|Finding a good free host|
|by mtp of Free-Host-Directory.com|
There are many things you must consider when looking for a free hosting company but what are some of the most important features to look at and consider?
As the old saying goes, you can't get nothing for free these days and the same can be said for free hosting except instead of charging you, many simply inject advertising on your pages in order to cover the costs associated with providing the free hosting service. There are many types of advertising in use by many free hosts including, but never limited to...
Now not all advertising supported hosts are bad, remember, if a host isn't making income to cover the costs associated with providing their free hosting, chances are they won't remain around and may close up shop. However, this isn't the case for all free hosting services, in many cases a successful paid hosting company decides to expand into the free hosting market and provide their services without advertising for a very long time simply because of the upselling potential; this is especially true of budget hosting providers.
So when you're looking for a free host, make sure you check out whether their services are ad-supported and, if they are, whether you are comfortable with their advertising methods such as forced injection, webmaster control of advertising or otherwise.
You should always think of the future when you consider web space needs of free hosting, remember that what you have on your site today may be totally different next year and you need room to flex and grow as your site evolves. Free hosting web space has, for the most part, grown exponentially from the paltry 5~20MB most free services offered only a decade ago to offers in the hundreds of megabytes and beyond.
Many free web hosting services only allow you to edit and modify your site via an online site builder tool which, while this is useful for novice webmasters, can limit you when you begin to expand and become more experienced down the line. So when it comes to your choice of free hosting provider, you should look at what it has to meet your needs today, does it have that nifty point-and-click site editor? What about direct FTP access to upload your own files directly from your computer? Perhaps an online file manager which can do the same?
Remember, think about now and the future...
Some free hosts impose maximum file size limits on each file you upload and if that limit is incredibly low, you will run into problems when you get more experienced down the line whereas others limit you to specific types such as standard HTML and picture formats only. Most limits are reasonable with the majority of free hosts such as no executable formats, no large media file-types or the like but some go way overboard so check it out and do your homework, poke around their forums, do some searching online.
The vast majority of free hosts offer you some form of scripting support nowadays be it a public CGI-BIN with pre-selected scripts, a private CGI-BIN with Perl support, PHP and more server side scripting options than I can count.
If you think you'll want a counter, a blog, form handling, mailing lists, polls or what-not then you'll want to definitely consider a host which supports at least some form of scripting, these days the flavor of choice would be PHP but there are some with support for much more. You'll also want to find out if the particular host you're considering support such things as restrictions in place for scripts if any, if sendmail or mail support is enabled, if you have sockets or cURL support in the case of PHP so, do your homework.
One thing that gets me is how many hosts impose a rediculously low bandwidth limit on your site per day or per month, seriously... I've seen one that allotted a whopping 10MB of transfer per month which was exhausted in transferring the site to the server.
If you don't want to see your site suspended or worse, receive a bill for the traffic, it is best if you find a free host with at least 1GB of transfer or more and yes, there are some which are unmetered meaning they don't actually track that aspect of your account (but some outright lie if you read their Terms of Service).
These are what I personally consider the most important aspects of not only a free hosting service but any hosting service be it web hosting, eCommerce hosting or otherwise and for many webmasters, they would probably agree as we've all been bitten in the butt before.
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