My friend Austin Overton asked me to review his new free web hosting service call Free Web Hosting 24/7. My question to Austin was, “What’s the catch?” Anyone who’s been in this business for any length of time knows that web hosting is never 100% free. I’ll get to the catch in a bit but first, let’s take a look at Austin’s new business venture.
Free Web Hosting 24/7
Free Web Hosting 24/7 is completely free to sign up for. The free hosting plan gives you 500MB of storage space and 10GB of monthly bandwidth. Other features include:
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Unlimited Addon Domains Names
- Unlimited FTP Accounts
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Unlimited Autoreponders
- Unilimted Email Forwarding
- cPanel Control Panel
Setting up an account is very straightforward. You can use an existing domain name or a sub-domain like yourname.freewebhosting247.com. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the required account information and confirming the email that the service sends you. The entire process should take no longer than five minute.
The cPanel control panel that Free Web Hosting 24/7 offer includes Fantastico De Luxe, which quickly and easily installs most of the popular Internet software for you without you having to do chores like setting up a MySql database. Just select the software you want installed, fill in a few fields like username and password and it’ll do the rest. I was able to set up a John Chow WordPress test blog within a few seconds. Free Web Hosting 24/7 allows users to monetize their sites. You’re free to install ads from any ad network or sell your own ad space.
So, What Is The Catch?
In order to use Free Web Hosting 24/7 to host your site or blog, you have to allow Austin to run a footer link on your site. Austin tells me the link is not intrusive. It just a text link that says, Free Web Hosting by FreeWebHosting247.com.
At this moment, the script that places the footer link on a site isn’t working. Until Austin gets the script to work, Free Web Hosting 24/7 really is 100% free.
How Does This Make Money?
At this point, you may be asking how is Austin going to make money from this? It’s actually quite simple. The free accounts offers 500MB of storage, which should be enough for most bloggers. However, the bandwidth limit of 10GB maybe a problem. If you exceed the monthly bandwidth, FreeWebHosting247.com will ask you to upgrade to a paid plan that cost $5.95 per month. Free Web Hosting 24/7 doesn’t host the paid sites. That is done by DreamHost, one of the biggest names in the web hosting business.
Austin’s service is ideally suited for new bloggers getting their feet wet. Unlike Blogspot.com, Free Web Hosting 24/7 offers the far superior WordPress blogging platform. Unlike WordPress.com, Free Web Hosting 24/7 allows their users to have their own domain name and monetize their sites. All for the cost of a footer link.
The only problem I see with Austin’s new venture is his infrastructure. Free Web Hosting 24/7 is powered by a single Intel Pentium D 930 server with only 1GB of RAM. If Austin’s free service gets popular, he’ll have to upgrade the system or users will start to experience performance issues. Then again, Austin can use that as a reason to upgrade to a paid plan.
If you’ve been using a free service like Blogspot.com or WordPress.com and want to try out a paid service without really paying for it, then Free Web Hosting 24/7 is worth a try. Just remember that you’ll have to move to a paid plan down the road if your site gets big. That shouldn’t create a problem because you should be making more than enough to pay for hosting by then.