Free Vs. Paid Web Hosting
With the growing number of free Web
Hosting servives available on the Internet today, you may be asking yourself
"Why should I pay for Web Hosting when I can get it for free?". This is actually
a very good question and in the this article, I plan on evaluating the benefits
of each type of Web Hosting.
Several free Web Hosting services include Xoom, Hypermart, and GeoCities. Most
offer varying degrees of flexability when it comes to setting up an account. For
instance some give you the ability to have an actual domain name while most
require that you have a sub domain under their primary domain, i.e.
http://geocities/yourname/... Some also allow you to run your own CGI scripts
while others do not. One thing almost all free Web Hosts have in common is that
they provide only a limited amount of disk space (usually 5-10 MB), they are
very strict when it comes to data transfer and they usually require that you
have their ads on your Web Site.
One of the biggest complaints that users of free Web Hosting have is that they
must often allow the Web Host to include banners or advertisements on their Web
Sites. You've probably come across a Hypermart or GeoCities Web Site and seen
how an advertisement window pops up when you access the site. Many people find
this annoying and want the freedom that paid Web Hosting allows.
Another big factor that often causes people to go in search of paid Web Hosting
is the desire to have a domain name. Most free Web Hosting companies do not give
you this opportunity. If you do have access to your own domain with a free Web
Host, chances are that you will have to put up with advertisements on your Web
Most companies that offer free Web Hosting also have strict limitations with
regards to running and installing your own CGI scripts. Some will provide
pre-installed scripts that you will have access to such as guest books, counters,
or email form processors. However, if you want to test, install and run your own
scripts, you will probably need to find a reliable paid Web Host. If this is a
feature that you are interested in, be sure to ask any potential Web Host about
their CGI script policies since they vary widely from company to company.
If you have a fairly large Web site or offer lots of graphics, free Web Hosting
may present some problems for you. Most free Web Hosting companies have strict
disk space limits, usually 5-10 MB or less. While this is plenty for most Web
Sites, some may find this is not enough. Before signing up with any Hosting
service, be sure to ask ask disk space limits and the policies involved in
increasing the allotted space.
Ultimately, the type of Web Hosting you choose depends on the specific needs of
your Web Site. If you have a small personal Web Site and don't mind the ads and
limitations that come with most free Web Hosting, then that may be the best
choice for you. However, if you have a company or business, then you probably
want your own domain name and that usually requires that you find paid Web