A serious blogger would never choose a free Webhosting.
Free site hosting are limited in just so many ways. If you are hosting on a free hosting site, either you are not very serious about your site, or you are planning to move to a better web host when your site grows big.
With my experience with free Webhosting space, there are few things you should always look for in a free Webhosting services before starting to build your site especially if it is a WordPress blog and other PHP based website.
Points to consider while selecting free Webhosting
Webspace and Bandwidth
Check your web space and monthly bandwidth requirements. Normally, most of the free Webhosting will meet your web space and bandwidth requirements as your site is new and don’t have lots of visitors.
Most of the free Webhosting have a few GB’s of bandwidth limit. I suggest you to avoid it otherwise, you might notice warning like bandwidth exceeded.
You don’t need unlimited hosting but make sure your limited bandwidth hosting is not limiting your website expansion plan.
Your hosting service provider must support unrestricted .htaccess configuration file editing which is crucial for search engine optimization. Most of the free web hosts will put a restriction on .htaccess modification.
Make sure your hosting allows root FTP access and let you manage all the changes.
Php Mail Function
Double check that your chosen free Webhosting allows PHP mail function which is must if you are starting a forum or a site where registration is required. Without PHP mail function, automated user registration will be impossible. For example, freehostia doesn’t allow PHP-send mail.
XMl-RPC Pinging Service
Check that your hosting company allows XML-RPC pinging services in your WordPress so that search engine bots are automatically notified when you write a WordPress blog post. However, if your Webhosting doesn’t allow pinging, you can compensate for it by using pingoat, feedping, pingshot and other pinging services.
If you are wondering why you need XML-RPC feature, it’s because it won’t work with Windows live writer which is a desktop blogging tool, and you might need to blog directly from WordPress blog editor. Similarly, many other services which rely on XML-RPC service will stop working.
Even if you get all the above features, you’ll encounter a ‘connection timed out‘, ‘error establishing database connection‘ on a regular basis. Check user reviews and try to choose one with fewer problems.
Now, if you starting with a serious web project or even your personal web-blog, I suggest you avoid free hosting at any cost. Its highly unlikely you’ll get all the above features in a free Webhosting. Even if you get one, you’ll face frequent problems.
You can either opt for any possible cheap hosting or should buy when there is a massive discount on Webhosting like 1 cent hosting from Hostgator and Bluehost Discount Coupon, which will let you grab quality hosting for a dirt-cheap price
So, I think I should have rather kept the title of this post ‘Reasons to avoid free Webhosting.’
This is a guest post by Amit Sharma. If you would like to write for ShoutMeLoud, do read: Join ShoutMeLoud