Yearly vs Monthly Payments - Which is Best?

Many hosting companies offer lower prices for a hosting package with the purchase of a year’s worth of hosting all at once. Instead of paying a monthly fee, you simply have to pay for the year in advance. This can save you anywhere from 10 to 50% on your hosting costs, but is it worth it? When you purchase a hosting package month-to-month, you are usually free to move on if you are unhappy with the host. However, if you purchase the entire year, you may be stuck until this time has elapsed.

Before plunking down a year’s worth of hosting fees, it is important to thoroughly research a hosting company to ensure that you will be happy with them for a year. If you end up wanting to switch hosts, you may be out the money you pre-paid, making it very costly to switch.

Most companies do not offer a pro-rated refund for this money, so you may be stuck with a bad hosting company for a year if you do not want to pay for a server you won’t be using in the event you do switch.

Try to find out if their existing customers are pleased with their service. Many companies offer a testimonial page, but it is a good idea to do a search to find out if there are any displeased customers out there. If you find a large number of dissatisfied former clients, it’s a good idea to find another host that doesn’t require a year’s payment up front.

Does the company also charge a set-up fee? Since you are paying for a year’s worth of hosting in advance, this can be a large chunk of money. You should not have to pay an additional set-up fee if this cost is quite high. There are many hosts that offer cheaper ways of setting up a new account without charging a set-up fee.

Can the server grow with you? If you are already at the top of your limits, you may end up with a maxed out server that is completely useless. If you plan to pay for a year’s worth of hosting, make sure that you’ll have room to grow so that you don’t end up spending even more money.

Is there a 30 day free trial? Many reputable companies offer a 30 day free trial, where you can get a refund of your hosting costs if you are not satisfied. If you can find a host that offers this, it is a good idea to take advantage of this trial.

You’ll be able to see if the server is performing up to your standards and if the customer and technical support is at a level you would expect. If you’re not happy at the end of this thirty days, you’ll be able to find a new host and you won’t have to forfeit your money.

If you find a host that fits all of these criteria, you may actually end up spending less by paying for a year’s worth of hosting in advance. Try to weigh all of these options to see if the money you can save by buying a year of hosting will actually be money well spent, instead of money thrown away. There are many companies that offer monthly payments that may actually cost less money.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:06 PM

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