If you have been considering a free web hosting service for your website needs, you may want to think twice and prepare yourself to deal with pop-ups, pop-unders, third-party banner advertisements and other annoying elements. You also have to keep in mind that common features such as PHP programming, MySQL databases, CGI scripts and FTP access may not be available.
You can embark upon a mission to look for a quality free web hosting service with no advertisements and useful features, but you will likely return disappointed once your search has concluded. While you can never really expect any guarantees when it comes to free hosting, knowing what to expect will better assure that you do not end up with a terrible service.
Understand How Free Hosting Works
There are more than enough free web hosting providers to go around. Unfortunately, most of them force you to place advertisements on your site or only provide you with the free service for a limited time. Some do set you up with a quality service in exchange for carrying banners while others leave you to run your site on slow and insufficient servers. In some cases, these servers fail to respond at all, leaving you with a website that is essentially useless. So, if the service is impractical, how do free hosting companies make enough money to survive?
More and more, we are seeing free web hosts keeping themselves afloat by persuading their customers to sign up for paid hosting plans. If they can provide a good service, this actually turns out to be a fair deal. Premium hosting services are very affordable these days so purchasing service with a company you trust could prove to be worth your while. The major downside is that even when upgrading to a paid service, your package could still end up lacking features that are commonly found on the professional hosting market. For example, you just might have to pay extra for items such as FrontPage extensions and FTP support. So even when you purchase service from a free web host, you still have to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
Secure Your Web Presence
Should you find yourself in a situation where you must rely on a free web hosting service because of financial restrictions, there are a few things you can do to protect your website and identity. First, you can register yourself a domain name with a reputable company such as GoDaddy or Yahoo. Domain names are pretty cheap these days and only cost about $10 to $12 per year. Before registering the name, look out for domain features such as a control panel and URL forwarding. This will provide you with the ability to redirect your domain and change the destination to where ever you prefer. So if your free web host folds and goes out of business or things simply are not working out, you can point the name somewhere else and move your website right along with it.