Several free platforms offer a domain and hosting space. When starting a business, most people usually are on a tight budget but at the same time require a website. They tend to opt for the free web hosting services. However, there are myriads of reasons that discourage free web hosting as it is discussed in this article.
One may wonder what web hosting companies gain after offering free services, without there being a catch. They also take full advantage of these premium hosting services.
1. The hosted website can go down anytime
Usually, according to the terms and conditions, the free web hosting providers can close their services at any time. Despite the fact that they will inform their clients of the closure, redirecting links or moving content to new servers can be a stressful ordeal. That’s because it is only possible to redirect new links to new servers. Secondly, the old ones will be dead together with all the cutting edge aspects of the hosted website.
2. Issues of trust
Most of the web hosting services have the capability to insert malware into the clients’ website or even spyware to share your personal information for their personal gain. In addition to that, some of these companies will not invest in robust security measures leaving the hosted sites at a risk of a safety breach. Now that the number of hackers is growing exponentially, these sites can face severe hacking which could lead to the fall of online based businesses.
3. Performance issues and ads
Free hosting has often proved to be unreliable, inefficient and even unprofessional in some cases. The web hosting service providers may not be good for business due to slow loading of pages and long downtimes, hence chasing away potential customers. They may also try to make money by inserting paid ads to their clients’ websites. What’s more is that the hosted sites do not choose the kind of ads that the host displays on their sites. Some of the contents could potentially drive away their esteemed clients.
4. Hidden costs for free hosting
Many entrepreneurs who relied on these free services have received a raw deal when the free web services turn out to be limited trials. After growing their niche and gaining enough traffic within their sites, the host issues a notice of payment which could be higher than the actual charges for similar paid services. It can be as bad as being billed without notification in case you added a credit card.
Since these free web hosts have to make money too, they may charge for complimentary services such as image hosting, email, and accounts hosting, access to FTP and web transfer among others. Most of these companies usually exaggerate the prices for such services.
5. Content limitation
All the free services usually have to come with some amount of limitations. For instance, the free web hosts can offer their clients a limited web space to host just a few images and text. They may also limit the bandwidth to little amounts. Some can go to the extent of restricting the number of blogs clients can have or even the emails they can send.
These factors put together are bad for business since the results may be slow web speeds and inconclusive sites due to lack of enough space.
6. Poor customer support or lack of it entirely
Once a client signs up for these free web hosting services, they are on their own. In most cases, the host may not even be available for communication in the event of errors or malfunctions within site. The few that may have customer support systems offer poor quality services to clients because the clients don’t pay in the long run.
7. Issues concerning ownership of the site
In most cases, once people subscribe to free web hosts, they are not entitled to full ownership of their sites as per the terms and conditions. It can be dangerous especially if they decide to close your site or terminate their services for one reason or another. After having worked hard to customize the site to suit your needs, the clients can be devastated when the host decides to terminate their business website.
8. Branding of the site
Websites on free hosting platforms do not have the privilege of branding their sites freely or customizing the name to their business brand. Mostly, the domain name of the host will be part of the brand which may sound like mycompany.superawesomehost.com rather than mycompany.com. In the former, customers may not take the contents of the website seriously, and the hosted website will lose serious clients in the process.
9. Lack of SEO services
The key to better ranking in the search results is a good search engine optimization. Free web hosting does not provide SEO services hence the hosted sites may not rank well in the search result. That is quite bad for business, especially if it is a marketing site because there will not be traffic on the hosted site. Therefore if you want to increase the searches for your website, refrain from using free hosts since ratings of their client’s site is not the host’s concern.
10. Limited customization or design choices
In self-hosted domains, an entrepreneur can choose from an extensive collection of templates and themes best for their business. The free hosts, on the other hand, offer their clients just a handful of poorly designed templates. Also, they are not able to use a personalized design from the Internet. It is a way of driving away potential clients since ugly sites do not appeal to clients.
Free web hosting could be a good way of minimizing budget; however, the downsides are just too costly in the long run as discussed in this article. It is better to opt for a cheaper hosting than a free one. The cheaper one will provide a better web hosting platform where clients can customize their site entirely with no worries of foreclosure.