Blog hosting beginners are always faced with the argument over free hosting and paid hosting. Some people think that free things are good enough for building a personal blog, while others believe that using a paid service is more professional and worthwhile.
In fact, this is not a problem at all because you should never choose a free web hosting package if what you desire is to make your blog stand out, or at least keep it accessible. Free web hosting brings much inconvenience and a bundle of problems. You will realize that after reading through the following tricks.
Free Service Limits Disk Space & Bandwidth Strictly
The only reason for most people to use free web hosting is to save money. But you should know that the sacrifice of this money-saving deed is the freedom in managing and expanding your blog. As a free package includes about 1 GB disk space only and several gigabits of monthly data transfer, how can you expect rich website content and large visits?
Besides, there is another fact that the advertised resource usage is the maximum limit that you can never go beyond (or even close), but not what you can consume in the real world. In this circumstance, you can only create some simple pages on your blog without uploading large files, using high-definition images or installing premium themes. Once you strike the limit, the provider will enforce you to upgrade to a paid service. Some companies may even shut down your blog at any time without noticing in advance.
However, if you choose to pay approximately $4/mo for a paid service, you have access to at least 10 GB disk storage and unlimited bandwidth which allow you to build a much more flexible blog.
Free Hosting Comes with Less Features
Free hosting includes very limited features. For example, 000WebHost, a widely known free hosting provider, does not support SSL, CGI scripts, Python, Perl, SSH, mailing lists or custom analytics unless you upgrade to the paid package. Furthermore, the company only offers 2 MySQL databases and 1 FTP account. Due to the limited budget, the control panel is also a custom one which is badly designed.
Paid hosting far exceeds in this aspect. Even a cheap package may come with full cPanel license, unlimited email/FTP accounts, free domain name, various scripting languages, SSH Access, shared SSL certificate, and premium site builders. To get to know the exact features offered by a web host, you can search throughout the official website, or learn about the details on some reliable review sites like LinkedHosts.
Free Hosting Gives Less Control
Many free hosting providers have endless rules for the website content and website management. For instance, some of them do not allow running file sharing scripts, gaming scripts, chat scripts, forums, etc. If you violate any term accidently, your account will be suspended or even terminated immediately. A lot of providers also claim that they have the right to cancel any account for no reason, which is not reasonable at all.
These problems are not likely to happen when you use a paid service. Most providers do not interfere with your website content as long as it is legally allowed, so you are able to run all kinds of scripts as you like. Also, rest assured that the account you open is under the control of yourself and will not be terminated without any reason.
Free Hosting Has Frequent Uptime & Speed Issues
With a free web hosting service, you may encounter frequent downtimes and slow speed due to the poor infrastructure and inconstant monitoring. Most providers just rent several servers to deal with their business instead of operating their own data centers. When there is any problem happening, they usually claim no responsibility toward such issues.
Most web hosts offering paid services guarantee 99.9% uptime and promise to compensate customers with credits if they fail to reach the guarantee in a month. If some server or network issues arise, engineers will work to address them in time. This ranking list provides good suggestions on web hosts with over 99.9% real uptime and fast page loads.
Free Hosting Has Worse Security
Free web hosting providers do not spend much on security-related services. You need to secure your blog personally, but it is costly to do so. An SSL certificate, for example, charges dozens of dollars per year. You have to buy one and install it manually in the case that you want secure connections, even if a private SSL certificate is not a necessity for a personal blog. You cannot enjoy a shared certificate because it is not available in your web hosting package.
In comparison, the other group of web hosts pays much attention to the security of servers and customers’ websites because they have to deal with any issue seriously to gain an edge in the competitive market. Usually, they perform regular security check, security update and malware scan. Many of them also offer security features like shared SSL, SSH and password protected directories to get the hosted websites defended.
Free Hosting Does Not Include Support
Free web hosting services are not backed by free technical support. It is your responsibility to handle every issue on your blog, and you shall never expect an expert ready for help. The companies actually do not care about the condition of your blog, so you have no choice but to search for tutorials or to ask someone else for assistance.
In terms of paid services, they are packed with 24×7 technical support through email, live chat and/or phone. Whenever you are stuck, you can easily get in touch with someone who is willing to help. This is important especially for beginners with little skill in web hosting and website management.
Conclusion: Paid Web Hosting Is the Better Option for Starting Personal Blog
Free web hosting is free indeed in hosting fee, but the service makes it troublesome to keep a personal blog accessible, secure and fast. Since the technical problems are far beyond the ability of beginners, it is much better to pay several dollars per month and leave most of the issues to technicians who have solutions.