Best Student Hosting – Hosts With Discounted or Free Plans For Students

Best Student Hosting – Hosts With Discounted or Free Plans For Students

Last verified: June 26th, 2019

Are you a student on a tight budget and looking to host a website? I’m here to help!

Some hosting providers offer special discounts for students and teachers. I’ll go over the best ones in this guide and provide details on how cheap student hosting works in general.

All options below strike a balance between security, performance, storage, bandwidth, and support quality.

Let’s dive in!

Best free hosting for students

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What’s even better than a student discount? Free student hosting is the answer.

Here’s a list of the top hosting companies that do not charge students a penny.

#1: InterServer free student hosting

IntersServer offers one year of free hosting to students – you save $60.

If you decide to stay with InterServer after your first free year, you’ll pay the standard $4 to $5 per month – depending on the term length you choose.

Interserver is one the hosts with the cheapest annual plans, as well as the cheapest web hosts with unlimited websites.

How to claim: contact InterServer’s support via email using your .edu email account and ask them to load credit for 1 year of free web hosting to your account.

Interserver student plan highlights:

  • Websites allowed: unlimited
  • Storage: unlimited
  • Bandwidth: unlimited
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Email accounts: yes
  • Performance suitable for: up to a few hundred visitors per day
  • Support: 24/7 Live Chat

Make sure to read up on the pitfalls of “unlimited” server resources before you decide to host with them.

#2 AccuWeb free student hosting

AccuWeb offers free hosting until your graduation – this is in stark contrast to other hosts on this list, all of which offer a student discount for one year only. What’s more, they are one of the few hosts with free website backups and restorations.

The standard price for non-student hosting is around $3.10/month – this means that you could save around $38 per year with this offer.

How to claim: click the “apply now” button on this page and fill out the form.

AccuWeb student plan highlights:

  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: 2 GB
  • Bandwidth: 30 GB
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Email accounts: yes
  • Support: 24/7 Live Chat

As you can see, the student plan comes with fairly restrictive resource limit, however, you get exceptional website performance and high-quality support in exchange.

If you aren’t sure whether 2 GB of storage will be enough for you (if you are planning to host your first website, it almost definitely will be enough), check out my series of hosting guides written specifically for beginners.

Best discounted student hosting

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If the free hosting plans above don’t meed your needs, there are a few quality hosts that offer significant discounts to students.

#1: SiteGround student hosting

SiteGround offers a 50% discount on their StartUp plans to anyone who registers with an .edu email address. This puts the student price at around $1.95 a month or a little over $23 a year.

You get one year of hosting at the reduced price. After that, you can purchase hosting with the regular first-term discount ($3.95 per month).

SiteGround also made it onto our lists of hosts with pro-rated refunds and hosts with the best Inode limits.

How to claim: fill out the student hosting order form and that’s it. Make sure to enter an email address in a .edu domain.

SiteGround student plan highlights:

  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: 10 GB
  • Performance suitable for: ~10,000 visitors per month
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Support: 24/7 Live Chat
  • Email accounts: yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • More details: see my SiteGround review

SiteGround has consistently come out on top in our tests, ranking highly for website performance, security, transparency, and support quality.

#2: InMotion student hosting

InMotion offers the following student discounts on their Power Plan:

  • 49% off on a 6-month term, for $4.99/month ($29.94 total)
  • 58% off on a 12-month term, for $4.16/month ($49.92 total)

That’s a total of up to $64 in savings that you can spend on campus instead. Add the fact that InMotion is one of the hosts with the longest money-back guarantee, and you can’t go wrong with them.

How to claim: head over to their student hosting page and enter your .edu email address in the field at the top, then click “claim.”

InMotion student plan highlights:

  • Websites allowed: six
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Performance suitable for: ~20,000 visitors per month
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Email accounts: yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 90 days
  • Support: 24/7 Live Chat

Apart from top-level security and excellent server performance, InMotion differentiates itself from the pack by being the only host on this list that is willing to negotiate on price; whether you are buying student hosting or renewing a standard term, always hit them up on Live Chat before you buy and ask them for their “best price.”

Best cheap hosting (without exclusive student discounts)

I’m assuming your goal is to pay as little as possible for a quality hosting service.

That’s why I decided to list hosts which do not offer any special prices or deals to students, but which are cheap enough to be considered budget-friendly.

#1: Namecheap

With “cheap” in their name, we’d expect nothing less – and they definitely deliver, at a starting price of $1.30/month for their Stellar plan.

The plan comes with a lot of storage and allows you to host up to three websites, which is unusual for hosting packages at this price point. Website performance and support quality are surprisingly good, too. Namecheap is also one of the best hosts with free malware detection and removal.

Namecheap Stellar plan highlights:

  • Websites allowed: three
  • Storage: 20 GB
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Email accounts: Yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Support: 24/7 Live Chat

#2: HostWinds

Prices start at $2.35/month for the Basic plan. You can choose a server in Amsterdam, Dallas, or Seattle.

Despite the low price, websites hosted with HostWinds load very quickly – see my HostWinds review for details.

The main downside is the relatively poor live chat support quality, so if you anticipate requiring a lot of hands-on help, you should probably go with something else.

HostWinds Basic plan highlights:

  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Email accounts: yes
  • Money-back guarantee: 60 days
  • Support: 24/7 Live Chat

#3 iPage (AVOID)

You’ll often see iPage listed as a budget-friendly host.

While true (their prices start at $1.99 / month), I strongly recommend against using them. They’ve performed poorly in all of my server stability test, including website load times and the ability to handle sudden traffic spikes.

Avoid at all costs – unless you do not expect your website to receive any visitors.

What type of website can I host on a student plan?

Most students use hosting for one or more of the following:

  • Putting up a portfolio website to help with job hunting
  • Learning to code
  • To host a website for a group or individual college project
  • To run a personal blog or keep a studying journal

Hosts do not place restrictions on what type of website you can put up on a student plan.

How do you claim student hosting?

To take advantage of student discounts, you will need an email address in an .edu domain.

If you are a student but for some reason don’t have access to such an email account, most hosts will accept a photocopy of a document certifying that you are a current or incoming student at an accredited university.

Depending on the host, you’ll either need to fill out a dedicated student hosting signup form or contact support and express interest in the discount. In the latter case, the support agent will provide you a special registration link which you would follow to claim your discount.

Will the hosting company contact my university to confirm I’m a student?

I’ve never heard of a hosting provider contacting an educational institution for this purpose. It would be way too much hassle, I presume.

The fact that you can send and receive email using an .edu email address is usually good enough proof that you are a student or otherwise involved in academia.

How long will my student hosting plan last?

In most cases, discounted student prices are available for a maximum of one year. One exception is AccuWeb’s free student hosting plan I mentioned above.

After the first year, students looking to continue hosting with the same provider will need to pay the standard discounted first-term price, followed by the standard renewal price after that.

What’s the difference between student hosting and educator hosting?

Educator hosting allows educators (professors, lecturers, teachers, course managers, and other university faculty) to create free hosting accounts for their students.

Typically, educator hosting is only valid for the duration of a particular course. The lecturer receives access to a dedicated control panel that allows them to issue hosting packages to any student enrolled in their program.

Does student hosting come with any restrictions?

This depends on the host, but sometimes – yes.

For example, although InterServer offers domains at a discounted price to new customers, this discount is not available on the free student hosting plan.

The good news is that your host’s money-back guarantee will still apply – you’ll be able to ask for a full refund on your student plan if you aren’t happy with the service.

Will the host display advertisements on your site?

Not in the case of the hosting providers I listed above.

Some of the lower-quality hosts that offer free or significantly discounted hosting do so in exchange for the ability to put up display ads on your website. Of course, they get to keep all the profits from the ads.

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