How Does Free Web Hosting in Australia Work?
Free web hosting is typically made possible because the provider earns profits in other ways besides monthly premiums. For example, many web builders, like Weebly, Wix, and WordPress.com, feature Ads in the sidebars on all of their freely hosted accounts. However, this isn’t true of all web hosters, Yola and Google Blogger, for example, are both Ad-free and earn revenue in other ways.
In addition, a lot of the best free web hosting providers limit how much you can customise your URL in order to self-promote their service using a subdomain. For example, if you choose to build a free website on WordPress – rather than paying for a premium package or using third-party web hosting—your website’s URL will be something like www[dot]YourWebsiteName[dot]Wordpress[dot]com. Of course, you can always invest in a more professional domain name later, by purchasing one or upgrading your account with a more expensive package.
With free web hosting, you often have limits on the amount of storage and bandwidth that you can utilise. For those not expecting much traffic, these limitations may be a non-issue, however it is an important thing to keep in mind when comparing your hosting options.
Why Free Hosting?
With free Australian web hosting, you can have access to some basic tools and templates to create a custom website for your small business or personal project. In fact, many free web builders are designed to help novice users master web design and hosting, by providing a variety of free templates. These templates are great for novices or those looking to establish a professional-looking website fast. While you may not get all of the advanced features that you would with a subscription plan, this is a great option for those looking to get acquainted with web page development or host a small project.
For example, if you’re a beginner photographer, you may choose to use a free web hosting service to get a digital portfolio together in order to share your work online. Then, as your business and clientele grow, you can invest in a more professional hosting option where you will have more creative control over your site and URL.
In general free web hosting is the perfect option for those who feel they cannot afford a monthly hosting plan (however cheap the Australian host can be) and just need some basic features in order to establish a digital presence.
Pros of Free Hosting
- It’s Free: Being able to establish a digital presence for free is pretty neat.
Cons of Free Hosting
- Limited URL Subdomain: Some free web hosts only allow you to customise part of your domain, with the subdomain of the host’s website often attached to the end of your URL.
- Limited eCommerce Options: Few free web hosts allow eCommerce, forcing many small businesses to invest in a monthly subscription to take advance of this feature.
- Limited Design Features: With free web hosting you may be limited to certain basic design features and tools.
- Limited Bandwidth: Bandwidth affects the speed with which your website can load. If you are expecting a lot of traffic, you may want to find a hosting plan that provides you with unlimited bandwidth. Some free hosting plans do offer unlimited bandwidth, but often at the expense of other features.
- Ads: In order to generate profits, many free web hosts may place ads on your website’s sidebars.
- Limited Support: With many monthly hosting plans you have access to 24/7 support in addition to actionable insights regarding your digital traffic and SEO. Some paid services also provide you with a professional email account, unlimited domains, and other advanced features.
- Proprietary Control Panel, rather than the industry standard, which is cPanel.
Is free web hosting in Australia actually free?
Yes! Many providers offer free web hosting with basic features to help you create an active website that you can visit online. Some advanced features may require you to upgrade to a subscription service, but there are many free web hosts that allow you to create a customizable website for no charge.
Can you do eCommerce with free hosting?
Unfortunately, most free web hosts do not allow for eCommerce. If this is an important feature for your website, you may want to consider investing in a cheap web hosting plan.
Can I use my own domain with free web hosting?
In most cases, free web hosting limits your domain to include the host’s subdomain. This means that you will be able to customize your own URL but it will include a subdomain at the end—for example, if you are using Wix, your URL will be YourWebsiteName[dot]Wix[dot]com. If you already have a domain but you want to take advantage of the features provided by a specific web builder, you will typically have to upgrade your account to transfer the domain name.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Which offers free hosting?
WordPress.com offers free web hosting, whereas WordPress.org allow you to download the open-source software so that you can use WordPress’s web building features and host your website through a third-party.
With WordPress.com you can create a free website using some of their basic web page building tools and templates, however, will not have access to many of the advanced features that WP has to offer. In addition, your URL will be limited to include the WordPress.com subdomain at the end of your URL. In order to get rid of this subdomain, you will need to upgrade your account using one of the WordPress.com advanced packages, or purchase your domain independently and host it through a third-party.
Can I upgrade to a different type of hosting later?
Yes! Many free web hosts offer upgrade options so that you can access some of their more advanced features. When choosing a free web host, you may want to look into their hosting packages to see what future options may be available to you. Some users start off by creating a website with one host, only to realise they want to switch provider later because of their paid hosting plans. This may be tricky in some cases, though not impossible, so it is always a good idea to consider your upgrade options when choosing a free web host.