Should You Have To Purchase Add-Ons From Your Host?

Many site owners fall into the add-on trap. Before you plunk down your cash on extra add-ons, there are a few things to consider. Many budget hosts make their living selling cheap space and making up for it by offering expensive add-ons. However, you may be better served by finding a company that provides these extras for free or combined with a hosting package.

First, do you really need that add-on? If you are simply interested in an add-on because it looks neat, or you think you may need it, stop for a minute and consider two things: 1. Will I use it within the next 6 months. 2. Can I get it for free elsewhere? These add-ons are typically the ability to stream audio or video files, adding extra email accounts, or the ability to add more disk space.

Most hosts are now offering a great deal of space for a lot less than you would imagine. Instead of paying an extra $5 per month for that extra 100 megs, try to see if there is a host that can beat this price.

Second, what type of add-on is it? If you need more disk space, more bandwidth, or an SSL certificate, many hosts will charge you for these features. However, there are just as many hosts that will offer the same amount of space for a lot less money.

SSL certificates can be purchased from many sources, such as Verisign.com or GoDaddy.com for a lot less than many hosts claim. Instead of getting stuck in a reseller situation with an SSL certificate, you can purchase your own directly from an issuing company.

If the add-on is for a discussion forum or chat room, there are thousands of free programs that you can download and install on your site. Don’t get caught paying extra for something that is open source and should not be sold.

However, there are many instances where add-ons can be a useful way to build a custom site package. If you don’t need a whole lot of other features, and just one or two in particular, you may actually be able to save money by adding them on one at a time, instead of going overboard with a whole bunch of features you may never use. If you find yourself in this situation, you can use the following formula:

Take the amount of your monthly hosting cost plus the add-on. If the amount is less than what you would spend at another host, than you don’t have to worry about spending too much.

The key to getting the best deal for your money in web hosting is comparison-shopping. Don’t be afraid to wait until you find the best deal out there. The perfect host is out there, you just need to track it down.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:43 PM

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