UPDATE: I can no longer recommend HostGator or Bluehost – read this blog post to see who I recommend.
Want Free Hosting For Your New Business Site?
What are the pros and cons of having a free hosting account?
I’ve used free hosting in the past, and I’ll share my experience and opinion.
I would not even consider using a free web hosting service for my professional site. If you don’t mind having another company’s advertisements all over your site, then go for it. With a free hosting service, your domain will have a messy and confusing appearance to it such as: www.free-web-hosting-service/~accountname/yourdatafiles/*(*etc - which does NOT give a good impression when someone visits your site. Your objective should be to have a professional image. The first way to accomplish this is to register your domain, such as www.carolamato.com – something recognizable! Once you register your domain, you will need a hosting service to store your files. I’ve used free hosting before when I was a power seller on ebay.uk. I could share horror stories about my pictures totally disappearing when the company went out of business – with no notice whatsoever! I lost a lot of money due to my auctions being disrupted when all of a sudden there were no pictures of what I was selling! Do not use free hosting if you are serious about increasing site traffic via search engine visibility – Search engines will many times eliminate content from free hosting services.
Why don’t you get off to a great start by hosting with one of the industry’s most reliable companies, BlueHost? It was founded in 1996, which should speak volumes for their reliability in this ever-changing industry – also available on my Recommended Resources page. They offer a free domain name registration which will SAVE you around $10.00! BlueHost has a cPanel interface which is very easy to understand and use. I have used their customer service several times, and the quick replies were refreshing! I installed this WordPress Blog in a matter of a few minutes, and it can easily be done by a complete newbie. I pay $6.95 per month and could not be happier!
In terms of pricing, reliability, user-friendliness and customer support, BlueHost continues to be my first choice for web hosting plans . . . for new and experienced entrepreneurs. The only pro I can find to having a free hosting account would be that you don’t have to shell out $6.95 a month. You could take your chances and risk signing up with a free hosting service, but the choice is yours.