Seeking free web hosting can be a good option if you want to have an online presence but don’t want to invest in paid hosting. Free web hosting is also a great way to test waters before you take the plunge. There are two options for free web hosting, one you search for a company that offers free web hosting and the other is to build your website with any of the online services offering free hosting such as WordPress or Blogspot.
The main advantage is of course it is free. As said above, this is especially good if you are a beginner and just want to learn and experiment with the features offered by the hosting company and also have a first hand experience of how hosting works.
However, there are many disadvantages that you need to consider.
First, free web hosting is not really feasible if you want to establish a brand identity for your company. In all probability the name of the hosting company will also be included in the name as a sort of subdomain. Needless to say this subdomain doesn’t really look professional. It will definitely be a hindrance to conducting business with others in your niche.
A professional business should have an e-mail address that reflects your domain name. If you opt for free web hosting, you won’t be able to create professional email addresses in your domain name. Now if you use your hotmail or gmail id, people may not take you seriously because it would mean you don’t have an official address. Having your own domain and professional id signifies that yours is an established business. Also many spammers use these free e-mail accounts to send out spam messages or to hide their identity.
A free web host may or may not be there all the time. Sometimes companies offer free hosting services to lure customers or give a free trial. They may shut shop anytime and vanish or they can suddenly start charging you a fee once you get established. In the worst case scenario, if the web hosting company suddenly disappears, you’ll lose your domain name, website and all the content you have created.
Some companies who offer free web hosting also run their advertisements on your web pages, which can annoy your customers more so if they are not related in anyway with the content of your site. Then again, these ads look unprofessional and clutter the page making it difficult for the readers to focus on the information they are trying to read.
Finally, companies that offer free web hosting services need to maintain low operating costs, which means it is highly unlikely they will have technical staff to take care of any problem that may result.
To conclude, you can use free web hosting to test waters and understand how the process works, but if you want to establish your identity and host a successful online business, go for reliable and paid web hosting. The saying may sound clichéd but it doesn’t make sense to be penny wise and pound foolish.