Criteria when choosing a free web host.
One of the most important aspects that is present with all free web hosts will is advertisement, but the level of it might vary. Most of them will try to install banners or pop-up windows with ads on your site and some will even force an ad frame. These ads are there so that the web hosts can cover the cost of your free web page. The choice of which are better is generally up to the user, none of them offer any clear advantage over the other. Some people just hate pop ups, while banners can sometimes mess with the scripting of the page. Moreover, advertisement frames can mess with the search engines trying to find the page. In addition, on first thought it might seem as a good idea to find a free web host without ads, but keep in mind that without a way to cover the cost, most of them don’t have a good up time, or get shutdown pretty soon.
Another big thing that you must keep in mind is the space on hard disk. Plain and simple, this is how much your site is allowed to be in size. Now you should always think ahead and think of how much more you might need in the future. Most sites will not take up much space, usually even under 5 MB, even though it can have hundreds of pages. But then again this really varies from content to content. It is not the same hosting text and small pictures, as it is high quality videos.
We have already mentioned FTP. This is the way you upload items on the site and edit. Some basic providers will only allow you to send via their online interface or wizard. Others will let you use other FTP tools. If your site is going to be anything more than the most trivial personal web page, you will need to be able to have more FTP access then this. And then there are also limits that hosting providers put on the size of files. There are providers that will harshly limit the size on each file uploaded, or require that it is in a specific file format. If you are thinking of distribution of your own content that is bigger in size that means you will have to find one that supports such transfers.
One of the most important things would be speed of access and the reliability of the host. If your site is not constantly up then you might lose your audience, and therefore a lot of its meaning and purpose. If a visitor finds you through web search and notices that the site is down, well, he will just find another one and never go back to the first one. Sites with slow access speed are also ones that people avoid. Before committing to a web host, you should try to get some feedback from other users, or try it yourself for a brief point in time, and see how it does even during rush hours.
While not very important for free hosts, PHP and Perl do have some benefits. There are many ways to host scripts that are available on the web and which provide premade searches, forms, lists and such. That way you don’t need to learn or mess around with either Perl or PHP; but if you want to do it on your own after all, then you must find out if they provide those services, also not just do they provide them, but specifically what kind do they offer.