While free web hosting may sound like an excellent, wallet-friendly idea for people who are running blogs as a hobby, it’s not the best choice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Free web hosting does offer many benefits if it’s used for a temporary purpose or just for fun. But when it comes to starting a business website, avoid free web hosts like the plague. Here are some sound reasons to support this statement:
1. Ugly Adverts
Indeed, you can create an account with a free web hosting company without specifying your credit card data and use it as long as you need it. Then how do free hosts make money if their users pay nothing? – By placing pretty noticeable adverts on their clients’ sites. Most free web hosts reserve the right to rotate ads on your pages. In order to disable this advertising you have to upgrade your account and switch to the company’s paid services.
2. Domain Name Issues
Most free hosts don’t let customers use their own second-level domains. You’ll get an extra-long web address that will contain your host’s domain, so your URL will look like yoursitename.yourhostname.com. Needless to say, such web addresses hurt reputation and can make any website look cheap and unprofessional. Don’t skimp on your site domain name, especially if you can get it free at most recognized web hosting companies when purchasing a yearly subscription. You may want to visit InexpensiveWebHosting.org to find out which companies give a second-level domain as a gift.
3. No Control
When you’re using a free service provider you risk to lose control over your site any moment. If the company shuts down, you will be locked out of your website and in most cases there will be no way to restore it (unless you make regular, independent backups). Unfortunately, free web hosts are very vulnerable to hackers and other e-nasties, as they simply have no resources to maintain high security levels, so your chances to be hijacked on the web are pretty high if you opt for a free web hosting provider.
4. Limited Monetization Options
Many of us create websites with the idea of making money online, from the comfort of our sofas. So it can be utterly disappointing to find out that your web host restricts or completely prohibits your ability to monetize your own site. For instance, you can be expressly forbidden from using Google AdSense or running sponsored banners or publishing paid posts. So I highly recommend reading the TOS prior to creating any accounts and investing your time and effort into a free website.
Compared to paid web hosting providers that guarantee 99% uptime, free services uptime is much lower. This means you can lose a great deal of traffic. Low uptime and low speed will result in lower rankings and credibility loss. Nothing makes visitors leave faster than slow websites that work with interruptions.
To my mind, the benefits of free web hosting can’t compensate its dangers, so I highly recommend using well established, recognized web hosts for serious online projects.
- License: Image author owned
Basil Mac is a passionate blogger and webmaster. His recommendations are based on his own experience – he loves researching and testing web hosting providers and related services.