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Web Hosting - Free vs Paid Web Hosting Options
Everyone likes to get something for free. But as the existence of spam shows, free isn't always good. Sometimes, it's downright harmful. Deciding whether it's worth the cost to pay for hosting involves a number of complex considerations.
Hosting companies that offer free services obviously can't stay in business from the money they make from you, since there isn't any. So why do they offer free hosting and how do they make money? Why should you care, so long as you get yours? Because, in reality, there's a price of some kind for everything, even something that's free.
Free hosting may come from a company doing a promotion to attract business. They expect to demonstrate their value, then charge an existing customer base fees to make up for what they lost by the (short term) offer. It's in essence a form of advertising.
But free hosting is offered by lots of companies that are not dedicated to managing servers for websites. Google, Yahoo and thousands of others provide a modest amount of disk space and a domain name on a server for free. Users are free to do anything they like with it, though if the load becomes excessive you can be shut down.
That introduces one of the more obvious drawbacks to free hosting: resource limitations.
Typically free hosting offers a relatively small amount of space. That's often enough to host a few dozen pages. But an active site can quickly run out of room.
A more serious limitation is load.
Free hosting often places strict limitations on the allowed amount of bandwidth consumed. If you become a well-visited site, when users start banging away on the server, you can be asked to leave or simply be blocked for the rest of the month. Or, you may be permitted a certain quantity of total bandwidth use per month. Once it's reached, no one else can reach your site until the beginning of a new month.
At the same time, you will certainly be sharing equipment with thousands of other sites. Their load can affect your performance, prompting you to move. Migrating an established site brings with it a number of thorny issues that might be better avoided in the first place.
Free hosting has another potential downside: lack of support. When you pay for hosting you typically get, at least in theory, a certain level of support. Backups in case of disaster recovery from a hack or server failure, assistance in analyzing connection problems... the variety is endless. With free hosting you usually get none of that.
A company or site that offers free hosting will usually recover a disk or server that fails completely and you'll be back up when they do. But if only selected portions of the drive fail, or you lose a few files through a virus attack or accidental deletion, you have to rely on backups to recover. A free service will usually come with no such option.
That may not be a problem if you have a small site. You can make copies of everything at another location and simply recover the site yourself - if you have the discipline to keep it current and the skills to make and restore the copy.
Free hosting will typically come with a few email addresses, intended to be used for administration and other tasks. But if your needs grow beyond that, you'll need to seek another option. The email service also comes with minimal oversight. The server may be protected against spam attacks and provide virus scanning. But few free services will provide even minimal help with any issues that arise.
But the most serious limitation may have nothing to do with any technical issues. Free hosting services often require that your site's pages carry some form of advertising that pays the host, not you. That may be fine for you, or it may not. Individual circumstances vary.
On the other hand, if you're just starting out, a free hosting option can be a great way to learn needed skills and a few of the potential pitfalls. You can set up a site, learn how to maintain and improve it, and not care too much if it gets hacked. Freely hosted sites can be a great platform for learning the ropes.
Free services don't usually offer any of the features that an active, commercial site will need sooner or later. So if you plan to grow, it may be reasonable to get the free service for a while, knowing you'll have to migrate when you become popular. But in the long run, you get what you pay for and you may need to pay for what you want.
Start Sampling for Free with the Start Sampling Website If you are looking for the best in online sampling, there is one Web destination that you should know about. The websites is known simply as StartSampling.com, and it can do wonders for your cache of freebies. If you are an avid freebie hunter, this is a website that you will definitely want to keep at your freebies by placing it on your active bookmark list. You will find that this is a fun and active community that you can consult on a regular basis for the best in online freebie sampling. How Can You Become a Member of StartSampling? If you are a newbie to the world of online sampling and freebies, here is a brief primer on becoming a member of this active community. First, StartSampling is a free service?never sign up for a freebie service that asks for monetary compensation or that requires a yearly membership sign-up. All you need in order to become a member of the StartSampling community is the ability to willingly sample many fine products from some of the company's leading manufacturers. As a member of StartSampling, you will receive samples as well as participate in the site's own Frequent Tryer Miles program. The Frequent Tryer Milers program allows you to collect points. You collect these points from participating in a variety of sampling programs and taking advantage of special offers and promotions. As a reward for participating in these programs, you will receive pints and gifts for free. This is your reward for being an active member of the StartSampling community. How to Contact the StartSampling Company Directly If you find that you have questions and concerns about using StartSampling, you can contact the company directly by selecting the 'contact us' button that is located at the bottom of the StartSampling home page. However, you will probably find that most of your questions can be answered directly simply by perusing the FAQ section of the website carefully. The FAQ provides you with an extensive list of questions and answers that have been addressed and compiled by the company. What Exactly Does StartSampling Do? Many newcomers to the StartSampling community wonder if the company is a web research enterprise. In reality, StartSampling is a promotions and marketing company. They have recently managed to establish themselves as a leader in online sampling. They do this by connecting consumers directly with the right kinds of companies. As an active participant of the StartSampling community, you will have the opportunity to receive samples from companies that you did not previously recognize. Sampling also allows you to inform marketers about your specific desires and interests. This way, you will receive product and service offers that are tailored specifically to your interests. In effect, think of StartSampling as a way to make your voice heard as a consumer. Where Do the Product Samples Come From? With so many online samples coming your way, perhaps you are wondering where all the samples provided by this community come from. All the samples provided to you by StartSampling are furnished directly by the small and large companies that are working with StartSampling. These samples are provided to StartSampling because these companies believe in their products and want consumers to try them and express an honest opinion. Most companies are looking to receive consumer feedback from members of their targeted consumer group. Who is Behind the World of StartSampling? Many newcomers are curious about who is behind the scenes at StartSampling. StartSampling is a leading online company managed by small group of energetic individuals. It is a privately held organization that is growing at a rapid pace.
Yes, Freebies are Real! If you tell someone that something is free, they immediately start looking for the catch. After all, the words of wisdom ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? have usually been proven true for people time and again throughout life, and so a healthy cynicism towards free stuff usually springs up with good reason. If you are one of these skeptical types, however, you may be missing out on some really great stuff. The truth is that you CAN get free things that are really and truly free, and yes, actually worth having. You just have to know where to look. OK, here is where the caveat comes in. The definition of ?free? often depends on the definition of ?cost.? As any economist can tell you, cost really doesn?t only come down to how much money you have to hand over to get something. There are additional costs, like inconvenience and time spent doing something. And true, some freebies have these ?non monetary? kinds of costs associated with them. You have to balance all of the costs with the value of the free stuff you are getting and decide if it is worth it to you. The two biggest costs associated with freebies? Time and convenience are at the top of the list. Time is a big factor in many free offers. Companies want a bit of your time in exchange for their free products. Indeed, some companies literally want hours of your time. Have you ever taken advantage of one of those ?free weekend vacation? offers in which you received free accommodation in a beach house or condo for a weekend in exchange for suffering through a long presentation and intense sales pitch? For some people, they can handle the presentation and have no qualms about refusing to buy anything and the free vacation more than makes up for it. Other people would rather pay any price to avoid having to listen to one of these spiels. So, while these weekends are freebies, for some people, they cost too much. More often, a company wants your time in a less obvious way ? they want you to spend time filling out forms. These forms may simply be your name, address and email address, or they may be very lengthy, quizzing you about buying habits and the like. The reason the companies want you to do these forms is often for market research, and they are more than happy to give you a freebie in exchange for this. Many people find the time spent filling out these forms will worth it to get a great free product. Convenience is the other cost involved with many freebies. Time and convenience go hand in hand in some cases ? after all, it may not be especially convenient to fill out form after form simply because it is time consuming, but convenience takes another hit from freebies in the form of spam email. Often, signing up for a freebie can land you on a spam email list, and for some people, getting tons of spam is so inconvenient that they would rather pay full price. The truth about all of these costs of freebies is that the freebie is in the eye of the beholder. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in order to get a free product. Once you know the limits to your freebie costs, than you can cash in on some really great products that don?t cost you a dime. When you spend five minutes filling out a form and get rewarded with a free DVD player that you have been wanting, you will realize that there are free things out there to be had.
Find Free Stuff Online by Visiting the FreeStuffOnline Website Whatever it is somebody is searching for, he might be able to find it on the FreeStuffOnline website. The FreeStuffOnline website is a page that offers links to other pages that have products that are free off charge available to anybody. Pages like this one collect links and web addresses that offer free products and then publish it as a great resource to the broader public. The links offered by FreeStuffOnline leads to a variety of different topics and offers and there might be just what someone one is looking for. The web page offers categories such as educational freebies, which includes Study notes, Encyclopedias, books and more. Family freebies have categories for babies, children and parents. For the computer world there are free products such as free antivirus software, freeware programs, games and graphics, shareware, music and screensavers. For the cell phone fanatic, there are links to free cell phone ring tones and short message programs. A seasonal freebie category holds anything that relates to the major holidays in the United States, such as Christmas, Halloween, Easter and more. The category ?internet? offers links to free web hosting pages, e-mail providers and much more. The way such pages work is by the various masters that take care of adding and removing links. As a matter of fact, anyone can add freebie links to the page. This is one of their most important tools to keep such a freebie page working. Anyone who finds a good freebie that is not a fraudulent page should go to the FreeStuffOnline web page and add the link. Other people will benefit from the link just as much as the person that added it. To keep such sites possible the effort of anyone that is looking for freebies is necessary. There are many organizations out there that specialize in providing help for the ones that do not have a wealthy family to pay for all of it. Organizations that specialize in literature offer PDF files of books of world famous authors such as Shakespeare, books that anybody should have the chance to read. Other pages specialize in children?s songs. Downloadable MP3s, legal downloads of these songs are available to make music an integral part of young children?s lives. Even for the new craze of sharing pictures, files and other important date there are links that guide the user to pages that will offer such services for free. Sharing pictures with loved ones should be easy and free and available to anybody. Whether it is the grandparent that lives hundred of miles away or a father that serves in the army, these pages offer the opportunity to anyone to share important data such as pictures over the distance. Using an online file sharing web page also has the advantage of speed over regular mail. Until the pictures are sent to their destination by mail, it can take days, but on the Internet the process takes a few seconds and the person at the other PC can see the data almost instantly. When these files are shared there is always the possibility to have the pictures printed at one of the photo stores and the person will still be able to hold printed pictures in their hands. One other important fact to know about these free online pages like FreeStuffOnline is that whenever you come onto a link that is not working, let them know, only by people telling the web master that the link is not working it can be removed. Helping to maintain the page by alarming for broken links can reduce the frustration to other that was trying to check out the link.