Should You Pay a Set-up Fee?

There are a myriad of hosting companies that charge a one-time set-up fee for a new account. For a simple hosting package, this can be as little as $10, and for a dedicated server, it can go as high as $2000. Is this money well spent or a rip-off? Let’s find out.

Set-up fees are quite common with budget hosting packages. Since you are not paying much per month, the hosting company has to recoup its losses by charging this type of fee. It is not necessarily a bad thing to have a set-up fee, but you should do your homework before blindly handing over your cash.

First, add up your set-up fee and your yearly hosting costs. If this amount is less than you would pay for a host that does not charge a set-up fee but costs more, you are saving money. However, if this amount is higher, it makes sense to go with the host that charges a little more per month.

In addition to budget hosting packages, set-up fees can occur with ecommerce or business hosting packages. This fee is usually due to the fact that the hosting company will need to set-up or tailor some facet or application of your website for your needs. They need to be able to get paid for doing this, and again, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Once again, it pays to do your research on several different companies before making your final decision.

If you are purchasing a dedicated server, you will mostly likely find that there is a required set-up fee. As mentioned above, this fee can be extremely high for this kind of server. This set-up fee will normally go towards installing and tweaking your new server for your needs, and this process is time consuming.

Recently, more hosting companies that offer dedicated server packages have been switching to a no set-up fee option. However, this usually means that you will end up paying more per month for your server. There is a give and take whenever you purchase a hosting package, simply because your host needs to make money. They won’t be able to continue providing you with services if they can’t stay afloat.

The last type of set-up fee can almost be called a penalty fee. There are several different hosting companies that do not charge a set-up fee if you purchase a hosting contract for six months or a year. However, if you prefer to go month-to-month, they will charge a set-up fee.

This is one to encourage webmasters to sign with them for a specified period of time. The host will be able to guarantee a set amount of money over a period of time, and you reap the benefits of not having to pay a set-up fee. In addition, this option is usually cheaper over the long run than paying month-to-month.

The most important thing to remember before paying a set-up fee is to do your homework. There are thousands of companies that do not charge this type of fee, and thousands that do, but offer more for your money. Take the time to compare them side-by-side and you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:37 PM

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