Costs: Email only $24.95 a month; Economy site $34.95 a month
Pros: Microsoft support; high storage limits.
Cons: Expensive if you only want a simple consumer option
Aussie HQ focuses its tools on small business users, and supports Microsoft’s Web application technologies (most cheapest options tend to be Linux-based). Its storage limits are generous 500M for email plans and sites, and 5G a month of data transfer. The email service is limited to 30 unique user names, while the hosting option has no limits on email users. Domain prices are fairly standard ($19 a year for .com; $50 for two years for .com.au)
Rating: 3.5/5 – Solid choice for small business users.
Costs: Email only $35 a year; Economy site $49.95 a year
Pros: Bargain pricing; high traffic limits
Cons: Small storage
At $35 a year for an email only-service, Hostess is the second-cheapest service on offer in this roundup. For your money, you can have up to 50 accounts, each with up to 100M of storage. The added site option only has 100M of hosting, but supports 5G a month of traffic. For $10 extra a year, you can access the SiteXpress range of design tools and templates. Domain names are also bargain priced, with a two-year .com.au domain costing $25, and .com costing $19.95 for the same period.
Rating: 4.5/5 – Hard-to-beat pricing makes this a sensible choice for beginning hosting seekers.
Costs: Bronze site $125 per year
Pros: Generous data allowances.
Cons: No email only plan.
Hosting Shop doesn’t offer an email-only package, but its entry-level plan includes a large 1G of storage space and 10G in data transfers. You also get 20 email accounts and a free.com domain name when you sign up (.com.au costs $66 for two years). This package is probably overkill for individuals, but if you had a data-heavy site for business, it would be worth considering.
Rating: 4/5 – Good if you need lots of hosting space.
Costs: Email only $36 a year; Personal site $60 a year
Pros: Bargain price; cheap domain names
Cons: Limited space
SmartHost’s email-only bundle is one of the less expensive options here at $36 a year; you can set up as may names as you like, but the storage limit is a fairly small 50M. Hosting a site gets you 500M of storage and 10G a month of data transfer, though you don’t have the option of a .com.au domain on the personal plan (SmartHosts specialises in less common domain names like .ws and .tv at discounted prices).
Rating: 4/5 – A reasonable entry-level choice.
Costs: Email only $29 a month; Economy site $39.95 per month
Pros: High transfer and mailbox levels.
Web Central’s main market is business users, and that’s reflected in its pricing. Its Business Mail 30 option gives you 30 names and only 400M of incoming mail, but does let you run a mailing list, an uncommon feature in this end of the market. Its hosting plan includes 200M of storage and 10G a month of transfers, with unlimited email accounts. Registering a .com.au domain will cost you $65 for two years; .com domains are $25 for one year.
Rating: 3/5 – Good for business, pricey for individuals.
Costs: Email only $33; Personal site $12 or $9 a month
Pros: Cheap email with high storage limit
Cons: Need to choose hosting location
WebHostsAustralia adopts an unusual approach in its pricing; if you agree to have your site or email hosted in the US, you’ll get a higher download limit (since US bandwidth is cheaper), but may find those services slightly slower to access within Australia. On the email plan, you can get 1G of storage (the highest in this roundup) and 2G of transfer for an Australia-based site; both figures are doubled with the US option. For best hosting, you can pay $9 a month for a US-hosted site or $12 a month for an Australian one. A free .com domain is thrown in for good measure with the package. In practice, you probably won’t notice much difference with a US-hosted site, given the speed of the Australian-US Net connection.
Rating: 4/5 – Good deal for email or US-centric sites.
Costs: Bronze site $99.50 a year
Pros: Large online storage
Cons: No email only option
WebIdentity has a generous online storage allocation for its sites (1G), but a fairly low data transfer limit (3G) and just 15 email accounts per account. However, WebIdentity’s domain prices are the highest in the review ($90 for a two-year .com.au domain,$45 a year for .com.
Rating: 2.5/5 – A good choice for business.