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Affordable Web Hosting Plan - What Is An Affordable Hosting Plan?

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“Affordable hosting plan” is a relative term. An individual or small business that is just setting out on the global journey will need to keep costs as low as possible, even if it means sacrificing amenities. A full-scale eCommerce business that has hundreds of visitors per hour will soon find that added capacity is necessary to grow. However, the expense of extra storage and bandwidth will probably be more than offset by their higher sales figures.

Obviously, free seems to be the most affordable of hosting plans. However, it is also the most limited. There are still places that will provide space for small websites at no charge. Some of these will also supply a free domain name. However, using their domain name may limit your ability to change hosting companies later on, which could cause inconvenience for your customers. A hosting situation that limits the ability to grow is not really affordable, it’s just cheap. A truly affordable hosting plan will: allow the use of your own domain name, provide multiple email addresses, and supply an easy to use administration panel.

The best free option, at present, is a blog. The two best-known operations, WordPress and Blogger, both provide free space. Blog software has become much more sophisticated and flexible in the past few years. It‘s not necessary to make daily posts or even to allow comments. Blogging software lets the owner set up and operate a website with minimal computer expertise. There is no expensive editing software to buy either. Everything can be handled through a normal browser. Both link to Google Adwords and Adsense. For an individual or small business just stepping onto the web, a blog site may be the best answer.

For those companies or entrepreneurs looking to set up a potentially high volume eCommerce site, an affordable web hosting plan will require some outlay of cash. However, for most people, it will still be possible to keep the expense below $100 per year. The smart way to begin is to find a company that offers several levels of service and sign up for the smallest package that can handle the projected volume for a year. Keep a close eye on the stats, then upgrade as needed when the renewal date arrives.

Once again, affordable is a relative term. There are some services that should be included in even the most basic packages:
• Full range security features
• Multiple free email addresses
• 24/7 tech support
• Comprehensive web site analytics
• Daily Backups
• At least 5GB of disk space and 250 GB of bandwidth
• User-friendly data base and administration panels
• The ability to use scripts such as CGI, PHP, and Perl
• A content management system such as Drupal or Joomla
• At least a 95% up-time guarantee.
• A free shopping cart for Ecommerce

There are many hosting companies that offer starting prices around $5 per month, but they generally expect to be paid on an annual basis, not monthly. However, setup fees should be minimal or non-existent. Most of the better known hosting companies will require a year’s contract. There are a few, like GoDaddy.com that offer month to month service, but they will charge an extra dollar or two a month for the limited commitment. One of the better companies, iPower.com, discounts their starter plan to $3.95/month with free setup for a two year contract. For a three month deal, they charge $5.95 per month and a $10 setup fee.

There are thousands of affordable hosting plans available. As competition becomes stiffer, many companies will be looking for ways to stand out. Most are already offering free website templates and site building software. Yahoo.com, among others, has added unlimited disk-space and data-transfer to their list of options. A new feature being advertised by HostGator is environmental friendliness. They also include unlimited disk space and bandwidth with every plan level, but their big push in advertising is their “wind energy” technology. As ‘green” energy becomes more common, this may be a new selling point for many companies.

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