One of the things to evaluate as you start looking for a host for your website is whether you want to try a free host for a while, or would prefer to go with a paid host from the very beginning.
Before we dive into free web hosting can I say that this is not recommended by any real business that wants to create a presence online?
After you read this post, you will know precisely why I recommend you don’t take this option.
Another option we have come across in our business is people who have paid good money for a web design only to find they are restricted to that designers hosting package which in some cases is offered free.
This package usually means that you will be advertising different products and services on your website. Again if you are selling your services, then this really can hurt your online business and should not even be considered.
Remember that even if a web host is supposedly free, that’s just a relative term. It may be free for you, but there’s still some price to pay because no website hosting company only gives away space on a server out of the generosity of their heart.
The host itself has to pay for the site, so it’s going to have to recoup the costs in one way or another.
Free Web Hosts Serve Ads To Pay For The Hosting Costs
Usually, this is done, at least partly, by the web host including ads on your site. There’s very little recourse if you’re placing your website on a free host. Nor is there likely to be any choice in what sorts of ads show up; you might find an advertisement on your site promoting something you strongly disagree with.
Some hosts may agree to tailor the content a little bit, but you may not be able to count on this. Your primary choice seems to be to decide which ad placements you’re willing to live with on your site, investigate the various hosts and their policies before you just land on one.
Some sites offer free hosting with no ads whatsoever, but those web hosts tend to disappear at an alarming rate. Some of them do manage to continue because they’ve got a mix of free versus paid sites, with a paid site having a few more features than a free one. If they get enough people deciding to upgrade to paid status for the sake of those extra features, then they can often support those that carry on with the free sites.
You Will Lose Business From Free Advertisements
If you’re getting your website hosted for free, though, the chances are that your visitors will see those ads placed by the hosting company. Whether the advertisements are relatively unobtrusive or blaring and annoying is going to vary from host to host.
This too will be something you need to look into.
They can place these ads in two or three possible ways, which might even affect your site design. For example, if the host requires that you place a banner ad, it’s likely to be an intrinsic part of your actual web page. In fact, it’s possible that the web host will dictate precisely where on the page the banner (or banners) will go.
Indeed, a free site may even require that you use their own page template to create your site, and it will include segments where those ads will be placed. And it shouldn’t be surprising if the ads are given such prominence that they’re the first things any visitor sees, with your site content being entirely secondary.
Some hosting sites place the advertising in a discrete frame, either to one side of your page or perhaps on top. This way, at least your own design of your page will be kept intact.
And other hosts will place their ads in pop-ups that can’t be easily ignored by visitors, but have to be actively closed before the visitors can see your actual site.
However, this also ensures that your content is kept fully intact, designed as you want it.
Advertising of some sort may be the price you have to pay if you place your website with a free host. If you really can’t afford a paid hosting site at the moment, don’t just grab the first free site you see.
Do some investigating and find out what the various free web hosts advertising policy is. Even with a free host, you need to be able to live with what shows up when someone goes to your website. If you feel that this is the only option for you then may I suggest that you use sites like Blogger.com or WordPress.org to create a free site.
These sites have a large range of templates and no advertisements, they have also been around for many years and will continue to grow and improve their services.