When you look around you can see increasing gas prises, goverment officials talking about global insecurity and shiftiness that is knocking on your door. The cost of living are getting higher year by year. In United States, the most advanced world economy the minimum wage for covered employees ($5.15 per hour) didn’t changed since 80’s.
This is no an apocalyptic view of the world or global economy. It is just a trend. The good news is that the advanced technology brings more inovations to life and makes many products and service cheaper than they used to be a few year ago. Web hosting market is leading the shift. We remember consumers paid more than $20 for shared web hosting accounts a few years ago. Now we use more advanced technology with budget hosting plans and we pay less than $10 per month. The market of course gone crazy and many web host do nothing but sell web hosting in large numbers. Strong competition makes companies to implement innovations and new marketing techniques to sell. In most cases site owners benefit from low prices.
Pushing down the prices however is not the best we can do. It may force smaller companies to sell their business or to lead many of them to bankruptcy. Having thousands of really cheap hosting providers out there raises a question about “free web hosting”. The main point is there are still too many people who prefer to losse time to switch between free hosts a few time a year insted of signing up with a low cost hosting provider.
Facing increased security and storage costs most companies that used to offer free hosting disappeared. Other moved to paid hosting service. One of them is Fortunecity, a company that used to be one of the biggest free web hositng providers. Now it offer shared hosting account under $10/month like many other well-established hosts. It ihas become harder to find a freee host that offers database support and different useful tools these days. Some like Brinkster still do it. They expect users who use their 15 Mb web space / 500 mb monthly transfer free hosting plan to become customers once they need more space and bandwidth for their websites. This model probably works good for Brinkster but less providers offer free hosting to attract future customers.
When asking for free hosting in the forums users should know that they don’t have many good options. Looking for image hosting or web space to publish your blog is much easier but both image and blog hosting are also becoming paid. The key issue of course is not the space and bandwidth but the OS, tools and customers support. No one can afford to offer free hosting to thousands of customers and to provide them with decent support only because they hoping that having a large community of customers will gain money from advertisers.
Using free hosting is not a sign of reliability as well. If you think your site is important enough you should spend money on it.