Free Web Hosting: Does It Work?

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To publish your website, you need to upload it to a web host (web server), so that they can serve it to the whole world. Web hosting services are offered by many companies in the form of many packages and plans. These plans differ from each other with respect to the services offered and prices. Different companies design these plans differently according to the requirements of the users. Some plans cost more and some less, with some companies even offering a free web hosting plan with no ads.

Even though the basic hosting plan now costs only around 5 dollars per month, many people still ask about the free web hosting plan. So, the aim of the discussion here is, “What this free web hosting plan is?” and “Can it work for me?”

The free web hosting plan offered is usually highly limited. It offers low storage space, low-bandwidth, slow downloading speed, no SMTP services, very limited data base options and restrictions like that.

In spite of these limitations, the free hosting option still offers the most basic features for a basic website, which are, enough storage space, workable bandwidth and some database storage space (generally free hosting allows only 1 data base).

If the new site you are considering to launch is a basic site, than it probably requires some megabytes of hosting space, few gigabytes of bandwidth and an SMTP service to allow users to post comments which can than be emailed to your email inbox.

Free hosting does not generally allow SMTP access and if they do, it is of poor quality. So what you can do is, instead of emailing user comments to your inbox, you can save to the available data base in the form of a table. Then later on, you can log in to the data base any time you want and read the comments. This may not be so feasible but can be acceptable for some new web masters.

Now, you may know that posting user comments directly to your email inbox requires a Server Side Script to run on the web server. To post the comments to the database instead the code requires a slight modification. If you know a scripting language such as PHP or Perl you can make these changes without a lot of effort. If you don’t, you’ll have to find a script on the internet that is capable of doing so.

The purpose of this article in not to encourage you to use free web hosting and I do not recommend it. Especially, if you’re into a serious website don’t go for a free web hosting solution, as there is not guarantee that it will work and will not give down times. But if you’re starting a new website and on a very low-budget or just want to see the response you can get from visitors or have some experiments to do with the site before it becomes much mature and generates traffic, you can try the free hosting solution. Good Luck!

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