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Web Hosting - Free vs Paid Web Hosting Options
Everyone likes to get something for free. But as the existence of spam shows, free isn't always good. Sometimes, it's downright harmful. Deciding whether it's worth the cost to pay for hosting involves a number of complex considerations.
Hosting companies that offer free services obviously can't stay in business from the money they make from you, since there isn't any. So why do they offer free hosting and how do they make money? Why should you care, so long as you get yours? Because, in reality, there's a price of some kind for everything, even something that's free.
Free hosting may come from a company doing a promotion to attract business. They expect to demonstrate their value, then charge an existing customer base fees to make up for what they lost by the (short term) offer. It's in essence a form of advertising.
But free hosting is offered by lots of companies that are not dedicated to managing servers for websites. Google, Yahoo and thousands of others provide a modest amount of disk space and a domain name on a server for free. Users are free to do anything they like with it, though if the load becomes excessive you can be shut down.
That introduces one of the more obvious drawbacks to free hosting: resource limitations.
Typically free hosting offers a relatively small amount of space. That's often enough to host a few dozen pages. But an active site can quickly run out of room.
A more serious limitation is load.
Free hosting often places strict limitations on the allowed amount of bandwidth consumed. If you become a well-visited site, when users start banging away on the server, you can be asked to leave or simply be blocked for the rest of the month. Or, you may be permitted a certain quantity of total bandwidth use per month. Once it's reached, no one else can reach your site until the beginning of a new month.
At the same time, you will certainly be sharing equipment with thousands of other sites. Their load can affect your performance, prompting you to move. Migrating an established site brings with it a number of thorny issues that might be better avoided in the first place.
Free hosting has another potential downside: lack of support. When you pay for hosting you typically get, at least in theory, a certain level of support. Backups in case of disaster recovery from a hack or server failure, assistance in analyzing connection problems... the variety is endless. With free hosting you usually get none of that.
A company or site that offers free hosting will usually recover a disk or server that fails completely and you'll be back up when they do. But if only selected portions of the drive fail, or you lose a few files through a virus attack or accidental deletion, you have to rely on backups to recover. A free service will usually come with no such option.
That may not be a problem if you have a small site. You can make copies of everything at another location and simply recover the site yourself - if you have the discipline to keep it current and the skills to make and restore the copy.
Free hosting will typically come with a few email addresses, intended to be used for administration and other tasks. But if your needs grow beyond that, you'll need to seek another option. The email service also comes with minimal oversight. The server may be protected against spam attacks and provide virus scanning. But few free services will provide even minimal help with any issues that arise.
But the most serious limitation may have nothing to do with any technical issues. Free hosting services often require that your site's pages carry some form of advertising that pays the host, not you. That may be fine for you, or it may not. Individual circumstances vary.
On the other hand, if you're just starting out, a free hosting option can be a great way to learn needed skills and a few of the potential pitfalls. You can set up a site, learn how to maintain and improve it, and not care too much if it gets hacked. Freely hosted sites can be a great platform for learning the ropes.
Free services don't usually offer any of the features that an active, commercial site will need sooner or later. So if you plan to grow, it may be reasonable to get the free service for a while, knowing you'll have to migrate when you become popular. But in the long run, you get what you pay for and you may need to pay for what you want.
Get the Scoop on Some Great Informative Parenting Freebies Being a parent can be hard and especially, when it is about money. So many things in life are very expensive and children often desire what they cannot have. Therefore families of average or below income have often trouble giving their children what is in or what other children have. Therefore any opportunity to get something for free in parenting hood is a great opportunity. Whether it is free advice, free literature or even free products, it is surely something that a parent can use. Where and how to find great parenting freebies? It is actually fairly easy to find parenting freebies, especially when one has access to the cyber world. The Internet is one of the greatest resources for information, products and advice. The Internet holds freebies for any stage in life, but the most for the infancy and toddler stage, as well as some resources for the young years of life before children grow into adulthood. Many of the resources that are available on the Internet are actually sponsored by different departments of the United States government. For example, the US Department of Health offers easy reader books for young children or a free CD for parents with information on the development of teenagers during their adolescents. For parents of toddlers, the Internet holds resources for free toddler magazine subscriptions, potty training success guides and guides to prevent childhood lead exposure. Many of the major issues in toddler live can be found online with advice, frequently asked questions sections, chats and forums to help parents. For later on in life, there are plenty if resources that will help parents with such things as saving for college, preventing teen pregnancy, preventing drug and alcohol abuse in the teenage years and preventing or talking about smoking with children. All the information that is available online is often also available for parents as kits that are mailed to their houses. Online pages offer forms that parents can fill to have material sent to their home mailing address. Books, CDs, DVDs, guides, and other informative material can be downloaded or requested by parents. Many parents do not know about these resources and struggle with these exact same problems that they could have help with. Some of the offers for young children, such as free music downloads for children, often include such music as classical music and therefore might make a good download for anybody who loves classical music. Even though these pages are geared at babies and toddler, it does not mean that other people cannot use this music for themselves. Other sources on the internet offer for example free descriptions to art projects, fee coloring pages that can be printed using any printer, free read along stories online and more. There are so many activities online, that parents can do with their children, or that can be used to educate children that sometimes it might be hard to choose with what to start. The Internet also offers parents the possibility to talk tot her parents and get connected without having to attend an actual meeting or playgroup. Whenever parents need advice, they can just log on to one of the many free parenting sites and ask questions. Of course answers are given by other parents and are more their thoughts and experiences rather than professional advice, but some of the pages sometimes offer advice from experts on topics and have special chat sessions for parents with these experts. Whatever kind of informative parenting freebie or product parents are looking for, the Internet might hold the answer to their questions. It often amazes parents what they can find just by typing their questions or search keywords into one of the Internet search engines. Literally hundred of answers and pages with free help might pop up and parents might have a hard time reading it all.
Evaluating your Free Offers of Stuff Getting free stuff can be a lot of fun, and for many people, the hunt for freebies is as fun as actually enjoying the free products themselves. There is a dark side to freebie offers, however. Many scam artists have come to realize that pretending to offer free things is a great way to trick people into handing over sensitive information about them than can be used in identity theft operations or even bilk them out of cold, hard cash. For that reason, it is important to make sure you know how to stay out there when you?re looking for free offers. There are some things you can do to make sure you freebie hunting only brings you good times ? these common sense rules are a great place to start. You?ve heard it a million times before ? if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The reason you have heard it so many times is that it almost holds water. Think about the reason that companies give away free things. They?re usually not doing it for charity. They want you try to their products in the hope that you will come back to them as a paying customer in the future, and they?re doing it to build good will for their company over all. They?re definitely not doing it go broke. So consider whether the freebie offers you come across make sense according to these criteria. Does it make sense that a company will give you a free bag of their new flavor of chips or a trial size jar of their new face cream? Sure it does, because if you like it, you may buy these products in the future. Does it make sense that a company will give you an all expenses paid, two-week first class trip to Bali for you and ten of your friends? Not so much. Don?t waste your time on these too good to be true freebies ? they may end up costing your big time in the long run. By the same token, the more outlandish an offer sounds, the more you have to look for the small print. Sure, maybe the hotel chain is willing to give you a free weekend in their beachfront hotel. The small print in the offer might say that you have to agree to spend 10 hours a day at a sales seminar or that the free weekend is yours after you pay for a two week stay. One particular airline ran an offer for a free coach class plane ticket from New York to London. The small print said you had to buy two, full price first class tickets on that same route before you could get the free on ? at a cost of around $8,000 per ticket. Before you jump, make sure you get all of the details. Freebie offers that actually require you to shell out some money are very tricky. Sometimes they are legitimate ? after all, if you are accustomed to paying full price first class airfare, a free coach class ticket can be a real score. But many times, when you have to pay to get something for free, that is a red flag that a scammer is at work. You should never send money, even for postage, to a company that you don?t know. Also, keep an eye on the costs for things like postage even if you do know the company name. If they?re asking for $50 postage to send you a free magazine, then you know something is up. Lastly, beware giving out too much personal information. There?s no reason a company giving away free shampoo needs your bank account details. Protect your private info and if you?re unsure, move on to the next freebie offer.