Free Web Hosting
Why Might It Be A Bad Idea
by Calin Indre
When talking about free anything the legitimate question that first pops into your mind is why pay when you can get it free?
And as for free web hosting there are plenty of places to get it from.
As spread as they are, if you are not a stranger to the whole Internet experience, you might even have a web site hosted for free. Are you satisfied with your provider? Is it everything you wanted? Probably not. Anyway it is true that is comes with no cost and no other aggravations or are there any?
Free web hosting cost no money but what can you expect from one?
Your web site will be turned into an advertising machine that works for the free web host. Expect, banners, pop up windows, frames. They will all mess the look of your web site in terms of design and accessibility for your visitors that might be literally flooded with popups almost after every click-through.
You cant make advertising revenue of your web site, as most free web hosts dont allow it. This is not such a big issue when you are maintaining a personal web site, but the cutting-off advertising revenues can mean significant losses for a business. For this last case, only a paid web hosting solution might be the right answer.
Very little space for your web pages. With free web hosting provider offering 5 to 15 MB of disk space, your sites expansion will severely restricted. Growing your web site above the offered quota would result in transferring to a paid plan offered by the same hosting provider or finding a different paid web-hosting provider. In both cases you end paying for your hosting and you might loose traffic to your web site due to changing hosts.
No online store can go without secure server to enable secure online credit card processing. The great majority of free hosts dont support secure web servers. Customers fearing fraud and concerned about their personal information will make it impossible, at least very hard for an online store to survive on a free host. And anyway, have you ever heard of a successful online store hosted by a free web host? None will hear from yours either.
The uptime of your web site will be like the weather forecast. Hope for good, but prepare for the worse. Downtime through free web hosts is unfortunately very common. As web hosts generate their revenues from advertising, they dont feel very much compelled to care for the web site of a subscriber who doesnt pay them anyway.
To whom will you turn when experiencing the abovementioned downtime or other technical problem with your web site? Free web hosts usually have a limited budget and dont afford to hire large customer support teams, if any. You will find yourself alone, staring at the FAQ page.
Your domain name will be measured in feet and will tell nothing or very little of your business. This obviously results in low traffic scores, as your visitors wont be able to remember your URL. Can you rely only on search engines, linked sites and people bookmarking your web site? If yes, at least consider the fact that in the age when companies try to create a personalized image, your web site will be condemned to be just another subdomain of your free host.
Will your customers trust a business hosted by a free web host? What credibility will your web site inspire? Not a very high one.
The above list is really rather long, but as surprisingly as it might be, it is far from being complete. Other additions to it could be that free web hosts not always offer FTP access to your web site file, or you only have one e-mail address to work with and probably looks like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, paid web hosting requires money, but the prices are lower than they used to be, and the advantages are rather impressive. Just turn all the above you cant or you have to do without list around.
You are searching for a solution to host your business or even a professional personal web site, dont look for it at a free web host.
About The Author
Calin Indre is editor at HostPinPin (http://www.hostpinpin.com), a Cheap Web Hosting Directory. HostPinPin.com is a resource for webmasters and consumers looking to find a web hosting company. Providing web hosting articles, tips, web hosting reviews, compare web hosting plans and more. This article may be reprinted or published without the authors consent as long as the About and weblinks are kept intact.