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.

Everyone needs a backup service

Cloudfinder, Office 365 backupEver since Microsoft released Office 365 Home Premium earlier on this year, the press and tech bloggers haven’t stopped raving about it. And sure, there are a lot of great things to say about the product; you will always have the latest version of the software, you get 20 GB of extra SkyDrive storage as well as 60 free Skype minutes per month. But, before signing up for their subscription, there are a few things you might want to take into consideration.

First off, how many computers do you have in your household? On Microsoft’s webpage the company proudly announces that Office 365 Home Premium can be installed on up to five computers. Sounds great!  Well it is, or at least if you have five computers. In this cloud-computing frenzy it is easy to forget that you can still buy software outright, which might actually be a better deal if you only have one or two computers. Bear in mind that the subscription costs £79.99 per year while buying the software is a one-time expense of £109.99 (for a single user).

Not to mention safety. A lot of the cloud-based Saas-companies actually recommend a third-party cloud backup of user data since they only protect you against hardware failure; not against user error or attacks. This means that on top of the £79.99 you would have to pay a year, you would also need to pay for an independent backup service. There are a lot of companies offering free trials (see Swedish Cloudfinder for example), but they only last 30-90 days and then you have to pay.

Taking all factors into account, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out why Microsoft has tried their hardest to make subscribing seem like the most attractive option (ka-ching!), and that’s exactly why you as a customer have to think twice before buying in to their sweet-talk.

Read more about Office 365 Backup

Everyone needs a Google app backups

Cloudfinder, Google apps backups!Google apps BackupsToday I finally got my new computer and I’m over the moon. Yay! As you know I’ve been wavering between getting a PC or a Mac, but in the end I decided on an 11-inch MacBook Air and I definitely feel I’ve made the right decision. I’m in love!! First I thought of getting the 13-inch one since the battery lasts longer (up to 12 hours), but in the end I decided on the 11-inch one which was a tiny bit cheaper and you can still work unplugged for around 9 hours.

My dear friend Michael (what would I do without you?) has helped me to install the Google Apps package so now I have everything – Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Calendar, Hangouts – the whole lot, I just have to figure out how it works. I mean, I’ve obviously used Gmail and Google Docs before, but I still don’t know if there’s a difference between the business version and the normal one. I’m also thinking about getting online cloud backup so I don’t have to fuss with external hard drives etc.

Michael was talking about this company called Cloudfinder that provides backup service for small business like mine. I haven’t looked into it too much and I don’t know the price yet, but I’m thinking that if I’ve already spent so much money on the computer I might as well get everything properly done from the beginning. I’m becoming a real business woman here, hahaha!

Well, I have to leave you since I’m running late for Linda’s dinner party, but if you’re heading for the centre tomorrow make sure to pop by Starbucks. I’ll be there with my flashy little Mac working while sipping on a cold Frappuccino. ?

Want to read more about Google apps Backups? Click here : Google apps backups

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