There are many free web hosts available today. If you are considering this option, be sure to look around at all the options because the plans available on different free web hosting sites are just as varied as those available on paid hosting sites.
Most free web hosting sites will give you the option to either register a sub-domain (http://www.freehostingsite.com/yoursite) or pay for a proper domain name. Maybe you can’t afford to pay for hosting, but paying about $10 for your own domain name will go a long way towards making your site seem more professional. It will also help a great deal with your SEO tactics.
Some of these free web hosting sites are made especially for beginners. They offer free templates and comprehensive site builders, but are generally very limited outside of these options. It is often difficult (or impossible) to add in basic SEO tools such as meta tags when you are using the templates provided by these sites. They also tend to force you to advertise for the free host in the footer of the site. The advertisements for the free web hosting site can often be removed for a small fee – so that your hosting plan will stay exactly the same, minus the advertising. Of course, this technically means that you are paying for hosting – but you are paying a whole lot less than you would be normally.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are the free web hosting sites that only allow you FTP access. These are made for experienced website owners and designers who will not need the free templates and site builders that other sites offer. If you know what you’re doing, these sites sometimes offer much better service and much better paid plans should you wish to upgrade in the future. However, be sure to read the terms of service (as you should with any site you join) to make sure you are following all the rules. Even though you are coding the site yourself, you may be required to advertise for the free web host.
Of course, some free web hosts will offer both “beginner” and “advanced” options. These are useful for people who might not know much about coding yet, but are planning on learning. They allow you to start on a “beginner” account and then switch to the “advanced” account for free once you are comfortable enough coding on your own. Be careful, though – while it is usually simple to switch from the “beginner” option to the “advanced” option, it is often impossible to switch from “advanced” back to “beginner”.
Many sites will also offer a range of account upgrades and “exclusive deals” to their free hosting members. While they are often good deals, make sure you read the fine print. Often they will offer you a year of hosting at an amazingly low price, but after that year you will be expected to pay the regular price. Of course, if you have been with the free web hosting site for a while and have been happy with their service, then maybe the upgrade is worth it. An upgrade will often give you access to more tools, more storage space and more bandwidth. All of which will help you make your site more successful.