Is Free Web Hosting Really Free?

If you wish to operate a website, it is important to know all the hosting options that are available.  Web hosting comes in a many different flavors but the first thing that needs to determined is if you want to pay for service or sign up with a free host.  Yes, you can have your very own website without paying a dime for the service.  Free hosts are abundant but is the service really free?  Depending on you view it, free hosting could actually be very costly.

The Cost You Pay

With free hosting, you are generally required to give up something in exchange.  Most free hosting providers will automatically place advertisements at the top or bottom of your web pages in exchange for their service.  Even worse, some use annoying pop-ups rather banners, scaring away visitors and making your site look very unprofessional.  Aside from advertisements that have nothing to do with your personal vision, you typically have to sacrifice customer support and the accessibility of your website.  Besides, you’re not paying for service so the host does not owe you anything – not even reliable customer service or the promise that your site will be available on the web.

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The truth is that free web hosting is not all its cracked up to be, this is the main reason why so many people have no problem paying for a more reliable service.  The best way to sum up free hosting is the word limited.  There are limited features and control with decent support being pretty much out of the question.  Because the servers are not of the highest of quality, your site could run slow and experience an unreasonable amount of downtime.  If your intentions are to create a personal website, you may or may not be able to deal with such instances.  If you intend to run an online business, there is no way it can survive in this environment.

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Reliable Free Hosting

Overall, free web hosting is far less dependable than its paid counterpart.  However, there are actually a few hosts that offer decent service.  This isn’t to be confused with the reliability you tend to get with a paid hosting plan but compared to free hosting standards, it’s acceptable.  If you look hard enough, you can actually find a free web host that doesn’t force you to place advertisements on your web pages .  These companies usually set you up nicely with a small amount of storage space on the server, minimal bandwidth, and if you’re lucky, a simple control panel that allows you to play webmaster.  What they hope is that you will enjoy the free service and eventually upgrade to one of their paid hosting plans.  Several hosts have actually started out this way, offering a free service for a while and then earning enough revenue to move up full fledge paid hosting.  So if you are not ready to pay for a website, this would be much better situation as at least gives you a little more flexibility.

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If you really think about, free hosting really isn’t free.  Every provider has to pay for their servers, bandwidth and other associated resources.  What you are required to give up in exchange ultimately determines the price.  The good thing as that even though you’re not coming out of your pocket, you don’t necessarily have to be stuck with a crappy service.

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