- Free web hosting service
A free web hosting service is a
web hosting servicethat is free, usually advertisement-supported. Free web hosts will usually provide a subdomain(yoursite.example.com) or a directory (www.example.com/~yourname). In contrast, paid web hosts will usually provide a second-level domainalong with the hosting (www.yourname.com). Many free hosts do allow use of separately-purchased domains. Rarely, a free host may also operate as a domain name registrar.
Features and limitations
Only a few free web hosts offer basic package for free. Enhanced packages (with more features) are usually available for a cost. This allows users to try the service for an initial trial (see how it performs compared to other hosts), and then upgrade when (and if) needed.
Free hosting may have the following limitations:
* Limitation on the size of each hosted file
* Very small bandwidth per month compared to paid hosting
* Disabling on
hotlinking of files
* File type restrictions (for example
MP3, MPEG, ZIP etc.)
* Compulsory placement of the Webhosts' Banner or Popup ads into all web pages
* No provided
* No allowance of custom URLS, such as "http://www.domain.com". It has to be "http://www.provider.com/domain" or "http://domain.provider.com/".
Some free host may provide these extra features:
* A web based control panel
* File transfer via FTP
* Scripting languages:
PHP, ASP, Perletc.
Relational databases such as MySQL
* Scheduled processes, known as
* Other features such as
* Forums and community resources not typical of paid hosts
* Reward systems which provide extra free products and services
* Have no data limitations offering unlimited space'
Monetizing free webhosting
The majority of the hosting companies use free hosting to introduce their services, and as an entry point to their more expensive offerings. Generally they recoup their costs in one of two ways:
* Advertising - Selling
online advertisingon the customer sites is generally considered a fair trade - the reasoning is that high traffic sites are more expensive to host, but the additional traffic allows for additional ad impressions therefore covering the cost. For the web master, it can be a good trade if the advertising is of good quality and non-competitive. This is one of the main reasons that businesses do not use free hosting for their website. The majority of free hosting companies use this method.
* Referrals - Using a simple form of
viral marketing, these providers rely on the users to spread the offer. The ratio of free to paid accounts is known, and by having each free user refer a number of friends, the hosting provider is able to get enough paid accounts to cover the cost.
* Resell Hosting - This is where someone starts up a hosting company, attracts lots of visitors, then sells the hosting company to someone else once it can no longer support itself. Once sold, this individual uses the money to start up multiple hosting ventures and sells each in turn.
Some hosting companies are using hybrid approaches that mix these tactics.
Methods of giving out web hosting
A few methods of giving out Free Webhosting to people by Webhosts
Due to the risks of illegal, inappropriate, and abusive website, hosts with instant activation usually give very little storage space and monthly bandwidth. Other restrictions will likely also be in effect. The webhosts usually either require the users' web pages to display their banner ads, textlink ads, or popups; or else the users' files to be uploaded through a web-based file manager that display ads to the user uploading files.
Hosts with instant activation are often abused, such as
Post for Hosting
Some free hosts require posting in a forum. Forum-based free hosting requires users to either reach a certain amount of posts before getting a free hosting account, or be an active contributor in the forum. Forum-based free hosting often work on a system of points where posts give points to a user and can be used as credits toward getting a hosting account or more resources. Typically, the forum where users have to post contains advertising as the hosts way of making a profit.
This method is popular, as the hosts can decide which applications to deny and allow. This is common when a popular forum has free hosting as an add-on service, rather than the other way around.
File hosting on webhosts
Most free web hosts discourage using their services for file or image hosting only, with no
web page, since advertising is displayed on the web page. Because of this, hotlinkingis usually disallowed on free hosts. Some free webhosts will also disallow files over a certain size (for example, 5 MB). However, there are free file hosting services which allow large files as well as hotlinking.
Co-branding and resellers
Some services offer co-branding services. These let you brand fixed plans with your own company. Other services, offer WHM or panel reselling. This allows the client to develop his or her own web hosting plans and business.
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