Why You Should Not Consider Free Web Hosting for Your Business
So, here you are. You are finally ready to launch your website. You already know that one of the most essential things that you need is finding a web hosting, so you are looking for options.
There are a couple of reputable hosting providers that charge you with a monthly fee. You have also come across several hosting options that are free. Now you are weighing down what are your goals and priorities for your website are.
Will you go for a paid web hosting plan? Or should you consider the free option?
What is free web hosting?
Free web hosting, as described by its name, are web hosting services that are offered at no cost at all. Free web hosting services are a great alternative for businesses that have a simple site content and have a tight budget. The hosting provider does not charge you for its services.
But if you own a large business, and you are a business that wanted to grow exponentially over time, this option is not advisable. See hosting reviews here.
Now, in this post, we will give you a walkthrough on why you should not consider a free web hosting for your business.
Free web hosts will show their ads on your website
Do you know what is the most common trade-off when it comes to free web hosting plans? Well, most web hosting companies are spending time, effort, and technology to provide their clients with excellent hosting.
If they are not getting any money directly from you, they somehow need to compensate for that. Showing ads on your site is one of the most convenient ways to fulfill that.
Keep in mind that you will not be making any money from those ads. The profits that come whenever visitors view or click those ads will go directly to the web hosting provider.
When you start driving a lot of traction and traffic and driving in real revenue, you will not be paid anything for it.
Also, if you want to create a personal brand or you are a business site, ads can serve as a distraction. Your site will look cluttered driving away users' attention from your images and ad copy. So, if you want to create a clear brand that users will trust, then ads may ruin your message.
Free web hosts don’t provide separate domain name
Aside from banner ads on your website, hosting companies that offer free hosting will treat your site the way they will be promoting your brand.
Meaning, they could include their own logo somewhere along with your site. In several cases, this meant having the name of their business as part of your URL. Therefore, your URL will look something like “yourname.theirname.com.”
It is also harder to communicate a clear and consistent messaging to your visitors. At times, it can even be confusing because users who visit your site will have a difficult time remembering your URL.
As a result, it is more difficult for them to view your site as something with a unique identity.
Free web hosts own your website
As mentioned earlier, you do not own your site. The free domain provider is the one who owns it.
Therefore, your website will be registered under their name, and they have the right to take your site away from you at any given time they want. This usually happens once you break their rules and policies. Or when your website and account become dormant for a while.
There are also less reputable sites that offer users a free domain and subdomain. When that site becomes popular and getting a considerable amount of traffic, they will forcefully take it away from you and use it as their own for advertising purposes.
Free web hosts have strict bandwidth limitations
At its core, bandwidth can be viewed as the number of users that are allowed to access your site every month. If you exceed that limit, the web hosting will be stopped by servers, and you will be forced to pay for the paid hosting plans with more extended bandwidth.
Also, having a limited bandwidth will affect how long it will take your site to load. Sites with slow loading times can make a significant difference in whether or not visitors will stick around on your site longer or not. It also significantly affects how you will rank on search engines.
Bandwidth is crucial for sites that have videos, animations, and audio because it does need more bandwidth to load.
A free web hosting has limited bandwidth. Meaning, the more elements, media, and pages that you have on your site, the more difficult it is to access it quickly. There is also a possibility that your site will be closed because your bandwidth went over restriction.
Free web hosts shut down frequently
Free web hosting has a low uptime and lots of downtimes. As a result, your site is always unavailable to access. And if the site owners themselves run out of funds, they can disappear altogether with your site without any warning.
Furthermore, you will not be getting any prior notice that your site is already moving with another web hosting company. So, always be mindful when you pick a free web hosting service.
Free web hosts don’t have customer support
As you might have expected, since you are not a paying customer for a web hosting company, it also affects the level of support that you are receiving from your free web host service provider.
After all, those customer support employees are also paid. If the company is not making a lot of money from you, then do you think that they will provide you with excellent customer service?
While it is true that some free web hosting providers say that they have 24/7 customer support, also be realistic on how much help you will get from them for free.
Chances are, you will be stuck with lousy customer support (or close to none) if ever you get stuck in a technical issue along the way and you would need help or guidance.
If you do not want to be bothered with all these technicalities, and you do not want to deal with these things on your own, then a paid hosting service is better suited for you.
Free web hosts have poor security
The terms and conditions of a free hosting company usually provide them with absolute legal immunity. Meaning, they have the right to sell your email address, your website address, as well as all your personal data.
Not only that, but they also hold the rights to your content. So, if you are a creative like a photographer or an artist, then those images could be technically owned by the web hosting provider.
To avoid committing these mistakes, make sure to read every small print on the Terms and Conditions to better protect yourself and your own security.
Aside from that, free sites are more prone to hackers. It does take a long time to restore all your site information and data if that happens. Apart from malicious attacks, you could also potentially suffer from software that is malicious in nature, the one which significantly damages your reputation.
Free web hosts don’t rank well on Google
Search engines like Google consider sites that have free hosting as less important, therefore, it is their least priority.
You cannot optimize your site to rank for search engines because you do not have access to the backend. These free domains can also be penalized if these sites are full of spam.
So, what is the point in creating an aesthetically pleasing site if most of that awesome content remains unseen by many? Again, Google and other search engines do not like sites that have free web hosting, and will instead rank paid web hosting much higher.
Paid upgrades needed to access various features
A lot of web hosting companies will offer free hosting in the hopes that people who sign in eventually will upgrade to a paid hosting plan in the future. This can be true as soon as they notice that a free hosting plan does not precisely meet their needs.
When companies limit those features in the free plan, they know that sooner or later, users will need to upgrade in one of the subscription plans, and choose the web hosting provider they have started with for more convenience.
But as a website owner, it is better that you look for the right website provider that fits your needs right from the very beginning. This is a better idea than pick a company just because it offers free web hosting service, only to find out that you will have to settle with a paid plan that does not necessarily cater to your needs.
If you are planning to create a site just for the fun of it, and you want to share information with your friends, and family, then a free web hosting will fit you just fine.
But if you want more than that, then you should consider a paid hosting plan right from the get-go.
From businesses, online stores, bloggers, or anyone who is planning to make money off of their site, or people who simply want their site to have some room to grow, then a paid hosting provider is a much better choice.