Mojang offers official no-fuss servers at $13/month or less.
Minecraft has a massive community with a huge market for server hosting. As an alternative to unofficial sources, Mojang is now offering worldwide official servers with Minecraft Realms. With a cost between $10-$13/month and 10 maximum players (20 whitelisted), there are more thrifty deals out there. This is a great option for players who want the easiest possible server experience.
- Simple! No need to configure anything
- Interfaces with Minecraft directly
- Performs regular world backups
- Peace of mind using an official server
- Only 10 players can play at one time, and only 20 can be invited/"on the list"
- You can't scale the server cost/size based on your use
- The price is relatively high compared to the maximum players
- At the moment, it doesn't allow for modding or texture packs
Realms' current* prices as of writing, with discounts already applied:
Monthly Charge, 1 Month: $10.40/month
One-Time Charge, 1 Month: $13.00/month
One-Time Charge, 3 Months: $11.67/month
One-Time Charge, 6 Months: $10.34/month
* Mojang notes that Realms are still in-progress, and they "may have to change these prices later on."
Overall, a very helpful offering that will undoubtedly find a grateful audience.
Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey