I have been with my webhost now for five (5) years now. Despite some outages and scuffles with the technical support, I still rate this web host as one of the best, in price, in features and support.
I have tried free hosting, they come and go. They are just good for test sites. If you want to get serious, try shelling out a few dollars per month and you will be in a better control of your website.
Web hosts come in three main categories, free, cheap and expensive. As I said previously, if you want to get serious online, don't opt for the free web host. Cheap web hosts are also everywhere. Don't get lured by the low price web host. You may not get what you are expecting. In features, you will be able to evaluate what is best for you but the more important not normally not measurable, the availability of support and up time of the server.
I have tried a cheap web host as a backup for my normal web host. I was very disappointed, the purpose of a backup was not served at all. In just three (3) months with the cheap host, I experience, DOS attack, Hacking and worst, a server crash. There were no recoverable data at all, worst no backups. It's good, I am doing monthly local backups. However, the crash happened before my schedule local backup.
I have lost a month of data, and trying to restore it to where it previously was may take a long time. I was sorry for what happended but I could not do much.
May this experience of mine serve as a guidance to other people. Don't go for a cheap web host. Sacrifice a little bit of a few dollars more per month ad you will have peace of mind.