In today’s context, if you don’t have a presence on the web, you’re likely to be thought of as ancient and out of touch with reality. Every business, small or big, has their own web page where they provide information about their services and products and using which their customers can reach out to them. Most individuals have their own space online, either by means of their social networking page or through their own blog page. So if you’re not online, it’s like you don’t exist. Getting on the Internet is not that big a deal – there are various hosting providers who allow you to set up your site without charging you for the privilege, but before you jump on this bandwagon, you need to know if free web hosting really works for you. It is viable only if:
You’re ok with the ads: Free web hosts make their money using the ads they place on your site. They’re sometimes irritating to your visitors, especially if they’re in the form of annoying pop-ups that jump up every time they open or close a page. Other ads may be in the form of banners or frames, so unless the sponsored links are unobtrusive, there’s no use of signing up with a free provider.
You don’t plan to expand: Free web hosts give you limited storage, which is ok if you’re starting out. But if your site picks up and needs to expand, you’re going to have to move to a paid host who offers more storage space and more email ids. Some hosts also limit the size of files that you’re allowed to upload, so if you have large pictures or other graphical images and videos, you may find yourself unable to put them up.
You don’t require speed: When your site is hosted by a free web host, it’s usually one among thousands on the same server. So it is slow to load, especially during peak traffic hours when most other sites on the same server are also being accessed. This could cause your readers to see a link that the site is unavailable at the moment, and if they’re not particularly looking for your site, they move on to the next one on their search list. Free hosting is ok if you’re not expecting too many visitors, but then again, if you’re not looking to attract traffic to your site, what’s the use of being online in the first place?
You don’t need too much bandwidth: If your site is heavy and takes time to load or if it has too many graphical images, you may find yourself being asked to pay for the use of your web server. Yes, you did sign up for a free web host, but there are some providers who charge if they find that you’re uploading and downloading more than the norm.
You don’t need FTP access: With a free web host, you’re only allowed to upload content using your service provider’s builder, so if you need access through email or via any browser of your choice, free is not the way to go.
Some people prefer to start out with a free host, and as their requirements grow, they migrate to one who must be paid. Changing hosts is a complicated task, especially because your site has to undergo downtime, so if your traffic is going to be adversely affected because of this, it’s best to go with a paid host right from the beginning. The choice of a web host must be made with care, because sticking to the same provider will pay off in the long run. Costs must be weighed against benefits, and adequate research must be done before you choose a web host that’s right for your needs.
This guest post is contributed by Barbara Williams, she writes on the topic of Computer Technician Schools . Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org .