You’ve probably heard the saying nothing is free. Well, the same can be said for free website hosting – there’s really no such thing.
These days, many companies are offering “free” website hosting as a means of attracting clients looking for a home for their website. But, as with anything, there are pros and cons to having a “free” hosting service. Sometimes, it’s better to pay for the service if you want a truly professional experience with your site.
With that in mind, let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of a free hosting service so you can make an educated decision about what is best for you.
When it comes to free website hosting, there really is only one advantage: the cost. Free hosting means that your website will be placed on a shared server with other websites that have taken the same free deal. This is a great option for a first-timer who has never put together a website and is just looking for the experience. It’s also good for someone who wants a personal website. But if you are looking to make money with a professional website, you should invest in a paid hosting service.
When it comes to disadvantages of a free website hosting service, there are several things that you need to weigh. They include:
- Shared server—Your website will be placed on a server that is shared with dozens of other websites. This means that if one site on the server gets a traffic spike, it will slow down all the other sites. Also, if one site on the server is breached by hackers, then it could leave your website open to a hack.
- Basic features—Often, a free service will give you only the most basic features with limits on bandwidth and storage space as well as the limited ability to change and adjust your site. Many of these companies are trying to get you in the door so they can upsell you to the “premium” services later. Once they get you in, then you will find that your “free” hosting actually costs. If you want the ability to truly grow and develop your site, a free website hosting service may not be right for you.
- Advertising—Some free hosting services also make back their money on your website by selling advertising space. Your site could wind up with lots of banner ads and affiliate links crowding out your content and making your site look cheap. What’s worse, they can also post ads for products and services that you don’t agree with or support. In some cases, they will feature pop-up ads that can be aggravating for users and may actually send some visitors away. This isn’t always the case, so you need to see if your free service is selling ads on your site.
- Domain ownership—The last major concern to look at is domain ownership. With a free host, most of these services retain the ownership rights to your domain name. So, if you move to another service, you can’t take the domain and web address with you. This means that the visitors you have previously accumulated won’t know how to find you on your new website.
Choosing the Right Hosting
Free website hosting can be a great thing for those who are looking to get started with their first website. But ultimately, you get what you pay for. If you are looking to create a professional website with lots of features and design elements, then you may want to look at an inexpensive hosting service. One such example, InMotion Hosting, has a variety of server options that can help you grow your website as your business grows.