The first thing that you’ll notice when shopping around for web hosting is that there is a lot of companies offering free hosting packages. If you look at the free features compared to the premium packages’ features, there probably won’t be that much of a difference between them. Remember though that these companies don’t make money off of hosting web sites for free, so obviously their system is going to be set up for you to want paid hosting. Here’s how they do it:

“Custom” or “Limited” CPanels:

These often aren’t real CPanel systems at all. They’re just PHP scripts the hosting company paid someone to write for it to look like the real thing. A lot of times the advanced features in these panels are designed not to work properly, and suggest to you to upgrade to a premium package. Also, CPanel tutorials will not work properly since there are usually a lot of differences in design and menu layout.

Downtime:

Sometimes these hosting companies actually increase the downtime for their free servers. After all, they don’t make any money making sure they’re in tip-top order now do they? You’ll notice that in peak times in the day (usually noon), it will be hard to get pages to load properly. The truth is that they are purposely down during these busy times of day to make high-traffic web sites switch to premium hosting in order to make a better experience for their visitors. Web hosts know that high-traffic sites mean webmasters that will probably have no problem paying their hosting company and may even upgrade to a more expensive premium hosting package.

Free Host Advertising:

No professional web site should mention “Free hosting provided by…”, as this makes a site look very un-professional and un-trustworthy. If your site has any kind of e-commerce system, people won’t want to buy from it with little annoying “free hosting” ads everywhere. After all, where is all their money going anyway? Obviously the owner doesn’t think to much of his business. It’s like taking your child to the pediatrician working out of his car. People are always cautious spending money online, and most will look at every little clue they can find in order to tell if a business is “real” or not.

Customer Support:

The last real advantage to having a premium hosting package is that you are now a paying customer. You can play the “I pay you guys every month…” card while contacting their customer support service. People will be a lot more willing to help you when they know that your contributing to their paycheck rather than someone that’s trying to mooch off the company for a free service. Usually, the company will even inform you of the great customer support features you’ll get when signing up for a premium package.

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