If you are contemplating between free web hosting and paid one, you really need to read this piece. One of the most popular free stuffs on the World Wide Web is free hosting and there are many service providers involved in this business. However, before you sign up for a free hosting service, there are several factors you need to consider and this will go a long way in determining the suitability or otherwise of the service.
There are two types of free web hosting – free domain/free hosting and paid domain/free hosting. I will break down the two for you so that you will be able to take the best decision on the one that suits your need. The first type is free domain/free hosting, which means that you won’t pay for domain name registration as well as hosting. If you go for this option, you will get a sub-domain, e.g. yourbusiness.freehost.com instead of a top-level domain (TLD), e.g. yourbusiness.com. In addition, you can’t get customized email addresses and there is going to be a limit to how you can design the site. Adverts will also be placed on the site, according to the discretion of the provider of the free service, because the provider needs to make money in order to be able to provide the service without charging you.
The other type is paid domain/free hosting and if you go for this option, you will have to register a domain name and then look for a free hosting. The registration of a name will give you 100% ownership of it and you will have a full access to its domain name system (DNS). You will also be able to choose a web host of your choice and change it at any point in time. Getting a free hosting is as easy as ABC but there are restrictions associated with it. The bandwidth, file storage space, plug-ins, etc. that will be given to you will be incomparable to paid hosting. Also, you will not be given any customized email (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), which may not be ideal for the image of your business because you will be left with no other option than free email services (e.g. Gmail and Yahoo).
It is also important for you to be wary of free hosting providers. You should investigate their sources income that will enable them to continue to provide the service. I have seen many free hosting providers closed down and many businesses on their platforms suffered big losses. As a result of this, it is very important for you to investigate the sustainability of the free service you are getting and one of the best ways of doing this is to know the sources of income of your provider. A lot of them get their income from adverts, paid service and so on. If you are unable to discover any source of income of a provider, it is better for you to look elsewhere.
If you are just starting out online and you don’t have much money with you, I will advise you to stay away from free domain/free hosting because of long-term implications. The other option, paid domain/free hosting, is better and you can migrate to the paid service as the need arises. It is also very essential for you to back-up your files to a local storage device at all times. This will ensure that your files are intact even if your host (free or paid) is having any problem. It will also make it easier for you to change from one host to another which may be necessary at any time.
The best option I advise my clients is to register a domain name and get a reliable, paid web hosting service in order to get access to all the functionalities of building a profitable website. The cost implication is not high and the reward is incomparable. But if you can’t afford paid hosting for now, it is not a bad idea to choose a reliable free service in order to launch your online presence without hassles. However, you should take all the necessary precautions in order to be on a safer side.
$1/ mo Hosting + Free domain! Stick it to the doubters! Put your big idea online!