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Free Hosts   (15) |   |  Directories  (2)

Introduction to Free Hosting

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One of the first things you need when creating a new Web site is a place to park it. Fortunately there is a plentiful supply of companies willing to host your site for free. Why do they do this? Because it will benefit them in some way (usually by displaying ads for other companies). But it can be a good deal for you too.

A common way free Web hosts make their money is to run advertisements on your site. These may come in the form of a banner ad that runs across the top of each page, or a pop up window that appears whenever users access your site. Some sites will give you a bit of control over the type of ads that run, and most promise not to display pornographic or similarly objectionable ads.

There are a few free web hosts that don't run advertisements on your pages, but have other ways of making a profit. One method is to sell you add-ons. These can be features for your site, such as shopping cart software, a special Web address. Most will allow the elimination of the ads on your pages if you upgrade (a monthly fee). Such companies are coming up with new revenue generating ideas every day. Most of this stuff is no big deal to amateur webmasters because paid hosting often costs $20/month or more.

When choosing a company to host your site for free, the key considerations are the type and location of the ads they run, the amount of Web space allotted to you, the free add-ons they offer, and whether or not you are restricted to using only their site-building tools.

Choose a host that presents ads that doesn't drive you crazy and won't drive your visitors away. Pop up ads can be especially obnoxious. If you want add-ons such as a message board as part of your site, you may be able to hook them in directly from your free Web host. If not, you can get them elsewhere [Webmaster Resources].

The use of custom site-building tools can be an important issue. These tools may appear to be a big plus at first, but they tend to restrict what you can do with your pages. Their use also means you don't have a copy of your Web site on your hard disk. This makes it harder to move the site somewhere else in the future if you find it necessary. For these reasons, many site builders prefer Web hosts that allow ftp or browser upload of files.

Make sure you check out a few sample sites before you sign up for any service, and read the terms of use. This will tell you if commercial sites are allowed, and any other restrictions you may have to comply with.

Free Web Hosting   [New Window]

Free Web hosting that incorporates your name in the URL (if available). Runs banner ads on your pages. Some free add-ons -- free hosting has been recently downgraded - no FTP.

Angelfire   [New Window]

Looking for a cool spot to hang out and build your site? Lycos' Angelfire is the place. Easy to use building tools, 50MB disk space, scripts to cut and paste, free page designs, images to make your site look great, and more!

This site is hosted by Angelfire, as you may have noticed by the URL and the banner at top. Angelfire offers FTP access which provides you with easy drag & drop file uploads & downloads with Internet Explorer and Opera (I assume Netscape has the capability also?) that eliminates the need for FTP software. A "Web Shell" is also available for editing, re-naming, creating/deleting new files & directories or upload up to ten files at a time.

BizLand   [New Window]

Free Web hosting for small businesses. Only one page. Runs a banner on your site. Can pay to remove ads and can block ads for your competitors. Sign up for a FREE Web Site!

Brinkster   [New Window]

Brinkster offers a free General Membership. Once you've signed up for this membership you get 30 MB of disk space, ASP support, no popup ads or any other sort of annoying advertising push, and, best of all, you can use Access databases! Brinkster also offers an ASP.NET Testing Membership, for those interested in playing around with ASP.

GeoCities   [New Window]

Yahoo!'s GeoCities gives you tools and a place to build your web site. The largest community of free home pages on the Web.

FreeServers   [New Window]

Register your own ".com" domain and host it... FREE! Offers: 12 MB Web space, Page-building tools, E-mail forwarding, Personalized domain (

FortuneCity   [New Window]

FREE Web Hosting from FortuneCity is a great place to start your home page. Banners & Pop-Up Advertising, most common file types allowed, FTP access, web site build tool, lots of free add ons.

Tripod   [New Window]

Another one of Lycos' web hosting services (see Angelfire above) offer easy to use tools, access to the Web's best building tutorials, and savvy tips on promotion designed to get your site noticed.

AOL Hometown   [New Window]

Free Web hosting for non-commercial sites. Choose your own community. Long terms-of-use agreement.

iBluegrass Magazine—Web hosting for bands only   [New Window]

Free Web hosting (for bands only) and tools including free guestbook, free poll, free "mail this page" button. No banner ads.

Free Hosts  (15) | | Directories  (2)

Free Website Providers   [New Window]

Searchable database, directory, and reviews of over 500 free web space hosts, online storage, and webmaster resources.   [New Window]

Searchable index of 450 free web space providers. FreeWebspace claims to be "the largest searchable guide to free webspace providers". To find a free web host, use the simple search (this page) or the advanced search. You can also browse the complete list of free personal webspace providers.