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Hosting Plans & Recommendations

  • Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links denoted by a red icon. This means that if you click on an affiliate link and eventually make a purchase on the linked site, MakeWebcomics.com will receive a commission.

At this point, you’ve decided that you want to go it alone, pay a little bit of money for server space, and build your own site using a self-hosted solution. It’s a great endeavour that will require a little more work, but the end result is you have complete control over your comic’s website and, ultimately, its presentation. There are generally four types of hosting plans you’ll encounter while you’re shopping around for hosting: WordPress Hosting, Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting, and Dedicated Server Hosting. Most of the webhosts that are listed here are ones @josedrojas and I have used personally and recommend.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Wordpress Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting plans are a relatively new type of hosting plan that does exactly what it sounds like. Your webhost automatically installs WordPress on a server optimized for its use, keeps it up-to-date, offers WordPres-specific support, and many other features. This plan is ideal for those who want the power of having their own WordPress installation without the hassle of maintaining the back-end side of it. One thing that did stand out to me that I found common in a lot of these WordPress hosts is that they don’t have traditional bandwidth limits, but they do limit you on the number of unique visitors to your site. If you go over that cap, you are charged overage fees, which can turn ugly real fast.

Managed WP Host Cost (1 year) Storage Monthly Visitor Limit Comments
Bluehost $300
$900
$1440+
30gb
60gb
120gb+
100m
300m
600m+
Free domain name the first year
Dreamhost $240 30gb “Unlimited”
GoDaddy $84
$108
$180
$300
10gb
15gb
30gb
50gb
25k
100k
400k
800k
Free domain name for the length of your initial purchase plan
Hostgator $156
$360
$984
“Unlimited” 100k
500k
1m
Media Temple $200
$600
$2400+
30gb
100gb
500gb+
400k
2m
10m+
Free domain name the first year (select plans)
WP Engine $290
$990
$2490+
10gb,
20gb,
30gb+
25k
100k
400k+
Haven’t used personally

Shared Hosting Plans

Shared Hosting

If you want a basic and cheap hosting plan, then your best bet is to go with a Shared Hosting Plan. It’s thusly named because you are sharing server space and bandwidth with a number of other of your webhost’s clients. Shared hosts like to tout that their plans carry unlimited storage and/or unlimited bandwidth, but you need to consider the fact that they tell you this under the assumption that you’re only buying their basic plan because you have a small site that won’t consume a lot of their resources. Any time you start getting a lot of traffic, using up a lot of space, or eating up all their bandwidth, they usually reserve — and commonly exercise — the right to throttle your website speed or outright shut down your website altogether, which could be terrible especially if there’s a link to your webcomic that’s going viral. Suddenly your site isn’t showing up, so people immediately lose interest. There’s no such thing as true “unlimited”; remember that.

You’ll notice that these plans are cheaper than the WordPress hosting plans. Personally, if you’re set on using WordPress, I would recommend these over the Managed WordPress hosting because you save a lot of money on top of the fact that installing and managing a WordPress site is quite easy if you’re willing to learn. In fact, all of the hosts mentioned on this list have what’s called a one-click install for WordPress, meaning you can go into the control panel and press a button, and they’ll set it up automatically on your site. In terms of maintenance and optimization — there are thousands of plugins out there that can accomplish that for you.

Shared Host Cost (1 year) Storage / Monthly Bandwidth Comments
Bluehost $72
$120
$240
100gb (Basic Plan)
“Unlimited” (other plans)
Free domain name the first year
Dreamhost $120 “Unlimited” Free domain name as long as you’re a customer (select TLDs)
GoDaddy $84
$108
$180
“Unlimited” Free domain name for the length of your initial purchase plan
Hostgator $108
$144
$204
“Unlimited”
Media Temple $200 100gb / 1000tb

Virtual Private Servers

Virtual Private Servers

Virtual Private Servers, or VPS hosting, is a higher-tier of webhosting and can come as either managed or unmanaged. You most likely want to go with managed, which generally means they provide the control panel for your server (unmanaged is for those who want to install their own). It’s called a VPS because it has many of the benefits of having a dedicated server, but at a much lower cost because it’s still technically on a shared hosting server. The difference is that you’re allotted a certain amount of resources, and it’s running on software that mimics the structure of a real dedicated server — hence, “virtual” server. I would definitely recommend this level once you start getting thousands of unique visitors per day. One of the advantages of VPS hosting as well is that you can specify the CPU power and the amount of RAM your server has, and as your site grows, you can scale these up to fit your individual needs (for a cost, of course).

Managed VPS Host Cost (1 year) Storage Monthly Bandwidth RAM Comments
Bluehost $360
$720
$1080+
30gb
60gb
120gb+
1tb
2tb
3tb+
2gb
4gb
6gb+
Free domain name the first year
Dreamhost $180
$360
$720+
30gb
60gb
120gb+
“Unlimited” 1gb
2gb
4gb
GoDaddy $360
$480
$600+
40gb
60gb
90gb+
1tb
2tb
3tb+
1gb
2gb
3gb+
Hostgator $480
$1080
$1560+
60gb
120gb
165gb+
1tb
1.5tb
2tb+
1gb
2gb
4gb
Media Temple $550
$1000
$1500+
30gb
50gb
100gb+
2tb
3tb
5tb+
2gb
4gb
8gb+
 The basic VPS plan is the one I am currently using. Would recommend it

Dedicated Servers

Dedicated Servers

The creme de la creme. The most expensive options you’ll find on the web: an entire physical server specifically for you. You’ll only really need this type of hosting for extremely high-traffic websites. I’m talking, like, tens to hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per day! Like VPS hosting you can of course scale the server’s specs up to your individual needs.

Managed Dedicated Host Cost (1 year) Storage Monthly Bandwidth RAM Comments
Bluehost $1788+ 1tb+ 5tb+ 4gb+ Free domain name the first year
Dreamhost $1788+ 1tb+ “Unlimited” 4gb+
GoDaddy $1560+ 512gb+ 5tb+  2gb+
Hostgator $2088+ 500gb+ 10tb+  4gb+
Media Temple $2500 1tb 10tb  128gb  That’s an ass-ton of RAM

Conclusion

If you’re just starting out, I would recommend going with a shared hosting plan. Once your webcomic starts growing you can always upgrade to a VPS or even a Dedicated server. Managed WordPress hosting is for those who want someone to take care of the technical stuff so you can focus on the creative stuff. Also, the webhosts listed here are all located in North America; you probably want to find one that’s located in or near your home country (until you get a content delivery network, or CDN, but that’s for another article). There are many many other webhosts out there, so do shop around and look for one that suits your specific needs.

Coupons

  • Dreamhost: Use the promo code MAKEWEBCOMICS15 on checkout and get $15 discount for the first year, $30 for two years
  • Media Temple: 20% off your first month of hosting if you make a purchase from this link


4 Comments

  1. Comment Hidden
    Miri Soji 1 year ago

    Why is approval needed to join this site?

  2. Comment Hidden
    Rigo 2 years ago

    Check out Digital Pacific. It is Australian tho.

  3. Comment Hidden
    Mark 2 years ago

    Bluehost… nothing but headaches… stay away!

    0 0