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Are Free Web Site Hosting Accounts Really Free?

There are a lot of so called free web site hosting companies out there touting their services. While the accounts offered by many of these web hosting providers are free to use, there are sometimes hidden costs that can leave you wasting both time and money.

If you want to build web sites that are truly free, you are going to have to carefully evaluate the services before signing up. Special considerations to keep in mind when shopping for web hosting providers include:

Reliability
You can build web sites all day long, but no one will ever see them if your web host isn't reliable. To find out how reliable a free web site hosting company is, you should ask about expected downtimes, traffic limitations, and customer services procedures. You should also ask what type of message will be displayed if the web site is disabled for any reason.

Bandwidth
The amount of bandwidth you have determines how long it will take for your pages to load. To keep costs low, many web hosting providers offer limited bandwidth. The problem with this is that your pages can take ten seconds or more to load. That's just enough time for a user to get frustrated and seek out another web site. If your free web site hosting account comes with limited bandwidth, you need to be prepared for the possibility of missing out on customer sales.

Unwanted Ads
Free web site hosting services are notorious for placing unwanted ads on customer web sites. This means that you will have pop-ups and other annoying advertisements on your site that you cannot remove. These ads might become very irritating for you and even more so for your customers, who may choose not to visit as a result.

Other Limitations
If you want to build web sites that include pictures, icons, and large amounts of text, you may want to look for web hosting providers that will allow you to build these kinds of web sites. Some free services will place limitations on what you can and can't do. For example, you may be barred from using pictures or more than five page web pages. If you don't have the elements needed to build the type of site you want, you could end up wasting a lot of time on a site that will end up having to be rebuilt with a different host later on

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