Web Site Hosting For Your Business: Free or Paid? - Review
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Let's review the main points of each option.
Free web hosting:
(+) It's free. No money for space, bandwidth and domain name.
(-) Your URL will contain the mark of the free web-hosting provider and thus would not reflect the identity of your business. Changing providers might result in losing some or all the traffic to your online business.
(-) Required advertising items such as banners, frames etc. have a detrimental effect on your content in terms of accessibility and look, making it very unprofessional.
(-) If you plan to use banner exchange on your site read carefully their Terms and conditions. Some free hosts doesn't allow it.
(-) You will probably have lower bandwidth than a paid host provides and space could also be restricted.
(-) Features like PHP and MySQL are rather rare for a free web-hosting provider. Some don't offer FTP access to your website.
(-) It's common that free hosting providers change their Terms and conditions at some point in time. Consider that no ads today could mean a banner or a pop-up tomorrow. Such changes could mean that the free hosting service is canceled and only paid web hosting services are offered. At this moment either you pay or you lose your web site.
Paid web hosting:
(-) You will have to pay for it. Usually you have to pay for hosting (space and bandwidth) and for the domain name.
(+) You can host your own domain. With your unique domain name changing web hosting providers doesn't cause you to lose your traffic.
(+) Support is offered by most paid web hosting providers. This usually means 24/7 support via email or live chat and, in some cases, toll-free phone support is available.
(+) The uptime of the server(s) hosting your web site is better than on free hosts, and more and more frequently the web hosting provider offers an uptime guarantee.
(+) The amount of disk space and bandwidth available is very likely to cover the needs of your business.
(+) Features like PHP and MySQL are almost standard for a paid hosting plan. Also you will have FTP access to your website.
It could be tempting to embrace the idea that free web hosting is good point to start from, but it's not something you would want to consider if you are looking to establish your business as a serious web presence.
In the end it all comes down to this one question: how big are the ambitions that you have for your website?
If you look to make some savings while getting your business online, save time instead and register a domain name. The small amount of money saved on web hosting might cost your business customers, and a loss of image. The cost of a paid web hosting solution is small compared with the freedom it gives to your online presence. Yes, freedom to establish your image, and the way you treat your online presence.
If your online business is important to you, better make that if you care for it at all, when coming to the decision of opting for free or paid web hosting choose paid.
Keep in mind that the success of your online presence will play a significant role in the future growth of your business.
About The Author
Calin Indre is editor at HostPinPin (www.hostpinpin.com), a Cheap Web Hosting Directory. HostPinPin.com is a resource for webmasters and consumers looking to find a web hosting company. Providing web hosting articles, tips, web hosting reviews, compare web hosting plans and more.
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