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Simply put, self-managed hosting is essentially just hosting — you’re responsible for managing your server. On the flip side, fully-managed hosting providers may take care of everything except your code and your content. Somewhere in the middle, semi-managed services involve your web host helping you out with some — but not all — that goes into monitoring your server infrastructure.
An SSL connection encrypts the data that travels between your site and users' web browsers, thus safeguarding the transmission of purchasing information. All the WordPress hosting services in this roundup offer SSL certificates, but the prices vary from company to company. Some companies include a free SSL certificate when you sign up for a hosting plan, while others charge close to $100.
There are free web hosting available, but almost all of them have some sort of catch. Usually, you can find free WordPress hosting being offered in online forums or small groups. In most cases, these are managed by an individual who is reselling a small part of his server space to cover up some revenue. Often the catch is that you have to put their banner ads on the site. Some may ask you to put a text link in the footer of your site. These folks will sell that banner ad or text link to cover up the cost of your free space along with pocketing the profits. The biggest downside of having a free host aside from the ads is that they are unreliable. You never know when this person will stop offering the free service. They can leave you hanging at any time. If you are serious about your website or business, then avoid Free WordPress hosting at all costs.
WordPress' origins can be traced back to the beginning of 2001 when the blogging solution B2/cafelog was launched by French programmer Michael Valdrighi. B2/cafelog was an innovative solution at the time because it introduced the ability for pages to be created dynamically with a MySQL database. Valdrighi continued to work on B2/cafelog and released version 1.0 in 2002. Shortly afterward, Valdrighi stopped developing his solution. This was particularly unfortunate because B2/cafelog had actually grown its user-base to a reasonable number. These users were left without a supported solution.