How to Pick a Free Web Host - How sites offer hosting for free
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As mentioned above, there really is no free lunch. By choosing a free Web host, you are going to have to accept some form of advertising. This is how the free hosts make their money. In most cases, the advertising comes in the form of a banner or pop-up ad on your site.
Before signing up for a free Web host, it is a good idea to check exactly what type of advertising to expect. Obviously, embedded banner ads on your site will be far less annoying to your visitors than popup ads. However, even some embedded banner ad hosts may be better than others. Check to see whether you can be allowed to control the placement of the banner, for example. If you can put the banner at the bottom of the page, that could be preferable to being forced to run the banner ad at the top.
Regardless of whether the host offers banner ads or popups, it is also a wise move to visit some other sites hosted by the particular company you are considering. Most hosts have a directory or list of featured "showcase" sites on their home pages. Looking at these lets you get an idea of the types of ads you can expect to appear on your site.
If you find a host that claims it will not require you to run ads on your site, the site may require you to click on banners in its file manager page as its alternate way of making money. However, you will want to check the fine print very carefully in the terms of agreement. Some hosts that offer ad-free free Web hosting may be collecting your email address and selling it off to marketing firms that send unsolicited commercial email. In this case, it's possible to set up a dummy email account just to get the free space, but you may be better off accepting the banner ad. If you very strongly wish to avoid banner ads, you are probably better off investigating a low-cost paid host. There are hosts out there that charge as little as $5 per month for a reasonable amount of Web space.
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