Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Free hosting or Paid hosting?

Just came from Megamall after watching 1 cool movie - (Ocean's 13), but before that i passed by Metrobank to pay for my web hosting account. Now some are asking why do i have to pay for an account when there are free hosting services out there (geocities, netfirms, freeservers, tripod, angelfire and the likes)... well, i've been there... done that... now... i need the money :)

I've been using Yahoo's geocities for quite long and I've been annoyed by their ads that they attach to your website in return to the free hosting. And then I found out that you can really earn some money if clicks to those advertisements will be credited to you. And how do you do that... by paying a web host for your own web account and domain. Read this article to learn more about Free vs. Paid Hosting:

Free Hosting

Ten years ago your options for free web hosting were pretty clear cut; there were a few major companies that ran the market and you simply chose between them. Their options and conditions were also pretty clear cut: each one had ads that displayed on your web site, each one severely limited your allocated web space, and each one controlled the content that you were allowed to display on it.

Now, in 2007, the market is much different. Most free web hosting companies still require you to place their ads on your website, though now the ads are far less intrusive and take up much less space. Free hosting companies are now offering much more space (I’ve seen free hosts offering in excess of 100 megabytes of storage) and are giving their users more control over what can be displayed and how it can be accomplished (website, forum, blog, etc.)

There are even companies that will give you free domain names in exchange for advertising space.

Almost all free web space providers also limit your monthly bandwidth (the amount of data that your site can send or receive). If your website becomes popular you may see it taken offline when it exceeds it’s daily or monthly bandwidth allocation. This can be, at the least, incredibly annoying; at the worst it could cost you or your business money (from lost profits are lost sales).

Paid Hosting

Free hosting will always be the same animal: free web space and a sub domain, but you must place their advertisements on your website (and receive none of the profits). For many users it doesn’t really matter. However, if you are trying to create a website for business, profit, or professional use you do not want someone else’s ads on your site, period.

Advertising on the internet has become a big business. In fact, billions of dollars are spent each year on internet marketing. If you have a website that’s hosted by a free provider chances are good that you’ve given them their fair share of that billion dollar pie. Having your own hosting leaves you open to choose what you want to do regarding advertising or monetization.

Essentially, your website can make you money much easier than a site that’s hosted for free can. This is primarily because all of the ads that may appear on your website will be because you chose to put them there. If your website becomes popular this could become a big income- why give that to someone else?

Paid hosting has come down in price quite dramatically. You can now find hosting for $3 a month Host Gator and domain names as low as $8.88. The number of features that that you receive for such a low price are also on the rise.

A few years ago $3 a month might have gotten you 100 megabytes of storage and a few e-mail addresses. Today $3 gets you 500 megabytes or more of storage, hundreds of e-mail addresses, multiple FTP accounts, mySQL databases, and so much more.

Many hosting companies will give you a domain name for free when you purchase a hosting plan through them. This is a low-cost way to create a professional and branded website.

So, which is best?

Well, they’re both good. In fact, as time goes on, they’re only going to get better. However, if you want to have any level of professionalism you are going to want to allocate a few dollars every month to professional and reliable web hosting- the number of benefits are simply too numerous to pass up.

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