When you’re looking to start your own website or blog one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is where you will host it. A web hosting service allows you to store your web site’s contents and files on their servers so it will be accessible to the world. There are literally thousands of hosting services to choose from and you may be tempted to simply go with the least expensive option. But you can’t always let price be the deciding factor. You need to choose a host that offers a good combination of features and reliability for an affordable price.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of free web hosting and paid web hosting.
To most people starting out, free website hosting sounds like a no-brainer. They don’t see the point in paying for something they can get for free. But once they start using a free host they realize they made a terrible mistake. They have limited space with which to build their site and they quickly run out of room. If they start getting traffic they surpass their bandwidth limit and their site is inaccessible for the rest of the month.
And that’s not all. They have no email accounts and their pages have ads all over them (ads for which they do not get paid). Their site seems to be down more often than not and they have absolutely no customer support team to help them. Eventually they smarten up and decide to find themselves a more reliable paid service.
The good news is that web hosting has dropped in price so much that you can now find plans for just a few dollars a month. Most packages will include 24 hour support, user statistics, unlimited space and bandwidth, and even web page design tools. You can also choose your own domain name which will look more professional than the one provided by free web hosts.
Of course you’ll want to do a little research before you choose a paid website hosting service. Switching hosts can be a pain so you’ll want to be sure your first choice is reliable. Check out online forums and try to find testimonials from their current customers.