Archive for December, 2004

Archive for December, 2004

Free Webhosting, is it worth it?

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There are today hundreds of free webhosters, willing to host your site when you don’t have cash, but is it worth the headache?

Want a website, but don’t have the cash to pay $10 a month for a cheap webhoster? Then you’re in the same boat as most people who want a website. Today there are thousands of free tools to help you build your site, but the problem is still where to host it. Even if you don’t mind the ads, what if you need more than HTML? Will your language of preference be supported? Is it worth the headache to find out?
Many people who want a website want it to be easy to find. So the logical option is With them you can get a free sub-domain following the pattern But upon testing this it has been found that the sub-domain service can be buggy, making it actually harder for people to find your site. And if you have a question or want to complain, well, too bad. You can’t write to 50megs tech support (you can’t even find their address!) if you are an unpaid member.
What about Geocities? Right off the bat they tell you that, although you won’t get a subdomain, you will get support for the filetypes listed. No need to ask questions about extra-HTML coding, which is good because they don’t seem to have a tech support contact either! PHP is supported, but is MySQL? Is there any way to find out? Maybe, but you’ll have to go the long way round to figure it out, because there is not contact information or form for asking questions.
So is it worth the pain? Yes and no. If all you need is a simple HTML-based site, then you can host it without much trouble off of both 50megs and Geocities. It is probably better to mirror on both sites just in case one of them has a problem (which free services are prone to have). If you want anything past HTML you’ll have to go with Geocities (or do your own research, ouch!). However if you have any questions, you cannot ask either site questions. Maybe they like it that way.
There are many other free hosters, but is it worth looking through a whole bunch of little-known sites in hopes of finding one that will do what you want? Hardly. Stick with ones you know, or one of your friends knows, and don’t expect high-quality results.

Edit: I finally got ahold of some ‘tech support’ for Geocities and they do not support PHP or mySQL in the least, thier documentation is misleading. 1ooWebspace seems to be your best bet, with the most features (including PHP and mySQL) and the least advertising (one small Google ad)