How To Get The Most Out Of A Free Web Host
If you are designing your first website, one of the things that you will learn about is hosting. A web host stores all of your web files, and they make sure that your web pages are served up properly when visitors land on your website. Most hosting services cost a fee. However, there are services that are free. Find out if a free host is a viable option for you by reading the information in this article.
Because the hosting service is free, support to free accounts can be limited. Free hosts usually have paid clients as well, and priority in support is usually given to paid clients first. If you can live with limited support, and you think you can get by by just reading the help files, then you can consider free hosting.
Many free hosts only offer you the option to have a sub-domain. If you are not running a website for a business, but just one for personal use, a sub-domain may be sufficient. Your own domain is necessary if you want some kind of rank from search engines. So, even if you start with a sub-domain, down the road, you may want your own domain.
A free host will only give you limited disk space and bandwidth. Most server resources will be devoted to paid clients. If your website is simple and straightforward, with not a lot of images, video streaming, or features that require a lot of resources, you can try using a free host. Because of the limitations, a free host will not be able to accommodate your website if your website expands and your disk usage or bandwidth requirements increase. This is actually why some hosts offer free accounts. When a web site outgrows a free account, the web host gives the web site owner to option to upgrade to a paid account. This is usually a seamless upgrades. Most web site owners will just go ahead and convert because it will not disrupt their website performance. So, offer free accounts is a good marketing approach to get clients.
The downtime of a free web host may be more frequent than the norm. Again, this is due to priority of resources given to the paid accounts. Server maintenance requires the server to be taken offline. This may not be done as quickly as maintenance for paid accounts, because less staff time is spent on free accounts. Just keep that in mind if you go the free route.
A free account will not have a lot of features that you can add on. It is also much less secure. If you are not going to do anything that needs information encrypted, this will not be an issue for you.
As you can see, a free host is a viable option only if you can live with the many limitations and restrictions. Free hosting is good for a small, personal website, and you can get the most out of it if you keep this in mind. However, if you want something more robust, consider going with a paid account.