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On looking online, you will find a handful of free web hosting providers out there to host your website. If you are a baseline blogger or has an information-sharing site, then going for a free hosting may not be that much of trouble. But for your business website or established professional site, free hosting may not be an apt solution for many reasons. If this is your requirement, then you have to consider some essential components on availing web hosting services, which we will discuss at the latter half of the article. First, let's have an overview of why to avoid hosting for your serious web hosting needs.
Nothing in this world comes fully free apart from our parent’s love. When a provider is offering your free hosting, they may be generating revenue through advertising through your platform. You are giving them the privilege to generate revenue from your website under their control through advertising. You may not even be able to demand the hosting provider as to where the advertisements can be placed.
2. Zero technical support
The free providers may not give any technical support to the service takers. When it comes to critical services like hosting, it important to get round the clock support if there is any problem with the performance of your website or if the site is down for many reasons. Maximum uptime and anytime support are two crucial factors deciding web hosting service quality, which are fully absent in case of most of the free hosting providers.
3. No control panel hosting
C-panel hosting is the process through which most of the premium web hosting services allow the users to make necessary changes or update their websites at your discretion. This will not be there in free hosting services, ultimately putting you fully dependent on the provider. It is important for the e-com and product sites to timely update the website for better performance.
4. Hidden costs
Majority of the free hosting companies have a range of hidden costs, which may show up at a later stage once you become bound to their service. This may ultimately end up in hefty bills for essential services, which may sometimes go even higher than the premium services. A limited free quota may be allowed, and anything beyond that is chargeable. Over time, you also will be constrained by the need to not lose the customers by shifting your website to another domain and server for an instant, which will be exploited by the initially-free providers. Moreover, the free hosting services may not offer you FTP support or *.htaccess, etc. which are so important in terms of security of your website and data.
5. No sub-domains or redirect
As the free hosting providers don't allow any professional control panel to manage your website as we discussed above, the administrators cannot redirect the traffic to another domain of your choice. You cannot also create any new redirects, and this ultimately will keep your website static. Free hosting is not a choice at all if you are planning for a dynamic website, which has to grow with time. Free web hosting providers are also not ideal for WordPress sites where it a need for installing additional scripts from time to time.
6. Less control over your portal
When you are unable to design a customized control panel and use it for the free hosting services, it is good for only non-monetizing personal websites. For any website which requires to grow rapidly, you have to aim at establishing and monetizing the portal to grow your web media presence. So, the site administrators need to have complete control over the portal to prevent any hacking or administrative issues. It will not happen this way with a free hosting provider, in which your site is managed by someone else.
As you understand from the above-mentioned points, paid web hosting is the choice if you own a business website and want to gain complete control over your portal. Good hosting service providers will also offer you dedicated technical support and also control panel hosting, which makes website management easier for the non-tech savvy site owners too. Now, let’s consider a few core components you need to understand to check for the quality of the providers while approaching hosting services to choose the best.
Core components of web hosting services to look for
With many hosting providers out there who put forth several different offers, it becomes difficult for a common service seeker to understand which to choose. Let’s explore a few hosting terminology and components which you need to be aware of.
– Web browser
A website is ideally accessed through a platform called a web browser. E.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc. hosting companies may provide Control Panel for site administration, which you can use with the web browser of your choice.
– FTP Client
It’s a software which lets the hosted users to view your files on the server folders you’re your computer. You can easily add or remove files to these folders from your computer to add to the hosting account.
– FTP Server
FTP Server is the one through which webmasters can transfer files from and to the server. The users also use FTP to transfer/upload the HTML and images to the server which run as the web server.
– Web Server
A web server is a software application, which accepts queries over HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and delivers the HTML pages and images to the users' browser.
– Mail Server
A typical mail server has two parts as:
- Post Office Protocol (POP), and
- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).
POP is the part where emails are received in the mailbox and SMTP is used to send and receive emails between the servers.
– Database server
On using server-side scripting language on the web server, then the web pages can provide real-time data from a backend database which allows the users to a custom search and view the information in various dynamic ways. A database server is also used to gather data back from the uses to the database as like feedback, orders, discussions, etc.
You need to have an intensive discussion with the hosting service providers to ensure that you get the best in terms of the above components with full security and functionality in order to sign up for the service.
Timothy Ufer works with university graduate programs as a community outreach manager, with a concentration for career development in higher education. In addition to cyber security, Tim's expertise includes business management, engineering leadership and entrepreneurship.View Sujain Thomas`s profile for more