Web Hosting Basics For Beginners
If you are running a website for the first time, you have probably found out that there is much to be learned. Not only do you need to know how to design a website, but you have to know something about what happens at the back-end, namely, at the web server side of it. Your website visitors do not see this side, but it is the life line to your website. All of your web files are stored on the web server, and your web host is in charge of them. Hosting your files require resources, and web hosts typically will charge you a hosting fee. However, there are free web hosting services out there. You just have to know what you are getting. If you have not yet selected a web host, and you want to try a free service, here are some guidelines for you to follow.
Keep in mind that because the hosting is free, you will not get as many features as you may like. One of the things is your own domain name. Some free hosts will only allow you to create a sub-domain to their company’s domain. They will not support the use of your own dot-com address. If are running a website just for personal use, this may not be such a big deal. However, if you are running a business website, using a sub-domain of another company will not make your business look credible. So, ask your free host if they allow you to use your own domain.
Look at the list of features and services that they offer. They should offer an adequate amount of server space and bandwidth for a basic, no-frills website. They should provide a way for you to easily upload and download files. They should offer a backup of your files daily. Customer support may be minimal, but there should be a way to report a problem ticket.
One of the problems with using a free hosting service is that so many people want a free account. That means you will be sharing server resources with a ton of other websites. That can slow down the performance of the server. Imagine hundreds of websites on the same server being accessed at the same time. That can slow down your page load and make your website cumbersome to use.
See what kinds of web building tools they offer. Do they have a web authoring tool? Do they provide email management? Do they provide form scripts? Think about what your website needs and find out if your free host can fill those needs.
A lot of times, a host will offer a free account only if the account holder is willing to allow advertising on his website. You have no control over what kind of advertising will be displayed. So, if you free host has this requirement, think carefully about it.
These guidelines will help you select a reliable free host. Just do not set your expectations too high, and read the fine print so you will not be surprised.