saying, “Stay committed to your decision, but stay flexible in your approach.” If you have a decent hosting budget and anticipate business growth shortly, you should opt for a hosting plan that offers great versatility.
This is where virtual private server hosting comes into the picture. While shared hosting is certainly not a bad hosting option (it is the most popular hosting category and is recommended for beginners), it has limitations.
Shared hosting plans often have less storage and bandwidth than VPS hosting plans and are prone to errors when other websites on the server experience high traffic. The average consumer attention span is a mere eight seconds, and you do not want to scare away potential consumers from your website due to the inefficiencies of shared hosting. While this may seem harsh, it is true.
VPS hosting not only addresses the cons of shared hosting but also offers additional functionality (like administrative-level backend and root access). This makes a VPS hosting plan ideal for growing businesses with a good budget and in-house technical talent.
Which Are the Best Cheap Windows Web Hosting Providers?
Select web hosting companies offer Windows web hosting, of which HostGator, InterServer, and AccuWebHosting are standout options for shared hosting, offering exceptional plans. IONOS and Hostwinds are worth exploring as well, especially if you seek cheap Windows hosting on virtual private servers.
In my opinion, InterServer just edges HostGator as the better Windows web hosting choice. That said, each of the Windows web hosting providers we have listed offers unique qualities, so explore them in detail and select a plan that best satisfies your hosting criteria.