Free isn’t always better
Everybody loves a freebie, but not when it comes at the expense of your business. While free web hosting might be music to a small budget’s ears, it never feels that way in the long run.
Before signing up for free web hosting, it is important for you to do your research. Is it worth it? What are the pros and cons? Is there a catch, or is it really the best thing since sliced bread? (Spoiler alert: it’s not).
What is web hosting?
Everything you see on the internet has to be stored somewhere. Despite all of our wireless advancements, a website still requires a physical home – it doesn’t just appear out of thin air.
Websites are stored on servers, a physical computer designed for one purpose – to keep your website running non-stop, all day, everyday.
An online service, web hosting allows you to publish your website on the internet using the physical servers provided by the hosting company. Some offer their services for free, while others, you have to pay for.
Reasons why free web hosting is bad for business
No technical support
When it comes to setting up and running your own website, technical issues are bound to occur. Even if you know web hosting back to front, the reality is that you won’t know the ins and outs of the specific web hosting company you’re using.
A free web hosting package won’t give you access to technical support. While paid hosting usually includes 24/7 support, free web hosting gives you nothing. So next time you come across those technical issues, you can kiss any chance of resolving them goodbye.
Slow loading times
People are impatient. We have short attention spans. When we click on a website, we want it to load within seconds. Ideally, within 2 seconds. If it’s taking as long as 10 seconds (or longer!), we won’t stick around.
Because free web hosting providers pack hundreds of websites onto the same server, and with all of you all fighting to be seen, your individual loading times will be very slow. This will ripple out and result in a bad SEO score and a bad user experience.
You could lose your website without notice
You don’t own your website – your free web hosting provider does. And if they get into trouble, whether it be financial, ethical, security-wise or for whatever other reason, your website could disappear without so much as a ‘so long, sucker’.
Other companies will be advertised across your website
With free web hosting, you will have unrelated and unwanted ads popping up all over your website. Paid advertising helps to support most free web hosting providers, so if they can get money out of you without you actually paying for anything, they will.
Just because it says its free, doesn’t mean it actually is
Free web hosting is ‘free’ for a reason. It offers very little in terms of services provided, and will often have hidden charges or extra fees piled on for basic features that a free subscription won’t allow you access to.
If you’re just starting down the path of moving your business online, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by researching and signing up for paid web hosting first. While we love ourselves some freebies, in the case of free web hosting, we say, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’