Free Hosting

If a blog or group doesn't provide you with the web presence that you need then it is time to consider getting a "free" hosting account for yourself. Most such hosting accounts provide a simple web editor that allows you to create basic web pages without having to learn HTML.

There are lots of "free" web hosting services out there. All of them have restrictions on them of one sort or another as to what you can do with them as their purpose as far as the provider is concerned is to make money for the provider.

Almost all "free" hosting services are paid for by advertising displayed on your web page. The placement of the ads, how big they are, whether they are part of your page or appear in popups etc. is all decided by the service provider. They will place the ads where they think will earn them the best return for their investment in providing the web space to you. In return they hope that you will provide good content so that people will want to visit your page and see their ads.

If you manage to find a "free" hosting service that doesn't put ads on your pages then there will obviously be some other way that they earn money from providing you with hosting. In most cases this will involve you in having to participate in some activity for which they "pay you" by providing you with web hosting.

Before you commit to hosting your personal web pages on a particular hosting service you should visot other sites hosted on the "free" service so as to check out the advertising placement and how obtrusive the advertising is. Of course the provider reserves the right to change their advertising policy at any time and you have the right to move your site from their hosting to an alternate provider at any time as well.

You will also want to read up on what page editing facilities that they provide and whether you must use their editor or can select and use your own. When I first set up this site I made use of free hosting from Geocities. At the time they provided an online editor which I never used as well as a file manager facility that allowed you to upload web pages created in any editor. Either one would then add in the Geocities advertising which at the time was a relatively unobtrusive overlay ad in the top right corner of the page that would disappear after a short time. I haven't looked at Geocities hosting recently but I do know that Bravenet now offer web hosting where you have three alternatives on how to create your pages. They have a Wizard that can create a few basic web pages with a predefined layout which are all automatically linked together which is ideal for anyone who wants a quick presence on the web for minimal effort. They also have a more sophisticated online editor that allows you to create much more advanced pages with whatever layout you like. If that doesn't suit they also allow you to use any web editor you like on your own computer and in addition to providing a file manager to upload them also allow you to use any file transfer program that you have on your computer to upload your files instead.

There are lots of other free hosting providers out there andFreewebspace lists a lot of them on their site. Since there is no actual monetary cost, it will not hurt for you to sign up with several of them to try them out first while trying to decide which one to use to host your pages. The only thing to watch out for is how much personal information that they ask for when you are signing up. If they ask for information that you think is inappropriate for you to need to tell them just to obtain the web hosting then try leaving the field blank. If the form insists on your answering a particular question you need to decide whether that hosting is worth the price of your answer. If not then drop that host and try a different one.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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