The Best Student Hosting: Who's The Best For Your Site? [Updated: 2018]

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What is Student hosting?

While details vary from one hosting provider to the next, a student hosting account is usually an entry-level hosting account on a shared Linux server offered at a reduced price to students who can verify that they are currently enrolled in an educational program. In most cases, students can continue to use the account after completing their studies, and rates typically increase the first time the account is renewed. In some cases, student hosting accounts include limitations on disk space, bandwidth, and other features, as well as limits on the types of projects and websites that may be hosted on the account.

Student Hosting Overview

Web design and development students are in a unique position. They need to work with the latest cutting-edge tools and networking infrastructure, yet they bring limited resources to the table and are typically working on non-commercial projects. Thankfully, several hosting providers offer hosting plans designed to meet the needs of students at a reasonable cost.

How Do I Get a Student Account?

In most cases, hosting providers require that new customers use an email address ending in .edu when signing up to verify that they are associated with an educational institution. After signup, students are typically required to submit some sort of verification, such as a valid student ID, to demonstrate that they are currently enrolled in an educational program.

Since not all educational programs are part of accredited colleges or universities, and since not all accredited colleges and universities provide their students with .edu email addresses, many hosts who offer student hosting will provide the reduced rate to students without a .edu email address who contact customer support and provide some other form of verification. Some hosting providers even provide specific instructions for current student who do not have a .edu email address.

Many web hosts who offer student hosting also offer educational discounts to educators and directly to educational institutions who may go ahead and purchase or subsidize hosting accounts for their students. Students who are instructed to sign up for student hosting as part of a course should contact their course professor or a representative of the educational program to ensure they receive credit for all of the discounts for which they are eligible.

What Is Included in a Student Hosting Account?

The details of student hosting plans vary from one host to the next. However, in most cases student hosting plans include:

  • Access to a shared Linux web server running the full LAMP stack.
  • Limited disk space ranging from 500 MB up to a couple GB.
  • The ability to create MySQL databases.
  • The ability to create custom email addresses.
  • cPanel and phpMyAdmin to manage the hosting account and databases.
  • A custom domain name and the ability to create subdomains and purchase add-on domains.
  • FTP accounts and SSH access the server.

These features mirror the features typically included with any basic hosting plan on a shared Linux server. As a result, student hosting can usually be used to host today's most popular PHP-based web applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are only technology students eligible for student accounts?

These days just about anyone can benefit from having a website. As a result, most hosts offer student accounts to anyone who can verify that they are currently enrolled in a qualifying educational program. So whether you're a web development student looking for a place to host your web application, or an English major wanting to set up a blog for your creative writing, you can take advantage of the low rates offered to students.

Should I skip over student hosting and just get a real hosting account?

While plan details vary from one host to the next, in most cases student hosting accounts are completely or nearly identical to the entry-level professional hosting plan offered by the same company. So when you sign up for student hosting, you are getting a real hosting account with all of the features and services that should come along with any modern hosting plan.

Are students at all educational programs eligible for a student discount?

Each hosting provider determines the terms and conditions that apply to student hosting accounts. In many cases, students at both traditional colleges and universities as well as students in non-traditional programs are eligible to the student rate. However, some hosts choose only to extend discounted rates to students at certain types of institutions. The only way to be sure you qualify is to review the terms of service or reach out to the customer service department of the host you are interested in signing up with.

Can I use student hosting for a commercial project?

You'll want to review the terms of service for the hosting provider you are considering, but in most cases student hosting accounts are simply standard hosting plans offered at a reduced rate. In most cases, yes, student hosting can be used for commercial projects.

Find The Best Student Hosting For You

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SiteGround screenshot
SiteGround StartUp plan
  • Support 5 stars
  • Features 5 stars
  • Uptime 5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
5 stars
1986 user reviews
Usual price:
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$3.95/mo
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BlueHost screenshot
BlueHost Shared Basic plan
10GB 5GB
  • Support 3.5 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 3.5 stars
  • Value 3.5 stars
3.5 stars
480 user reviews
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$2.75/mo
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InMotion+Hosting screenshot
InMotion Hosting Business Launch plan
  • Support 4 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
549 user reviews
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$3.99/mo
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HostPapa screenshot
HostPapa Business plan
  • Support 4 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
383 user reviews
Usual price:
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$3.95/mo
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Dreamhost screenshot
Dreamhost Shared Web Hosting plan
  • Support 3.5 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
254 user reviews
Usual price:
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$6.95/mo
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