Free Web Hosting vs. Affordable Web Hosting
In some cases a free web hosting may be just what you need but we would advice you to think twice before deciding between free and shared web hosting.
There are many companies offering free hosting but there is usually a catch. In most cases you get very limited disk space for your website and almost no extra features such as databases, message boards, chat rooms etc. Many times free web hosts display there own ads on your web pages (either banners or pop-up ads). Instead of letting your free host keep all the ad revenue that your site generates, why not sign up for a cheap shared web hosting, place your own ads and start making money.
Antoher important reason for staying away from free web hosts is the domain name. With free hosts your web address will be something like http://yourusername/xyzfreehost.com or http://www.xyzfreehost.com/yoursite. If you have your own domain name your site would be found at http://www.yoursite.com. This may not sound like a big deal but you wouldn't be creating a web site if you didn't want visitors to your site. And http://www.yoursite.com is a lot easier to remember. Not to mention if you at some point want to move your site to another host or under your own domain name. You also have your own email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead of looking for a free web host, why not choose one of the cheap web hosting plans and you can enjoy all the great features and have your own domain name, which in many cases is included in the price.
Check out our list of top 10 affordable web hosting and you'll find that web hosting doesn't have to be expensive. Professional web hosting costs as little as $4 to $8 per month. That's not much. By displaying ads on your web pages you can easily earn all your hosting fees back and even start making some income.
Free web hosting
It's free. No payment for domain name or hosting.
Your URL will be something like http://yourusername.xyzfreehost.com or http://www.xyzfreehost.com/yoursite. As I noticed above, the advantage is that you don't need to pay for domain. But note that if you move your website to another provider in the future you can loose some or all your traffic (there are some solutions how to solve this problem but it is not the point of this article).
Your free web host will most likely include their own ads on your pages (banner, pop-up, pop-under). Even if you find a free web host which doesn't place ads on your pages now, they may change their policy later.
Some free hosts do not allow you to put your own ads.
You get less space, less bandwidth and in most cases you don't get any advanced features, such as PHP or MySQL.
They don't usually guarantee free hosting for lifetime. One day you may find out that they don't offer free hosting any more and you either have to pay or move to another host (losing all your traffic).
Cheap web hosting
You can have your own domain name. Your site URL is easier to remember (more traffic) and your own domain name makes it possible to transfer to a different host without losing traffic. Many paid hosting plans include one domain name of your choice at no additional cost.
All the good paid web hosting companies offer 24/7 support (email, live chat or even toll-free phone support)
Plenty of disk space for your web site, very high monthly bandwidth limits or no limits at all. You also get a lot of really useful features and scripts ready to be installed on your web page.
Many paid web hosts give you an uptime guarantee. It's good to know that visitors can access your web page at all times.
It's not free.