So, you want to create a website, stake out your territory on the Internet and contribute. You bought website building software, maybe even purchased a domain name. Now you have to shell out more money just to host your website?
There are several companies that offer website hosting for no charge. You do need to be careful, though. The old adage, “You get what you pay for” often applies. Often, but not always.
At first look, this type of hosting seems like a promising deal: free support for your website, letting you effectively earn money and conduct business without any hosting costs involved. However, take a look at the implications, advantages, and disadvantages of using this type of web hosting.
Free web host providers are generally supported by ads: banner ads, pop-up ads, text link ads, top/bottom ads, frame ads, are all standard fare of free web hosting websites. You need to decide whether or not it is worth it to have ads promoting your hosting company on your website. Will visitors to your website tolerate these ads, or will they decide to move on?
The answer really lies in how you intend to use your website. Do you want to sell something on your website, promote a hobby, or what?
Free Web Hosting for Businesses
If you want a business website, one designed to appeal to clients and attract customers, you probably would not want these ads spoiling not only your business image, but effectively driving clients, disgusted by the pop-up spam, away. After all, there are plenty of other websites your visitors can go to.
Even if you use your website to display a hobby or a personal blog, these ads can occasionally get on your nerves. Are the few dollars a month that you save worth the frustration and irritation of incessant advertising appearing on your website?
Can You Trust Your Web Host?
Reliability and uptime are keywords in the web hosting industry, of which most free web hosts tend to lack both. Free web hosts usually lack a dedicated customer service. This means that your website might just disappear in the middle of the night and it can take up to weeks for it to get back online.
This also means a loss of visitors, traffic, and some of your regular visitors may think your website has been shut down. The consequences for a website, especially a business website, are unthinkable.
Where Can You Get Free Web Hosting?
Does this mean there is no role for free web hosting for a proper, serious website and budding website owner? A quick Google search will easily turn up hundreds of free web hosting providers. How do you choose the best free web host?
Consider these questions:
1.) Does the web host make you display their ads? If so, how many ads will be run on your website?
2.) How much space do they give you? This can range anywhere from between 50MB to 700MB. The more space, the better.
3.) Does the hosting company offer anything besides hosting services? Again, this will depend on what you want to do with your website. For instance, the hosting company might offer a free website builder or a forum for people who use that hosting company, which could save you a lot of time and money.
There are web hosting options that do not require you to put up with unwanted ads, small website space, or extra fees. Decide what you want to do with your website, then shop carefully for a web hosting company that offers what you need and stands behind their services.