Finding A Free HostPart I: Meeting Your Needs ... on the internet are greedy. They want some ultimate free host, with ... storage, ... ... and no ads. That will n
Finding A Free Host
Part I: Meeting Your Needs
People on the internet are greedy. They want some ultimate free host, with ďunlimitedĒ storage, ďunlimitedĒ bandwidth, and no ads. That will never happen, unless it is some private host that only allows a few users. I hate seeing this greed. Why should a host give you so much, and you donít even let them make money? Itís a ridiculous idea. You have to make realistic goals on what your host might be able to provide you.
The point of the article is to help you determine the specific requirements for the free host you want to pick.
Storage & Bandwidth
To determine how much storage and bandwidth you need for your website, you need to think about what kind of files you may be storing. The majority of people who donít have anything but HTML and image files usually donít need more than 5 Mb. If this is the case, donít rule out any host because it doesnít have a huge amount of space. If your website stores several megabytes of files, your choices may be limited. There are plenty of websites that give you 20 Mb+, but most will ban file types such as .MP3.
I have heard a lot of people complain about how annoying the ads are on their free websites. Itís rare these days to find a host without ads, and when there is one, it is usually abused and goes down months later. That happens for a reason, and that reason is that there is no money to be made when you have no ads. If people arenít paying for the website, ads are the way the company pays for their bills and salaries.
But donít lose hope yet, there are options. If you are a business site, it might look unprofessional if you have a banner on the top of your page. For this reason you might choose a host that looks like it will stay around for a while but has no ads, or get a host that has pop-ups. Pop-ups are quicker for the user to click out of, and the visitor only has to see it a second every time he enters a new page. The downside of pop-ups occur when visitors change pages quickly. If your visitors go to many pages each visit, a pop-up coming back up every time may be very annoying. In this situation, a banner may be better.
A final issue that has come up dealing with advertising is whether your host will allow you to host your own ads. If your website becomes popular, and for some reason you still donít want to move to paid hosting, you may want to sell advertising space on your website. This may be a problem for some hosts, as they donít necessarily want you to make a profit off of their free service. You may want to factor this into your search for a host if you are planning to make a profit off of a free website. I would recommend that if this is even a factor, you should pay a small fee for paid hosting. You receive more benefits, and there are a lot less hassles.
Scripting Languages Supported
Various Other Features
Other things you may need to think about include length of your URL, and what type of uploading you have.
If you have a business site that you want to be easily remembered, http://www.freewebhostwith50megsnoads.com/sites/users/you might not be a good web host. Length is an obvious factor, as it is hard to remember a long URL. Another problem might be the domain hosting you. If you are a business or a professional site, do you really want to have the words ďFREEHOSTINGĒ or ďALL4FREEĒ in your URL? Think about this when finding your host. Redirection services may seem like a good solution, but often to pay for this service, they too must have pop-ups or banner frames.
The method of uploading is important too. If you are comfortable with FTP programs, you may want to require your host to have an FTP account provided to you. This might not be the best tool if you arenít very technical and have to update your pages a lot. Try looking for an ďOnline File ManagerĒ as a feature.
I hope this article helped you figure out what features you need to look for when deciding on a free host. Next article in this series will tell you how to actually find the host.
Elan Bechor runs The Internet Library (http://internetlibrary.vr9.com) and writes various articles about getting things free on the internet. The Internet Library also is a directory of free information.