If you’re just starting up your first website, you may be wondering: “Can I use a free server to host my website?” Today, we’ll discuss all the options you should consider.
When using a free hosting service, all the server’s resources are split among dozens, or even hundreds of other websites. If another website experiences a spike in traffic, or has some other performance issue, it will affect your website as well.
Decreased responsiveness and slower load times are par for the course when using a free server yo host your wesbite, and you should expect to encounter these issues on a fairly regular basis.
As your website is on a server with many other websites, you could be at risk for potential security threats.
If a hacker gains access to any site hosted on the server, he could theoretically access information for any of the sites stored on that server. While hosting services have increased their security measures in recent years, a similar situation wouldn’t be unheard of – especially on a free server.
With dedicated (and often with VPS) hosting, you have full control of what goes into or comes out of your server – software, apps, anti-virus software, and much more. This is all up to your discretion.
When you use a free server to host your website, what you see is what you get. Typically, they come with default configurations, meaning that you can’t modify the system or tweak files. This can prevent you from making changes to increase the performance of your website.
Due to the strain of hosting multiple sites at the same time, it is more likely that a shared server can experience a failure.
A large spike in traffic from several sites at once, a malicious hacker, or even too many web users trying to download files at the same time, could cause the full server to go down.
When you use free hosting services, you don’t have control. If your site is deemed to be a “problem,” you run the risk of having your website removed (often with no notice).
Issues that might cause the host to deactivate your account include:
- Your site generates a larger than normal amount of traffic
- Your website is targeted by hackers or becomes infected by malware or other harmful viruses
- You take up more than your share of bandwidth or hard drive space (for instance, by uploading too many large videos or custom apps which may slow the server down)
Poor Customer Service
It’s true what they say: you get what you pay for. In the case of free web hosting, it may be difficult to get immediate help if your site is experiencing any kind of issues.
This is not to say that free hosting companies intrinsically offer poor customer service, but that their resources are limited. With countless clients to attend to, it can be difficult to keep up.
Bottom line: using a free server for your website may be a good choice for a little while when you’re first starting out, but if you plan on growing your business in the future, it won’t last you very long.
There will come a point when you will have to move to a more reliable shared service, VPS, or even a dedicated server – and the transition could be difficult and time-consuming. Rather than risk any potential performance issues or downtime in the future, it is best to start out with a reputable web hosting provider. Learn about InMotion Hosting’s business class hosting.