In web world the biggest decision is to decide between choosing a free web hosting and paid web hosting for one’s web site. After preparing web site the next step is to establish a web presence. This is considered, as one of the most important steps as this step enables one’s business to reach more customers, not only this it also enables one’s site to get more exposure, and online recognition.
There is a cost for all, in the same way space, bandwidth and domain name all incurs some cost but there is possibility to get them free of cost. Resource management principles advise one to choose the free solution.
With growing competition every where, the cost for web hosting services is coming down partially because of the technological progress and partially because of the cut throat competition between various web host providers.
Thus why to pay for a thing which can be procured free of cost?
Free web hosting
In web hosting world there are hundreds of free web hosting providers offering their services on the Internet. But to one’s surprise there is hardly one that is able to meet the needs of one’s business.
Just to state clearly this article is not against hosts or advertisers rather its sole purpose is to assess and understand how best can the hosting needs of a business be met.
Now coming straight away to the point as stated above also nothing is for free in this world but then the question, which puzzles everyone, is how can anyone sell hosting for free? According to The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary, “free” can be defined as –
1. Not subject to external restraints or domination; not captive, at liberty; not having to be paid for; unhampered; open to all without restrictions; etc.
2. Without expense; without penalty
3. To release from constraint, set free
Thus a free web hosting means there are no fetters, no operating cost and no restrictions for the user. The work of Webmasters would be only restricted to designing limited by their imagination and skills and all the space and the bandwidth would be provided free of cost as desired by the user.
But why it is free?
As everyone knows nothing is for free and same is the case of web hosting. Here the price one needs to pay for free web hosting comes in several forms other than money, as even the free web-hosting providers needs to pay for bandwidth, as well as other costs.
There are some free web hosts that places ads or banners on one’s site and some other place pop up ads, or flashing advertising messages. Thus it is absolutely free until one is fulfilling their set of requirements and meeting their conditions. Not only this one should very clearly set in his/her mind that host’s service is free with just 25 Megs of space and for more space than this there are different conditions which one has to fulfill and also have to pay for it.
Now we are going to discuss other hosting, which is not free.
Paid web hosting
If one pays for anything he/she surely possess anything in return. As soon as one pays there emerges a binding contract, where the other needs to deliver anything in return. Thus as soon as one pays to web host provider in return provider is bound to offer his services. Possession gives more control of one’s online presence. However just ownership is not an important advantage that one gets in case of paid web hosting.
In case of paid web hosting the identity of one’s business reflects from his/her URL down to one’s web content, which is without banners confusing one’s customers.
One who is in business usually has sufficient e-mail addresses to accommodate the needs of his/her business. Now one can imagine by his/her own what will be the impact of a business card with e-mail like Poll.firstname.lastname@example.org. On him/her and most important would anyone like to do business with him?
With paid web hosting its very common to offer features like PHP and MySQL, that allows one’s site to grow along with the business needs. With these features one can easily have an online store, can offer easily his/her customers the possibility to track their orders etc. Not only that often the web hosting provider guarantees for the uptime of the server, and this relieves the customers from problems afterwards. Last but not least paid web host providers offer support services of higher quality that allows one’s business to overcome possible technical problems easily and faster.
Below are the evaluations for both the free and paid web hosting.
Free web hosting:
(+) It’s totally free i.e. no money for space, bandwidth and domain name
(-) One’s URL will contain the mark of the free web-hosting provider and thus would not reflect the identity of his/her business. Moreover switching to another providers might result in loosing some or all the traffic to one’s online business
(-) Unprofessional look -advertising items such as banners, frames etc have a negative effect on one’s content in terms of accessibility and look making it look unprofessional.
(-) If one plans to use banner exchange on his/her site then one must read carefully their Terms and conditions as there are several free hosts who doesn’t allow it
(-)Low bandwidth and space restriction would be there in case of free web hosting.
(-) It’s almost usual that free hosting providers change their Terms and conditions in between. One must consider that no adds today could mean a banner or a popup tomorrow and such changes reflects that the free hosting service is canceled and only paid web hosting services are offered. Now the choice that remains is either to pay, or loose the web site.
Paid web hosting:
(-) It needs to pay. Usually one have to pay for hosting i.e. for space, bandwidth and for the domain name
(+) One can host his/her own domain. With unique domain name it’s very easy to change web-hosting providers without loosing traffic
(+) Best support is offered by most paid web hosting providers in form of 24/7 support via email or live chat and, in some cases, toll-free phone support is also provided.
(+) Better uptime of the server(s) with uptime guarantee.
(+) Enough disk space and bandwidth is provided as per the needs of one’s business in case of paid web hosting.
(+) Several features like PHP and MySQL are quite common in case of a paid hosting plan. Not only that, one will have FTP access to his/her website.
Thus for a beginner with less visitors and with no knowledge about business free web hosting can be better but for a long term and for growing business paid web hosting is indeed a best option.
If one really wants to save cost while his/her business online, then one must save time instead and register a domain name. Saving small amount of money on web hosting might result in loosing valuable business customers, with loss of goodwill. The cost paid for paid web hosting solution is quite small as compared to freedom offered to one’s online presence. Freedom not only to modify by own rather freedom of one’s image, of the way one would to treat his/her online presence.
Thus the lesson of the article is if one considers his/her online business important, then its better to opt for paid web hosting than choosing free web hosting. One should keep in mind that the success of one’s online presence would play a significant role in the future growth of his/her business.