Don’t get ripped off by your web hosting provider

by ron on June 20, 2007

Web hostingWe’ll start by taking a look at the current offerings by various large web hosting providers (both Australian and International web hosting providers), and I’m then going to show you how to get access to one of the most reliable web hosting providers for a total cost of one cent.

The most popular corporate hosting company in Australia is WebCentral:

  • the entry-level package (called “economy”) starts at AU$420/yr
  • server space: 200 MB
  • monthly data transfer: 10 GB
  • no databases
  • no scripting (eg php)
  • no plug-in technologies available (eg blogs, helpdesk, etc)
  • The first package that gives you database and scripting capability for your web site (“business package”) jumps to AU$665/yr, and this package gives you 500 MB of server space for your web site and 20 GB of data transfer.

Let’s go hunting for some better deals:

  • NetRegistry
    • the entry-level package (called “economy plan”) starts at AU$191.40/yr
    • server space: 100 MB
    • monthly data transfer: 5 GB
  • Westnet Hosting
    • the entry-level package (called “basic web hosting”) starts at AU$160/yr
    • server space: 50 MB
    • monthly data transfer: 1 GB
  • SmartyHost
    • the entry-level package (called “50 MB”) starts at AU$80/yr
    • server space: 50 MB
    • monthly data transfer: 10 GB
  • PlanetHosting
    • the entry-level package (called “bronze”) starts at AU$80/yr
    • server space: 1 GB

Allow me to save you the trouble of having to shop around through the endless list of hosting providers.

HostGatorMy personal recommendation for the best web hosting provider is HostGator

They have a full range of web hosting plans, from shared (your web site is placed on a web server which has other web sites on it as well), to reseller accounts (a shared hosting plan but they allow you to easily resell web hosting accounts to others as if ran your own web hosting company), to dedicated servers (your web site is installed on a physical server which is used exclusively by you).

Shared web accounts start from US$6.95/month, with 50GB of storage space and 200GB of monthly bandwidth (“hatchling account”).

My recommendation of the best value is the “baby” shared account, giving you 100GB of storage space, 1000GB of monthly bandwidth, allows you to run an unlimited amount of web sites on the same account, 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24×7 support, unlimited email accounts, unlimited ftp accounts, unlimited mySQL databases, and a whole variety of extra features which I’ll have to get into in later blog posts.

If you want to dive into how to use these advanced web hosting features, HostGator have a full range of flash tutorials for you to use in order to get up to speed. If you get stuck, their online support is excellent, both via a support ticket system and even live support.

I’ve personally had 5 domains hosted on the baby account (including this blog site) for the last 3 years and could not be happier with the service provided.

“But wait”, I hear you say, “I thought you mentioned that it would only cost one cent?”

To get domain hosting from HostGator for 30 days for just 1 cent, you must enter “freetrial” (one word) into the HostGator coupon field without quotes when signing up for a month of the HostGator Baby hosting plan. After that, click the “Calculate totals” button, and if you have followed these steps, the cost will be $0.01 for 30 days, with no obligations for further web hosting renewals.

If you decide to sign up for a web hosting account other than the baby account (by using the coupon code above and therefore getting access for one cent), then you should know that HostGator offer a full 30 day money back guarantee.

There’s no risk here whatsoever; either try the baby account for one cent for the first month (with no obligation to renew beyond that point), or try any other account for the standard price knowing that you have 30 days to change your mind and get your money back in full.

If you’ve read my prior blog post on buying domain names via GoDaddy, then you may be tempted to also get your web hosting via the same company. I would strongly suggest not doing so. GoDaddy web hosting is not as fast, reliable, or offer support options as good as that of HostGator.

Therefore, the best combination is to register your domains via GoDaddy, but then host the web site on HostGator. All you need to do is to change the “ns records” of your domain at GoDaddy to point the domain over to HostGator. Here’s a flash tutorial showing you how to do this.

If you do a lot of looking around, you may well find hosting providers which offer plans that give a marginally better hosting package than that of HostGator. An example of this is HostMonster, where they offer 300GB of storage, 3000GB of monthly bandwidth and unlimited domains/sites for US$5.95/month.

Although the reviews of HostMonster are mostly positive, the reason I’ve not chosen it as my main recommended web hosting provider is that it doesn’t provide any scalability. If your web site starts getting a lot of traffic, you’ll need to migrate to another hosting provider (which is a royal pain in the backside). In contrast, with HostGator you can scale up through various more advanced web hosting account types all the way up to having your own dedicated physical server.

Go ahead and give HostGator a try if you need web hosting services. You’ll have heaps of storage space and bandwidth available, a very reliable web hosting provider, many many features you can easily snap in to your site, host an unlimited amount of sites on the same account, and save yourself a lot of money.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Website Promotions July 29, 2008 at 5:10 am

your article is much more informatic for all of the visitor. I am very happy to read it. Thank you for it.


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