Free vs Paid Hosting
Free hosting can be a reasonable solution if you just want a a blog from WordPress or blogger, or a simple interest website on Squidoo or HubPages. All of these platforms enable you to set up a site under their domain, providing free hosting with a simple template for you to load content onto. The benefits of using a paid host in contrast is that you have far more space, bandwidth, design tools, templates, and customer support enabling you to create a more unique website at a very affordable price. To understand the differences more fully, read below.
Cost-Free hosting is obviously free but shared hosting is very cheap with prices that range from $3-$6 per month.
Customization- Free hosting providers usually offer a standard, simple custom design with a set template from the service provider. Paid hosting offers a much larger variety with different CMS’s (Joomla, Drupal, Mambo), blogging tools (WordPress, b2evolution), drag and drop site builder and a simple script installer like Fantastico; which together includes thousands of design templates and web applications offering easy customization.
If you're concerned by the price of a paid for hosting plan, then remember that you can just sign up for a year to 'test the water'
Capacity- Most paid shared hosting plans include unlimited bandwidth and storage which can accommodate the many different types of websites; and as your website grows you can consider more advanced options such as VPS and dedicated servers or cloud hosting. Free hosting includes a very small amount of bandwidth and disk space before you’re forced to pay for more.
Customer Support- Free hosting has no customer or technical support, so if you run into a problem on your website, you’re on your own. Similarly if the actual domain of the free host experiences downtime, then so does your site or blog. Paid web hosting, on the other hand, offers 24/7/365 support by phone, email, and live chat. Their websites also offer demos on control panels to help you manage your account, and instructional videos & articles to help you design and improve your website.
Additional Benefits of Paid Hosting:
Free hosting, although effective, can only do so much. It’s not a good solution to help your rank on search engines like Google or Bing because your website is listed under the domain of a much larger host like www.yoursite.blogspot.cominstead of www.yoursite.com. Most paid hosts include setup & domain registration in their price, which will help you get a unique domain as soon as you sign up.
Free hosting has no customer or technical support, so if you run into a problem on your website, you’re on your own
In addition to the increased exposure and traffic that you can receive from having paid hosting, your provider will give you a package with shopping carts, marketing credits (to advertise on Google and Facebook) and a shared SSL certificate in case you want to set up e-commerce store on your site. Your hosting plan also includes multimedia tools for streaming audio & video, a private email account, and a 99% uptime guarantee.