Anyone who has ever shopped for web hosting knows that you can spend anywhere from nothing up to several hundred dollars to host your web site. So what's the difference? Well often times if you're talking about typical shared web hosting in the $6 to $20 range ? nothing. That's right ? nothing! Nothing that is, except good old fashioned marketing and hype!
We compared standard features on 5 well known shared hosting accounts to see exactly what you get for your money ? and the results may surprise you. What we really care about in our test is probably what you would care about as a small business owner looking for hosting for a basic site: adequate disk space, ample email accounts, and reasonable bandwidth. We looked over all the other bells and whistles ? but weren't really willing to pay loads extra for them. We were also looking for a short term contract (monthly or quarterly) ? not a year or two commitment.
Verio's Bronze Plan - http://hosting.verio.com/index.php/unixwin_bronze.html
Monthly Price (including set up fees) - $24.95 per month + free setup
Basic Specs ? 250 MB of diskspace, 7.5 GB of bandwidth, and 20 email accounts
Extra's ? Web design software, free domain pointing, Urchin web stats, free chat software
Our take ? If this were 1998 I might consider paying $24.95 for a package like this?oh wait, it's 2004.
Interland's b100 Account - http://www.interland.com/shared/bluehalo/?package=b100
Monthly Price (including set up fees) - $12.95 per month + free setup
Basic Specs ? 250 MB of diskspace, 10 GB of bandwidth, and 30 email accounts
Extra's ? WebTrends web stats, access to log files, firewall protection
Our take ? This is one of the biggest brands in hosting and their prices have been reduced of late. Still pretty expensive compared to aggressive lower priced competitors.
SuperbHosting's U Power Service - http://www.superbhosting.net/upower.php
Monthly Price (including set up fees) - $12.50 per month + free setup
Basic Specs ? 1000 MB of diskspace, 50 GB of bandwidth, and 250 email accounts
Extra's ? Free domain, 30-day money back guarantee, daily data backups, free search engine submission, no content restrictions
Our take ? Another well known hosting service that seems to offer considerably more value in the mid-tier than other companies.
Monthly Price (including set up fees) - $9.95 per month + $30 setup
Basic Specs ? 800 MB of diskspace, 40 GB of bandwidth, and 400 email accounts
Extra's ? $50 Google AdWords credit, money back guarantee, SSL included, unlimited email forwarding
Our take ? Often thought of as the low priced hosting leader. Their plans really shine when signing up for an annual account where the price drops to $7.95 per month.
HostSave Standard Hosting - http://www.hostsave.com/hosting/plan_features.htm
Monthly Price (including set up fees) - $8.95 per month + free setup
Basic Specs ? 1000 MB of diskspace, 100 GB of bandwidth, and 500 email accounts
Extra's ? Free MySQL database, catch-all email address, PERL v5, log file access
Our take ? This looks like the best deal for our basic needs. They have a big brand name and all the features we need plus the MySQL database thrown in.
You can pay a lot for basic shared web hosting ? you can also get it on the cheap. While certain specialty features might justify paying a premium, our analysis suggests that you can probably get the same specs ? maybe even better specs ? without paying more money. So for our hard earned bucks, cheaper is definitely better!
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