Cheap vs Free Web Hosting

In the world of the Internet, you can sometimes make a major difference in the look and feel of your site for a very small amount of money by moving from a free service to a paid service. See how cheap vs. free plays out in several different scenarios in this article.

Best Free Web Hosts

  1. 150m - 150MB Web Space / Ads
  2. 20m - 20MB Disk Space / Ads
  3. StormLoader - 50MB Web Space

Top Cheap Web Hosts

  1. BlueHost - $3.49 Unlimited Sites
  2. FatCow - $4.08 Free Domain
  3. JustHost - $2.95 Free Site Builder

Web Hosting

Depending on the web host you choose, upgrading from free web hosting to a cheap web hosting service can lead to many types of changes. In many cases, web hosts treat you as if moving from free to cheap was taking a step through an important door. Once inside, you're greeted by a host of enticements to not only try to get you to stay, but also to—if not now, they eventually—upgrade again . . . and again.

Here is a list of some typical advantages that come with inexpensive web hosting as opposed to free services:

  • More storage space, sometimes taking you from the realm of megabytes (MB) to the realm of gigabytes (GB)
  • More bandwidth, possibly unlimited bandwidth
  • More, possibly unlimited, email accounts
  • Access to a database
  • Removal of banner and/or pop-up ads from your site
  • Support for PHP, CGI, and Perl scripting
  • Removal of banner and/or pop-up ads from your site
  • Support for PHP, CGI, and Perl scripting
  • Access to Secure Sockets Layer support
  • A unique domain name as opposed to having a subdomain on the web host's domain
  • Credits for Google Adwords, FaceBood Ad, Microsoft adCenter, etc.
  • Email forwarding service
  • A greater website page allowance (some free sites limit the number of pages)
  • Free search-engine submission
  • Backup capabilities
  • Blogging and/or podcasting tools
  • Account performance guarantee
  • Marketing tools
  • Site statistics
  • Web traffic reporting
  • Spam filtering
  • Multiple database hosting capabilities

Online File Hosting

When looking at file hosting (including image files), there are some similar and some different options that one gets in a cheap, as opposed to a free, package:

  • Increase in file size limit (possibly in GB, rather than MB)
  • Increase in storage space
  • Removal of ads, such as banner ads, from your interface
  • Advanced statistics
  • Priority support opportunities, for example, live chat
  • Secure, redundant backup of stored files
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption
  • Website Uploader
  • Direct Linking/Hot Linking to files from a variety of places, including websites, email, and instant message (IM) environments
  • Web file manager to make file organization and searching easier
  • Widgets to allow file publication to different locations.

Blog Hosting

The difference between free and cheap in the world of blogs often begins (and sometimes ends) with the difference between a blog hosted on a subdomain and a blog that has its own domain name. For example:

  • With a Blogger blog, you can pay to register a domain name and attach your domain name to your blog (rather than using a subdomain).
  • With a blog, you can do the same, or map a previously acquired domain name to your blog (also for a fee). stands out from some other blogs in having a wider variety of upgrade possibilities. In addition, at, you can:

  • purchase an addition 5, 15, or 25 gigabytes (GB) of webspace to add to the 3 GB you get for free.
  • add the option to use cascading style sheets (CSS) to design your own theme.
  • upgrade to avoid any free ads which, by the license terms, is allowed to place on your free blog.
  • unlock the top end of the user limit: you can have 35 users with the free private blog, but if you need more, you can purchase that ability.

Get more Worpress tips and tricks to make the most of your Wordpress blog.


Related article: Find the Best Free Web Hosting