Are you on the hunt for cheap web hosting options in South Africa? At SA Broadband, we use Solid Hosting. They have plans beginning from R20 per month. Generally, they are very good. Feel free to check them out. Anyway, you are here because you are looking to become one of the many people in the country creating websites on a daily basis. That’s a great way of generating passive income. If you stay with it long enough, you could actually end up getting enough to quit your day job. We all dream of that, right? But before you get there, you need to find a good host for your website. As a beginner, you will be looking for affordable web hosting options for South Africa. This post has the following sections;
- Cheap web hosting South Africa comparison table.
- How much disc space do you need for your website?
- Domain registration and renewal costs.
- Comparison of the cheapest web hosting in South Africa.
Affordable Web Hosting South Africa
Afrihost is one of South Africa’s best known web hosts, but are they affordable?
Definite hosting are a great option for South Africans looking for cheap web hosting.
They are another good option. But what do they have to offer?
The table below shows the cheap web hosting options that are available in South Africa at the moment. Prices shown in our table can change at any time. It’s up to you to get the correct information. Note that what may appear to be a cheap host may not turn out to be the cheapest at the end of the day. There are many factors to consider, including disc space, reliability, support and speed. Anyway, before you make your choice, you really need to read the rest of this article.
How much disc space (storage) do you need?
You can see in the above table that one of the things that differentiate cheap hosting options available for South Africans is the issue of disc space. The cheapest plan from Definite Hosting costs a measly R5 per month. But for that amount, you only get 100MB in storage.
But is that enough? The entire matter is rather complicated. It can be hard for beginners to grasp. Fortunately, we have examples that we can use to clarify matters here. One of our websites is nearly 5 years old.
The site has 954 posts, 13 pages and 432 comments. This is a site on which we have done a lot of work. Each post has a featured image, but there are no videos. So, how much storage have we used on this site?
You can see in the above screenshot that we have so far used 1.85GB on a 5 year old website. The total storage for our particular plan in 24. 41GB. So, at the current pace, we need 65 years to be able to fill up the available disc space.
And we do have to note that this is a very productive website. We publish something almost on a daily basis, which is not really typical. Most websites never really get to use more than 1GB, particularly if they are company websites.
So, how much disc space do you need on a website in South Africa? The answer to that is it depends on a number of factors. If you are going to run a website on which you post a lot of images and videos, as an example, you will naturally need a lot more storage than someone that posts mostly text and a few images.
You can start with a minimum of 1GB
If you are just blogging without running a video site, then the minimum amount of storage space that you need to get started would be about 1GB. Indeed, you could start with the 100MB that’s offered in the cheapest web hosting plan in South Africa from Definite Hosting.
However, that’s a bit too little for our taste. If you are a serious blogger, you will exhaust that in a year or two. So, the normal blogger will probably never use up 1GB. As you can see, it took us 5 year to reach 1.85GB, and we are far from normal bloggers.
You can always increase your storage space
There is no telling how popular your website is going to be. We all hope for popular websites that turn into cash cows, allowing us to earn money passively while wallowing on the beach in Cape Town or elsewhere.
Should that happen to you and if you have chosen the minimum amount of storage available, the good news is that you can always upgrade. All web hosts in South Africa allow for this.
As an example, if you had gone for the Basic Plan from Solid Hosting, offering 2GB of storage for R20, you could increase that to 20GB of storage by going to the Advanced Hosting plan whose storage is 20GB.
So, you have a high degree of flexibility. It could actually be better to start off on a plan offering a limited amount of storage. We noted here that we recommend a minimum of 2GB. No website is going to be popular immediately after launch, so you have a little bit of leeway.
One thing to note is that you need to carry out proper research before deciding that one web host is cheaper than the other. As an example, you may think that Definite Hosting is cheaper than Solid Hosting. But in terms of truly cheap web hosting options for South Africa, that’s not really the case.
Solid Hosting offers a plan with 2GB storage for R20. Meanwhile, at Definite Hosting, you need R90 to get 1500MB of disc space. So, you see very well what we mean. If you want a plan that costs R5, Definite Hosting is cheaper.
But that’s not the best plan because you will be getting only 100MB. The moment you wish to upgrade, you will have to pay more. It’s way better to opt for Solid Hosting which costs you R20 for 2GB. 2GB is enough to last you years if you are a normal blogger, and you can boost your storage to 20GB by going for the R30 plan. That will probably last you a lifetime.
How much bandwidth do you need for your website?
Another factor determining the cost of a web hosting plan in South Africa is bandwidth. But what is bandwidth? Bandwidth is basically the amount of data that can be transferred at any given point in time. The bandwidth that you need depends on the size of your web pages.
So, if you have many people visiting your website, you will need more bandwidth. If you have a site that has only a few visitors, the bandwidth that you will require will be limited. But how much bandwidth do you need on a website in South Africa?
We will go back to the example of our other website. Our bandwidth figures have been fluctuating on that site. In May we used 7.71GB, while in June we used 7.53GB. July saw a big jump to 12.77GB while the figure for August was 8.56GB.
We do have to note that this website gets on average, 2000 visitors per day. So, you need to take that into account when calculating required bandwidth. Should your site grow to 10000 visitors per day, you will need a lot more. Meanwhile, a site that gets 50 visitors a day needs less.
So, how much bandwidth do you need on a website? Our strong advice is that you should go for a plan that offers unlimited bandwidth. That puts paid to the notion that the R5 plan from Definite Hosting is the most affordable in South Africa.
For that, you will be getting only 10GB bandwidth. That’s a lot for most websites. But should your site grow beyond about 5000 visitors per day, you will find yourself falling far short. Fortunately, most of the other plans that are featured here offer unlimited bandwidth.
With Solid Hosting, you get unlimited bandwidth on the R30 plan. The R20 plan gives you 100GB bandwidth per month. Please note that unlimited bandwidth is not without conditions for all web hosts that are out there. It’s based on a fair use policy.
Should you look for a free domain?
Every website needs a domain name. It’s the address locating your website on the World Wide Web. For this website, our domain name is https://sabroadband.co.za/. Domain names do not come free of charge. Just like web hosting plans, you are required to renew a domain every year.
But how much does it cost? Internationally, a domain name costs about USD12. Domains are cheaper in South Africa, particularly if you choose one ending with .co.za. Costs of domains differs depending on the registrar that you choose.
In the above example, the domain costs R90, which is equivalent to 6.35 USD. That’s for a .co.za domain. If you opt for .com, you will have to pay more. And if you opt for .net, you will have to fork out even more.
Fortunately, most web hosts in South Africa offer domains free with hosting plans. That’s the situation with Solid Hosting. Once you have bought a plan beginning from R30, you get the domain free.
That’s if you have bought a yearly plan. Afrihost also offers a free domain on the first year of hosting. So, free domains are there, but they are conditional. In any case, the cost of buying a domain also determines whether or not a web host in South Africa is cheap.
Comparison of Cheap Web Hosting in South Africa
In this section, we are going to compare the cheap web hosting options that are available in South Africa. As noted earlier, things are not always as simple as they appear at face value. A web host that has a cheaper plan like Definite Hosting may not always be cheapest. So, we need to look at all these affordable South African web hosting companies to get a clearer picture.
1. Solid Hosting
In terms of affordability, Solid Hosting South Africa is one of the most affordable web hosts that you will be able to find in the country. In fact, they are probably the most affordable, all things considered. But when you compare then with Definite Hosting, aren’t they beaten?
Well, not really. Yes, Definite Hosting has a plan that starts at R5 per month. But we have already noted that you won’t be able to do much with this because of the limited disk space. 100MB offered by Definite Hosting on the R5 plan is really too small, unless you just want to do a few blog posts every now and again.
If you are into serious blogging however, you will definitely need some more space. Maybe not now, but perhaps in a year or 2. From there, you will have to upgrade and that costs you. As noted, you get 2GB for R20 from Solid Hosting, whereas you need R90 for 1.5GB from Definite Hosting. So, when you compare the 2, Solid Hosting is the winner.
This website is hosted by Solid Hosting. So, you can say that we have something of a bias. Initially, we were worried about performance, but that has turned out to be no worry at all. You can see our Page Speed Insights score in the above screenshot. Clearly, performance is very good.
Another thing in Solid Hosting’s favor is that you get a free domain when you pay for your web hosting on an annual basis. That’s the best way of paying in any case. You don’t want to always be worried about having to find money to pay for your webhosting. Better to do it once a year.
Comparatively speaking, some other hosts also offer free domains. Others do not. Definite Hosting is one such web host that does not offer a free domain even when someone pays annually. Their domains cost R69 per year, which is affordable. However, it still adds up, so the free domain that’s offered by Solid Hosting is great.
Just to clarify matters, with domain costs, web hosting fees for the R5 plan at Definite Hosting rise to R10.75 per month. That’s double the advertised figure. So, that’s something that you need to be aware of.
SSD Storage is the thing in Web Hosting at the moment. Everyone is clamoring for it. That’s because SSD drives tend to be way faster than traditional drives. In fact, they can be up to 20 times faster.
That makes your website potentially faster. Potentially because there are other factors determining a website’s performance. Solid Hosting servers use SSD drives, which is probably another reason why performance is good.
Anyway, speed is important to Search Engine Optimization. You want your website to be as fast as is possible. That way, it will have a chance of being ranked well on Google.
2. Definite Hosting
We have already talked about Definite Hosting a lot in the preceding section. We compared it with Solid Hosting South Africa. Perhaps we were not really fair to Definite Hosting. Indeed, this is another great cheap web hosting option for South Africans.
In fact, as you can see in our table, Definite Hosting has the cheapest hosting plan in the whole of South Africa. Nobody else that we have been able to find can be the R5 per month plan! So, this is the web host for those that wish to explore the world of blogging.
You may not be aware that a large chunk of blogs that are launched get abandoned within a year. So, should you go all out or should you go for the cheapest plan available while seeing whether or not your venture is going to succeed?
Well, you may want to go for the cheapest web hosting plan in South Africae. At R5 per month, you will hardly suffer financially should your venture fold up like so many others. This plan is good for those looking to go it slow while publishing their own thoughts every now and again.
Does Definite Hosting have SSD Servers?
As far as we have been able to find out, Definite Hosting does not use SSD Servers. That in itself cannot be regarded as a drawback, but it does mean performance can lag ever so slightly when compared to other web hosts.
There is no free domain
This is something that we have already discussed. Domains at Definite Hosting are not offered for free. You need to pay R69 annually. That means a plan that advertised as costing R5 per month actually costs even more at the end of the day. It means you will pay R10 per month on that plan, including domain costs.
Afrihost is one of the most popular web hosting companies in South Africa. It’s not really the cheapest company, as you can see in the above table. But Afrihost is a good company.
Their cheapest plan costs R39. For that, you get 1GB storage. That’s not really much, unless you are looking to create a smallish website. With that kind of storage, you will probably have to upgrade in about 3 years if you are a serious blogger.
You could opt for the Gold Home plan which costs R49. That one comes with 2GB storage. That’s a bit better, but again, if you are running a popular site, it won’t be enough after a few years. On the plus side, bandwidth is unlimited. So, you don’t have to worry about bandwidth.
Free domain for first year
We noted that getting a free domain can add to the cheapness of a web hosting company. Afrihost offers free domains for the first year on .co.za domains. So, that’s good news. It means on the first year, you will only be paying R39/m.
This is another cheap web hosting South Africa options. The lowest plan at InslyHost costs R19. So, that’s better when compared with Afrihost. It’s even cheaper than what you will get at Solid Hosting, at least at face value. At face value because we noted that things are a bit complicated.
The cheapest package gets you 2.5GB storage. That’s probably good enough for most people. We have already noted that our other website, on which we publish something almost daily, has used up 1.85GB in 5 years. So, 2.5GB is good enough for most people. However, should you be looking to build a really big website, a time will eventually come when you need to upgrade.
You don’t get a free domain on the R19 plan
The sad thing about the R19 plan from InslyHost is that you don’t get a free domain. That’s available on other plans that cost more than this one. So, that’s an issue. It means you will have to fork out more, taking the monthly fee further from the stated figure.
One great thing about InslyHost is that you get an unlimited number of email addresses. That’s great if you are creating a website for a company. You can have as many email addresses as you wish for your employees and others. So, that’s the way to go in this regard.
Xneelo is actually the most expensive web host in South Africa, based on our list. Of course, there are probably other companies that are more expensive, but this one is the one that we chose to look at. So, what do you get for this amount?
Well, the R99 plan gets you 5GB of storage. That’s enough for most people. You probably won’t exhaust that amount of storage even in a decade. So, that’s a good thing. But this particular host is probably not for those looking to create simple websites.
Do you get a free domain?
Xneelo does not talk about giving people free domains, so you probably will not get one. That adds to the cost of running a website.
Axxess is another cheap web host that you will find in South Africa. The cheapest plan there costs R39 per month. That gets you a free domain. However, please note that the price that you pay differs depending on your chosen control panel.
If you choose InterWorx, then no additional funding will be required. However, if you choose cPanel, you will have to fork out an additional R15 per month. Most people prefer cPanel. However, if you are just getting started, there is nothing really wrong with InterWorx. But if you prefer cPanel, Axxess is not the cheapest host in South Africa.
GoDaddy entered the South African market in 2019. However, they have done a lot of marketing and they have actually become very popular. If you are looking for cheap web hosting RSA, GoDaddy is a good option. They are not as cheap as the other options featured here, but they are still very good.
They offer plans starting from R39 per month. For that, you get a whooping 30GB in storage. That makes this actually a great plan. With that much storage, you probably won’t need to upgrade any time soon. On top of that, you get unmetered bandwidth.
Free domains are not offered on the entry level plan
The one drawback is that the R39 GoDaddy South Africa web hosting plan does not include a free domain. You get that on the R59/m plan. So, that’s a setback. It means you will have to add about R15 per month to the plan. So, in actual fact you will paying R54 per month! You might as well go for the R59 per month plan which offers greater value.
Cost increases on renewal
Please note that web hosting plans increase on renewal. So, the R39 plan actually costs R49 upon renewal. That’s a major drawback. Most of the web hosts that are out there offer price lock guarantees, meaning you will be paying the same amount forever. GoDaddy does not have that.
Which Host is the Cheapest in South Africa?
We come back to the question, which is the cheapest web host in South Africa? Clearly, there are many variables to consider. You may be attracted by the R5 plan from Definite Hosting. However, that is rather limited. You don’t get nearly enough storage if you are serious about your site.
At some point, a year or so later, you will need to upgrade. And when you do, you will find that you need R99 to get a plan that’s less than what you get for R20 from a company like Solid Hosting. So, in our view, Solid Hosting is the cheapest host that’s in South Africa, all things considered.
For R30, you get unlimited bandwidth and 20GB storage. So, that’s something to consider. Anyway, what do you think? Leave a comment below or join our forum for the latest discussions on technology matters in South Africa. Do you know another cheap web hosting company in South Africa? Let us know!