Like other services on the internet, you can either get free or paid services from web hosting services. Regardless better features than normal you can get from paid web hosting, we will focus only on the free web hosting services. Later on we will discuss the remaining alternative, but for this time we will concern about the free services which become the most preferable web hosting option due to its effectiveness in saving your business budget. Now, let’s get to our discussion points.
Disk space and bandwidth
Disk space is the amount of free storage you will get once you registered for the web hosting service. You can use the space to store any necessary files of your website, including images, audio, text, video, and other necessary data. At the other side, you will also get free bandwidth for your website. It refers to the limit of internet traffic that can access your website as well as leave it.
Website Creator and File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
There is one important fact about web design: everyone realizes its importance, but not everyone has adequate resources to build and develop a website. Under this circumstance, there are two alternatives you can choose. First, ask someone with the specifications from outside your company to work for you temporarily until your website is fully functional. Second, use free website creator feature and build your website by your own. Website creator has almost become a standard feature in today’s web industry. By using this feature, you can create your own website without draining your budget. Well, of course, it will ‘drain’ your time as the compensation of insufficient experiences and knowledge you have about website design. You are free, regarding this cause, to choose whether to use external ‘employee’ or complete the task by your own.
At the other side, you should know about File Transfer Protocol or FTP. It is a unique internet protocol for data transfer between a website and hosting service provider’s server or vice versa. Without this protocol, you cannot transfer or download any file from your computer to your provider’s server which means that your website may become malfunctioning. In order to avoid this website nightmare, make sure that before you complete the purchase, your provider has unlimited and unrestricted access to FTP for 24/7.
Corporate e-mail address has become another standard in today’s business industry. Well, of course, this standard does not prohibit you in using your own e-mail address, but remember one thing. If you choose to leave the corporate e-mail address and use personal address; instead, people will see that you do not possess strong enough commitment to running the business and, therefore, your business is not worth for their trust. A real corporate e-mail address usually contains: email@example.com
Most web hosting providers have corporate e-mail address as their basic feature. So, you should leave your worry about this subject. However, make sure that you can access your e-mail through webmail interface. This feature allows you not only to log into your e-mail, but also manage all e-mail you have by using your web browser. In addition, make sure that your provider has also equipped its e-mail service with both SMTP and POP3 access which will grant you the access to manage your e-mails through mobile devices.
Support and Uptime
You run your own business as well as your web hosting service provider. As businesses, both of you should have understood the importance of post-purchase customer support which only means one thing. If you want to build a perfect corporate website, make sure your provider can provide appropriate support to you whenever you want, wherever you are, and whatever need or issue you have. Free and reliable communication methods are crucial for this purpose. If you ask me for the best methods, I would like to suggest at least e-mail and telephone support. If you feel those methods are insufficient, try to ask your provider whether it is possible for your to contact them through direct call or fax.
At the other side, before you make your decision, do not forget to ask your service provider about their uptime. Do not ask for 100% guaranteed uptime because no provider can give it to you. Just ask how good their uptime and what will they do if unexpected problem takes places, such as the power outage, software malfunction, update error, and other similar problems. You must gain enough proof from your provider that your website will receive any necessary protection that will keep it running even under the worst situation. If you do not have relevant background, especially relevant experiences in this niche, it is likely that you may not understand the technical details. Do not worry about that. You only need to ensure yourself that your provider’s monitoring system is working for the whole time, including other systems that support your website such as hardware and network configurations, backup power supply, software, and other relevant systems.
Once again, you are free from paying anything to your service provider if since beginning you have committed to using only free web hosting service. Everything is available for free, and you should remember that point for the whole time. However, it is somewhat possible that in order to cover the provider’s expense, they may require your website to include some advertisements or banner. Consider this option carefully and how it will affect both your website and its visitors. Do not let the banners destroy your website just because you are using the free service.