If you’re just starting up a new business or you’re venturing into online marketing for the first time and setting up a website then you are probably looking for a solution that is relatively cheap. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to compromise on the quality of the service you get from a web host as some of the best web hosting companies provide great value for money packages.
Free Web Hosting
There are of course, ‘free’ web hosts that the likes of WordPress and Wix offer. So you can get a website set up completely for free. There is a bit of a catch though and depending on how you want to use your website, a free web host may not be able to give you what you need.
Here are some of the negative points of using a free web host:
- Limited bandwidth and storage
- They can use your website to display ads
- You can’t use your own domain name (want to know what a domain is?)
- Limited features
- No customer support
These are just a few of the pointers to consider when contemplating using a free web host. If your website doesn’t have your domain then it is harder for people to find your website and if you website displays lots of annoying adverts then not only can it look unprofessional, it may drive potential customers away.
Shared Hosting – This type of hosting tends to be fairly cheap due to the fact that the costs are shared across multiple website owners. The host basically allows multiple customers to share the same server, keeping the costs down for those customers. Costs for shared hosting vary from one host to another but you can generally get a good shared hosting package for around £3-£5 per month.
If you opt for shared hosting then you have much more control over your website and there won’t be the same limitations as free hosts. You can usually get a reasonably priced host that offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, which a key attributes if you want to create lots of web content and anticipate that you will have a high amount of traffic to your site.
The alternative to shared hosting is Dedicated hosting which takes you into a much higher price bracket but for larger businesses, this is a necessity. Dedicated hosting also offers a higher level of security, whereas shared hosting can be prone to viruses due to sharing of the server with other websites.
So the decision really does come down to how you want to use your website and your future plans for expansion. You need to make sure that the web host that you select is able to support your business and website growth. If you find out a few months down the line that you have run out of storage and there is no option to add on further storage then you are in a situation where you have wasted a lot of time building your website and probably invested time and money on driving people to that website, only for you need to start all over again.