Internet ventures are becoming increasingly popular as the allure of low start-up costs encourages many potential entrepreneurs.
Some that hope to decrease their initial capital requirements even further may take advantage of free web host services. These services are also used by individuals seeking an inexpensive and personalized page for self-promotion or social networking.
Over the last decade, free host services have substantially increased the number of features they offer. Users are typically offered a template driven site creator.
Advanced users can take advantage of text-based editors and FTP upload capabilities. There are a few areas, however, where free hosts fall drastically short.
- Total data transfer is almost always very limited on a free server – companies that transmit music, video or large data files will most certainly have issues.
- Free web hosts usually limit total bandwidth on their servers – for this reason, a company’s page can experience abnormally long load times. This is troublesome for customers, who expect a responsive and user-friendly experience.
Moreover, Google and other search engines use load times as one aspect of their page rankings. A slow loading page may not receive a large amount of traffic from these search engines.
- Free servers rarely have a CMS installed– even the most novice of web developers will find themselves missing the benefits of one. Content management systems are quickly becoming the preferred method for developing and maintaining a website.
Free servers are infamous for having long periods of down time. These companies may even include a clause in their terms of service that exempts them from any liability for long periods where customers and administrators have no access to the site.
This is especially troubling when it comes to SEO and your blog traffic.
Much like page load times, search engines look very carefully at down times.
A website that is constantly unavailable will not rank very high in search engine result pages.
3. Customer support
Most free host services offer some sort of customers support. This support, however, usually takes place over a ticket system or through email.
A business owner experiencing trouble with their website may have to wait for days before resolving an issue. Organizations with events or important announcement can be equally inconvenienced.
Modern web users are increasingly savvy. They are also very cynical of possible frauds.
That means, it’s important to have a web address or domain, that reflects the organization or individual operating it.
The most notable difference between free and paid webhosting is the domain name.
Customers are not able to have their own domain name – www.yoursite.com for example – without paying for the registration.
Even once a domain name is acquired (I preffer GoDaddy), many free hosts don’t offer hosting except on a sub-domain of their website – typically yoursite.freewebhost.com.
Regardless of the distinctions, some users continue to find it prudent to use free web hosts.
Many of these customers may not realize that web-hosting costs have decreased dramatically. Because of the vast difference in service, paid web hosting services are certainly worth the typically minor fee.
What is your web hosting option – paid or free one?
Share your experiences and suggestions and don’t forget to leave a comment below.