web hosting service
Are you thinking about starting a business? Then you’re also thinking about building a website. If you’re thinking about building a website, you should be thinking about choosing a web host.
New businesses starting out usually don’t have a big budget. Luckily, there are plenty of free website hosting options available to fledgling entrepreneurs.
What should you consider when looking for a free web hosting service?
• Advertising. Does the web host rely on advertising to pay their bills? If they don’t, that may be a caveat: without ad revenue, there is a substantial risk the host might close down. If they use advertising, you want to check what type – for example banners, pop-ups, or frames – and decide if you’re comfortable with that.
• Amount of web space. Most sites use less than 5 MB, even sites that have multiple pages. But usage will vary depending on how many pictures your site will contain, and whether you will include sound files and video clips.
• FTP access. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. If the hosting site does not support secure FTP, you will be limited to the host’s own online site builder. This is usually adequate fro beginners, but you may outgrow it quickly as your needs and requirements change.
• File type and size limits. Some free web hosting sites limit the size of images you can upload, or allow only HTML or GIF/JPG files.
• Reliability and speed of access. Both are important. If the site goes down, you lose business. If your site is slow to load, your potential customer will lose patience and surf on. Consider trying the site out yourself by visiting both during peak and non-peak hours.
• Bandwidth allotment. Some web hosting sites limit the amount of traffic your website can use per day and per month. As a rule, 100 MB per month won’t be enough for anything but your personal website, but 1-3 GB should be enough for a simple business site to start out with.
As you begin to learn your way around the various web hosting options available to you, you might find that the free options no longer suit your needs. But while you’re learning, free might be the way to go. The professionals in the field can usually make recommendations as to which free web hosting services offer the best options, but you might want to start by checking out Heliohost, Youhosting, Serversfree, Myownfreehost, or X10hosting.
By building your website, and publishing it using a free web hosting service, you will begin to discover what your needs are. Do you need a dedicated email server for an eNewsletter? Do you need a member sign-in function?
A lot of this can be done for free. And once you find you’ve outgrown the realm of free hosting, you will have all the knowledge you need to choose wisely among the paid hosting options that are out there.