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How to Choose a Free Web Hosting Company?

Published on 2/26/2011 by

Is it possible to find a web hosting company willing to host your website for free?  Yes!  Today there are many companies who offer quality web hosting services free of charge.  How do you choose the web hosting company that will be right for you?  Let’s find out.

Will you use a domain name?

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you prefer to host on your own domain name (like mydomainname.com) or would like to use a free subdomain from your web hosting company. Domains are relatively cheap today, so if you’re planning to develop a website long term, there’s little reason not to invest in your own name.  On the other hand, if you’re building a test site or learning the basics of web development and design, free subdomains can be an inexpensive way to get started.

Do you mind advertising on your web pages?

Some web hosting companies are able to offer free hosting accounts because they recoup their losses by inserting advertisements on each page of your website.  Do you want advertisements on your website?  If not, search for a free host who leaves advertising decisions up to you.

Do you plan to make money from your website?

If you plan to earn a living from your website, you’ll want to search for a web hosting company who can support this.  The majority of free web hosts do not permit users to monetize their own websites, though there are a few who do.

Do you want a control panel?

Paid web hosting clients are able to manage their web hosting account through an online web based control panel.  Through this control panel, users can upload files to their website, install software, add and remove email addresses and perform website maintenance.  Some free web hosting companies offer a control panel and others provide only FTP access. 

Do you need email?

With traditional domain based web hosting, hosting clients are allowed to create an unlimited number of email addresses associated with their domain name.  This is not always the case with free web hosting companies.  If you’re hosting on a subdomain, you will not be given an email address.  If you’re using your own domain name, you may be given this option. 

How much support do you need?

Not all free web hosting companies offer end user support, so if you’re a beginner and feel you may need a guiding hand to get your website online, search for companies who offer one-on-one support or have an extensive online database of tutorials that will help get you started.

How large of a site do you plan to build?

Pay special attention to how much space and bandwidth you will be given each month.  If you plan to build a photo gallery, you will need significantly more space and bandwidth than someone who’s starting a blog.

Read reviews

The easiest way to discern which web hosting companies offer outstanding support and service and which do not is to spend some time reading web hosting reviews.  Hosting reviews are written by customers and experts in the field, and will give you solid insight into those companies that excel at what they do.

Free web hosting gives everyone an equal chance to get started with web hosting.  Remember to determine your hosting needs and read quality web hosting reviews to ensure you’ll be a success.