When it comes to hosting for your business web site, you want to be sure the company you choose is dependable, affordable, and offers all the features you'll need for future growth. Many business people just starting out sign on for free website hosting expecting to enjoy tremendous savings. Unfortunately, they soon realize there are many pitfalls in this approach. Let's explore some of the main differences between paid and free website hosting to see which will work best for you.
Free Web Hosting Explained
Nothing's really free, is it? That's an old saying that goes a long way. . . even online. For any provider you find, there are always trade-offs for receiving free webhosting. For starters, you give up having your own domain name in most cases. Instead of having your own domain name, you'll likely receive limited space at the host's domain name. Your website name will appear after the “/" of their full domain name. This can hinder your business in the long run because you are not able to establish your own Web presence.
Other trade-offs include very limited web space, advertisements on your web page that can draw away your visitors, limited features, and limited programming capabilities. You will not be able to considerably expand your site with such limited space. Also, you will have to conform to the host's programming requirements, which may be limited to only one style of programming. Your features and capabilities for web design will likely be very limited.
Paid Web Hosting Explained
A paid web hosting provider offers web space and hosting services for a certain dollar amount, which may be paid monthly, quarterly, yearly, or even several years in advance. The hosting fee varies with different providers and is usually determined by how much web space and the types of hosting services you'll need for your business web site. For example, if you use certain programs such as Front Page to design your website, you might be required to pay a little more for hosting.
Hosting services that are popular with businesses include self-managed dedicated hosting, managed hosting, co-location hosting, PHP hosting, MySQL hosting, SSL encryption, and so forth. Which services you choose will depend on the functionality and purpose of your website and may affect your hosting costs.
Domain name registration is sometimes included with packages, but if not, you'll be required to register your own domain name and pay a yearly fee or a discounted multi-year fee.
The benefits of paid hosting are obvious. You can secure as much space as you want. You can choose your own domain name You can develop your own content pages in the design that suits your needs along with shopping carts, user login sections, photos, articles, and other functions. You're more likely to have more “up time" with a paid server. Free servers are notorious for shutting down frequently. Some services guarantee a certain amount of up time, such as “guaranteed 99% server up time. "
In summary, free web hosting providers have their place for personal websites or even as limited ad sites for small local businesses. But for a full-time, operational Web business, a paid hosting provider is the way to go.
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Paid vs.Free Web Hosting or Majon's Internet directory .