HostMonster Starts at $6.95 per month with a one-year contract.By Jeffrey L. Wilson

Web hosting is the foundation of building a website and, fortunately, HostMonster (starting at $6.95 per month with a one-year contract) offers many shared and dedicated options for constructing your pages. HostMonster's most basic package offers a free URL, unlimited bandwidth, and knowledgeable customer service representatives. Still, it has a few issues that prevent it from toppling Arvixe, PCMag's Editors' Choice for Web hosting services. I tested HostMonster's basic Starter Web hosting plan, as well as its ecommerce and site-building options. I spent a total of $83.40, which is one of the highest costs of entry I've seen in the Web hosting space.

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Shared Web Hosting Packages
HostMonster doesn't offer month-to-month Web hosting options. Instead, it requires you to sign up for an annual plan. HostMonster throws a few savings bones your way, should you sign up for a two- or three-year plan, but those who don't want lengthy commitments should invest in Arvixe if they want to pay on a monthly basis.

The Starter shared hosting package (starting at $6.95 per month with a one-year contract) includes a free domain name that you can keep as long as you use HostMonster, free domain transfer, 100GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to host a single website—Arvixe lets you host six domains with its basic plan. The HostMonster Plus package (starting at $14.95 per month with a one-year contract) adds unlimited storage, unlimited domain hosting, and spam prevention. The Business Plus package (starting at $19.95 per month with a one-year contract) tops all of HostMonster's shared hosting plans with a dedicated IP address, an SSL certificate, and two anti-spam apps.


Virtual and Dedicated Web Hosting Packages
HostMonster also offers virtual private server (starting at $29.99 per month) and dedicated server (starting at $149 per month) plans. These servers have more power than shared servers, and should be considered must-have investments if you're expecting high traffic volumes.

HostMonster's dedicated servers are available in a variety of CPU, RAM, RAID, and storage configurations. The highest-end dedicated server starts at $249 per month (quad-core 3.3GHz Intel Xenon CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB Raid 1 storage, 15 TB of bandwidth). Arvixe's high-end dedicated servers start at $719 (dual 2GHz Intel Xeon CPUs, 32GB of RAM, four 240GB SSDs, RAID 10 alignment).

HostMonster hosting packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, but Arvixe one-ups it with an impressive 60-day money back guarantee. Read HostMonster's terms of service for full details.

Setting Up a HostMonster Hosted Site
HostMonster gives you several tools for building a website, including Weebly, our Editors' Choice for Web-based site-builders. Weeby's drag-and-drop functionality let me quickly build an attractive page complete with slideshows, contact forms, social media links, and more.

Weebly's free version gives you basic Weebly functionality (you can create six pages and add custom HTML), but upgrading to the $8.95 per month Professional tier offers even more flexibility (custom themes, password protected pages, and more). Check out our Weebly review for a deeper dive into its offerings.

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