Nowadays there are plenty of companies offering different opportunities to create a website for free. Almost all of new webmasters start creating their first Internet projects using free hosting. Doesn’t the idea of building a website without spending a cent sound attractive?
Of course, numerous free hostings provide a lot of different possibilities for beginners but also have too many drawbacks. You should remember that you always get what you pay for.
Here you can read some reasons why having a free website is not worth your consideration.
1. It is Almost Impossible to Monetize a Free Website
Usually hosting companies don’t allow you to place your ads, add affiliate links. That’s why you can’t make money from your site. And what is worse, they stick banner ads at the top and in the premium space on your site. This not only looks disgusting in most cases, but you may even end up advertising one of your rivals.
In order to earn money, some providers can sell website addresses of their users to spammers. Then, without your permission, they can post links to advertise fake drugs, gambling, porno sites, online scams, etc. That’s how you can become a part of a link farm.
2. There are Too Many Limitations
Free hosting companies usually offer limited disk space, so it’s impossible to upload a lot of photos or videos. You can’t expand your site and have as many pages as you want.
Also, we would like to note that free websites usually have quite strict bandwidth limitations. At any moment your site can be closed because its bandwidth goes over restriction.
Moreover, some useful plugins, tools, and services are not available for free websites.
3. Poor Design
Most free websites have limited number of templates and you can’t create your own design. That’s why free sites look the same.
4. Unremarkable Domain Name
It is good when customers can easily recognize your brand, while stumbling across your website. But using free service, you don’t have your own domain, you also don’t have a branded email address. It can look like mysmallbusiness.Freewebsite.com, that is rather unprofessional.
5. Unreliable Security
Free hosting companies’ terms and conditions usually provide them total legal immunity. That means they can sell your email address, personal information, and your website address.
They also have rights to use your content. If you are an artist or a photographer your images can become a property of the provider. To avoid this make sure you read the small print and that your personal details are kept in secret.
Because of poor security free websites may be vulnerable to hackers. It can take a lot of time to restore your important files and data.
In addition to hacker attacks, your site can also suffer from malicious software, which can greatly damage its reputation.
6. You Can’t Install WordPress
We have already mentioned that some services and plugins are limited on free websites. Providers usually don’t allow you to install WordPress. It happens because their servers are incapable of running it.
7. Free Websites Do not Work on Mobile Phones
Mobile devices are becoming more popular among internet users, that’s why make sure that your site has mobile version.
Unfortunately, free websites are not mobile-friendly. Just imagine how many users you can lose!
8. It’s Impossible to Achieve Top Google Ranking
Search engines consider free websites as less important and give them less priority. You are not able to optimize your site because you do not have an access to the backend. Free domains can even be penalized if they have many sites full of spam.
9. Free Websites are Slower Than a Snail
You can’t avoid the slow loading because too many sites share one server, bandwidth, and resources.
10. Limited Test Period and Hidden Charges
New webmasters can easily be bribed with a free trial period. But after the end of this term, it is necessary to pay for hosting services, and the price appears much higher than you expected.
Also be ready to pay for additional services like image hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, etc. Think twice before adding a credit card during signup, because they can charge you without your permission.
11. Unexpected Shutdown and Loss of Data
Usually free hosting is characterized by low uptime, there is always downtime, the site becomes unavailable, and when the owners have no patience and money, free hosting provider can disappear together with your site without explaining the reasons.
Your domain name also can be lost, because it is a subdomain associated with the service.
12. Provider Can Refuse to Give You Domain Control
A lot of users who are disappointed in free services decide to move to a paid hosting. Unfortunately, free service providers do not offer any tools to easily migrate your site. You can either lose your content or hire someone who can manually export it.
If you manage to move your site you also can get into trouble deleting it from free hosting. They may intentionally remain it on their server to make money from your content.
13. Analytics and Statistics are not Available
If you want to improve your site you must check how many people visit it and where they come from.
Decent hosting companies provide you with free statistics. It’s very convenient to install traffic counter, such as Google Analytics. But analytics is limited or doesn’t exist at all on free websites.
14. Lack of Support
To set up a site isn’t as easy as it seems to be. But a proper support is expensive and almost always absent on free platforms.
15. You Can’t Sell Your Free Hosted Site
Almost all free site providers don’t allow you to sell, share, transfer or exploit your site for any commercial purposes. The reason is that free website isn’t your own property. If you sell it secretly, provider identifies it and then closes it and removes from search engine index.
16. There is no Redirection on Free Service
When you want to have pages redirect automatically for your visitors, you can set up redirection with WordPress. But only if your site isn’t on a free hosting. So you have no option to redirect your users to the new site. Also, you can’t maintain SEO scores of your site.
17. What About Marketing?
Before creating a website you should realize who its audience is, what they want, what you want them to do when they visit the site, and how to persuade them to do it. No free service can do that, and if a site is not built consciously with those questions in mind, it is very unlikely to convert any visitors to customers, followers or fans.
18. Limited Customization
If you want to customize your website with features that your free template was not built to do, you would need to hire a professional to do it for you. It won’t save your money.
Whether you intend to create a serious business website or just a blog for fan we recommend you to choose web hosting provider thoughtfully, taking all peculiarities into consideration. If you are a newbie and don’t want to spend a big sum, then it’s better to start with a good shared hosting account.
A shared hosting account is cheap, easy to deal with, and convenient for most new sites. Plus, you can always upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting in the later stage when your site grows bigger.
The best solution is to have a self-hosted website on a WordPress platform. It not only provides you a full ownership of your content, control over security and backups, but you can also make your site look and work as you want.
Good luck in finding the right web hosting provider!
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