Why you should avoid free web hosting companies

In this post, I am going to share my reasons why free web hosting is a very bad idea. Giving the fact that paid web hosting is generally cheap anyway.

I understand that we all like something for free, especially if you are a startup and trying to start your business on a budget. You need to take into consideration the actual cost to your business.

There are a lot of businesses that start with free hosting thinking that they will upgrade to a paid web hosting when their business gets off the ground. Not realizing that they are actually harming their business and reputation by going this route.  In 99.99% of the cases, free website hosting isn’t really free in the end. But, it should not be surprising to anyone that free hosting is not going to be as reliable as a paid hosting plan or some pitfalls, simply because it is free.

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Free web hosting limits the ability to use your own domain name. Not a good idea if your sites for business.

More often than not, free website hosting is often offered to you as a subdirectory or a subdomain of that hosting company’s own domain. This means instead of using your actual business domain name, it would look something like this: “yourcompany/thehostingcompany.com or thehostingcompany/yourcompany.com” you generally don’t have an option of being on your own custom domain with a normal domain name like VirtualWebsiteDesignLtd.co.uk

This will dilute your business branding and doesn’t make you look like a legitimate business. When I encounter a website that’s built on someone else’s domain, as a subdirectory or subdomain, I think they aren’t in it for the long haul, since they were not willing to invest even the smallest amount of £15 to £25 for a custom domain name would have cost them. I definitely would never contact them or do business with them.

You should also be well aware that search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google will give you a boost in rankings if you have a custom paid domain, as they consider them as actually legal and more trustworthy businesses.

By not having your own domain name you are seriously affecting your search engine traffic if you get any traffic at all.

This is true for free blogging platforms like WordPress.com and blogger.com made by Google itself. These subdomains are mainly made for the development of websites and not to actually host them on.

If your website is on a subdomain for a long time, you might be building up links that are pointing at your site, when you move your site onto your own paid domain you might end up losing them. Building up backlinks to your site improves your website search engine optimisation rankings, this means all the work you put into your site’s SEO was all for nothing and a waste of your time.

Also note that the host, who has their own domain in your domain name (subdomain) is also building their own brand awareness and getting their own domain added to lots of other sites that might be linked to all the subdomains on their servers. That is a win/win for them.

You should beware of free web hosting services offering you a real free domain because they are actually registering your free real domain for you with them being the owner of your domain. This means it is locked to their company. They could hold your domain name like a hostage and charge you ridiculous fees to transfer the domain in the future. It’s a cringing thought, but I have known this to have happened in the hosting industry before.

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Do you really want the annoying adverts plastered all over your website?

I can guarantee that free web hosting will come with advertising on your website. If your site is for promoting your business then you will not want other companies promoting the same products or services as you on your site. Nothing in life is free so anyone offering you something for free there must be a catch right. Do you really think that all the companies offering free website hosting are making no money? How are they still in business?

These hosting companies can get away with calling themselves free hosting because they provide you with a limited amount of space for your web pages. This means growing your site, or hosting a website with lots of pages is not possible without upgrading to a paid hosting plan.

They will also limit the features you can add to your sites such as Plugins, Shopping Carts, chat rooms, and blogs. Unless you are hosting on a free blogging platform, the opinion for blogging might not be possible because it will be outside the amount of space they provide to you.

To be frank, they are offering you free web hosting because they are banking on the fact that you will in time need to upgrade to their paid hosting plan as soon as your site outgrows the very limited free space they offer to you at the start.  Keep in mind that offering you in the starter package is not costing them a lot to give you (maybe even less than £1 per month), so they are considering it a “loss-leader” to get you into their paid service.

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Free hosting is very slow and provides no guarantees of uptime

Free website hosting can have lots of downtimes and no support at all. Can you really complain about downtime and speed if it’s free?

With free web hosting, you are going to have slower loading times than you would get with a paid hosting plan. This is because their servers are overcrowded. After all, everyone else also wants free web hosting too. Slow loading times will damage your Google rankings and will make it impossible to gain the top spot in searches for your industry.

Because you don’t own the domain and host there is no guarantee how long the free hosting service will be around, or if they will continue to offer free hosting in the future. These companies tend to offer very limited support if any at all. Offering free services also is not sustainable, meaning these kinds of companies don’t tend to be around very long. If they ever close down their company, your business website will also go with the companies. Generally, be deleted without warning.

No Branded Email Addresses

When you are using free hosting services you are basically piggy-backing on another host’s site, you don’t have the ability to create and host your own email addresses that are branded with your companies branded domain. This can really damage your credibility and will probably put a lot of existing and potentially new customers off buying your products or using your services.

Your branding is so important, especially for startups. Never discount the importance of something that might seem too minor to you. Having a “real” professional and branded email address with your companies’ domain name in it is essential. Example of a branded email address.

Our company website: virtualwebsitedesignltd.co.uk

Our company email:     [email protected]

If you are taking your business seriously and value your business enough to spend a small amount of money for quality hosting.

If you are really serious about your business then you should understand the importance of your website. It’s a very important part of your business marketing strategies. Do it right! Paid hosting is not expensive. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish don’t lock yourself into a service or hosting service provider that holds you, hostage, to them later down the line when you are ready to grow.

Search for a hosting company that provides you complete control over your site. ( a fully functional cPannel) is my preference and allows you, or your web developer, complete access to all the tools they need to build you a complete, scalable website right from the beginning. Don’t waste your time on the free hosting services for the cost of a few cups of coffee each month that a real paid host would cost.

An even better choice, start your business on the right path right from the start and work with a website developer who can direct you in the right direction with website hosting. At the very least always do your research than choosing a website hosting company like checking customer reviews from other websites. Don’t just read the reviews they have posted on their own websites, do a Google search of the company name and see if they have Google reviews. No reviews on Google then the reviews listed on their website will likely be fake.

We specialise in a range of turnkey website, hosting and maintenance package for small businesses with optional payment plans with 20% down payment and once your website is complete and live online the outstanding amount into 12 small monthly payments. This means you can get up and running with our smallest 5-page package for just £160. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started today!

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