Let's face it. There is no such thing as a free meal. When it comes to free web hosting, be prepared to face a few limitations and restrictions and give something in return for the free services offered by the web-hosting provider. Free web hosting is best suited for individuals who just starting to get a feel of the web hosting industry or are simply looking to get a web presence. There are a few hosting providers out there however, who are ready to offer great functionalities while allowing the user to get a web presence completely free of cost. This is also a good option for users who are running on a tight budget, yet want a space for their website on the World Wide Web.
It is highly advisable to weigh the pros and cons before choosing your free web-hosting provider. Your free hosting service will come with a few limitations and restrictions and you need to be aware of these aspects. If your website can function without certain functionalities and features that are missing with the free web hosting account, then it is fine to opt for this type of hosting service. If you feel that the missing features are required for your website to function smoothly and the website has bright growth prospects, then ensure that the hosting provider offers a convenient upgrade to a paid hosting account. Most of the free hosting providers allow the users to use the domains that had purchased separately as well as get a sub-domain or directory.
It is also a good idea to read customer reviews and perform a comparison between the various free web-hosting companies before you settle for a free web hosting account.
In return of the free service offered, the web provider would place their web host banner or other forms advertisements and pop ups into most of your web pages. The user may face certain limitations with a free hosting account including reduced bandwidth, size of the hosted file, no multimedia enabled features (e.g. MP3, MPEG or ZIP files), no hot linking to files, little space etc. Furthermore, most of the free web-hosting providers do not offer any uptime guarantee.
The user however would get access to certain utilizable features like a web based control panel, FTP for file transfer, use of scripting languages and guest book among other features.
Free web hosting methods:
Free web hosting methods may include post for hosting, instant activation, forum hosting or approved activation. The instant activation usually comes with certain limitations like small bandwidth and storage space. The account may also fall prey to spamming.
The approved activation offers a decent bandwidth and storage. The application needs to be approved by the free web-hosting administrators. Your account is activated after your application has been validated. This aids to prevent spamming as well as reduces the risk of becoming a phishing website.
Some free web-hosting providers require the user to post a certain number of posts on a forum. Each post equates to certain number of points by which the user can then avail the free web hosting services.