Launched in 1999, FC2 is a reasonably standard blogging host from Japan and at the moment ranked because the third hottest video hosting service in its homeland. From January 2018, it gained standing for being the eleventh hottest web site in all of Japan. The firm is supposedly run by brothers Takahiro (Rihiro and Takahashi) and headquartered in Amstelveen (the Netherlands), the place it employs round twenty full-time employees members and about thirty part-time ones. However, a 2016 survey finished by Nielsen (a world advertising and marketing analysis firm) reveals a major drop within the variety of customers, leading to a fall from the third to the eighth place in Japan.
Controversy has adopted FC2 by means of the years, primarily for permitting hosting with out placing any restrictions on the content material together with pornography, piracy and defamation. Fortunately, from 2012 onwards stricter guidelines have been enforced and the adjustments in Japanese regulation concerning the international entities working in Japan have helped the injured events search justice.
For these rising up within the early 2000s, FC2’s important web site could really feel like a stroll down the reminiscence lane with its old-school type and considerably puzzling consumer expertise. Everything appears simple in the beginning, however quickly sufficient you may really feel like being misplaced in a maze, confronted with lifeless ends and a few pages popping up in Japanese simply to confuse you even additional.
Besides English and Japanese, FC2’s web site is on the market in eleven extra languages, though the interpretation doesn’t seem like complete in some elements. If you click on on “Blog” (subsequent to a cute rubber duck), you’ll proceed to FC2 BLOG’s web site which is extra fashionable, simpler to make use of and out there in all the identical languages.
The “About” part of FC2’s web site supplies a short overview of FC2’s historical past that ends in 2013 and fails to say something about their servers or information middle areas.
Plans and pricing
Although there’s fact within the phrases that you just get what you pay for, since FC2 supplies providers which are fully free of cost, we’ll have to guage them by different means. With FC2 there aren’t a number of web hosting plans to select from, however fairly one plan to rule all of them for these searching for a method to create their dream weblog with out lightening their wallets.
As one would count on, this plan doesn’t present a lot, nevertheless it does embrace as much as 1GB of internet house, one subdomain, limitless bandwidth, a file supervisor and editor, help for Java and Flash file sorts as effectively for CGI, PHP and SSI. Besides shared hosting, FC2 supplies its personal website builder, which is (once more) completely free.
Despite the truth that FC2’s providers are free, you can also make some pocket cash by permitting advertisements in your weblog, though (as of late) you may determine to not permit any ads on it.
Ease of use
FC2’s web site is probably not probably the most intuitive one we’ve seen, however with a bit endurance you’ll discover the whole lot you must know earlier than creating your web site. To begin this journey into the unknown, click on on the “Free Website” key and proceed to “FC2ID registration” to create your account. Before this, you’ll most likely need to take a look at the options, learn phrases of use, among the beginner-friendly manuals or contact the crew behind FC2. However, the latter might be finished to make inquiries about three sorts of points solely: questions on funds, bug experiences and particular characteristic requests.
To enroll you’ll be required to enter your e-mail deal with, cross a picture verification and conform to all phrases of use. After this, to activate your FC2 account, you’ll must do a verification by way of e-mail and (until part of your URL broke off, like ours did) you shouldn’t have any bother continuing with the creation of your new account. The subsequent step is to supply a password (by utilizing letters and numbers solely), select a gender (male or feminine), select a safety query to which you’ll present a solution, add your beginning date (or any birthday you’ll bear in mind) and a zipper code.
In a matter of minutes you’ll get one other e mail kind FC2 and proceed to their dashboard the place you may add among the free providers they supply in addition to internet hosting. These embrace FC2 Blog (the place you’ll discover a web site builder), FC2 Video (video hosting), FC2 Live, FC2 Analyzer, FC2 Content Market and the listing goes on. These and all different features of your web site might be monitored and managed out of your dashboard.
If you’ll fairly use a website builder to create content material on your new web site, FC2 will give you one along with 5000 colourful templates, a photograph album characteristic and a capability to create pay-to-view content material. If you have already got a weblog, you may switch it from a broad vary of websites (WordPress included) to FC2.
If you’re questioning concerning the advertisements, other than “Powered by FC2”credited on the backside finish of every web page, you received’t be seeing any, until you selected so as to add them to make extra cash alongside the way in which.
Speed and expertise
Even although FC2 makes no guarantees in the case of velocity or efficiency, after testing their important web site we had been blown away by the outcomes we acquired. The newest efficiency report by GTmetrix (which is our instrument of selection) reveals first-grade efficiency of an A (100%), with all the very important metrics dramatically above the typical values. The time it took to totally load the web page amounted to 1.5 seconds which seems even higher when put next with the typical results of 8.2 seconds.
Since FC2 provides no uptime assure, we didn’t count on a lot once we determined to observe the uptime of their important web site by way of UptimeRobot. One month later we obtained a report indicating a spotless uptime of 100%. During this era we did not document any downtime in any respect and response time, though not ideally quick, was pretty secure. All in all, it seems that neither velocity nor uptime needs to be in your “fear listing” when hosting with FC2.
Having devoted buyer help is certainly not one thing FC2 can brag about which is comprehensible contemplating that their providers come for gratis. Since direct channels of help (similar to phone quantity or stay chat) are usually not an choice, you’ll have to search out your means utilizing among the self-help options. The most blatant one is FC2’s “Website Manual” which comprises a number of novice-friendly guides summarizing fundamental information on the best way to create your first web site. This part capabilities because the knowledgbase comprising of 26 articles on the time of writing.
A FAQ part is on the market as effectively and it options separate sections on varied points (similar to registration, file supervisor, FTP, pictures, recordsdata and so forth) masking many of the important questions and considerations. There is a remark part on the backside of the web page, nevertheless, since some feedback have been pending an approval from 2017, we wouldn’t waste our time on that.
various to FC2 for individuals who are searching for free hosting is FreeHostingNoAds, an skilled host with a reputation that sums all of it up. For a free service, FreeHostingNoAds earns a credit score for offering an honest vary of options (free area registration, auto-installs for WordPress, Joomla and the CMS Grav, and a easy web site builder). However, the bandwidth is restricted to 5GB (whereas with FC2 it’s limitless), disc house to 1GB (identical as with FC2) and the add file restrict is a mere 15MB (it’s 250 KB with FC2), so if you would like something greater than a quite simple web site, look elsewhere.
Infinity Free is taken into account to be probably the greatest suppliers of free hosting and for good causes. It places no restrictions on cupboard space and the variety of month-to-month visits and subdomains. However, by way of velocity and uptime efficiency, FC2 wins the prize by an extended shot. At any price, since each providers are totally free, you don’t have anything to lose however your time.
Although HostGator doesn’t provide free hosting in itself, with their beneficiant 45-days money-back assure you’re free to check out what they’ve to supply with out worrying about your price range. In addition to this, HostGator could be very user-friendly (particularly in direction of inexperienced persons), whereas FC2 customers are primarily left to fend for themselves.
Another good beginner-friendly selection is Bluehost which (very similar to HostGator) doesn’t provide free hosting however nonetheless supplies user-friendly expertise with 24/7 buyer help, a myriad of choices and options, and a 30-day money-back assure. FC2, though fairly appropriate for individuals who are simply studying the best way to construct their on-line presence, received’t give your web site a lot house to develop and prosper.
As a rule, free web hosting comes with a sure variety of limitations. Such is the case with FC2, though they’ll provide the whole lot that’s important for a private weblog, and an internet site builder with which you’ll construct your web site with out a lot problem. It is even doable to earn a bit of money on the facet, that’s, if you happen to don’t have an aversion to advertisements.
With all that stated, in case you are a first-timer who desires a serving to hand, or a veteran webmaster wanting greater than an absolute minimal, you’ll be higher off selecting HostGator or Bluehost as your hosting supplier. Their providers don’t come free-of-charge, however will give you far more.