Free web hosting vs Paid for hosting

Free website hosting vs Paid for hosting. What’s the difference?

Free web hosting plans appear to be highly attractive when publishing websites. However, it’s wise to understand the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision on which option to choose.

So, what is Free Web Hosting?

Free web hosting provides a virtual server that runs its own copy of OS and Web Hosting Software (known as VPS). Your website is allocated to the server that then connects the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to public networks, so that it is visible on the world-wide web.

Free hosting often has a limited bandwidth and a limited number of email accounts. The VPN servers host multiple websites all together in one physical-storage host (think of it as a block of flats with lots of tenants), assigned with a virtual IP address and accessed by a sub-domain name which is all free of charge.

The free web hosting provider earns money from the site being hosted by placing adverts on it. That’s how they can offer it to you for free!


The only real advantage of free hosting is that it is free! However, the exact plan and policy may vary from one hosting service provider to another. The website owner gets the free space on the server and a free sub-domain name, adverts are then placed on their website to generate revenue for the service provider.


If you want a website hosted for a business, then free web hosting plans carry multiple disadvantages, outlined below:


You can’t control which adverts are placed on your website and it’s unlikely that you would want to put any adverts on your site other than your own.

No main domain

Free hosting plans don’t provide you with a separate domain name. Instead, you’ll receive a sub domain. For example,, or If you want your own main domain name such as, you need to choose a paid hosting service.

Customer support

With free hosting, you don’t get any customer support. If you are new to hosting or limited on time, you should go for a paid service where it is all done for you.

Limited Bandwidth and Speed

Free hosting services often have limited bandwidth and data transfer speed. The bandwidth can be seen as the number of visitors allowed on your website per month. If your web traffic exceeds this, the website hosting can be halted by the servers, forcing you to buy the paid web hosting plans for extended bandwidth and data transfer rate.

If you are a personal blogger or looking to launch a personal website, free hosting could be for you. But, for commercial and business use, opting for a paid service is your best bet.

For more information about Smart’s web hosting options, take a look here.