Free website hosting sounds really good but in reality, comes with a lot of downsides. In the long run, you might end paying more than if you were to start with paid hosting.
“But I only need one page for my website? Why shouldn’t I host my site for free?”
You don’t own your website’s content
Any content (text, photos, etc.) you create for your website on a free website hosting service isn’t owned by you. Instead, the free web hosting company owns all the rights. From a business perspective, you should have all the rights to your content. This is so you don’t have to worry about your information being used or sold elsewhere.
Makes Getting Ranked Much Harder
It’s hard for your site to rank on search engines with free website hosting because your domain isn’t simple. Which is an important factor of SEO. A URL that contains only your business name looks much more professional than “mysmallbusiness.freehosting.wordpress.com”. To be ranked, Google and other search engines take into consideration of your sites URL. Another reason its harder to get ranked is because your site is slow, filled with ads and a target for spammers. It lowers the trust factor for your website. All a reason for google or other search engines not to rank your website high.
Difficult to Customize
Good luck customizing a website with free hosting. Say you want to add a new feature to your site or add some content. If you’re unfamiliar with website editing, it’s next to impossible. Especially without reliable support. In fact, most free web hosting services limit what you can even add to your site. This might include extra pages, videos and more. Even though you started off with free web hosting, this limits you to what you can customize in the future.
Little to No Support
Not having reliable support from your web hosting company is frustrating. Especially when your website goes down. When dealing with a free web hosting service, you’re looking at long wait times. Sometimes, not being able to reach support at all.
Can’t Get a Branded Email
If you’re looking to have an email with your business name instead of “@gmail.com”, you won’t be able to. A lot of free website hosting don’t offer branded email services. If they do, it won’t be free.
Free website hosting sites are normally extremely slow. From a user perspective, a slow site is frustrating to navigate. In 2019, if you’re site doesn’t load within at least 4 seconds, nobody is going to stick around. Most users expect your site to load in 3 seconds!
Face it, nobody really likes ads. Let alone ads that don’t relate to your business. Choosing free website hosting is a bad idea because of them. Besides, they slow down your website and give a bad user experience. Ever tried to exit an ad on a mobile phone? Half the time you end up leaving the site because you’re trying so hard to press the tiny “x” in the corner. Altogether, you have very limited or no control of what ads appear on your website.
As good as free web hosting may seem, you could up end paying more in the future. A lot of these companies will offer free web hosting for a limited time before they start charging you. With the negatives that come with free website hosting, you’re better off paying for a professional one. When you think about it, these companies need to make money somehow.
Tough to Transfer
Even if you decide that you’d like to change web hosts, transferring to a new one is costly. Sometimes even impossible. Since you don’t own the rights to the content, you might not be able to transfer web hosts. If you’re able to, expect to pay.
Free website hosting is a bad idea for a few reasons. It’s not saving you any money or time. Think about your long term goals for your website should be before choosing a web hosting company. Do you want reliable support? Or a professional email? These are all factors you should think about before signing up for a web hosting service.
If you’re looking at wanting to develop a website but don’t know where to start, we can answer all your questions. We offer affordable web hosting along with website design services. Start marketing your business online today!