There is no shortage of free web hosting options available on the internet. While free website hosting can be very useful if you are simply putting together a personal website for viewing by friends and family, it is usually best to choose a commercial, paid web hosting company for your business needs. Free web hosting has pros and cons and you will want to carefully consider each one before deciding whether to utilize this option for your website building needs.
Advantages of free web hosting
The most obvious advantage of free web hosting is that it is available at no cost, to virtually anyone with access to a computer. There are a few other advantages that may compel an individual or group to choose a free web hosting service rather than purchasing web space.
Sharing websites and other resources free web hosting is a very easy way for a group of people sharing common interests, perhaps members of an email list or hobby organization, to compile resources in one place without having to coordinate the financial backing and management of purchasing commercial web hosting.
Educational purposes: for those who just want to experiment with website design or basic HTML, free web hosting can be a perfect classroom. In addition, there are some free websites which allow the user to experiment with servers such as UNIX and Linux, offering a virtual playground for those interested in learning those systems.
Personal and family websites: for those who are not web programming savvy and want a simple way to update family and friends without the bother and expense of maintaining a paid hosting account, free web hosting can be the perfect solution. Such services typically have free templates into which the user can easily enter text and upload images, making it a breeze for anyone to throw together a basic website.
Non-profits: many non-profit organizations have very limited funds, making even a few dollars per month for paid web hosting an expenditure of precious resources that they would rather save for other uses. Free websites allow these organizations to advertise their cause, collect donations, and update their volunteers and other interested parties on their activities.
Disadvantages of free web hosting
Advertising: the main disadvantage of free web hosting is that these websites are usually supported by way of advertising. This means that you will be required to allow advertising banners to be placed on your website, and you typically cannot control the content or type of advertising which will be displayed.
Privacy issues and support: free web hosting also means that your personal information such as email address may be sold to other companies, which can result in unwanted spam emails. In addition, if you are using free web hosting to host your commercial or retail website, you may be charged extra fees for offering services such as credit card processing. There is also normally very little tech support available should you need help with your website. There is sometimes email support available, but rarely phone support.
Taking these factors of free web hosting into consideration should help you decide whether or not it is the right choice for your website hosting.
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