On the internet, as in other places, you should always beware of things to are given to you for free. The same idea applies to free web hosting services. These services might or might not provide the level of reliability that you require. That is why you should be careful when you choose a free web host.
Also, you will have to accept certain restrictions. These restrictions will include:
1. A free hosting service may ask to place advertisements, including those of your competitors. You should be aware that this is the main source of revenue for a free host. However, these advertisements can prove to be an irritant for your customers who might not appreciate their browsing experience to be affected by these ads.
2. With a free hosting plan it is possible that you might get very little support or no support at all. An FAQ page may be your only means of support. Also, you cannot expect things to change immediately, even when or if you complain.
3. A free hosting plan might look good on paper but it might also have very little practical utility. The server breakdowns might be frequent; the bandwidth may not be enough to support your site’s needs; there may be no scalability; or there could be thousands of other websites in competition for the same resources.
4. Also, free web hosts don’t offer much space for storage and might even restrict the type of files that you can use. For example, you might not be allowed to upload files that need a lot of bandwidth, like MP3 files. This can limit the utility of your website quite severely.
5. Free web hosts might also force you to use a sub-domain, which makes your ID much longer than it would’ve been, if you had your own domain name. The result is that you could end up loosing several customers due to them not being able to remember your domain name.
All these points are indisputable disadvantages. You must also bear in mind that the net is a very unforgiving medium. Visitors won’t return to a website that will have frequent technical problems, which are cluttered or which cramps their navigation.
You must therefore avoid a free host if you want to set up a serious business website because the loss can be much higher – in terms of customers lost — than the actual true gain. Also, you will not be able to display the goods the way you want or offer support services that are expected from a good website.
Nevertheless, you can consider getting a free web host if your website is an information website or just a personal website. But even this should only be for a short period. Remember that you must always be ready to invest money if you want your website to expand.
Nora Roberts is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.