The fact is, most free and really dirt cheap web hosts sound like a good deal Web Hosting UK, but they really aren’t. Basically, there are problems with using a free web hosting company for any type of e-commerce or business website, and I’m going to discuss those issues now.
If you’re only looking for a spot to put a small, simple personal website, then free web hosting may be what you’re looking for. But, if you can afford to spend even a few dollars a month, a paid host is a better deal, even for a personal web site. If you really can’t afford to pay anything, and you want a “free” website, my best recommendation is to get a blog at either Blogger.com or WordPress.com, and use that for your website. Both of these platforms are stable and easy to use, and as long as your purpose is simply to have a personal website accessed by a few friends and relatives, they’ll do just fine. If you want to make a few bucks, you can set up AdSense accounts on these sites, or put links on them that lead to your affiliate sales pages. If you’re looking to make a commercial web site, Blogger.com is a little more friendly to these kinds of things than WordPress.com. Plus, the search engines like these sites, and you may find an audience and discover that your blog is much more popular than you thought it could be.
Most other free web hosts come with one or more of the following problems, and really limit your ability to conduct business online.
1. Long urls, with the free web hosts name in them. This doesn’t instill much confidence in prospective buyers or clients.
2. Free web host sponsored links and advertising. People who click on these ads make money for them, not you, and leave your website.
3. Space and bandwidth given to web sites by free hosting companies are normally quite small.
4. Most free hosts restrict your ability to advertise or run a business web site that processes purchases.
5. No ability to obtain SSL certificates or handle transactions securely, even if they are allowed.
6. Technology used at these sites is not state of the art, and they are often slow to load.
7. Pearl, CGI and scripts are often not updated to current versions, and requests for updates are usually denied.
8. Support is, at best, not very good or quick to respond. At some free web hosts, it is virtually non-existent.
9. Most do not give you the tools you need to build a web site, like an online site builder and templates, or a free script library to install blogs, galleries, or other features.
10. Cron jobs, necessary to run certain scripts and other features, are often not provided or allowed. Databases may not be provided or allowed.
On top of all of this, free web hosting and really cheap web hosting (especially those that allow you to pay by the month), attract spammers, scammers, phishers and hackers. These low-lifes of the internet world may wind up on your shared IP address, and can cause problems that I’ll talk about when I discuss cheap web hosting.
In my opinion, if you just want a personal web site to put your thoughts or opinions online, get a free blog and start writing. But if your intention is to make a living online, or at least to have a professional online business presence, you’re going to have to pay for a real domain name and your web hosting. If you expect to be successful, and you want to make getting a full featured professional web site up and running as easy as possible, plus you want access to a quick, responsive tech support team to help you do it, you really need a “premium” web host.
As with free web hosts, if you’re just setting up a small personal site, but want to build the site yourself, and want more flexibility as to the template you use, and want to be able to add pictures, video and audio, then a real dirt cheap host may be a good deal for you. But for a business or e-commerce web site, cheaper is not always a bargain.