Should A Business Use Free Web Hosting?
One ‘must have’ for any business now is a website as the majority of shoppers will search online for ideas and suppliers before even considering going local to find a product.
So to have a website one needs a web hosting service as a place to run that website from.
There are really only two choices, paid hosting or free hosting.
Paid hosting can cost anywhere from a few pounds a month to many hundreds of pounds a month for a large ecommerce shopping site, but most small business sites fall well into the lower end of the price bracket.
So what are the differences between paid and free hosting?
Free web hosting is a web hosting service that is free of any charge but usually advertisement-supported.
- Customers are allowed to get their own domain name by some hosts, but frequently the domain name is controlled by the free host which can make it difficult to move away from their services in the future.
- Typically, there is a primary domain, and they will supply you sub-domain or a directory.
- Most free hosts will force you to use their included site builder, which generally are not very intuitive to use or even that good!
- Some free hosts might allow customers to modify a site page by running your own scripts, but frequently it is not allowed.
- The common limitation amongst all the free web hosting services is the limited disk storage offered which could raise an issue.
- Bandwidth is also minimal.
- Free web-hosts may put advertisements on your site, which isn’t very professional if you are running a business.
- Usually free web hosting providers do not give support for customers.
- Usually they do not offer technical support since free web hosting does not earn from a monthly charge.
- Users are not guaranteed uptime of their sites by the free web hosting providers.
- There could be reliability issues which are a problem for business specific websites.
- Users have limited rights in using their user defined CGI scripts in free web hosting.
Paid web hosting is a web hosting service that is charged by the month or year and will give you far more control over your website.
- You will be able to supply and control your own domain name which is vital if you wish to change hosts in the future.
- Paid hosting will give you access to a control panel where you can maintain your site, add email accounts, install web scripts, check visitor logs, etc.
- Paid hosting will allow you to design your site in whatever design program you wish to use.
- Disk space is frequently very large or even unlimited.
- Bandwidth is frequently very large or even unlimited.
- Support is normally included.
- Uptime is normally guaranteed.
- Reliability is normally very good.
So the bottom line is that for any business that wishes to appear professional paid hosting is a must.
It is not expensive and if it stops even one customer going elsewhere due to your free hosting site looking amateurish then it will actually make you money!
Here are a couple of my recommendations based on where I host my client sites:
Or if you want to save all the hassle of making this decision just give me a call and let me host and design your site for you.