So you want to start a website and you feel you either do not have the money to buy a domain and pay for hosting or you just think that your venture is a hobby so you may as well find free web hosting, right?
The is one of the biggest mistakes that a new webmaster can make and it certainly is one of the most foolish things to do. Free may save you a dollar or two in the short term but seriously, in the long run, it will cost you big time. Free web hosting usually means very cheap in the sense of poor quality. And here are ten reasons why you should not choose free web hosting for your website, whether business or hobby.
- Free web hosts do not provide support. While they may say that technical support is available, basically nothing is their problem. You are generally left to fend for yourself, and of the few that do offer some kind of assistance, it is not in a timely manner.
- There is no guarantee that your website will be “up”. Downtime is a serious issue with free hosting companies. There is no reason for them to hurry and get the server live again as they have no legal obligation to you. You are not a customer.
- Bandwidth is restricted. Along the same lines as the server being down, there will be shortages or times during the day when your site will not be available. Even if you are running a hobby site, it means that the people you are helping will not have access to your information.
- If you are running a business, a free web host will systematically damage and destroy your business. Not only will you lose potential sales from downtime or slow loading pages, but you will lose credibility and reputation by having a site that cannot function properly. In addition, problems will arise with search engines because indexing will not be accurate or will not take place at all if the spider or bot comes along when your pages are offline.
- Many times free web hosts will profit-share with you in order to make up for their resources being used. Adult sites are very good at “shaving” profits. For example, you agree that out of ten sales, the host gets four and you get six. How do you know how many they really received? More importantly, why give them anything when you can just pay a web host and collect your own profits?
- Free web hosts earn their revenue from advertising. They are not in business to do you any favors and they are not a charity. So basically, you agree to have your website emblazoned with their annoying ads in return for hosting your website.
- Free web servers do not offer all the capabilities of paid web hosting companies.
- Although many free web hosts are honest people, there are just as many who offer the service in order to obtain free content. Since they have access to your material, it is very easy to take. And yes, paid hosts have the same opportunity, but it might be a bit of a deterrent when someone is a bona fide customer.
- Many free web hosts require you to setup your website as a sub-domain of their websites. This means that after you have built your site, promoted it, and made it profitable, it will be very difficult for you to branch off with your own domain and identity. Bravo, you have now built their domain into a successful business.
- Paid web hosting is not expensive. Unlike ten years ago, it is very simple and very common to find decent web hosting for a couple dollars per month. We ourselves host our website with Inbound in Belgium; and they charge us under $15 per month. Dirt cheap if you ask me!
I just hope I have been able to concince you not to choose for free web hosting – and spend a couple dollars to invest in your site’s future!