If you’re getting a website set up and want to keep costs to a minimum then getting a web hosting service for free will be a good option. Many people rule out using free hosting solutions because they don’t offer everything that they will need from a host. However, for many others free hosting helps them to get their website up and running without using up your full marketing budget. There are probably many other things that you would prefer to use your money on, so free hosting will do the job.
In case you are not fully aware of the key differences between free web hosting and paid, here is a quick summary:
- Free hosting will usually have a lot of limitations in terms of storage, bandwidth and other key aspects whereas some paid services will offer unlimited or very large amounts of storage/bandwidth. This essentially means that you might run out of room at some point when you start developing content for your website or if you have large volumes of visitors then your website may not be able to cope. If you are not looking to put large amounts of content or have big numbers of visitors it shouldn’t affect your website.
- Another difference is that you don’t have the same control over how your website is used when you opt for free hosting. So your website may be used to display ads without you having a say in it, there are some free hosts that offer ad-free services though. If you are looking to use your own domain name, you will generally need to pay extra for this. Free hosting providers give you a domain name that effectively promotes their site for them e.g. www.hostname/yoursitename.
Okay so if you are happy that a free web hosting provider will be able to do everything that you need it to, let’s move onto which ones are the best out there:
FreeHosting – This company will provide a free hosting service that includes an online sitebuilder or you can upload a website that you have created in Dreamweaver or an alternative. FreeHosting offer ads-free hosting but there is a cost of $9.49 to set up your domain name. The free plan comes with 10GB of disk space and 250GB monthly transfer allowance.
AwardSpace – With significantly less disk space allowance compared to FreeHosting, you may find that AwardSpace’s 1GB runs out fairly quickly. Also 5G of traffic won’t do the job if you are getting a lot of monthly visitors. You are however, entititled to some (albeit limited) customer support, which is not an option with many other free hosting providers. AwardSpace are mostly noted as the free hosting option with a green working philosophy.
Byethost – Byethost are another popular choice when it comes to free web hosting. Offering an ad-free service, 1GB of disk space, addon domain, parked domains and sub-domains and free tech support (for some aspects) amongst other good features.
These are just three of the current providers offering free hosting but there are actually plenty of other companies around. You might wonder why they offer free services if they don’t charge, well it is because they still manage to generate money through doing so. They either make money from ads or rely on people deciding to upgrade their plan to a premium account so they can get additional features or because they have run out of space.
Free hosting can be the perfect solution for some but make sure you are happy with the restrictions and small-print before you sign up.