The standard rule of thumb is that you have to have a domain name to get anywhere in online marketing. If you have a domain name, you have to have web hosting, there is no real way around this fact. Now, there are alternatives to to buying a domain and therefore having to purchase hosting.A lot of people will tell you, that you can market online with free web pages and blogs. But there are pros and cons to free web hosting pages.Pros.Free, pretty self explanatory.You do not have to worry about FTP uploading or any kind of major technical site maintenance.They are usually very user friendly to set up.Cons.The majority are very generic looking and have limited features.The domain name is also going to be semi generic, with the main site name first, with your page name as a trailing keyword. You are basically a sub page of a larger site.Options for creativity are usually very limited and the same options are going to be open to all the users, which in some cases could be millions of people. The chances of cookie cutter sites are very large.Rules and regulations, and yet more rules and regulations.A paid domain name with a site uploaded to a hosting service on the other hand has the following pros and cons.Pros.Your own domain name that enables you to build a brand and reputation around your site.You set your own rules and regulations.Complete creative freedom and options. You can design your own site completely to your own specifications.Cons.You are going to have to pay a fee for your domain name and a hosting service charge.You are going to have to perform any site maintenance and FTP uploading yourself.Personally, I think that when you weigh up the pros and cons of each option, that the paid domain and hosting still wins by a large distance.When you decide to build a site, it will become a part of you on the internet, your persona, you will want it to look exactly as you want and to perform exactly as you want. You are not going to want it to look as some one else’s tool set and rules and regulations dictate. You also want it to be unique, not one of 70,000 very similar looking pages.In the short term, yes free pages can be an option to consider, but long term, you are going to end up purchasing your own domain and hosting.So why delay?