Key Points To Consider Before Opting A Particular Web Hosting Service

A hosting service provides individuals and organizations with all the necessary hardware and software support to ensure their website stays online. Furthermore, these services take care of the back end and maintenance right from hosting a website to providing dedicated customer support.

Is free web hosting safe?

Hosting services and providers offer a domain name, storage space, bandwidth, databases, and other tools and resources that help you keep your website online. Free web hosting providers offer a great testing environment for entrepreneurs and businesses alike to try out a few things online before subscribing for a premium plan. The question -“Is free web hosting safe?“ will depend on several factors, one of them being their security protocols which are provided for a secure connection.

Points to determine if free web hosting is secure

  • Backup and restore
    Online data is of paramount importance and the one thing that determines if free web hosting is safe is the ability of the company to provide backup and restore services. In the event of a page crash or website downtime, even a free web hosting service must be able to provide basic cloud storage and server backup. You need to understand that a free plan may not necessarily provide automatic backup. But some basic plans allow a manual backup and restore option to safeguard your data online.
  • Secure servers
    Ask the vendor if their servers are secured by FTP/SFTP protocols and all the necessary SSL certificates to host a secure connection. You can also check the plans available online with various providers and check if the free web hosting servers are secure and backed up by proper protocols in place.
  • Malware
    Malware protection is one of the most crucial points to consider before subscribing to a free web hosting service. Malware protection ensures your website is scanned regularly and any intrusions that are detected can be blocked with a robust firewall network in place. However, note that not all providers offer malware detection and removal tools for their free plans. So, it is advisable to subscribe to a free hosting plan that provides at least some form of basic malware protection. You can always later upgrade to their premium security plans if need be.
  • DDoS prevention
    Distributed Denial of Service is a common form of attack on online websites that can ultimately cost you your customers. Even a free web hosting plan must provide some form of DDoS mitigation to manage such attacks and ensure your website stays online and secure.

You must understand that not all free web hosting providers will provide all the services to secure the connection. However, to answer your question “is free web hosting safe in comparison to premium services”, you will have to confirm basic security protocols. Also, there are several disadvantages of web hosting, especially the ones that are free.

Here are the 7 most common issues you will face after subscribing to a free web hosting service.

  • Ads
    Is free web hosting secure, is a question that can be answered based on the number of ads that pop up or show on your website. Your customers may love the interface, usability and the overall appearance of the website. However, a free web hosting plan will unleash loads of ads on any available space. It is one of the many trade-offs of using a free web hosting service. Ads will irritate your customers and make them lose their faith in the professional quality of the website.
  • Branding
    A free web hosting service might do their branding through your website. This will include showing their logo on your website or even having their name after your website in the URL. An unclear URL can create doubt about your brand capabilities for new and even visiting customers.
  • Poor customer support
    Poor customer support can be one of the major disadvantages of web hosting. Free web hosting plans automatically translate into a limited number of services and resources. This will also mean getting hold of customer support might be a problem as they will not be available 24/7. Some services claim that they will provide prompt after-sales services but there will be a catch involved in it which you need to be aware of.  
  • Issues with uptime
    Expensive premium plans will feature a guaranteed uptime of at least 99.99% to ensure your website is always online. However, free web hosting providers don’t give such a guarantee for their services and there will always be a risk of common outages during regular and scheduled maintenance. Any downtime can result in a loss of money for your online business.
  • Limited number of pages
    Free plans may limit the number of pages you can provide for your customers. When your business succeeds and you plan to expand operations over, the limited number of pages can become a huge hindrance. Limited number of pages or even limited functionality can often raise the question is free web hosting safe?
  • Bandwidth issues
    Free web hosting providers offer plans that are available on a shared connection which means your business will be sharing the same bandwidth with other businesses. This also proves to be one of the major disadvantages of web hosting. This is not an ideal situation as you will have no control over the resources being shared over the same bandwidth. Moreover, low bandwidth will result in lag time and performance issues.
  • Paid upgrades
    Companies offer a free web hosting plan to their customers in hopes that they will eventually upgrade to a premium plan. If you want to use premium services and features, you will have to pay for those upgrades on top of the basic plan. The idea behind taking a free plan is justified if you are just exploring the online space. However, sooner or later as your business expands, the website will require additional tools and resources to support its operations.

A free plan comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages. It is usually recommended in the short term when you are just testing out your websites. However, for the long term, it is better to switch to a VPS or dedicated hosting service to gain the maximum out of your website.

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