The question boggles many a website hopeful. The final answer depends on a list of things. At first sight, free hosting looks attractive to anyone on a tight budget, but does it deliver?
1. For one, you don’t have to pay for it. This could turn out to be the biggest criterion for most people.
2. There are no requirements needed. You don’t have to know any HTML coding too, since most free hosts offer “What You See Is What You Get” editors to help you out. Sites like GeoCities offer a range of template designs and codes to kick start your site.
3. It’s the best way to try out web hosting. You can learn the basics of building a site and get thorough with the simple things before moving on.
1. Ads, Ads, Ads: Some companies offer pseudo-free hosting. What they don’t charge you to build a website; they recover by putting loads of advertisements on your website. They may be in the form of links, pop ups or banners. They may also give you restricted features to tempt you to opt for a paid plan.
2. Support: Many hosting companies openly declare that they don’t support their free services. They put all their resources into the paid versions.
3. You cannot hold them responsible for non-reliability or inconsistency. They put all their bandwidth on paid services and don’t care much about free services.
4. It becomes increasingly frustrating when you require advanced options that are not offered for free, like MySQL databases.
5. Some may offer free hosting once you purchase the domain. So you pay for the domain, and so it’s not free after all.
On the other hand, paid websites take care of all the disadvantages of free web hosting and offer you top-notch services, and they put up a price for it. The major disadvantage of paid hosting is that it may or may not go well with your budget. But rest assured you are promised a hassle-free hosting, and can hold the host responsible for incompetence.
Keeping in mind speed, amount of space, scripting options bandwidth, reliability, forced ads, etc, the following are our recommended hosting sites that offer you the best deal:
1. GeoCities: One of the oldest and most trusted by users.
2. FortuneCity: Been a hit among free web hosts for a long time.
3. Jumpline: Up to 10,000 MB space.
4. AwardSpace: Extended scripting options.
5. Trap 17: A good trade off in all areas.
1. IPowerWeb: Assortment of deluxe packages to suit everyone’s needs.
2. Bluehost: Enhanced multimedia features at affordable prices.
3. HostGator: A huge range of control panel options.
4. DreamHost: An unlikely contender but a hit among many users because of its flexibility.
5. Media Temple: A great site but charges above 20$/month.