If you’re new to blogging or a budding entrepreneur, then you must be wondering why a lot of professional bloggers and leaders in the internet marketing field would always advise their readers to get a paid web hosting. With so many choices of free website hosting out there, the option of getting a free website without paying anything may seem attractive or tempting.
When I started blogging more than 10 years ago, I felt the same. I started my first website when I was 13 years old and went on to making several other websites on a number of free website hosting platforms. Years later, I made the decision to get a paid hosting for my websites and was happy with my decision.
I regretted wasting so many years blogging on free website hosting platforms. I now host my websites through Bluehost and have benefited from getting the web hosting from them. If you purchase with the Bluehost hyperlinks, I will be getting a commission and this will be used to support my website so that I can provide more useful tutorials. You will not be charged an additional cost by purchasing from these link.
In post I’m going to tell you why you should avoid wasting time getting a “free website” so you won’t make the same mistake as me.
Reasons for avoiding free website hosting
1. You May Lose All Your Website Content
Unlike paid web hosting, you do not get to request for regular backup services for your website content if you get free website hosting and something goes wrong, there is no way for you to restore your data. You would lose all your website content.
2. They Can Shut Down Your Website Anytime
A huge disadvantage of free web hosting is that the company can shut down your website anytime. It’s normally stated in their terms and conditions that they can do so. When they shut down your website, they usually won’t give your data to you or provide a convenient way for you to save your content.
3. You May Lose Your Website Address
When your free website hosting shuts down your website, you would need to move your website to another hosting company. If you do this, you will lose your website address because with free websites, your are given a subdomain name which cannot be used elsewhere.
For instance, if your web host is ‘Freewebsite.com’, then they will create a subdomain called ‘Yourbusiness.Freewebsite.com’. You do not pay for the subdomain name and you do not own it.
When you lose your original web address, your regular visitors will not be able to find you and you will need to take the time to attract new visitors again.
Besides this, search engines like Google will not be able to track the links to your website from other places. Search engines use these links to see if your website is valuable enough to be listed in their search engine results page. So without this, you will have hardly any website visitors to your new website.
4. Difficulty in Migrating Your Content Elsewhere
If you are just doing this as a hobby and would like to start with a free website and move it to a paid service later on, it will difficult to export your website content as there would be no tools to enable you to easily migrate your data to your new website. If you have a lot of website content, you will need to take a lot of time to manually export your work or hire freelancers which could cost you a lot of money.
5. Unprofessional Website Address
When you get a free web hosting, your website address will be something like this:
With a website address like this, your visitors and potential customers will not take your website seriously as the website address sounds unprofessional. They will be less likely to give you support or business as a result.
6. Website Will Be Extremely Slow
Because your website is a subdomain of a free website provider that hosts hundreds of websites or more sharing the same server, your website will run slower compared to paid websites. Free websites are also prone to a lot of downtime. Imagine what happens if your visitors attempt visiting your website several times but fail to reach your website? Would they continue to visit your website or assume that your website has closed down? Apart from this, the slow speed, your website will not be able to rank well in search engines.
7. Irrelevant Advertisements On Your Website
Free website services get their revenue from advertisements. So when you start your website with them, they will display advertisements in your website. They will get paid for the advertisements, not you. Most often, the ads are distracting and sometimes irrelevant to your website content. This is bad user experience for your visitors.
8. Hidden Costs
For many free website hosting companies, they would at first offer you a free website, but after some time, ask you to pay for hosting the website. And once you’ve built up your content in their hosting, you would be pressured into hosting with them without shopping for a better provider. If they continue providing free web hosting services, they may charge you for additional services like email accounts, website transfer, image hosting, FTP access, etc. And these charges can be higher than if you would to go with a paid hosting provid
9. They Can Sell Your Information
These web hosting companies may sell your information to make money as they are providing you with a free website. For instance, they may sell your personal information and email address to other companies. You will find your email inbox being bombarded with a lot of spam emails, trying to sell you things. And you’ll be wondering how these companies get your email address.
10. Malware Distribution
With the lack of security in free websites, your website may be prone to malware distribution. This will affect your website’s reputation and SEO.
11. Low Disk Storage
Unlike paid websites, free web hosting companies would only give you very limited storage space for your data. When you develop your website and have reached the maximum capacity of the storage space, these providers would ask you to pay for the additional space for your data.
12. No WordPress or Limited WordPress
Many providers that offer free websites do not allow you to use the WordPress platform. Websites built using WordPress platform are highly favoured by Google and will rank faster compared to websites from other platforms. Even if you are allowed by your free website provider to use the WordPress platform, you may find it difficult to have your website on WordPress because their servers are not capable to run websites through this platform so you may find some errors in your website, which is very frustrating.
13. Prone to Hacking Attacks
Due to lack of security, your free website may be hacked. Once it has been hacked, you will find it difficult to recover your website and all your work as the provider offering these free website services only give you limited access to your files and data. So you may lose everything and your hard work to build that website would be gone to waste.
14. Limited Website Design
With a free web hosting service, you only get to choose from a limited number of poorly designed website templates. Paid web hosting providers would give you access to a wider selection of website templates. And if you do not like the free templates, you can choose to buy your website template and install it with paid web hosting. If you’re using a free web hosting company, then you will have to just use whatever templates that they make available to you.
15. No Customer Service Help
If you are using a free web hosting provider, then you do not have access from any sort of customer service support. So you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to developing your website. If you have a paid website, then you’ll usually enjoy 24/7 technical support from your web hosting provider.
16. Hard to Monetize Your Website
Even if it’s a blog that you have started for fun, this website may can turn out to have a huge following in the future. There would be a time when you finally decide to monetize your website. And guess what? With a free website, it’s going to be very hard to monetize your website to its full potential. With many free web hosting companies, they will run their own advertisements and make money from your website. Most often, you will not be able to put any affiliate links or add Google Adsense to your website. This limits your website earning potential.
17. You Cannot Add a Contact Form
Many websites gain popularity by building their subscription list. With a free website, you will not be able to add custom contact forms to your website. This will affect the potential of your website from gaining more viewers.
18. No Branded Email
With a free website, you will not be able to create an email that reflects your own domain name. So you will have to use a gmail or hotmail email account. This will make you and your website look unprofessional.
19. Cannot Link to Website Analytics Software
To continuously improve your website, you will need to analyse how well your website is doing every month. With a reputable paid hosting company, you can install Google Analytics or other website analytics software. But if you are using a free web hosting provider, you will not be able to do this.
20. Waste Your Time
Last but not least, putting all that hard work and effort to build a free website is a complete waste of your time. Because after all, this website is not yours and may be closed anytime.
What’s your side of the story? Do you think that getting a paid website is better than a free website? Did you have a bad experience with a free website provider?
I’m curious to know…