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It’s almost a standard for paid web hosting providers to offer features like PHP and MySQL, features that allow your site to grow along with your business needs. With such features you can easily have an online store, offer your customers possibility to track their orders etc.
Often web hosting provider offers guarantees for uptime of server, and this avoids unnecessary frustration for your customers. To complement this, support services of higher quality allow your business to overcome possible technical problems easier and faster.
Let’s review main points of each option.
Free web hosting:
(+) It's free. No money for space, bandwidth and domain name
(-) Your URL will contain mark of free web-hosting provider and thus would not reflect identity of your business. Changing providers might result in loosing some or all traffic to your online business
(-) Required advertising items such as banners, frames etc have a detrimental effect on your content in terms of accessibility and look, making it very unprofessional (-) If you plan to use banner exchange on your site read carefully their Terms and conditions. Some free hosts doesn't allow it
(-) You will probably have lower bandwidth then a paid host provides and space could also be restricted
(-) Features like PHP and MySQL are rather rare for a free web-hosting provider. Some don’t offer FTP access to your website
(-) It’s common that free hosting providers change their Terms and conditions at some point in time. Consider that no adds today could mean a banner or a popup tomorrow. Such changes could mean that free hosting service is canceled and only paid web hosting services are offered. At this moment either you pay, either you loose your web site
Paid web hosting:
(-) You will have to pay for it. Usually you have to pay for hosting (space and bandwidth) and for domain name
(+) You can host your own domain. With your unique domain name changing web hosting providers don’t cause loosing your traffic
(+) Support is offered by most paid web hosting providers. This usually means 24/7 support via email or live chat and, in some cases, toll-free phone support is available
(+) The uptime of server(s) hosting your web site is better then on free host and more and more frequently web hosting provider offers uptime guarantee
(+) The amount of enough disk space and bandwidth available is very likely to cover needs of your business
(+) Features like PHP and MySQL are almost standard for a paid hosting plan. Also you will have FTP access to your website.
It could be tempting to embrace idea that a free web hosting is good point to start from, but it’s not something you would want to consider if you are looking to establish your business as a serious web presence.
In end it all comes down to this one question: How big ambitions do you have with your website?
If you look to make some savings while getting your business online, save time instead and register a domain name. The small amount of money saved on web hosting might cost your business customers, and a loss of image.
The cost of a paid web hosting solution is small compared with freedom it gives to your online presence. Yes, freedom of your image, of way you treat your online presence.
If your online business is important to you, better make that if you care for it at all, when coming to decision of opting over free or paid web hosing choose
Keep in mind that success of your online presence will play a significant role in future growth of your business.
Calin Indre is editor at HostPinPin (www.hostpinpin.com), a Cheap Web Hosting Directory Resource.
HostPinPin.com is a resource for webmasters and consumers looking to find a web hosting company. Providing web hosting reviews, articles, tips.
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