When you’re running a website for a specific purpose, such as a blog, you’d most likely be tempted by free hosting options because, well, who doesn’t like free? Furthermore, these days free hosting is usually offered with plenty of features to get you started. Unfortunately, there are also a few downsides when you use free hosting that you need to be aware of.
In this article, we will share with you four downsides to using free hosting over paid options.
- Your website may not be set up for selling online
While you might be able to use a free website for commercial purposes if the provider allows for it, this won’t look good to your customers, seeing that you’re using a free service to make some money. Free sites are easy to set up, and just as easy to close down – that doesn’t build trust with your visitors. If you want to make money and increase revenue from your website, you should opt for a paid plan with a reputable provider instead. Not only will you be given complete freedom to use it for commercial purposes, most professional hosting options include support for the latest shopping cart and payment systems allowing you to sell online securely and easily!
- Your branding won’t be unique
Starting a new business is all about branding, so do you want your address on the web to be “mywebsite.freehostservice.com”? Using a custom domain will look better for your business, allowing you to have a clear and unique brand. With many free hosting packages you are diluting your brand identity because you have to include the hosting platform’s name in your web address – this is as much of an advert for them as it is for you!
- Limited control over content
While you can customise your free site using colour schemes or layouts, your options will ultimately be limited. This means that you won’t be able to modify your website to your exact requirements. Your free host may also add their own advertisements to your site, and you won’t earn any commission from those ads either! When it comes to designing and using third-party applications to enhance your website’s usability, you’ll often face limitations. Usually you’ll be limited to what the free hosting provider has provided.
- You may be tied to one platform
Several free hosting providers now offer their own proprietory software to help you design your own site. While on the surface this seems really helpful of them, what it ends up doing is ensuring that you can’t easily save or export your site should you wish to move elsewhere. By locking you in to their software, they’re locking in a regular income for months and years at a time. Paid hosting options let you use a range of free software such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal to quickly create, brand and manage your site – all whilst offering easy import and export options so that you’re not tied down.
While free hosting is perfect for those who need a website to share their hobbies, or for personal and family projects, it is highly recommended for those wanting to run a business or high-traffic blog to use paid shared or cloud hosting instead. With professional shared hosting, you’re able to use your own domain name (or register one of your choice!) and customise your site to suit your unique requirements, without being tied to one provider or software suite.
Are you looking for a reliable web hosting for your next project? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!