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Published on September 15th, 2017 | by Guest

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The Pros and Cons of Free Web Hosting

If you are dabbling with getting your own blog set up for the every first time then you will probably want to find out as much information and guidance as you can. There are a range of different web hosting types including free hosting, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS, cloud, Managed hosting… the list goes on and on. All of these different types are available because they suit different types of demands. The most popular and cheapest web hosting is the shared option. A student looking to set up a website for the college football team is going to require much less in terms of a hosting service than a multinational company using their website to sell millions of goods each day.

To keep things fairly basic at this stage, we will just talk about the difference between free hosting and shared hosting, as these are what most website newbies will be deciding between.

Right let’s get to the pros of free web hosting. The obvious one is that you do not have to pay anything to get your website set up. There are no fees at all, which compares very favourably to shared hosting, which can start at a few pounds per month but can cost a lot more. When you are working to a tight budget and every pound counts, free hosting is the best option to get your website online.

A further positive is that you are not tied in, unlike hosting contracts that can tie you in for a year or even two years. Looking at a possible scenario – You are starting up a small business and you’re not sure whether it is going to take off. You sign up with a host and you are paying £10 per month. After six months, your business isn’t making any money and in fact you are losing money on marketing and other overheads. You reluctantly decide to cut your losses and wind your business down. However, you entered a two year contract with your web host and now need to pay £180 to cover the remainder of your contract for a website you don’t need. So as you can see from this kind of scenario, experimenting with a free host to see whether your business model is likely to take off could be a good option.

And now we look at the cons. Whilst getting something for free is an absolute bonus in many cases, there is generally always a catch or two. With free hosting, you are at the mercy of your web host, so if they decide to take the server down, or they don’t want to give out free server space anymore, they can just pull your website offline. You may have spent weeks, months or even years creating content that is generating success and your customers remember the web address that your host gave you. But now you have to start all over again.

Okay so this scenario doesn’t happen a lot but it can happen, so if you are running a business off a free web hosting solution then this could cause you a lot of hassle. You really do not have any control over your website, so your host can decide to use your website to display ads, which will make them money. You will have no say over what type of ads, where they are displayed or how many of them appear on your website. Some free hosting providers are ad free but there will be other restrictions such as performance and storage limits that you must be wary of.

In that very quick overview, those are the main pros and cons of free hosting, so you should now be able to make a decision on whether it is right for you.

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