Free web hosting is a service that stores your website and offers to delivers its web pages to the Internet for free. Thus, free hosting for your website actually offers you to increase your online business opportunities. Just as you want to get your website hosted in Internet, similarly there are customers out there who want to know more about your company. Free hosting suggests web hosting services that are free, and are usually advertisement-supported and of limited functionality.
Features of free web hosting
Free web hosts will start by providing you a sub domain [http://yourname.example.com] or a directory [http://www.example.com/yourname]. Since free hosts allow the use of separately purchased domains so they do not operate as domain name registrar. The free hosts are advantageous because they have a basic package for free and also enhanced packages [obviously with more features] that you have to purchase with a cost. This allows the users to try the services for an initial trial and then upgrade it in their websites, if needed.
The free hosts provide the following extra features:
 File transfer via FTP
 Allows some of the scheduled processes like cronjobs
 A web based control panel
 Free email accounts for subdomains and domain hosted
 Scripting languages like ASP and PHP
 Allows relational databases
When you are searching for a free web host, you should make sure that the hosts have an excellent track record. You should enquire into the storage facilities allowed by the host and see how much the free host can provide you with web control panels and password protected directories for your website.
Methods of free web hosting
There are a few methods of giving out free web hosting to people by web hosts, which are as follows:
- Instant activation – these hosts usually give very little storage space and bandwidth allowances. They require the user’s web page to display their banner ads, or pop-ups, text link ads or the user’s files to be uploaded through a web-based file manager.
- Post for hosting – this is more popular as it allows one to register at Web shots forum, which usually has lots of banner or popup Ads – and post there for Free web hosting. One has to stay active and meet certain requirements almost every month/week to keep up their level of web hosting.
- Posting in forums – some of the free hosts allow posting in a forum. It requires users to either reach a certain amount of posts before getting a free hosting account or be an active contributor in the forum. These forum-based free hosting factors often work on a system of points where posts points to a user and are basically used as credits towards getting a hosting account.
Limitations of free web hosting
But free hosting has the following limitations:
- Prevents hot linking of files
- Fails to provide any type of uptime guarantee
- Do not allow file types like MP3, MPEG and others
- Provides very small bandwidth per month as compared to paid hosting
- Allows very limited size of hosted files