Free Hosting vs Paid Hosting

Nile Flores

Written by WordPress Expert

Free Hosting vs Paid Hosting

When you’re wanting to build a website on a dime, you may encounter terms like free hosting and paid hosting. What are they? Which is better? In this article, you’ll learn about free hosting versus paid hosting.

What is Free Hosting?


free hosting

Free hosting is a type of web hosting where you pay no money, and you receive a bit of web space to play with, and build your website. With free hosting, your website will display the companies ads or in some cases, the ad networks that earn the free host money each time your visitor clicks on it.

Often with free hosting, you will be given a limited account and you may not be able to advertise or add specific 3rd party coding to your site, whether for traffic tracking purposes or something else.

Is free hosting really free?

Yes, free hosting is really free. However, in order to use it, you have to display their ads. Some may say this isn’t free, but if you’re talking about “free” as in not spending money, then it’s free in that way. You just have to tolerate the advertisements that they put on your website.

Who is free hosting a good fit for?

Free hosting may be good for two types of people:

  • Someone wanting to experiment and see how the site performs.

  • Someone who has absolutely no money for paid hosting.

Someone wanting to experiment and see how the site performs.

If you’re just starting a website or a blog, but you’re uncertain if it’s for you, then free hosting can be the perfect way to get your feet wet. As time goes on and if you decide to become more serious, you can always upgrade to paid hosting.

Someone who has absolutely no money for paid hosting.

If you have absolutely no money to spare, even for some of the paid hosting that is as low as $5 per month, then you can use free hosting until you’re able to upgrade. Use your time on the free hosting to polish your brand and your writing skills.

What is Paid Hosting?


paid hosting

Paid hosting is where you will have to invest money in web space, in order to build a website. The tools and amount of resources in paid hosting depend on the web host you choose. Paid hosting can be broken down into a few types of hosting:

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting and sometimes known as cloud hosting are where you can purchase paid hosting for an affordable price. You’ll receive disk space, bandwidth, and many other tools to help launch and manage your website. You’re sharing a small space within a server with others. Now, this doesn’t mean others have access to your space, as often in shared hosting, the web host has a control panel that is dedicated and allotted for each individual account.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting allows you to build websites, but also manage more of yours or your clients’ websites. You have the ability to allot a specific amount of web resources to individual accounts. It is not as cheap as shared hosting, but the pricing can be affordable, depending on how much web disk space and resources that you need. On top of that reseller hosting can be a means for making a little extra cash each month.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is a bit like reseller hosting, but you have access to an entire web server. This means faster performance, and more resources to use, for both yours and your clients’ websites.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a type of paid hosting where you use the content management system named WordPress. With managed WordPress hosting, you get all the resources that are necessary to run that CMS. In a way, managed WordPress hosting is similar to shared hosting, as your website will be on a server with others, but no one but you has access to your hosting account.

Proprietary Content Management System Hosting

Proprietary content management system hosting is like managed WordPress hosting, but it focuses around a specific type of CMS. Examples of this are Wix and Squarespace. You can only create and manage their type of CMS on their servers.

Free Hosting vs Paid Hosting


Pros and Cons of Free Hosting

Pros

No need to spend money
Good option for beginners
Cons

Website must show ads from free host
Slow
Downtime
Limited resources and tools
Often not permitted to make money
No customer support

Pros of Free Hosting

No need to spend money

With free hosting, you’re not going to spend a penny.

Good option for beginners

Beginners might like free hosting because of the fact that most offer simple features that are easy to use. This means less time to learn how to put a website together.

Cons of Free Hosting

Website must show ads from free host

If you’re not up for having someone else’s ads on your website, then free hosting is not for you.

Slow

Free hosting really doesn’t do much in providing resources to speed up your website. You get very minimal performance, so that at least the site is operational.

Downtime

Because free hosting acts somewhat like shared hosting, you’re probably hosted on the same server as thousands of others, and your free site could be down a lot.

Limited resources and tools

You only get limited resources and tools to get your site going. Sometimes you might have to pay to upgrade some tools, and even then, those upgrades might not be much.

Often not permitted to make money

If you’re looking to make money blogging or sell stuff, most free hosting companies don’t allow you to do either.

No customer support or super limited customer support

If you’re needing help with something on your free host, in most cases, there’s limited or no customer support.

Pros and Cons of Paid Hosting

Pros

Reliable
Customer support is usually available
Options to scale up
Secure
Most web host companies offer affordable shared hosting packages
Lot of tools to use
Cons

Might be hard for beginners to use

Pros of Paid Hosting

Reliable

If you’re paying for web hosting, it should be reliable, right? Most web hosts guarantee 99.9% uptime, which is amazing if you’re a small business owner.

Customer support is usually available

Most paid hosting companies offer some type of customer support, whether ticket support, live chat, or via phone.

Options to scale up

Paid hosting usually offers tiered pricing packages that are great when your site is growing and you need more disk space, bandwidth, or other web resources.

Secure

Most web hosts that you’re paying, are secure. They even offer tools to help keep your site secure, as well as offer a knowledge base that you can learn more about security.

Most web host companies offer affordable shared hosting packages

Paying for web hosting is super affordable. Most web hosts offer different pricing packages, and even offer monthly and yearly payment plans.

Lot of tools to use

Paid hosting companies usually offer a lot of great tools for website owners to use. For example, they may offer auto-installer scripts, so you can easily and quickly install CMS, ecommerce shops, and even forums in minutes.

Cons of Paid Hosting

Might be hard for beginners to use

Because paid hosting offers a lot more tools, it may take a beginner more time to learn, and for some, it may be confusing.

In Summary


Now that you know the differences between free versus paid hosting, it’s time to choose a web hosting solution that will work for your budget. Please remember that if you do choose to go with free hosting, that you can always try paid hosting later. However, some free hosting solutions won’t migrate to paid hosting, depending on the platform you are using. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions


What is VPS hosting?

One of the most popular types of hosting available is VPS hosting because it’s a great balance between professional functionality and affordability. It involves splitting a server into parts for use amongst several hosting plans, and it doesn’t place any limitations or restrictions on the kinds of software that can be used.

How much does hosting cost?

Shared hosting is usually cheaper, while managed cloud servers are more expensive. However, there are lots of options in between for different prices.

Can web hosting be changed?

Yes. If you change your mind, you can easily migrate your website to another web hosting provider. Not only can you migrate from one web hosting provider to another, but you can also choose a different plan from the same provider.

How do I find the best hosting plan?

As you begin your journey to find the perfect web hosting for your needs, you will quickly find that there are many different types of hosting options available. The four most common types of hosting are shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated.

Shared hosting is a great option for those just starting out online or those who have a small number of websites. Reseller hosting is a good option for those who want more freedom over their hosting account, while VPS hosting is perfect for those who are serious about being successful online.

Dedicated hosting is the best of the best and is perfect for those who want the absolute best for their website.

Nile Flores
About the Author
Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time professional blogger, as well as WordPress website designer and developer from the St. Louis Metro East. Nile blogs at NileFlores.com, where she’s passionate about helping website owners, whether they’re small business owners or bloggers. She teaches about Blogging, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, and WordPress. Additionally, Nile loves to speak at WordCamps (WordPress conferences) across the United States. When Nile isn’t knee-deep in coding, she’s a proud mom of a college student, and enjoys oil painting, cigar smoking, nail art design, and practicing traditional Okinawan kempo karate.

View all posts by Nile Flores
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