LunarPages Starter Plan ($2.95/month). Worth The Money?

LunarPages Starter PlanLunarPages introduced a new plan known as the Starter Plan in July 2009, making the total of shared hosting plans to 3, i.e. Starter, Basic & Business. The plan is cheaply priced at only $2.95/month. While I have mentioned that the Business plan is overpriced and not required by most of us in my LunarPages review, what about the new Starter plan? Should one consider using it?

Monthly Pricing Starter Basic Hatchling*
12 Month $2.95 $8.95 $6.95
24 Month $2.95 $6.95 $5.95
36 Month - - $4.95
*Hatchling is a similar HostGator plan for comparison

If you compared the Starter plan with HostGator's Hatchling plan, you will notice that the Hatchling plan is indeed very expensive. HostGator is more like a premium hosting provider when you look at their pricing.

Features Starter Basic Hatchling*
Domains/Websites Allowed 1 Unlimited 1
Disk Space/Storage 5 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Data Transfer/Bandwidth 50 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Domain Name $19.95/year Free Free
MySQL Database 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Phone Support No Yes Yes

But if you look at the features, it tells a lot more. While there are "limits" to the disk space and bandwidth, I would say that 5GB and 50GB is really more than enough for 90% of us. But the real limitation is the domains allowed per account! This is a traditional 1 domain per account hosting which means you can't host more than 1 website with it! I will never recommend anyone to pick this kind of account anymore because this is something in the past. In "modern" hosting, we should always pick a multiple domain hosting account (with at least 5 websites per account if it is not unlimited).

What is even worst is the number of MySQL databases included! There is only 1! That would means all free scripts listed under "Free Web Scripts" such as WordPress, b2Evolution, SMF Forum, Joomla, Drupal, etc are simply bullshit because you can only install one of them! The installer of the Fantastico scripts library won't work with just 1 MySQL database. UNLESS you know how to install them manually so all of them shared the same database, you won't be able to install more than 1 script. But you will end up having a database so huge that it looks like an overloaded train in India.

LunarPages Starter Plan

LunarPages Starter Plan

It is ok not to have phone support because many international customers won't be calling in due to phone call charges and the language barrier. Since they are providing very good email support, it will be sufficient.

The domain name fee or $19.95/year is significantly overpriced! But that is not a big problem as well because you can simply register your domain name for less than $10 at GoDaddy. All you need to do is to change the DNS server setting at GoDaddy to point to LunarPages.

Conclusions

The pricing of $2.95 is very cheap. The "limited" bandwidth, "limited" disk space, pricey domain name and the lack of phone support is not a problem. The problem is that it allows only 1 website hosted. And the BIGGEST problem is it provides only 1 MySQL database! Unless these are upgraded, I won't be recommending them to you. So stick with their Basic Plan instead. Read my LunarPages review to learn more about it. Or you may want to learn more about BlueHost.