Web Site Hosting

While not intended for high traffic web sites, free web site hosting services are an appropriate option for many smaller web sites. Individuals, social clubs, non-profit organizations, and start-up businesses may find that a free web site hosting service will sufficiently meet their needs.

In addition to their obvious price advantages, many free web site hosting services often offer features that make it easy for beginners to create a web site. Templates and other add-ons will allow you to create a site without knowing HTML or investing in expensive web design software.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a free web site hosting service.

  • Amount of web space. Although most sites use less than 5MB of space, your free web site hosting service should allow you some room to expand your web site.
  • FTP access. Some free web site hosting services will only allow you to upload pages with their online site builder. A good free web site hosting service will offer FTP access or the ability to upload pages by e-mail.
  • File type and size limitations. Free web site hosting services commonly place limits on the size and type of files you can upload. This can be a problem if you plan to use your site to distribute large files or content that's not in the standard HTML or GIF/JPG formats.
  • Bandwidth allotment. Many free web site hosting services place limits on the amount of traffic your web site can have. If you exceed the daily or monthly limit, your site will be temporarily shut down or you'll be charged a fee to keep it running.
  • Reliability and speed of access. Some free web site hosting services have a reputation for being notoriously overcrowded, slow, and unreliable. Free web site hosting services normally don't offer technical support to their customers, so it's important to choose a site with an easy to operate system.

To help pay for the cost of operating a free web site hosting service, you'll be expected to place advertising on your web site. Some of the advertising forms most commonly used by free web site hosting services are banners, text links, and pop-up ads. While some people don't mind the advertising, many customers of free web site hosting services feel these ads are a nuisance that takes away from the design of their site.