Free web hosting
What do you think of when you hear the word “host”? Alien parasites, perhaps? Or a genteel English lord, welcoming you to his country mansion? When it comes to website hosts and how they treat you, there’s both the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s examine the various faces of free web hosting.
The Good: Let’s begin with the obvious – it’s free! You can establish accounts with as many free web hosts as you want and get a first hand feel for which one you like best.
The Bad: Spammers! Free web hosts and shared IP addresses attract spammers who register for free accounts and start spamming sites in order to boost their rankings. This can make your site “guilty by association”.
The Ugly: A clumsy URL. Some free hosting companies will saddle you with a long, bulky domain name full of slashes and colons. You can avoid this blight by registering your own domain name with the host for a nominal yearly fee – around $15.
How do you feel about your host now? Does it feel like an intergalactic traveler controlling your every move? Or do you feel like you’re sitting back in a cozy library with a glass of brandy, and all the knowledge of the world within reach, thanks to your gracious host? Or perhaps somewhere in between? Let’s look further into the good, the bad, and the ugly of free web hosting:
The Good: Practice makes perfect! As a beginner or hobby programmer, the world of free hosts is your own personal playground. You can set up as many free websites and blogs as you want, and gain priceless experience in the real-world, hands-on workings of web sites and web programming.
The Bad: You’re not in control. Free web hosting companies limit what you can do in terms of formatting and customization. You may not be allowed to install the software and programs you want, and there are limits on image size and file types you’re allowed to upload.
The Ugly: Ads! Many free web hosting companies pay the bills by selling advertisements. Visitors to your site may be treated to the dubious pleasure of endless banners and pop-ups. As an internet consumer, you know you don’t like those ubiquitous little pests. You can bet your website visitors feel the same.
When making a decision about which kind of web hosting option best suits your needs, it’s likely you will make decisions more than once. You’ll try out different hosts to see which one best accommodates you. As your needs and requirements grow and change, and your knowledge increases, you may find that with free web hosting, you get what you pay for. And you may decide to start paying for a different and more advanced type of web hosting. But your experience with the good, the bad, and the ugly of free web hosting will serve as a solid experience base upon which you can confidently build your future web presence, aided by exactly the type of host which suits you best. Whether extraterrestrial parasite or English nobleman.