There is paid web hosting and there is free web hosting. Most people tend to steer clear of free web hosting as they tend to believe that “there is no free lunch”. Free web hosting must have its catches?
Well, that really depends on your purposes and your position.
If your web hosting is for your website which is for commercial purposes, such as an ecommerce web-store, you need absolute reliability and uptime. Every second of downtime is lost revenue. While some free web hosting providers guarantee uptime, you cannot hold it against them if their services do not meet expectations and cause your business to lose hundreds of dollars of revenue. Why? Because most free web hosts will have a clause in their terms that state that they do not guarantee uptime at all because they are a free service. Now, most free hosts will not even guarantee any uptime and those free web hosting services are provided on a best effort basis. You cannot risk hosting your crucial business website on such a free hosting plan.
However, for most individuals who are experimenting with building websites, free web hosting is the ideal choice as there is no monetary commitment and no lost for both parties. Everyone deserves a chance to learn and what better way to learn than to do it? Free web hosting plans from free hosts are the ideal platform for aspiring webmasters to start their web-building careers. Of course these free hosts may require something in return: visiting sponsors, displaying ads on hosted pages, reading emails, and lately, participating in online communities of the free web-host. This last option may not be a bad thing as online communities allow the users to interact and learn from each other.
There is also a last category of users who just want free web hosting for a personal site which they do not find the need to be up all the time and do not see the need to pay for it and do not see the need to do anything for it. There are some free web hosts out there who offer free hosting for nothing – just a simple sign up. Therefore, a clear purpose for using free web hosting is important. If the purpose is critical and there is no tolerance for problems, then free web hosting is not suitable. Other than that, free web hosting is not a bad thing.
Web hosting plans are relatively affordable these days (some plans as low as $1 a month) that almost any working person can afford it for their websites. Therefore, paying for web hosting should not be a problem for those who have an income, or some savings to spend on developing their websites further. Also, any working adult should be able to afford using a Paypal account that most web hosts will accept as a form of payment. On the other hand, students and young people do not have much to spend, much less a Paypal or Credit Card with which to pay for hosting. For this group of people, free web hosting plans are the obvious alternatives if they wish to set up websites without paying anything for them.
To conclude, free web hosting may not be a bad thing for selected groups of people who have a specific purpose. For students and people looking to learn about developing websites, free web hosting is a good thing.