In the debate between using free vs. paid web hosting services, the winner usually comes down to kind of site you’re thinking about. Whether your site is meant to run a business or is simply for pleasure will make a lot of difference on which hosting you decide to go with. There are many free web hosts out there who will give you a site, supply you with an URL, and even help you design the website using templates and HTML builders. However, if you desire a professional internet site – the kind that you see every day when browsing Google – you need to consider paying for your hosting seriously.
The reason for this is due to the nature of free hosts – they often disallow the use of your domain name and instead force you to use what is called a subdomain (such as sitename.hostname.com). This just looks tacky and unprofessional. There are some free hosts out there who will let you use a domain, and perhaps even a few who would buy you a new domain, but these will always require some payment out of you, and it is often in the form of ad revenue. They may place ads on your site or force you to visit certain sites so often to earn credits to pay for your supposedly free hosting. Not much in life is free, and this also applies to web hosting.
Also, you need to decide how much time you wish to devote to your website. If this is a hobby and you just want to blog, there are many blogging platforms which have hosting built in as part of the free package, and one benefit to free hosts like this is that they come with their communities and traffic, meaning they are a good place to start if you don’t have any regular visitors or any ways for people to find your site. This is why it is often wise to start out on a free host and then move to your domain and paid host after building a following.
If you are serious about building and running your website, though, there is nothing like a paid web host. It is by far the most full-featured way of hosting web content, and it is the most professional option. Not only will you be able to use your domain name, but you will also benefit from being a paid customer and having better customer service and protection for your data. So when deciding on going paid or free, always first check your priorities and expectations for what you want out of your website.