Free Web Hosting
There are probably hundreds of internet companies that currently offer free web hosting services, though they are getting fewer every day. Once you have built your web site, you may want to try uploading it to a free host to see how everything looks when actually accessed from the net. If you don’t have complex needs for web hosting, a free host may even meet your needs. Although it may at first seem like you are getting something for nothing, rest assured that these companies aren’t going under any time soon by giving too much away! They are able to offer these services because:
- Web space is dirt cheap when bought in gigantic quantities.
- They make their money by selling advertising on your site.
- They often use the free web space as a way of establishing a relationship with you, which can later be used to sell advanced features for your site.
- Your site is a great source of advertising for them.
As with anything, there is a great variety in the quality that the different free web hosts offer. When deciding which to use, we recommend addressing the following factors as they apply to your needs:
- The quantity and relative intrusiveness of the advertising they put on your site. The most common forms are embedded ads which are part of the site itself and pop up ads which appear in a separate window when your site is accessed. Pop up ads don’t interfere with the general aesthetics of your site, but can slow down your visitors computers as a new window must be opened for them.
- The amount of memory or space they provide.
- Whether they allow you to use a direct FTP Program to transfer your information to the site, or if they alternatively have a different means of information transfer you must use.
- Whether they give you the option of using your own domain name or force you to use a sub-domain of their site.
- Whether you are allowed to use the site for any purpose you choose or are constrained by their rules to a certain type of site (most free hosts won’t allow you to build adult sites, MP3 sites,or warez sites, and some won’t allow you to use your site for commercial purposes either).
- Whether they allow you to design your site with your own software, or you are required to use their site-specific program to design a site.
- Whether they support CGI or other dynamic scripting.
Below we have included a list of free web hosts that we have found to be particularly impressive.
AngelFire is still free, and we don’t usually get script errors visiting sites hosted there.
Prohosting.com — Don’t know much about them. Banners on pages. Please let us know what experience you have with them.
Geocities.com — Free space with ads. We have noticed script errors at times in their ad script lately, making it annoying to visit a geocities hosted site. Also, if you don’t update your site, they will close the account. So be ready to update your site occasinally.
Bravenet.com offers free hosting with FTP upload option, plus lots of free services like guestbooks, web journals, email lists, and more. Get rid of ads by paying a montly fee.
Not interested in any of these free web hosting options? Try the largest searchable guide to free webspace to find your specific needs.