Free Web Hosting Primer for Beginners
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Not all of the best things in life are free, not even on the Internet. For serious web developers, free web hosting isn't the way to go. It has too many limitations. However if you're a beginner to Web design and authoring, free web hosting may be just right for you. Most veteran webmasters and programmers trained in this way. It's fun and costs nothing.
So which free web hosting service do you choose?
Our advice is simple: Ask someone you know. Feedback from a "real" person with real experience to speak of is worth a thousand times more than web hosting articles and FAQs-including this one. Chances are, that person will give you real-world advice most relevant to YOU and YOUR needs better than any article can.
In the event that you don't know anyone who uses free web hosting, you can ask people in a forum or go to a free webmaster tools and resources site. Such free webmaster guides offer updated feedback on various web hosting services.
If you see many free web hosting services listed (and you will), we advise you to choose the most popular and widely used. Those well-known brands of free web hosting are often the most reliable. Don't be quick to sign up with little-known web hosts that offer a ton of free space and bandwidth. Chances are, there's a price to pay like server downtime, slow file transfer and few webmaster tools.
We are of the opinion that free webmaster tools and services should be a priority when choosing free web hosting. The file manager or file upload utility must be easy to use and navigate. FTP should be available since this is quicker than loading a page every time. (FTP software lets you transfer many files at once just by point and click, drag n' drop.)
A good file manager means the ability to easily create new folders, move, delete and rename files. Most of this you won't find out until after you've signed up!
Another feature that a free host may provide is site promotion. Does your site get listed in a directory? Do they offer link exchange or other type of site promotion? However note that this is not that important anymore. Directory listing has become practically useless due to the way Google (the GOD of search engines) ranks web pages. So don't worry too much about that one.
One of the few advantages of lesser-known free hosting services is that the username you want may still be available there. With popular free web hosting, just about all common names and words are already taken.
Finally, what does free web hosting allow you to display on your site? Generally you can't post warez, porn and the like, which shouldn't concern you. But does the host allow you to run a business website or only a non-commercial site? Some actually let you do the former. Others will want you to upgrade to premium service.
Free web hosting is a good way to begin your Internet adventure. Just make sure you pick the right host with all the necessary tools and you're all set. When you become proficient, you can move on to professional web hosting and design. But for now, it's time to enjoy what's free.
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