Almost all web hosting service providers offer a free web hosting package along with other paid services. New clients are typically attracted to these free plans because it allows them to test the waters with a particular web host before upgrading to more comprehensive plans.
Free plans come with their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, free web hosting plans allow individuals to set up their own website with a dedicated domain name at virtually no cost. They can use the service for some time and evaluate whether the security, capacity and customer support are of a level that warrants investment in a paid plan.
On the other hand, there are some problems that clients do not consider when they sign up for a free web hosting plan. They need to be aware that a large number of clients subscribe to the free hosting service which creates a situation of chocked bandwidth capacity and filling up the available disk space in no time at all. Ultimately, the website suffers from slow uploading and downloading speeds and there is also the problem of downtime which can be fairly frequent with free hosting plans. Some free plans do not even include a domain name so the client may have to pay an annual fee for a domain name.
Another phenomenon of web hosting is the increase in the number of cheap web hosting plans that offer hosting services at jaw-dropping low rates. This can lead to some problems that the client needs to be aware of at the time of evaluating different plans on the basis of the cost factor. One of the problems is the insistence of web hosts to have the client sign up for software upgrades by paying a fee. This may seem an extortive action but this is how web hosts try to convert non-paying clients into paying clients and increase their revenue. Low rate plans are usually shared hosting plans and the server resources are shared among several clients. While this creates problems of slow speeds and server outages, the problem is not as severe as with free hosting plans. Because shared servers host multiple websites, they are an attractive target for spammers and hackers. This increases the chances of the security of your website being compromised while the chances are significantly lower in more pricey hosting plans.
Some low-cost web hosting plans have hidden charges that the client comes to know of only after signing up for the plan. They may also charge the client cancellation fees and may not offer a refund. Finally, although the web host may assure you of the best round the clock customer support for any problem you face, this is not always the case particularly with free or low-cost web hosting plans. The client may become exasperated with the poor quality of service by the customer representatives who may not be available on help chat or the phone and may take days in responding to your email query.