In a Nutshell: In the digital age, businesses need an online presence, but establishing a website can be a costly and intimidating prospect for newcomers. That’s why Freehostia offers a free, no-ad hosting option that can scale to meet the needs of entrepreneurs as they develop. Its cluster-based service divides hosting resources among multiple servers, creating a fast and efficient experience for its users and their visitors. Freehostia also offers a custom dashboard, around-the-clock customer support, and a variety of security features to keep websites up and running.
Many small businesses initially take to social media to connect with potential customers. And maintaining accounts on Facebook and Twitter can help entrepreneurs share content, market to consumers, and generate interest in their products.
At the same time, it can be challenging to break through and find commercial success on social media platforms alone. They aren’t particularly customizable and don’t offer support for ecommerce features. While a social media presence is essential for outreach, it’s equally as important for a business to have a website that it can leverage to build its brand and sell products.
But as many online entrepreneurs learn, creating and maintaining a website can be costly, time-consuming, and often confusing to those just entering the market. And the sheer number of options for hosting and development can be downright overwhelming.
Freehostia offers a range of options and plans to meet the needs of those ecommerce entrepreneurs — and veteran developers alike. The company has flexible options aimed at first-time users who are unfamiliar with web hosting and site-building. Its free hosting plan allows new users to test the service without any commitment. And Freehostia plans can scale up quickly to add storage, bandwidth, and features as user needs dictate.
“It’s important for us not to press our free users with invites to upgrade to a paid service. We just want them to learn about technology, grow organically, and then feel the natural need to upgrade,” said Milkana Kolch, Communications & Marketing Manager at Freehostia. “We do that with a simple website, tons of features, and a simple signup experience.”
Speed and Efficiency of Cluster Cloud Hosting Surpasses Shared Services
Freehostia’s cluster cloud service consists of multiple servers operating in concert. That means the workload is distributed among all the servers in the network, providing greater efficiency and better performance for the sites it hosts.
“Freehostia was conceived as a free hosting platform back in the early days of the web,” Kolch said. “At the time, it was hard to accommodate the growing base of free users on a one-server, mainstream platform, so they had to think of a custom solution. That is how they came up with the idea of building their cluster cloud.”
Standalone servers, in contrast, simultaneously handle multiple services, including email, databases, and file transfers. That is similar to running several resource-consuming apps on a mobile device or PC. The workload for a single machine increases, leading to slower performance and more wear and tear on the device.
Some services host only a small number of accounts on a single server to ease that problem. That provides ample resources, but also increases the cost for the customer. Another alternative is to limit the resources available to each account, which keeps costs and usage down but may not meet the practical needs of clients.
Freehostia’s cluster servers employ intelligent load balancing to distribute different tasks to different servers.
That means more accounts can be hosted per server without a decrease in performance, keeping prices low.
And Freehostia monitors its server network around the clock, ensuring near-constant uptime and peak performance for its users and their websites.
Free and Paid Plans Give Users the Flexibility to Grow
Each of Freehostia’s paid plans comes with a 30-day free trial, and no payment information is required until the user decides to sign up. And after signup, Freehostia provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Each plan includes free setup, website templates, and instant account activation. Users enjoy automated daily backups, one-click application installation, a suite of site management tools, and scripting and development options. Freehostia’s SSD servers offer fast, reliable performance, and its network boasts 99.9% server uptime. Additionally, Freehostia never places ads on hosted sites — not even the free ones.
The free Chocolate Plan allows users to host five different domains on their account. It also provides 250MB of disk space, 6GB of traffic bandwidth per month, three email accounts, and a MySQL database with 10MB of storage. Users also have the option to purchase site-building software for $2 per month. The package is ideal for online entrepreneurs who are just starting out and for those who want to test out Freehostia’s offering before committing long-term.
“The Chocolate site plan is for entry-level site owners, hobbyists, and also for some mom-and-pop shops looking to build a web presence,” Kolch said. “We have small businesses that start with this package and then quickly move up, naturally.”
Freehostia’s Watercircle Plan is its entry-level paid option, and allows users to host 10 domains and 30 subdomains with 2GB of space. It allows for 50GB of traffic per month, 100 email accounts, and eight databases with 60MB of storage.
The Wildhoney Plan, its top-tier paid plan, still comes in at under $8 a month and provides unlimited storage, traffic, hosted domains and subdomains, and email accounts. Account holders can maintain two mailing lists and 50 databases with 1024MB of storage space. The plan also includes a free domain registration.
“Our free and paid hosting users are located on the same platform, so everyone is on equal footing within the service. That allows for seamless upgrades from one service to another,” Kolch said. “If you’re on the Chocolate Plan and you want to bump up your service with a little bit of space or traffic, you can easily do so.”
Connectivity, Support, and an Intuitive Interface Help Small Businesses Flourish
Freehostia users can access all of its features through a proprietary dashboard created to meet their needs. Its functionality improves on other mass-market offerings included in other hosting packages and plans.
“The dashboard is the main touchpoint for users. The mainstream solutions available when Freehostia started were not user-friendly at all,” Kolch said. “We had our interface custom-made for our users to feel comfortable online.”
And if customers encounter difficulties or questions, Freehostia offers an archive of online documentation, including video tutorials for users who want to learn about web development. For more complex problems, customers can access live 24/7 support through Freehostia’s integrated ticketing system. The service offers a one-hour response time and a detailed explanation of the problem so customers can understand both the issue and its solution.
“It’s vital to have your own online presence. It gives you more flexibility, a greater depth of content, and a profile. And it opens up more opportunities because you have your own unique space where you can share your message directly with your customers.” — Milkana Kolch, Communications & Marketing Manager at Freehostia
Freehostia has its servers in a datacenter in Chicago. That location provides the interconnectivity Freehostia’s custom-built infrastructure needs to operate at peak performance. It also allows Freehostia to offer additional products, including virtual private servers, semi-dedicated servers, and dedicated servers.
Each of those offerings is protected by ModSecurity Firewall technology, DNSSEC protection, and 24/7 malware scans. Freehostia also maintains jailhost functionality, a preventative measure that isolates each host from the rest — in a user account — to protect the system from any malicious activity.
A Planned CDN Solution Will Enhance Service for Users and Visitors Worldwide
While social media is an important tool for any business, it isn’t a substitute for having a dedicated website. Freehostia is a cost-effective, easily accessible, and scalable solution for entrepreneurs looking to establish a web presence.
“It’s vital to have your own online presence,” Kolch said. “It gives you more flexibility, a greater depth of content, and a profile. And it opens up more opportunities because you have your own unique space where you can share your message directly with your customers.”
Users new to Freehostia can start building a web presence that suits their taste. They also have the option of migrating an existing site over to the service.
“Since we use our custom platform and dashboard, we will help them with the process,” Kolch said. “We give them advice on making a backup and transferring their data over to our platform. And that transition advice is aimed at helping users migrate their sites over with zero downtime.”
Freehostia is also working on a new content delivery network (CDN) solution for its customers. Kolch said the CDN would significantly improve the platform’s performance and capabilities.
For novice site builders, or established enterprises seeking cost-effective hosting, Freehostia’s diverse offerings represent a robust, customizable solution. And sites can grow naturally as needs dictate without the expense of unnecessary features — which streamlines the experience for customers and their visitors.