The main take-away from my ode to affordable hosting above is this: You can get quality, well-supported, highly performant hosting for a reasonable price. The best hosts on the market have designed their plans to strike the balance between features and cost. For further research, check out the top hosting services overall — featuring the best, most affordable providers and the services they specialize in. I wish you luck in your virtual window shopping!
The next level up is the Plus plan. This starts at $6.95/month and comes with the ability to set up ten websites. You have 150GB of disk space with this plan. Again, you get unmetered bandwidth and one primary domain. You can park 20 domains with this plan, and host up to 50 sub-domains. Email functionality is greatly increased. You now have access to 100 accounts with 500MB of storage per account. This plan also includes "marketing offers" worth about $150 and spam prevention.
You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.