All hosting providers are divided into two big groups: free web hosts and shared ones.
In the first place let me say that many of the free web hosting providers are not exactly free, i.e. in exchange for their services they may locate their advertisements on your website.
If your website is a home page containing your personal information or a small web resource where you share information on a certain topic, free web hosting will most probably be enough for you. In case your website is an information portal, service or a site of your company, you should definitely use services of shared web hosting.
Difference between shared and free web hosting
As mentioned above, very often free web hosts insert their ads in the form of banners or pop-ups. Visitors of your website won’t be happy with it as it is widely known that advertisements are irritating, especially the pop-up ones. Therefore, if your goal is to attract the audience who are willing to visit your website regularly, coming back again and again in a day, a week, a month and not just shutting your resource in 5 seconds after getting to your first page, then choose hosting without advertisements.
What is more, with free web hosts you can only expect such domain as your_site.host.com. Such domain will hardly affect the reputation of your website in a positive way; it will sooner harm its image, especially if it’s a company’s website.
“Why aren’t the pictures loading up?” -SUPPORT SERVICE will provide you with answers for such questions. It is absolutely necessary to have one because good service support really speeds up the problem-solving process. 90% of shared web hosting providers have adequate service support and only 10% of free web hosting providers have one.
Not every free hosting can boast such services as their own CGI-BIN directory, or the support of Perl, PHP, MYSQL, Cron, SSH, Telnet and many others. And even if right now your web resource needs none of these, such a necessity may appear in the nearest future with the growth of your website. With time you will also need more and more disc space. Free web hosts usually give you 1-100 Mb while shared web hosts provide 1-5000 Mb for your website.
So, the bottom line is as follows.
If you have just a home page or a small website about your interests, go for a free web hosting without doubts. But before choosing a particular hosting you should:
- determine the disc space volume you are going to need, taking into consideration further growth of your resource;
- decide whether you need the support of scripts, whether it’s necessary to have a file manager or you will do just fine using ftp-access, whether you need a site-generator
- think over the domain name. It should be short and easy to remember.
- define your attitude as to host’s ads: whether you are against it or not
When you are done with all these things, eliminate all the hosts that do not meet your requirements. I would advise you to check out the loading speed of websites located at hosting providers that suit your needs. And then you just choose the host with the least crowded channels.