Hosting your Website or Blog
All webmasters out there require having reliable hosting solutions which will ensure that their websites or blog are accessible at anytime without any issues of the hosting servers being down or the visitors to the site finding it difficult to navigate through the website because of cluttered information or ads which may be induced by the web hosting company.
Even for those webmasters who opt for free hosting solutions, of which there are tons of providers for the same services, they will need some hosting solutions which do not hurt the images of their brand or website. Today, both paid and free webhosting can entice a new webmaster with some good deals and guarantees for the services that they are offering, but it is always vital for any webmaster to be keen and diligent an look for red flags which may suggest the value of services being offered. Never just look at the price, but at the underlining features which come with any offer that you take.
Red flags to Discern from Hosting Companies
When I had my first website online, I decided to go for free hosting. I figured out that the site would take some time before it started receiving decent traffic and by then I felt that I didn’t have to keep ‘losing’ money by going for paid hosting. That was a mistake that made me learn the hard way. While choosing the provider for the services, I overlooked several factors. Below are some of the factors that I overlooked and they impacted negatively on my site.
There is never a Thing like Unlimited Bandwidth
For your understanding, bandwidth is used to refer to the total amount of data transfer that occurs anytime when you upload a file to your server so that it can appear on the website or when someone visit a page on your site and views it. You should note that the amount of data viewed on any given page equals the data or file uploaded on the site.
There is nothing like free lunch and from experience I will argue out that the bandwidth must be paid for even if the services your have procured are free. What I’m saying is that you need to highly doubt those providers that promise free unlimited bandwidth.
For my initial site, I realized that many free providers usually change their policy with time if your site starts receiving significant traffic daily. For instance if your accounts starts to have a bandwidth of about 5gb daily, be assured to receive an email with some review of their policy. All along, they would have been trying to pitch to a potential client with unlimited bandwidth (something they have been paying for themselves) only to bombard you and try to hoodwink you to be a paid client when they realized that you are receiving decent traffic and hence a potential client. Of course you may try to avoid the hassle of having your site down as you try finding another hosting vendor.
Consequently, something I also learnt as I started other site on free hosting with unlimited bandwidth, is that if the company doesn’t monitor the amount of data viewed or uploaded by your account for them to review their policy with your, then it is most probable that they are using a dedicated server and will not be ready to increase the bandwidth to match the data sent or received prompting slow loading of the site which is a turn-off to many visitors. The server speeds becomes very slow and if the servers become more overloaded with time, expect your visitors to encounter numerous downtime errors.
Understanding the Context of Unlimited Space
The first red flag which you should read in this aspect is the facts that disk space is a static element. Bandwidth could be offered unlimited but not the disk space. Bandwidths can clear with time and allow a visitor to access a page, but on the contrary for disk space, your provider may limit or altogether cut you off from uploading additional content and files especially if they are big e.g. multimedia files. Mind you, your account may be suspended or altogether deleted.
Free Hosting with No Banners
I don’t have to emphasize that even free hosting companies are doing it in the business aspect. Essentially, they are looking generate more revenue exceeding the costs that they incur in providing free webhosting services. They are in business to make a living and not unless that they have another secret source to generate revenue; they would be in business for long.
At one time, I had a company offering free banner-less hosting but they had me sing into several affiliate programs before I got an account from them. I did so and all was good for about seven months. I assume that their clients grew in numbers such that they couldn’t sustain them because I woke up one day to meet my site all gone together with its contents. I had to starts again from kindergarten with no one to help me. They didn’t even mid warning me to back up my content or maybe redirect my traffic to my other sites.
All-in-all, there is nothing like free lunch.