Have you ever wanted to start a website completely free of cost?
Sounds fascinating, right?
Let’s be honest.the word “FREE” often resonates with most of us. And creating your very first website or blog absolutely free is exciting on its own. I can understand it’s easier to start with something free rather than paying for it when you are just testing the water. Many people start with free web hosting and think they will move to a better host when their business/blog grows. But in many cases, it turns out to be a bad decision.
While the internet offers plenty of free hosting gigs, have you ever wondered why the serious bloggers and business owners always opt for paid hosting? In most cases, free hosting is not really free at the end.
Many web hosting company offers free hosting to promote their business. It generally comes with limited space, bandwidth and support for free. And obviously, free hosting won’t be ass good as paid hosting.
In this article, I’ll explain why free web hosting is bad for your blog.
1. Limited Space & Resources
When you are just starting up you might not be worried about hosting space. But if you are posting on your blog on a daily/weekly basis and include images, infographics, audio or video files in your post then, space & bandwidth are the two things you should be worried about. A “free host” provides limited about of web space & bandwidth, which means if you are growing your site rapidly soon you have to upgrade to their paid plan.
Some free hosts may also limit your traffic or monthly bandwidth transfer to a lower side so that when you exceed it either you have to upgrade or your website goes down and you have to wait until a new cycle starts and your allotment is reset.
And if you are using WordPress you might face problems with some plugins or API connections. Some free hosting companies might block outgoing connections and so plugins like Akismet or Jetpack might now work.
2. Free Hosting is Bad For SEO
Your web hosting can partially affect your website or blog’s search engine rankings. As an example, Google considers speed as a search engine ranking factor and free hosting comes with lots of downtimes, slow website speed, database errors, caching issues can affect your search engine rankings.
But the scary part is that free web hosting is often less secure, which means chances are your website is vulnerable to hackers. Which leads to hacked or malware affected site resulting data loss but also leads to losing your rankings.
Google looks into your other sites which are hosted along with your website. Spammers often use the free hosting for their spamming activity. So if your site is hosted along with spammy/hacked/porn sites you will stop receiving the love from Google.
3. Free Hosting is Unreliable
Free web hosting is a marketing technique popularised by paid hosting companies. Generally, they offer free hosting, to get you started, and expect that eventually, you’ll upgrade to their paid hosting packages. Now if you are in a free plan, these companies reserve the right to place ads on your website. They can even shut down your account without giving you any reason. As an example, both Blogger and WordPress.com can advertise and modify the material on your blog.
As servers are becoming costly, sometimes companies offering free hosting use old and outdated servers to cut down recurring cost. Because customers on the free plan are less important than paying customers, it often takes longer to get a response from the customer support, which can result in more downtime. And it’s all free so your can’t really complain.
So, in short here are some pros and cons of free web hosting.
Well, there will be always an argument whether you should use a free web host to host your blog. If you want to blog just for hobby, then you can start with Blogger.com (as switching from Blogger to WordPress is easy). But for businesses, I would say if you can afford to a pizza once a month, you can more than afford to go for a reliable and paid hosting.
I hope by now you can understand free website hosting has many downsides while paid hosting has become fairly cheap nowadays. But before taking any decision you must do your research and ask the right questions. It’s always a good idea to spend a small amount of money into web hosting which ultimately ensures security, flexibility, and full control. And when it comes reliable web hosts you can surely trust on Bluehost with 5.95 per month or try Hostgator with a penny for the first month.
Now, it’s your turn!
Have you ever tried free web hosting? How was your experience? Share your valuable thoughts in the comments section below.