Downsides of Cheap Free Web Hosting
If you are looking
for a host for your website, you may be weighing
the options of paid hosting vs. free hosting
sites. You may be thinking that if you can get
the hosting services that you need for free, why
pay for it. The answer is clear, because you
will get exactly what you pay for and with free
hosting exactly what you are not paying for.
Depending on what type of site you have, the
consideration of whether to use a paid host or a
free host will make a big difference to you.
For instance, if
you have a business site that you want hosted,
you should not consider using a free host. The
reason being that if you are trying to portray
your business as successful but it is obvious
that your site is unprofessional because it
lacks the bells and whistles that paid hosts
offer, then how do you really expect to gain new
customers? On the other hand, if your site will
be used for personal reasons like sharing
information, photos etc. with family and
friends, then free hosting may be for you. You
wouldnt want to pay a host for hosting that
type of site.
If for some
strange reason you choose to use a free web host
for your site there are some downfalls to doing
this that you should be aware of. There are tons
of startup hosting providers that offer free
hosting because more and more people are using
the Internet, so they want to attract you to put
a site up and offer it free to make it easy for
you to do so.
The first downside
to accepting free hosting is the various
annoyances that you will experience with a free
host. For example, the main reason that free
hosting is offered is simple, advertising.
Companies pay the free host as sponsors to allow
them to put banner ads or annoying pop-up
ads on your site so that everyone who visits
your site will view their ads and maybe buy
their product or service. These ads can be quite
unseemly due to the nature of the ads and the
quality of them. They can be located anywhere on
your website or pop up at will. This will hardly
make a good impression on potential customers.
Free hosts offer
you a chance to put your website on the Internet
without having to pay for it. They dont do it
out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it
to make money, period. While giving you the
offer of using their service s for free, they
fail to tell you that you will be getting
limited space to use. They will also remove
you from their service if you should exceed the
use of the allotted space you have been given.
Ask your self how that will fit into your plan
to grow your business.
Ah, but all is not lost. A new breed of free
hosts is emerging, hosts that provide
bannerless ads and in some cases, more space
that most free hosts. In other words no more
banner ads on your free site and a little more
room so that you dont feel so closed in. Is
this progress or what? Absolutely not. This is
another downfall in the world of free hosting.
The way this little scheme works is that they
give you free hosting without ads on your site,
then run at an operating loss for about
6-months. Suddenly out of nowhere you are
contacted by them letting you know that because
they have no advertising ads and are running at
a loss, they now need to charge you a monthly
fee for your hosting services. They basically
used the 6-month period to draw in as many new
free host clients as possible hoping to build a
nice following who wouldnt leave them once they
started charging for their services. Nice plan
The biggest downfall with using free web hosts
is the lack of good support. What they offer by
way of support services is poor at best. They
also experience frequent down-times when no
one, not even you can access your site. This is
extremely bad for your potential customers and
could result in lost sales for your business. In
addition, the terms and conditions they set are
outrageous in some cases and are changed
whenever they feel like changing them, often
without notice to you. The single most
disturbing fact about free hosts is that they
actually consider anything you create and
publish on your site to be THEIR intellectual
property, not yours!
It is a fact that most free web hosts became a
factor on the web about 4-years ago, and the
fact of the matter is that most of them do not
stay in business longer that 1-year. Hows that
for stability? If you have a business site or a
mission critical site, can you really afford to
have it in constant jeopardy? These services are
saturated with flaws that can have a detrimental
effect on your website. So, it really gets down
to asking your self if it really is worth it
Lets recap the
downfalls of using a free web host vs. a paid
host to host your website. A few were not
discussed above but exist none the less.
Overload in advertising and banner/pop-up ads.
Frequent downtime without access to your site.
of support, dependability or reliability.
of limited space, then possible removal if you
overuse the space allotted.
of secure server access.
speed of their servers may be slower than those
of paid hosts.
Restrictions on file sizes and types allowed to
be uploaded to your free site.
Unremarkable or easily forgettable domain names
that are so long that they take your breath away
before you can even remember them.
You also need to
be aware of the so-called free hosts. There
are many of these free hosts that offer free
hosting but charge you a ridiculous amount of
money for a domain name for your site. Others
will try to lure with free hosting hoping to
convince you to upgrade your service and pay for
additional features. In essence, their service
is not free at all. Look for the hidden catches
in all offerings from so-called free web hosts.
The Final Decision
all the facts on free host providers vs. paid
host providers, it is easy to see that the
differences between them is significant, just as
the impact from using free host services can
have a very negative effect on your business.
Its a fact that
paid host providers offer more secure services,
which is what you are paying for. More
reliability, dependability and support comes
with a price and is simply not matched by any
free host provider. As you can see, in most
cases, a paid web host provides a significantly
better service than do free hosts. I f you are
convinced however that free hosting is right for
you, do a little homework first. Review free
host sites to see what type and how many ads are
places there. Fins any website review articles
that you can and read them carefully. Look up
free hosting sites on various free host
directories available in the Internet. The point
here is to look before you leap! After all,
the saying that you get what you pay for
really does hold true when considering the
services of a free web host.