Free is good, right? You would think that. And, while there are a few free things in life that get my approval (got a beer?) web hosting is not one of them. Let me tell you why.
The Reasons Are Many
Before I get into the many reasons why you should forgo free web hosting, I’ll play devil’s advocate and list one exception – only for the sake of argument:
Free web hosting can be beneficial for kids with no money, no credit card, and no way of getting help in the finance department.
If you fall into the category above, stay focused, find some odd jobs, see your goals like you’ve already accomplished them. You’ll get there. You just have a harder journey in front of you.
That being said: if you’re not a child and you can afford a Starbucks latte, or order a pizza once a month, you have no excuses. None. Zilch. Nada. If you still claim that you cannot afford web hosting, I will assume that your priorities are amiss. You do not really want a website. Keep dreaming.
If you’ve made it this far I assume you’re ready to tackle the interwebs. Sit back, take notes – allow me to explain why free web hosting can do more harm than good.
8 Reasons To Skip Free Web Hosting And Get Yourself The Real Deal
Do you think you’re going to sign up for a free account, and on top of that, get the whole “unlimited” deal? Not happening. You’ll have very little disk space, which will limit the growth of your site.
Free web hosting is not meant for sites with heavy traffic. In fact, even a site with very little traffic will have trouble keeping bandwidth in check. Once you go over your allotted traffic for the month – blammo! – your site will be suspended until the grace period is up, or you move to a paid plan.
It’s a safe assumption that if you are looking into free web hosting, you probably don’t know much about hosting as it is. You’re going to run into problems. You’re going to need help. Don’t count on getting any. Some free web hosting providers have support forums for members to help each other, but there is nothing in place to get help when you need it. Your only shot is a good Samaritan helping you troubleshoot, or figuring it out yourself.
Advertisements that aren’t yours
The majority of free web hosting companies offer free web hosting for a price. The cost? Advertisements displayed all over your website. That’s right. You (and your visitors) will have to deal with ads splashed across on your site, which just might make those visitors click away in a hurry.
There are a number of restrictions that are placed on free hosting accounts. Some will not allow you to have MySQL databases, which means no WordPress. Some will not allow you to use a custom domain without a paid plan. You’ll also run into trouble trying to create email accounts — some just won’t have it, while others put strict limits on the number of emails you can send out each hour.
A host that offers web hosting for free doesn’t have a “horse in the race”. Until you upgrade to a paid plan, you are merely an expense. Security is not the highest priority for accounts sucking up resources for free. The “free accounts” are usually tossed on a separate server that is not well maintained.
Uptime is crucial for your website, especially if your website is an extension of your business or professional self. Every time your website goes offline, it’s almost the same as having someone walk up to your business, lock the doors, and call it quits for the day. If your site has problems with uptime, you’ll lose your audience.
Bad neighborhood sites
When something is free it is often abused, The same holds true for free web hosting plans. They attract spammers. They attract crooks. They attract the “not-so-family-friendly” type, if you know what I mean. Don’t worry, your website will be crammed on the same server with the rest of them – and sharing the same IPs.
The whole point of offering free web hosting is to get you to upgrade to a paid account. It’s a sales gimmick. Nothing more, nothing less. The free hosting plans are built to have limits that will easily be exceeded. Once that happens your only alternative is to deal with it, or upgrade your plan. That’s how it works. You can’t blame them either way. It’s free. You should be able to invest in your website each month the same amount you’d spend buying stuff you can’t even remember you bought.
Here’s something to think about: if you are not willing to invest in your website, why should visitors be willing to invest their time reading what you have to say?
Read my tips for how to find the best web hosting provider.