Gone are the days of expensive web hosting. There was a time, just a few years ago, when hosting was not as cheap as it is now. Lets see why.
Hosting is all about storage on a hard disk (which resides on the web server) and bandwidth for your data. Till a few years ago, hard disk storage was not as large as it is now. Now-a-days hard disk drives come in a typical 400 GB to 500 GB capacity ranges. Even the smallest ones for home computer usage come in over 100 GB sizes. Compare that with a 40 GB hard drive just a few years ago.
A few of these 400 GB to 500 GB range hard disk drives in a typical Linux powered web server with 4 Intel Xeon Central Processing Units gives more than enough processing power and storage capacity to host hundreds of websites on one server, all of them running happily.
Throw in open source (free) Apache + PHP + MySQL combination and you have a recipe for hosting a real working dynamic website at very low costs. What was once a premium combination is now very standard and very cheap and very affordable. It is not uncommon to find hosting plans as cheap as just 99 cents per month, which come complete with all features including PHP and MySQL and enough storage + bandwidth.
There is, thus, no reason for anyone who wants to host anything from a personal homepage or a home business / small business wanting a dynamic website for their online business, to go only for simple HTML websites. No. That is long gone.
Shared web hosting has become very affordable for every kind of use and application. As storage and processing technology advances, hosting will be available with even better capacities and more powerful features. It makes complete sense to use the power of PHP and MySQL when it is well within everyone's reach.