Free Web Hosting: Is It Worth It?

Submitted by Donovan Baldwin | Category: Web Hosting | Published on Jul 12, 2006
Is free web hosting going to be acceptable for your needs?

Please excuse me if you are an experienced internet marketer, but I remember how little I knew when I first began my career in internet marketing, so I am going to assume that my reader is totally ignorant on what is about to follow.


As in any business, you need to do some research and have some sort of business plan before you start committing yourself to contracts and debts, even if only debts of time and emotion.  While there is no guarantee that any new business will succeed, according to the small business administration you have a better chance of success if you have done research and have a business plan BEFORE you become involved in your new endeavor.

In terms of the web site itself, you will need to have some idea of how big you expect your website to be.  will you be selling product from the website, or merely hosting links to affiliate programs?  Are you going to have a lot of graphics, or mainly text?  How much help will you need from the web host in setting up your web site?  Will you need an email account?  These are just a few questions you might ask yourself.

Questions you might want to get answered about the web hosting service might include information about how reliable their service is, their reputation in the internet community, or if your site will be able to grow as your business grows.  Naturally, if you ask the web host themselves about these sorts of things you will probably just get positive answers, so find some forum where internet marketers hang out, read their discussions and ask some questions of them.  Most are more than willing to help, although some may have a web hosting service that they are trying to promote, so keep your eye open for that.


Ever heard the old term - TANSTAAFL?  The letters stand for "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."  Even an internet marketing acquaintance who lets you in on a really valuable deal or gives you a "free" gift such as an information packed internet marketing ebook probably has a profit or promotion link to it in some way. Nothing personal, it's in the blood.

That's why you can get "free" web hosting.  The hosting service normally will put ads on your free website.  They either are affiliated with the company advertised, they are being paid for the advertising, they are the company advertised, or they expect to gain in some other way as you go about building and promoting YOUR new free website. Every time someone links to your website or a search engine indexes and adds your website to its list, the web hosting service has just picked up an opportunity to add new customers.


The obvious and major advantage is that it is free.  You can start a website for your internet business without the costs of registering a domain name or paying for hosting.  It can also serve as a training site or you can use it to test new promotions and products at no cost.  For more advanced internet marketing pros, it can be the cornerstone of a major internet marketing ploy, but that is outside the scope of this article. Since the sites ARE free, you can try your business website on several different services, and you might learn that it is easier to work with one than another, or that one gets indexed quicker by search engines.  One free service I use sometimes gets my site listed on Google and other search engines before I have even done any promotion for it.


Probably, the single largest disadvantage in most peoples' eyes will be the ads that clutter their site or pop-up when the site is visited or the visitor departs.  Not only does this tend to obscure YOUR message from your visitors' eyes, but it may also cut short the time they spend on your site.  They go elsewhere to a more professional looking site, or they follow one of the web host's advertisements...which was the reason you got the site free.


There is no one service which will please everyone.  This is where you will have to go back to your business plan and questions and balance one site against the other. You can find free web hosting services by searches on Google and other search engines for "free web hosting", or by visiting sites such as hostsearch.


I started my internet business with free websites, and many of those free sites not only are still up and functioning, but are also sending traffic to my business, and earning money for me.  However, as my business expanded, I found that purchasing my own domain names and building "real" websites produced even more traffic and business.  However, if you are getting started and don't really know what you are doing and don't have a lot of money to throw around, free web hosting is probably the way you will want to go.


Although I use other hosting services as well, two of the ones I use most commonly are:

Good luck in your internet marketing endeavors.

About the Author
Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area writer and website content provider.  He is a graduate of the University of West Florida, Pensacola, and a member of Mensa.


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