Beginners to the online world will be enthusiastic to hear that there are free web hosting providers available to them. These beginners then rate and compare those free web hosting providers. Typically they will choose the provider offering the largest quantity of disk space and bandwidth. To many people, one would think that free web hosting providers are a dream come true for newcomers to the online world, but is this really true? Below we will outline the pros of free web hosting, but also the cons.
The great thing about free web hosting is that you are able to get your new website of the ground without it costing you a cent. You are free to learn how to use FTP, uploading files, using an online file manager, etc. Also after registration your free web hosting account is ready to use. However, free web hosting has several large drawbacks.
The largest drawback of free web hosting would be advertising. These free web hosting providers need money to stay in business, and they earn the money required to run the hosting service is by putting their own banners on your website. Some free web hosting providers will require you to place a large banner on your website, others may only require a text link. Whatever it is they require, if you don't comply with this request your free web hosting account will most likely be closed.
The next disadvantage is the small bandwidth offered and the typically low reliability of free servers. On average, you will get at most 1 or 2 GB monthly bandwidth, which is only sufficient for small personal website. Also free web hosting providers place your website on a server with thousands of other websites, this results in a webserver that is running at an incredibly high load which is prone to failing. As a result of this, your websites may have more downtime serve your pages very slow compared to paid web hosting. It does not matter if your website is for personal use, or for busniness use, your visitors will not appreciate a site that is slow, or down on a regular basis.
When it comes to drawbacks, free web hosting has plenty, here is another, free web hosting also offers fewer features. It is not uncommon that you do not have access to email accounts, autoresponders, PHP support, database support such as MySQL, or any other advanced web hosting features. These features are typical of what is offered with paid hosting, but not for free web hosting.
The final drawback can be the unavailability of a domain name. Typically when you apply for free web hosting you will get a subdomain, or a directory off the free web host's own URL. Free web hosting providers generally don't offer domain hosting, so you won't ever get to use the domain name you want until you move to paid web hosting.
In summary, free web hosting in the beginning may sound promising, it cannot be compared with the services offered with paid web hosting. Forced advertising, low bandwidth, poor server reliability, and the lack of a domain name of your own are just some of the drawbacks of free web hosting. While free web hosting may be useful to those new to web hosting to learn the ropes of FTP or uploading files, it should be avoided. In short, free web hosting should not be used for any serious website, be it personal or business.
Article Written By David J. Smith, owner and operator of Webhost-Advisor.com