When it comes to web hosting, you need to be aware that the phrase “you get what you pay for” is as true here as it is elsewhere. So, while there is free web hosting available here and there that might be useful for one thing or another, if you’re serious about setting up your business online, you’re going to want to invest in at least “shared server” hosting.
Shared server hosting is the bottom rung when it comes to paid web hosting, but it’s one step up from free web hosting, which is a plus. At this level of web hosting, you’ll only be paying a few bucks a month – typically less if you pay for a whole year at a time. This can be a great deal if you want to get your initial web presence up, want to start doing things on your own, or perhaps want to start a blog on the side.
Occasionally free web hosts will try to get you to go with them by giving away a free domain name. This is only around $8 (if you use a coupon) and is something you should register on your own. Typically, if you’re given a free domain like this, the company registers it in their name and therefore controls it. If you can trust them, great. If not, you may be in trouble down the line if you want to move your website and keep your domain name. This is just one of the possible downsides of going with free web hosting.
Another is that if you give them your contact information, you may be bombarded with calls from salesmen wanting to “upsell” you services for your free web hosting. This can be irritating and time consuming. Pretty quickly, what was free web hosting becomes hassle web hosting. If you think about it and look around, there are so many great hosts out there, it makes sense to get a real web host for your business.