Affordable Web Hosting - Free or Paid?
We are just going to give you a few thoughts based on our own experience. It's like renting a house where knowing the reputation of the landlord can save you a lot of grief. If they let spammers live in your neighborhood you could wind up having your email blocked.
Internet Service Freebies
My first web page went up on server space provided by my ISP who is Kaplan Telephone Company. They have it available but they aren't advertising it and it's no extra charge. This is quite common so check your provider's web site or call support. Don't expect much help or a lot of space, but you won't require much for awhile. You won't get to use your own domain name.
Free is getting to be the most battered word on the net. "Free DVD" with $9.95 shipping and handling. "Free Hosting" with one time set up fee of $65.00 and annual maintenance agreement. Some give you free hosting if you let them stick their adds around your page. Just do a lot of searching before you go this route. Free is not free if it brings a bucket of aggravation with it. My personal opinion, and you must care or you wouldn't be here, is leave the free hosting alone.
Paid Hosting Solutions
I have used four or five hosting companies. Some have come with new clients that needed maintenance or redesign work done on existing sites. I try at first dealing with their hosts tech support and then usually convert them to the company I use. To me tech support is everything. Not just a 800 number where a call screener puts you on a list. Some of these new clients are paying $25 a month. The selection process is confusing with so many out there. I use and can recommend ICDSoft at this time. The review can be found here.
The web site you are viewing now is on a ICDSoft.com server. The Personal Plan is more space than you can use for $65 payable yearly. This includes your registration for your own domain name and 24/7 tech support. Quite a few hosting providers have the same features around the same price, but no one can beat their support. Those guys go way beyond the call of duty with a ticket based system. Most of my questions get answered in under 10 minutes. They keep all your questions available as a reference in case the question comes up again and you have forgotten the answer.