Normally a serious blogger would never choose a free web host. 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.
Free webhosts always restrict you in one way or another in order to make you purchase their premium plans. With my experience with free web hosting space, there are few things you should always look for in a free web hosting services before starting to build your site especially WordPress blogs and other php based websites.
Pointing to consider while Selecting Free Web host
As I mentioned above, free webhosting is something which I would not recommend highly. Though, if you are one of those who don’t really want to spend a dime on hosting, then you should read on and consider some of the below mentioned point to select webhosting which is absolutely free.
Though, you should also consider some of the heavy discount available on Webhosting like: 1 cent hosting from Hostgator and Bluehost Discount coupon, which will let you grab quality hosting for dirt-cheap price.
Webspace and Bandwidth
Check your web space and monthly bandwidth requirements. Hopefully most of the free webhosts will meet your web space and bandwidth requirements as your site is new and don’t have lots of visitors.
Most of free webhost have few gb’s of bandwidth limit, and I suggest to avoid it, else 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 restriction on .htaccess modification. Make sure your hosting allow root FTP access and let you manage all changes.
Php Mail Function
Double check that your chosen free web host 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-sendmail.
XMl-rpc Pinging Service
Check that your hosting company allows xml-rpc pinging services in your wordpress so that when you write a wordpress blog post, search engine bots are automatically notified. However if your web host doesn’t allow pinging, you can compensate for it by using pingoat, feedping, pingshot and other pinging services.
If you wondering why you need XML-RPC feature, if you know about Windows live writer which is a desktop blogging tool, it won’t work and you might need to blog directly from WordPress blog editor. Similarly, many other services which relies on XML-RpC service, will stop working.
Even if you get all the above features, you’ll encounter ‘connection timed out‘, ‘error establishing database connection‘ on a regular basis. Check user reviews and try to choose one with less such problems.
Now, if you starting with a serious web project or even your personal web-blog, I suggest you to avoid free hosting at any cost, and try to opt for any possible cheap hosting. Its highly unlikely you’ll get all the above features in a free web host. Even if you get one, you’ll face frequent problems. So, I think I should have rather kept the title of this post ‘reasons to avoid free web hosts’.
This is a guest post by Amit Sharma. If you like to Write for Shoutmeloud, do read : Shoutmeloud Revenue sharing program.