Web hosting doesn’t have to be too expensive, and in fact, experienced webmasters can usually plan their sites in a way that allows them to invest very little money for very nice returns. It takes some experience to learn what you should and shouldn’t look for when searching for a good hosting company, and knowing how to avoid overspending is an important skill in itself. But as long as you understand your requirements and know what’s available on the market, you should end up with a pretty reasonable deal in the end.
Disabling database access can be one of the most significant money-saving factors when setting up a website, and if you don’t need to work with a database for any specific reason, this can relieve you of a significant portion of your expenses. Even if the database is running idly without any contents, this can still impact your monthly bill in surprisingly noticeable ways, so go through the settings of each package you’re buying and make sure to disable database access if you’re not going to use it.
If you do need to store information in an easily accessible manner, think about alternative solutions as well. Storing data in simple text files with a specific structure can often work just as well for less sensitive and complex data, and while it’s far from a universal – or elegant – solution, if you want to cut down on your costs without sacrificing anything more meaningful, this is a good consideration to make.
If you don’t need cPanel, one-click installs, or any preinstalled applications, see if you can’t get rid of them when configuring your package. This might not always be an option, and some providers are actually quite strict about how their hosting packages are defined, but if you have a chance to cut some corners here and there, this can have a very positive effect on your final bill.
The only problem here is if you run into a situation where you decide that you do need those services later on, in which case you might find it complicated to get them reinstated. If you don’t know how things will pan out shortly, it might make more sense to keep those features active and look for another way to relieve your budget. Don’t worry, and there should be at least several other options out there.
Some hosts will give you a lot of freedom in choosing how much storage you want to use, and you should take full advantage of that opportunity. Pay particular attention to how some deals are worded – for example, do you need unlimited storage space? While this is a real option offered by many hosting providers out there, it’s often more of a marketing trick that entices you to pay a higher price for something you’re never really going to use to its full potential.
Meanwhile, deals for several hundred gigabytes are just sitting there without anyone paying attention to them. Unless you’re planning to run a site that will be very content-intensive and will require a lot of storage capacity for media, it doesn’t really make much sense to overspend on your storage space. In fact, you can even run some experiments to see how much you’re actually using for certain types of sites, and you might discover that it’s far below your expected values!
E-mail and Subdomains
Many hosts will throw in various smaller goodies like e-mail and subdomains on top of the standard hosting features, but you should pay attention to whether they are charging you anything extra for them. You’ll often have your own e-mail set up and ready to use, and subdomains may not matter much if you’re going to get a full domain anyway. So don’t spend any extra money on features that you’re not going to use, and make sure that you look into the package in detail before signing up for it. This is especially true if it’s a long-term deal that will cost you a lot over several months, in which case your budget might suffer a lot from the wrong decision.
In the end, the information is all there in front of you, and companies often make it entirely clear how much you’re paying and for what. It’s up to you to make sure that you’re configuring your order the right way and that you really do need every feature listed on there, and if you’re not sure about anything, just look it up. But in most cases, if the name of a feature doesn’t mean much to you, that probably indicates that you don’t need it in the first place, and you can safely keep scrolling down through the rest of the list to find out what else you can exclude.