Websites are becoming popular for all sorts of things and are no longer used just to sell products. Because of this there are now a significant number of companies that offer free web hosting. These companies offer a variety of services and functions and do not require a monthly or annual fee to host your website. These companies are also a great idea for charities or student websites. Here are some tips for comparing free web hosting.
Companies that offer free web hosting will normally limit the amount of functions that are available. This is because they will probably also offer a range of other hosting services that people will pay for. The free option is the basic entry level but can still work well. Pick some companies and make a list of what functions they offer and compare them with what you actually want your website to do.
Those who are unfamiliar with websites will benefit from the help of a website builder, which most free hosting companies will offer. They will differ and some will be easier to use than others. See if the hosting companies have a demonstration for their website builder and make sure that you are comfortable using it and can understand it. Also see what tools they have to help you maintain the website and how easy it is to make any changes to the pages.
Look at what email addresses the web hosting company provides. Some companies will allocate you a number of dedicated email addresses with the website while others allow you to link existing email addresses to the site. They will have a limit on the number of emails you can have. Make sure that you think about your needs and choose a company that suits them.
The domain name may also be provided for free by the hosting company but will often be linked to the host’s name or limited to a sub domain, as in “yourname.freecompany.com”. This can mean that your website name will be lengthy and difficult to remember, which also means you will lose visitors. See what options you have and if you can purchase and register your own name. If this is important to you and the hosting company will not allow it, you will need to search for another company.
Free webhosting companies will sometimes require a certain amount of space on your website for advertisements, which helps them to pay for hosting your site. These may be in the form of a banner across the page, or rolling adverts down the side or on the bottom of the page. If you have no objection to them doing this it may still be a good idea to find out if you can state the sort of adverts they display, although they do tend to try and keep them relevant to your website where possible. If you do not want any advertising on your site then you will need to search for a company that does not force you to accept the ads. They are out there but you may find that you have to settle for slightly less services or tools in some cases.
About the author: C. Smith works as a customer support in Surftown – one of the fastest growing web hosting companies in Europe.