With the economy being as tight as it is, most people are looking for ways to save a few dollars wherever possible, and hosting is no exception.
However not everyone is willing to miss out on quality just to get a better price.
Fortunately, with web hosting there are several ways you can cut costs without sacrificing on quality of service or scope of features. All you have to do is plan a little bit before you sign up and you can save a lot of money very quickly.
Here are five easy and fast ways you can save money on your hosting account without giving up any benefits.
1. Look for Coupons
Before signing up for a new host, check and see if you can find any coupons for it. Nearly all web hosts have some kind of system where you can enter a code for a discount. All you have to do is find them.
The easiest way is to let Google do the walking for you, search for the host’s name followed by the word “coupons” and see what comes up. You can also try looking through listings of coupons, such as the one on Who Is Hosting This.
The best part about coupons is that many are based on a percentage and are good for as long as you are using the service. This means that you could save 20% or more every month for a long time to come. However, be wary of coupons that require a long term commitment or large upfront costs as they can easily backfire should you decide to change host.
2. Downgrade, Without Downgrading
If you’re looking at getting a low-end dedicated server, look at VPS services and see if you can find an equivalent service for less money. For example, a basic managed server on SingleHop costs about $150. A managed VPS with similar specs (less hard drive and bandwidth but the addition of burstable ram) is about $130.
If you can get by with a VPS, you will likely save some money as VPS setups require less space and hardware, enabling hosts to offer them cheaper even though the power is comparable.
On the flip side, if you’re using an unmanaged solution, you might save money by either moving up to a dedicated server or, if you don’t think your needs will change rapidly, purchasing your own server and co-locating it.
3. Refer People
Many web hosts offer a referral program that gives you free hosting credits every time someone signs up for a new account using your code. If your host rocks, tell your friends and give them your referral code so you can get a payout.
Typically, for every person you refer, you get a month’s worth of hosting for free. Refer 12 people per year and you pay nothing the entire time, likewise, referring 3 people in a year is the same as a 25% discount. Consider placing banners and/or ads on your site to help drive additional referrals.
Obviously though, you should only do this if you really like your host. Then again, if you aren’t happy, you should probably move regardless.
4. Get Engaged to Your Host
Shorter contracts make sense when you’re growing and/or you aren’t sure if your host is going to work out, but if your needs have plateaued and your host is working out great, consider signing up for a longer deal and getting a discount that way.
Most hosts will provide discounts between 10%-25% of of the month-to-month contract for those who sign up for six months, a year or more. It’s a commitment, but also a great way to save money on an existing contract.
5. Avoid SMS Charges
This may seem to be nitpicky, but SMS charges can really add up. Hosts and host monitoring services often want you to pay upfront for “packs” of SMS messages to alert you to server errors, downtime, etc. Though not a huge fee in the big scheme of things, they are easily avoided.
Most notification services will allow you to send emails for free. However, if you don’t have easy access to your mail on the road or still prefer SMS, you can use your cell phone providers email-to-SMS gateway to turn those free emails into text messages.
All you have to do is look up the address for your provider and provide the email address for your phone number. All emails sent to that account should go straight to your mobile phone, at no cost to you other than regular text messaging rates.
Do note that these messages will not be formatted ideally for text messages and may come split up over two or three messages.
If you want to save money on hosting, there are a lot of easy ways to do it. Hosts typically speaking don’t hand over the information covered here on a silver platter, they tend to like it when their customers pay face value. However, it is even more in their interests when their customers are happy and stick around so they should be pleased.
Take advantage of your host’s deals and opportunities to get a better rate out of them. Just like on many airplane flights, the passengers will pay wildly different amounts for the same ticket, customers pay very different amounts for the same hosting. Follow the tips here to make sure you are on the right end of the deal.
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