What it is about is to be clear about how far you can go with a solution of this type and where it is not, so let’s see where the limits of free hosting are.
- Minimum resources
I mentioned it at the beginning of the post, the free hosting is not altruistic, it seeks to earn money and, therefore, the server resources are extremely limited to be able to share them among as many users as possible and thus the accounts of the business can come out.
It is relatively common to announce features such as “unlimited space” or “unlimited transfer” or high figures for these parameters. What the provider does not count is that, in reality, it is a fallacy because the rest is maximized; above all, the use of CPU and memory, and that makes the traffic that the server can handle very much. Reduced.
If with a basic hosting that is economical but professional, it is perfectly possible to support, for example, a blog with about 50 simultaneous users with good speed, most of the free hostings are going to fall no more coincide two or three users at a time visiting the site and, of course, everyone with a bit of traffic will be slow. So that “unlimited space” or “unlimited transfer” is a fallacy because due to other limitations you will never get to take advantage.
On the other hand, the moment a website starts to demand resources for other reasons, you will have the same problem. In a WordPress blog, for example, you will be very limited with the use of plugins because plugins consume resources and add load to the server. Nothing else adds a few plugins, the little traffic capacity that has such a hosting as such, will begin to plummet.
- No service reliability, frequent drops
This point does not need many comments; it is simply a consequence of the previous point. The free hosting is obviously shared hosting, but also, overloaded to squeeze it to the maximum, the situation reminds a bit of the images of the overloaded buses that are sometimes seen in third world countries. Therefore, it is logical that there are frequent and long falls of the service. It simply cannot be otherwise because if not, the business model is impossible to work.
- There is no support
Any website that goes beyond a toy needs support because the incidents occur, and they occur in all the hosting, good or bad, many times, in addition, not because of the hosting provider’s fault but because of something that the client has done wrong on your site
A good service is distinguished because it has a good (competent) and agile support to get you out of trouble.
In a free hosting simply do not count on that support, it is not possible in practice (costs), even if the provider includes it as part of the service you will find that in practice they ignore you or send you to a forum the “community” in which it will be difficult to find the help you need for your particular problem. In fact, the most serious free hosting providers recognize it directly as you could see in the example of Nixiweb, although yes: rather in the fine print because on the cover of course they will not tell you.
- You can cancel your account at any time
Actually, this is a right reserved by any hosting provider since a client can make illicit use of their resources such as mounting, for example, a spam server.
But in the free hosting is frequent that accounts are closed not for this reason, but because, yes, because the provider has run out of resources or for any other reason which is not the user’s fault. Many times it is done without any notice, something normal in a free hosting, so, in short, get the idea that there is no guarantee of any service, are the rules of the game in a free hosting.
So this is another reason why a free hosting is a completely inadequate solution for any professional web activity or that really is important to you because you cannot allow these service gaps. If this is not your case and you simply use the account for things that are not critical like the ones I mentioned above, try, at least, to implement a good solution for backup copies and automatically transfer those copies to another site so that at a given moment, before a possible final closure of the service, something not infrequent, do not lose your site completely. In the case of WordPress, for example, this can be done with the BackWPup plugin.
- You cannot use your own domain
Generally, using a free hosting means using a subdomain of the provider for your website, although there are exceptions such as Nixiweb’s. This prevents you from doing branding in conditions, since the domain is a brand element, not only in the URL of the web, but also, for example, in the email addresses.
- Risk of bad image
In a way, the sum of the previous points converges in the conclusion that it is quite complicated to reconcile a good image with the use of a free hosting.
In any activity in which the image has a minimum importance the sum of having no own domain, a slow server and frequent falls, etc., will harm you.
- Outdated software
The emails we receive in this blog are a surprise box, you see everything.
A few months ago we received an email from a person who sent us a catch of a 500 error that comes out very often to access your blog.
It is a very typical error in an overload situation or some kind of internal error. Every once in a while it happens to everybody and I’m sure you’ve already seen it.
Once again it was someone who had set up a blog in a free hosting, but this time I could see in the capture that this hosting used the Apache web server in its version 1.3, which is the 1998 version!
Without going to these extremes, keep in mind that a server that does not keep well can give you many problems because applications such as WordPress require you to have the server software reasonably up to date, without mentioning vulnerabilities and the security issue in general. And the worst thing is not that your application does not work because that is, at least, it is an obvious and easy to diagnose situation, but it works halfway, with those small arbitrary failures that occur only sometimes, you do not know where they come from and then they are constantly giving you the can and wasting your time.
- Respect for privacy and possible legal problems for you
A question that many people are not aware of is the fact that creating a website can also lead to legal problems if you do not know what you’re doing and I do not mean a hacking site, we saw it a few weeks ago in the case of use images in a blog.
For example, creating a simple subscription list by mail in which people sign up with their email address is a situation that creates a data protection problem since the data of the email is considered a personal data and to treat this Information can appropriately bring you financial penalties, for example, for not having notified the creation of that file to the Data Protection Agency or providing this information to third parties.
With a serious free hosting company you are not going to run this danger, but in the world of free hosting there is a lot of reseller and small unknown company (not to mention chiringuito) that you do not know very well what practices they will apply for these purposes, so beware this, inform yourself well of where you are hosting your site.
- Your time is money
Since a free hosting has more limitations, more incidents and less support than one of payment, consider that you will also lose more time with these incidents. We return to the same thing: if you do not have a budget and it’s to play a little and learn, okay, but if it’s to create a serious project, should not you be dedicating those hours better to the project?
Even, if only to play, in case you are not in a situation of extreme need, would not you compensate to pay that minimum monthly fee and leave limitations and problems?