What is free hosting?
The general concept of “hosting” can be defined as the provision of any resources to the user for temporary use under certain conditions. In the case of a web hosting service, this is the provision by the provider of space on the server for storing information and files of the user and providing services for their exchange between the server and the client. All this is available for a fee. Here everything is more or less clear. You pay for renting space on the server and have income from your site. Both parties to the contract are satisfied.
But what about free hosting? Free hosting is a free service of providing server space for use by the webmaster. However, our brother is not used to getting something for free and knows well what it smells like. A natural question arises, for which the provider condescended to provide my services for free. Of course, not free. If you take into account the money, then you will not pay a penny. But some services will have to be provided. The most important condition for placing your website on free hosting is advertising an Internet provider, which will necessarily be present on your resource.
Of course, providers that provide free hosting services are not altruistic and not a charitable foundation. They also want to make money and, by providing you with a “free hosting”, have as their goal the gain.
1.Advertising. The main income of the provider is advertising, which is placed on your site. This condition is most often mandatory when providing free hosting. Ad units usually contain information about the paid services of the provider.
2. Business development. Provider, providing free hosting, attracts new customers, potential buyers of paid services. That is, if at the beginning of the promotion of your site you are limited to free hosting, then over time you will begin to lack disk space, traffic, opportunities and you hurry to switch to paid hosting. And, of course, your choice will fall on your familiar and native hosting.
3. Debugging software. There is such a practice. The new hosting provider is still in the process of finalizing the software and troubleshooting. The most effective way to see the flaws in the work. Therefore, by providing free hosting, it is gaining a fairly good user base with which it identifies the flaws of the programs and improves its work.
If this situation suits you perfectly, then do not rush to rejoice. The free hosting package does not include too many services, and there are also significant limitations. But, as they say “do not look a gift horse in the mouth”. And we still look to know for sure what we should deal with.
Free Hosting Restrictions
The current situation in the market of hosting services is undoubtedly better than ten years ago. Some providers offer their customers free hosting of a fairly high level. But it is less common. Usually, the situation is not so rosy. Small hosting companies provide free hosting and therefore cannot guarantee wide opportunities.
Among the main limitations of free hosting are the following:
1. Limited disk space. This means that you will not be able to upload to a free hosting site that contains a large amount of content and graphic materials that take up a lot of memory.
2. Restriction on the domain name. Most often, free hosting provides the ability to register a domain of the third level only.
3. Restriction on the use of scripts. Scripts that make your site dynamic, very much load the server and therefore may adversely affect the work of other resources. This fact can push the provider of many customers, so it limits the use of many squeaks on your site.
4. Restrictions on the use of programming languages. The software of the provider does not always support some programming languages. Therefore, if your site is created using a language that the provider does not use, then you will have to look for another.
5. Limit technical support. Don’t expect lightning-free 24-hour technical support from free hosting. It will be either weak and delayed, or it will not be at all. You will have to solve problems with the site yourself.
The most embarrassing moment in using free hosting is that if your site is hacked or data is lost, no one can guarantee their safety or restoration. And the most expensive investment in your offspring – time – will be irretrievably lost.
What projects are suitable for free hosting?
Despite all the disadvantages and inconveniences of free hosting, for some sites, it is just a godsend. A significant number of sites on the Internet are not created for the purpose of making money, but for informational purposes. And it is clear that very few people want to pay money in this situation. Today, most of this information is placed on social networks, but some of the features of such pages are limited by the interface of sites.
So, if you still have not decided the question of which hosting you need, I will give some types of Internet resources that could well do with free hosting:
Temporary resources If your site is created as a demo version and you just want to check it out in order to identify flaws assess the quality of the interface, and more. Perhaps you want to consecrate any action that has a short duration.
Homepage. Some people create home pages on the Internet to keep diaries, write about themselves and their adventures. Until your page started visiting too many people. Maybe one day, you will become famous and your hosting will not sustain the load, then your website will simply block the provider.
Online business card. There are a lot of such sites in the Internet space. They contain information about the object and the services it provides. Such a site has no feedback, that is, the contact information that is contained on it has only a cognitive function. And further communications are made in a different way than online communication (personal visit, telephone, mail)
Storage. You can also use free hosting to place on the server any data or materials that will be anonymous. That is, only you and only the provider will have access to them. Certainly not a reliable way to store information. Not in the sense that it can be disclosed, although this option is also possible in the case of hacking your site. Data loss may occur due to server failure.
How to choose a free hosting?
To host your site on a free hosting, you need to decide what parameters you need.
1. The easiest way to first choose a hosting provider, and then make a website. Many providers offer to use ready-made site templates or built-in website creation engines. This makes life easier for those who understand little in programming. Therefore, first, appreciate what they provide you hosters.
2. If you already have a website and it is created on HTML pages, then choose a hosting provider, without the support of engines and databases. This will make working with your site easy and not burdened with unnecessary data and resources.
3. If your site is dynamic and you used different engines or worked with scripts embedded in the site builder on the provider’s server, then you need hosting with a database, for example, with MySQL.
Once you have decided on the technical characteristics, let’s talk about money, and more precisely about the contract for the provision of free hosting services.
First, work to find out what conditions the service is provided. What advertising will be placed on your site and in what quantity? This is important because a site that is hung with advertising banners and blocks is rarely popular with visitors. Best of all, if the provider will have a profit from your site, not through advertising, but providing you with additional paid services.
Secondly, find out what access rights the provider has on your site and the information on it. It also happens that the provider has the right to enter information and correct it in the content of your site. Perhaps this situation does not suit you.
Thirdly, in order to finally make a choice, be sure to gather information about the provider. Review the Internet, forums, chats, review sites and find out if he is who he claims to be.
How does free hosting get paid?
No matter how paradoxical it may sound, the provider provides you with free hosting as long as it is profitable. Therefore, the quality of services and the number of options will directly depend on how the hosting provider earns money from you. If your website for the provider is more expensive than profitable, then it will be difficult to bargain for additional free services.
By the way, as your site grows, you may need additional resources that are not included in the package of services provided for free. Do not despair. You may be able to persuade the provider to provide you with additional services for free. Only for this, you need to try and make your site visited. Providers with free hosting mainly work on the Apache platform. The peculiarity of this software is that the site located on this server takes up a certain amount of memory, even if no one enters it. Therefore, the provider is not profitable to keep the site on a server that does not bring him profit.
If your site has grown to an unimaginable size and you need not only additional software but also RAM, etc., then you have to fork out and pay. Thus, conditionally free hosting becomes paid.
Sometimes it’s not so bad. The standard package of paid hosting services includes many functions that are most often simply not used. That is an overpayment on the face. And if you buy only the necessary services for yourself – it is much cheaper.
However, you should be attentive to the purchase of additional services – do not miss the moment when your free hosting with disabilities will become much more expensive than paid, with conditionally unlimited possibilities.
Do not forget the saying “A miser pays twice.” Free does not always meet our expectations, often vice versa. Even if you decide to use free hosting, choose to host providers that have established themselves in the Internet space. Perhaps, in the future, your website will start to bring you money and then, you will be faced with the urgent question of buying reliable and high-quality hosting. Therefore, choosing a free hosting service – turn your attention to the professionals.