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Free web hosting

This chapter gives an overview of various free web hosting services.

There are several companies who offer free web hosting. You can simply register as a member and start your own web site. They will provide a user interface (control panel) to upload, download and manage your files in the hosting server. You will be able to access only your files and cannot touch other members files. Also, you will not have any direct control on the IIS.

Limitations of free web hosting

It's free, right? Obviously you can't expect all features like a paid hosting plan. Free web hosting plans come with some limitations. There are several web hosting companies where you can compare the features and options.

Some of the limitations of free web hosting plans are listed below:

1. Some web hosting companies start with free web hosting and later ask members to either upgrade to paid account or close the account.

2. Free hosting accounts will get very limited hard disk space, usually between 1 MB to 10MB.

3. Restricted file size - you may not be available to upload large files, usually above 1 MB.

4. Restricted file types - you may not be allowed to use certain file types like .exe, .wmv, .mpeg etc.

5. Advertisements - most of the free web hosting companies automatically insert advertisements into the web pages when displayed to the user. Or, they display popup advertisements along with the pages which will be very frustrating to the site visitors.

6. Poor performance - there may be thousands of web sites hosted on a single server. So, you will experience very poor speed in delivering pages.

7. No domain names - you cannot have a domain name for your web site. You will have to use a sub domain (Eg: http://YourSiteName.AspSpider.com) or as sub folder under the hosting company name (Eg: http://aspspider.com/YourSitename)

8. Bandwidth limitation - you will be allowed to use limited bandwidth. If you host a high traffic site on a free hosting plan, most probably it will exceed the bandwidth limitation. After you exceed the bandwidth limitation, your site visitors will see an error page. Bandwidth is the total number of bytes of data delivered from your website. If your bandwidth limitation is 1MB per day and you have a very large image which is 0.5 MB size, just viewing that image 2 times will exceed your daily bandwidth quota.

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