Free web hosting in the strict sense of the word ‘free’ doesn’t exist. In fact, providing full-fledged hosting for free is not economically feasible.
The reason for this is not far to seek: Web hosting services cost money and resources which nobody can afford to give away without getting something in return.
So when you come across various offers of best web hosting for canada, you can safely assume that you do have to somehow pay for what you get when you host your site on such a host.
How You Pay For Free Hosting
Most of the time this payment is in the form of advertisement that the web host will ask you to put on every page of your site. Such ads could be in the form of a banner at the head of the page or a link at the bottom. And you have to use the host’s url for your website.
So this is a barter. You get free web space and bandwidth in return for promoting the hosting provider by an ad on your pages and in your site url. This is because you have to use directory or subdomain in your site url like www.yourhost.com/yoursitename or www.yoursitename.yourhost.com
Problems of Free Hosting
The above trade-off is not much of a bother when you are new at building a website. Your site won’t be using much of the bandwidth or resources in the beginning. The problem could arise when your site starts getting lots of visitors and begins eating bandwidth and other resources.
If your site exceeds the allowed bandwidth or what according to the web host is “the fair use” of the hosting service, your web host can shut down your site or ask you to upgrade to the paid service which most free hosting providers have.
Actually this is the way typical free web hosting works. You pay for the free services either by promoting its brand and go for its paid services when your needs outgrow the allowed free quota.
Still another downside of free hosting is that you can’t expect to get a lot of support from your hosts nor can you expect that your site will be always up as you do with the paid hosting, though paid hosting also has its share of some downtime.
Because of these disadvantages, it is often said that you shouldn’t use free web hosting at all.
For one, it is not free. You pay for it by promoting the host. Two, you are always at the mercy of the host who can take down your site or ask you to pay when your site begins to take off. The result: you lose all the work that you have done for optimizing and promoting the site if you are not ready to sign up for paid services.
No doubt these arguments have some merit, but there are some distinct advantages of free web hosting too, especially if you are new to site building.
The Upside of Free Web Hosting
While putting up a few web pages may not be that difficult, making a web site that really works requires some learning on your part. This is where free web hosting comes to your help while you are mastering web building techniques.
Here you don’t have to pay for the hosting service and domain name which, otherwise, would be your recurring expenses. Another advantage is that many, if not all, free web hosts provide you lots of help in the form of web building tutorials, web tools and resources.
Add to all this another plus point of going for free web hosting.. When you are using the services of a free web host, you come to know how reliable it is – that is, if it delivers what it promises by way of free resources. If not, you can always try another host. This will help you decide which host to go for when you are ready for paid hosting for your full-fledged site.
As with everything else, free web hosting has its pros and cons. In my view, however, it is not a one-way street as it is often made out to be. The web host does gain from you as it should. But you are not a complete loser in this bargain either. You do get a lot if you keep the limitations of such a freebie in sight. So if you are looking for free hosting service look at various free hosting sources, see what they offer and then decide upon the one that meets your needs the best.