When searching for a free web hosting provider you have to be extremely careful. If you’re not you could be putting yourself in a real bad spot in the future. Today, we’re going to look at what to watch for when you’re looking for the best free hosts.
How long have they been doing free hosting?
The reason this is important is because it’s very easy to get into the free space business. There are control panels that enable you to host your own network and place advertising on the sites with ease. Control panel systems such as XPanel have become widespread and all you need is a dedicated server to make this happen. The problem with this is if you’re not careful spammers come along and use up all the resources on the server and the admin won’t even notice. Then they incur huge bandwidth costs and they struggle to make ends meet. This is due mainly to the fact that Google Adsense no longer allows free web space networks to run their advertising so it cut these players off at the knees. The average life span for a free host was less than 18 months from what we have seen. They just come and go with the wind and not many are stable.
Where are they located?
Why does this matter? Believe me it does. You want someone based in the U.S. if they have servers outside the U.S. it’s going to be slower page load times.
What are they offering you?
If they are offering unlimited anything it’s probably a scam. Why? Well because everything has a price…disk space, bandwidth, etc. Nothing is free- so they are either showing ads or could be stealing some of your traffic through redirects. If it sounds too good to be true – it is.
Why bother with free hosting?
This is probably the most important question of the day right here. Why would anyone bother with free hosting unless you’re just learning HTML code and want to play around with some files. If you’re looking to host a personal blog, hobby site, or your business website – don’t be so dang cheap!!! For as little as $1.99 per month you can get a full featured shared hosting account through someone like iPage. OR for slightly higher monthly you can go with BlueHost which is roughly $4/month. The thing here you want to watch out for is the renewal price of either – so you might want to move hosts after the initial 3 year term.
Who are the Best Free Hosting services?
Good question again my friend There are a couple here that you could try. They are more website builder type sites. They all offer paid upgrades, but these can get you started.
Here is the list of my Top 4 Best Free Web Hosting Services:
http://www.wix.com – these guys have some cool templates and you can use your own domain. The issue with them is they do wix ads on your pages until you pay close to $10/month which is weird since they couldn’t possibly be making that much on those ads to begin with, but that’s the name of the game.
http://www.yola.com – these guys have been around for a while in free hosting. They offer a 3 page website as their free plan. Then you can upgrade after that to something with more features/pages.
http://www.websitebuilder.com – I think this one is owned by Endurance International that has tons of free hosting brands, but this one says it’s free. I’ve never tried this one personally.
http://www.weebly.com – I’ve used this one for a quick project or two just to play around with their tools. It seems ok, but the free one is pretty locked down, you get what you pay for! These guys also do some ecommerce tools that look pretty sweet, but I haven’t tried the cart system yet.
We know there are others out there, but these ones have been around quite a bit. The reason we don’t list all the others is because we don’t really know if some will be around in 12 months. These free space companies seem to be backed by solid capital so it appears they should be around for many years. We might add a secondary list to this one that has more file control and such, but going to do a bit more research on which ones offer solid services and see what type of offerings they have.
I made the mistake about 14 years ago of going with a company out of New Jersey that I was even paying, but they were new and a little green. So within a year they went out of business and I was paying $99/month, but then we lost all our data when they unexpectedly stopped. This was a huge time loss and they wouldn’t help recover files so you need to keep a backup locally of all your work. Save early, save often!