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Free web hosting is good for those just getting started

Free web hosting is a subset of shared web service. If you're just starting out on the Internet or have a very small budget for your website, you can choose from the many providers offering free web hosting. There will be limitations on the file types and sizes you're allowed to use, as well as on bandwidth and web space. There may also be little or no technical support. The Internet connection may not be as reliable as that of paid web services; however, the resources available to you are usually more than enough for a small non-commercial website. If your website has many graphics, or you're planning on streaming audio or video, a free service may not provide enough resources.

Although there is no charge for the use of a free web service, there is a cost, experts say. Editors at UpperHost.com explains that many of these companies make their money from placing banner ads and other advertising on your web pages, with pop-ups, scripts and frames. You don't have a say in which advertisements web hosts use, so the ads may or may not complement your website's content and purpose. Given all this, if you simply want to get your feet wet free web hosting is a valid option; otherwise, you're better off with a paid service. (Many blog hosting services offer free plans; see our section on blog hosts in this report for more information.)

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