Free Web Hosting vs. Paying for Web Hosting
By: Robert Post
Many small business owners realize the potential of starting a website for their business. If you look around online the temptation to choose a free Web Host for your site may be hard to pass up. I warn you, you are only putting your business at risk when you choose to use a free Web Host. The professional and trustworthy look attained from paying for Web Hosting is just not possible if you go with a free Host. Here are the major benefits of paying for your website:
Content Control. When you pay for hosting you decide what goes on your website. Whereas, almost all free Web Hosts post their own ads as well as other companies ads on your site; this is how they make money, since they are not charging you. The last thing you want your website viewers to think is that your site is a giant infomercial.
Legitimate URL. If you pay for a Web Host you will have the opportunity to choose any domain name or URL that is currently available. If you decide to use a free Web Host you will most likely be forced to use a URL that promotes the free Host rather than yourself (ex: http://www.freehostsite.com/YOURNAME). A URL that is not solely focused on your site name will not be effective. It is unprofessional and it is much more difficult to remember for internet users.
Space. One of the best parts of paying for a Web Host is the option of having as little or as much space as you need. Depending on the size of your site and the amount of traffic (people actually visiting your site) you will have the option of purchasing a plan to meet your size needs, in GB’s (Free Hosts usually max out at 10GB).
Service. When you pay for Web Hosting you are also paying for service. Service includes up time, customer support, and additional add-ons for your website. Most Hosts offer 99.9% up time, where free Hosts usually don’t even specify the up time they offer. Again, with customer support, the majority of paid Web Hosts offer a 24-hour customer support phone line, where the free Host may not offer a phone line at all. The additional add-ons are where you get the opportunity to personalize your site. You can add an online store, start a blog, utilize marketing tools and SEO, and many other options.
Keep these key pieces in mind when you decide on choosing a Web Host. If you want to operate a successful Website for your business you will need to pay for Hosting, otherwise you’ll fall short in every aspect of your website. A free Host is good for beginners learning the basics of running a website, but is not effective in achieving optimal performance for a business.
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