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How do free web hosting sites really work?

by N.T.Gray / January 13, 2008 10:20 PM PST

I would like to create a personal web site to support a store sales job I have. Nothing elaborate, just general informational documents (not product-specific) and a "contact me" button.

I understand that there are totally free hosting services, and I'm interested in the concept. But I know nothing about them except what I found in ten minutes of Googling. That's not much.

Are they reliable? Are there any "major" players, or are they all tiny operations? Are there reliable reviews that can help me decide which ones (if any) would be acceptable for my purpose?

Thanks for any help.

*

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Not Worth It
by entrecon / January 14, 2008 3:53 AM PST

There is no such thing as a Free host. You pay them by letting them put ads all over your site.

You are better off going with a discount host that charges like $7/month. There are cheaper, but I worry about any that are less then that. For less than $100/year you can have your own ad free site. (unless of course YOU put the ads on there).

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Community Web hosting
by mlaskin1 / January 22, 2008 10:30 PM PST
In reply to: Not Worth It

I built a website with Tripod/Lycos in 2005 thinking that it was only a matter of putting the Website together and hey presto I'm on the World Wide Web. I upgaded the Site to get rid of the ads etc.
However, at the start of 2006 I designed a independent Site using the same content and a local hosting company...about an amateur soccer league...and transfered all the info onto this.
I didn't update the orignal website and was sent a e-mail letting me know that this site was now up for sale (should have read the small print)and before I knew it that Site was still using my domain name and selling something totally different.
As a result I had to notify all the Directories that I had signed up with and inform them that I was no longer the contact for this Site and would they remove my name.
The moral of the story is be wary of so called Community Websites that offer such low hosting costs because once you sign up you can never retrieve your domain name.

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Are you sure...
by entrecon / January 23, 2008 3:34 AM PST
In reply to: Community Web hosting

In most cases when you register a domain you get the rights of use for the period that you registered it. My guess is you registered the domain for 1 year, and/or paid for it with your upgrade. If you don't renew the domain through the current registrar or transfer it at the end of that period, it is lost. This happens with both free and paid sites. I know a free site that an organization I work with was hosted at Tripod about 5 years ago, and we were able to transfer the domain name without any trouble.

The problem with assocaitions is that the contact information is not always kept up-to-date and when the registrar sends a notice to the e-mail on file, teh current repsonsible person does not always get the notice.

I found a domain name on a deleted list once that was perfect for a project that was on my development list and purchased it. A year later, before we brought the site online, someone that was trying to get a canoe racing club active again contacted me wanting the domain back and acted like I stole it. Too many people don't understand taht you don't buy a domain name, you rent the right to use it for the paid period and have first right of refusal for additional time periods.

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