With all the other expenses involved in starting a website, it’s tempting to try and save wherever possible. Free website hosting appeals as a budget-friendly option, why pay for something you can get for free?
However, what exactly do we mean by a free website?
The idea behind a free website hosting service is that companies give you a platform to create your own website (business, personal, or basically anything) for no charges, these website hosting services provide you with a subdomain and a non-paid hosting service.
And How A Free website is different from a paid website?
Most paid hosting services require you to have your own domain, or they help you purchase one. In free website hosting, you are saving the money of purchasing a hosting service as well as a domain.
The features given by both the paid and non-paid hosting companies, on the surface, look more or less the same. This is probably why free websites have been gaining popularity in recent years; however, there’s always a downside to things that look too good to be true.
While most of the free website hosting services make everything sound like a deal with maximum profits for the user, more often than not, it’s the opposite. Almost all the free hosting services fail to live up to the promises they make.
So let’s look at the reasons why a free website is a bad idea :
Most free website hosting companies give you a sub-domain, so your web address looks something like yourbusinessname.freewebsite.com, which might look unprofessional for business purposes. A web address with the name of another site as sub-domain also doesn’t encourage trust in your customers, and they might feel hesitant to invest in your business.
The companies that offer custom domain usually ask you to pay a premium which ranges way higher than standard charges for a domain.
Most of these companies put too many websites on the same server, and this makes all these websites run at a very low speed. Slow websites will create a bad experience for the user. They are also bad for search engine optimization (SEO).
Free websites often offer bad uptimes, leaving your website down for a considerable amount of time. Imagine the sales a business venture could lose in that time.
Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred from the server to the user browser. Most free hosting services offer very limited bandwidth. The few websites that promise unlimited bandwidth fails to live up to it, their terms and conditions page, which many of us never read, mentions the policies behind the restrictions on bandwidth and disk storage.
Low disk storage
The restricted disk storage proves a massive challenge for building a website, with the limited access to storage you can only create a minimalistic website with no more than a few pages, minimum images, and plain text.
The companies often ask you to pay for more storage.
Advertisements are the chief source of income for these companies. They use the websites created through their services to advertise other products. So your website will carry random advertisements that you have no control over, and you get no part in the revenue generated through these.
Another downside of this is that you don’t get to allow other advertisements on your website or make money off your website.
The control over what advertisements appear on your website, the size and all other things are entirely given to the company you’re hosting with.
Paid websites give you full control over the advertisements you want to place on your site if you want to place any and the money from the advertisements goes to you.
Any additional service that you need on the website are charged by the company, and most of the times they are outrageously overpriced. For example, extra storage, or a custom domain. This is another way of making money. So what seems like a free deal initially is not exactly free on a closer look.
Many websites also turn out to be limited free trials, after a period of time you are required to pay for it and if you have given your card details, they often charge you without a warning notice.
Most such websites carry very basic and minimum design tools and offer a limited choice of themes, and you cannot use your own templates. Restricted storage space doesn’t help the situation. It only allows you to use the bare minimum of designs on your website.
Paid websites offer you better web designing tools and storage for you to be able to use it to the fullest, you get to use your own templates or pick one from the number of options given by the company.
Vulnerability of information
The information or content you put out on your website is vulnerable to a lot of threats under a free website hosting, some of them being :
Free websites are also more vulnerable to any hacking attempts.
They can shut down your website without a warning or any explanation.
There’s no backup, there’s no way for you to retrieve the lost content or transfer it to another hosting service.
These companies might disappear any time, you will lose your web address and everything else on your website.
No customer services
Most of these companies provide you no medium to contact them or ask for any help, so if your website crashes down or shows an error, you’re on your own. Added to the poor customer service, you are also not provided with any guidance or tutorial on how to set up your website.
Paid website hosting not only have better customer service, they always provide a guide and tutorials to help you through your new website.
Poorly designed contact forms and no branded email
Another disadvantage of a free website is that their contact forms are poorly designed and you don’t get to establish your brand email id, you have to use services like Gmail or Yahoo. A branded email is helpful in encouraging your customers to trust and invest in your business. Free websites also don’t allow you to add custom contact forms.
These and many other reasons make free websites a bad choice if you’re really serious about building your website. There are many alternatives available to a free website, you can always look for a Professional Developer which suits your Budget.
In the hyper-competitive digital world, the barely usable and restricted services of free website hosting hardly stand any chance against better, more trustworthy websites. Here at Marketing Clap we develop Cost Effective and Good websites Contact Us.