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Just finished your first website? So it's
the time to look for some hosting and make a
choise. Your first qustion probably will be
whether to choose free or paid hosting
service. Let's have a look at some
advantages and disadvantages of these
Free web hosting:
(+) It's for free. You don't need to pay for
(-) Your URL will be something like
username.freehost.com or freehost.com/username.
As I noticed above, the advantage is that
you don't need to pay for domain. But note
that if you move your website to another
provider in the future you can loose some or
all your traffic (there are some solutions
how to solve this problem but it is not the
point of this article).
(-) Your provider will probably include ads
to your pages - usually 1 or 2 banners,
sometimes popup windows. If you plan to use
banner exchange on your site read carefully
their Terms and conditions. Some free hosts
doesn't allow it.
(-) Free hosts usually allow lower bandwith
then paid hosts and a lot of them don't
offer futures like PHP and MySQL.
(-) A lot of free hosts change their Terms
and conditions during some time. If your
free host offers hosting wihtout ads now,
don't be surprised when banner or popup
appears on your site in the future.
(-) Sometimes happens that free hosts cancel
their free service and longer offer paid
hosting only. In this case you have only 2
choises - pay them or loose your website.
Paid web hosting:
(+) You can host your own domain. If you
decide to change the web hosting provider in
the future, you easily transfer the domain
to the new provider and don't loose your
(+) Most paid hosts offer 24/7 support via
email or live chat and some of them provide
toll-free phone support.
(+) You can expect better uptime then on
free host. Some paid hosts offer uptime
(+) Paid hosts usually offer enough disk
space and bandwith. Futures like PHP and
MySQL are standard. Even if you are not
programmer you can download plenty of free
PHP scripts from internet.
(-) Paid hosting costs money :o)
Before you make the decision if choose free
or paid host you should answer this
question: How big ambitions do I have with
my website? If you are starting small
personal page for your friends consist of a
few *.html files then free host will be
sufficient. In case you plan to run serious
business website, need PHP, database and
don't want ads on the site I recommend to
look for quality paid host.
Petr Sejba runs Web Hosting Reviews (
http://webhostingtoplist.com ), a list of
quality low coast hosting companies.