Sorry for another "Wealthy Affiliate is so valuable" type of post, but I just happened to be comparing some hosting packages and found out a few things that I thought were interesting.
Hostgator recently raised their rates, and an "unlimited" baby plan (shared hosting) now costs $10 per month, even if you sign up for a 1-year contract. A month to month plan will cost the same, which works out to $120 per year. You have to lock in at least 2 years for any kind of discount.
What they don't tell you is that "unlimited" means data...not space. You are limited to the number of files (inodes) you can store on your portion of the server, so if you have several websites or one large website, you can definitely hit that limit.
Blue Host offers $7 per month hosting, but that's only for the first year. After that, they charge you $12 per month, and you're locked into a year contract. That's $144 per year.
So let's say that averages out to about $130 per year. If you were not a Wealthy Affiliate member and decided to purchase a "How to Make Money Online" product, it'll cost between $5 and $297 dollars, but most of the OK ones average out to about $47 (no support included).
Web Synthesis, which is quite a bit more advanced and reliable than basic shared hosting, is $47/month. It's Wordpress optimized, highly secure, and fast. However, you are limited to one website at that cost. For more websites, you'll pay $97/month.
Sooooooo, with basic hosting, a free WP theme, and a make money guide, 1 year of business operation could cost you about $180 at the very bare-bones minimum.
Sure, that's cheaper than the $359 cost of a Yearly membership in Wealthy Affiliate...but is it the right business plan for you?
Consider that your $359 also comes with 12 months of support on how to make money with your website, including weekly webinars, live chat, and hundreds of members that answer your questions within minutes of asking them.
Cost and value are not the same thing. Let's reevaluate what the value of the membership is. You can pay $180/year to start a business by yourself...or you can pay $359 to start a business with step-by-step training and 1-on-1 support.
Follow my logic here: Considering that some kind of hosting for your business is a requirement, and free hosting at WA means you don't have to pay any outside hosting fees, you are essentially paying $179 per year for the extra features inside Wealthy Affiliate. (359-180) That's 50 cents per day for professional, effective, online business training.
Some people are independent learners, and don't mind sifting through the thousands of advice blogs on how to make money online. For them, a cheaper option may be worth it. For anyone else that wants a bit of help and a proven way to make money, 50 cents per day is not very costly at all!
*Note: I left out the cost of the domain because that will cost the same regardless of where you host.