Whether you’re looking to create a personal website about yourself or a site focused on your business, you need to have web hosting in place so people can access it. Many people who are just getting started find that some companies offer free hosting and are tempted to save some money by going that route. While free hosting can be a good idea in some extremely rare circumstances, it’s usually a mistake. In this article, you’ll read about why free web hosting isn’t the best option and how you can find great quality hosting solutions without breaking your budget. In addition, you’ll get answers to common questions, such as:

  • Why do hosting companies offer free hosting?
  • What problems do people experience with free hosting?
  • What should you look for when choosing a hosting company?
  • How can you find the best free hosting if it’s necessary?

Free Hosting

Why Do Web Hosts Use Free Hosting to Lure You In?

You may wonder why a hosting company would offer free hosting to begin with. How are they making money with this? Well, there are two ways that companies that offer free hosting are benefiting. First, web hosting companies know that their customers are usually dissatisfied with the free services that they offer. When a customer does decide that they want to get improved hosting solutions, they’ll likely upgrade to a paid account with that company. So, from this perspective, the company looks at the expenses related to providing free hosting as part of its marketing costs.

The other reason many places offer free hosting is that they can make money from these accounts. Most free hosting providers insert advertisements onto your website. Any time someone visits your page, they’ll be earning a small amount of money, which they keep. Some hosting companies even insert affiliate links onto these pages so that they can earn even more.

How Hosting Companies Offer Free Services

In addition to the two ways mentioned above that companies are using to make money off of free customers, they also keep their costs extremely low so they can give the hosting away. When you sign up for a free hosting account, you can expect to experience some or all of the following issues:

  • Very slow speeds: Hosting companies use old hardware that’s out of date and doesn’t provide fast response times. They also oversell their free servers so that there are too many sites on each server, which slows things down.
  • Poor customer service: In almost all cases, customers on free hosting accounts aren’t able to get the same customer service that’s typically available for paid hosting customers.
  • Severe feature limits: You won’t be able to make modifications to the server on a free hosting account.
  • Frequent downtime: Downtime is quite common on free hosting accounts and they don’t come with any type of uptime guarantee.
  • No stability: In addition to being unstable due to the outages, many companies that offer free hosting either go out of business or stop offering this service. When that happens, your site will go offline and all your files will be lost.

What Should You Look for in a Web Hosting Provider?

Whenever shopping around for web hosting for your site, find the right balance between high-quality features and a price you can afford. For example, you don’t want to sign up for a dedicated hosting server if you’re only offering a personal blog since you would be wasting lots of money each month.

Shared Hosting
Source: Bluehost

If you don’t have a lot of experience with web hosting, it may be difficult to find that balance. In general, most sites that are for individuals and small businesses ― especially local small businesses ― want to look for a good, shared hosting account. Midsized businesses, or those running sites with a fairly high amount of traffic, should choose the best virtual private server (VPS) they can find. Only the largest sites or those with major system requirements require dedicated servers. As long as you opt to do business with a reputable hosting company, you can always upgrade from one type of hosting to another without any downtime.

What to Do If You Must Start With a Free Web Hosting Provider

While rare, there are certain times when you’ll want to go with a free hosting account. For example, if you’re just practicing your web design skills, a free hosting solution may allow you to do that without spending money. In addition, if you have absolutely no budget available, a free hosting account may be better than nothing. Make sure you think everything through before you decide to push forward with free hosting.

Tips to Find the Best Free Web Hosting

If you choose free web hosting, make sure you get the best one available. The following are some simple tips that you can use to make sure that you get the best free hosting around. Keep in mind that even the best free hosting isn’t going to be nearly as good as even an entry-level inexpensive hosting package.

  • How long has the company been in business?: How old is the company providing the free hosting? You want to work with a well-established company to reduce the risk of them disappearing.
  • Advertisements: Make sure you know exactly what types of ads they’ll be putting on your site. Some free hosting companies put ads that are either unsafe ― due to viruses or malware ― or even “adult” in nature. The last thing you want for your family blog is to see an advertisement for an inappropriate product or service.
  • Reviews: It’s always a good idea to read professional web hosting reviews to see what type of reputation they have.

When To Switch To Paid Hosting

Another thing to think about if you decide to go with free web hosting is when you should upgrade to a paid hosting package. If you want your site to grow and become popular, you’ll eventually need to upgrade and find the best hosting for your situation. Planning how and when to move to a higher-quality option now helps ensure you’re ready when the time comes.

Exceptional Web Hosting Doesn’t Have to Break Your Budget

Everyone loves getting something for free, so it’s no surprise that so many people are attracted to the offer of free web hosting. While few people would expect free hosting to be of the highest quality, most people don’t realize that you can get good hosting for a few dollars per month. There is a huge difference in quality between free hosting and inexpensive entry-level shared hosting packages. With some research, you can find the best cheap web hosting available so that you can have a great hosting experience.

Single Shared Hosting
Source: Hostinger

Take Your Web Hosting Planning Seriously

While it may be tempting to jump right into free web hosting since you may think like you have nothing to lose, that isn’t the case. The amount of time and frustration that you’ll endure dealing with the free hosting cannot be discounted. In addition, as your site grows, you’ll undoubtedly have to upgrade to a paid hosting solution at some point, which can be problematic.

You want to think hard about what type of hosting you need now and in the future. Whether you decide to move forward with free hosting or opt for something of higher quality, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

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