If you want to do well these days in the world of business, you need to have an online presence. But your online journey can only start if you have a website in place. And, if you want your website to exist on the internet, you need a hosting service provider. It is, therefore, vital to understand the types of website hosting. There are two types of hosting providers – free web hosting and premium (paid) web hosting.
If you want your online journey to be successful, you need to know which type of hosting will be good for your business.
Though the word free is known to attract many, yet you need to understand that it is not always the best. And, that is exactly why you need to avoid free web hosting.
Just like website design and usability are important for user experience, website hosting is vital for the success of your online journey. If you want to make your online journey successful, you need to know a few things about website hosting. It is possible to save some money initially if you opt for free web hosting, but you need to know its downside.
Free web hosting providers might offer to get your website online without spending a penny, they may offer you a free domain, and more, but the negatives far outweigh the positives in case of free hosting.
So, why is it that you should avoid free web hosting? There are several reasons why you need to avoid free web hosting, but before getting into that let us find out what is web hosting.
What is web hosting?
According to techopedia.com, web host is a service provider that leases or sells memory space on its servers. Web hosting offers services to clients that allow them to publish websites on the internet. A web host can also offer data centre space and an internet connection for server owned by others. And, the services offered by a web host is called web hosting.
Why does hosting matter?
A lot of work and planning are required to make your online journey a success. There are different ways of getting there, but finding a reliable web hosting service provider is extremely important because you cannot compromise on the user experience of your customers. And, this is what free web hosting services don’t offer.
Once you decide on the design of the website, the process of development begins. And, to deliver your content successfully to your viewers, you need a place to store your files which is where hosting comes into the picture. Your website information is stored in the remote computer servers. Your files are kept safely by your host which can be accessed by your users when they visit your website.
If you don’t select your web hosting service provider with a lot of caution, it can negatively impact your SEO ranking, you can face potential security issues and malware attacks, and you also run the risk of losing revenue.
Reasons why you need to avoid free web hosting
As mentioned earlier, in case you opt for free web hosting you stand to lose far more than you would gain. So, why should you avoid free web hosting – here are some of the reasons:
- You hardly get things for free – Free web hosting service providers only offer a limited free version of their services. The catch is that they hope that you will ultimately upgrade to their premium paid service. They might only offer a miniscule amount of storage space, bandwidth, no FTP access, and no sure shot way of transferring your content to another service provider.
You soon need to upgrade to their paid version (which at times is costlier than other premium service providers) because their free version has very limited options. By the time you realize your mistake, you have to upgrade to their premium version because shifting your site and content is not all that easy.
- You cannot sell your blog – When you carefully go through the terms and conditions of the free hosting providers, you would know that you are not the owner of your website. And, if you want to transfer or sell your site to a new entity, you can’t do it because you don’t own the site. Also, you need to carefully read the terms and conditions because some free hosting providers are known to retain the ownership of your content.
- You could lose your website at any given time – In case the free web hosting provider you select gets into trouble, they can close down their services. Though you may come to know in advance about the closure (according to their terms and conditions), yet the content safety of your website is not guaranteed. At times, they stop some of their services like signups (though your site remains online). But if they plan to shut shop for good, and if you don’t get a chance to switch your content to another provider, then you might lose all your content. Free hosting providers can also remove sites if you break the terms and conditions of the service.
- It is difficult to get an attractive website – Free service providers give you very few options to choose from; hence your website might not look as attractive as you want it to be. You only get a few options to choose the basic theme. You don’t have the freedom to make large scale changes in the layout of your website. Moreover, you have to live with the menace of forced ads (which bring revenue to the service provider). Your site can have irrelevant ads which could also be that of your competitors.
- You don’t have server control – When you go in for free hosting, you don’t get the scalability option. It means your website cannot grow with you even though your business has grown. Free hosting services, in general, cannot handle lots of traffic; hence if your business grows, your website is not equipped to handle an increased traffic influx. The net result is frequent downtimes and slower website load speeds. Slow load speed means your website takes a hit on the search engine results page and offers poor user experience. And, frequent downtime means you stand to lose your visitors and customers. In the end, there is a question mark on your reliability, and your business can suffer big time.
- The free domain you get is not yours – When you sign up with free hosting providers, they offer you a free domain name. What it looks like is this – yoursitename.freesitename.com – which is not a professional approach. You need to remember that the site address is not your own. Hence, effectively what you get is a subdomain which is not owned by you. And, by any chance, if they stop their services, then your website and free domain name can vanish into thin air.
- It is not possible for you to improve your site – Free hosting providers don’t give you the option to customize your site. You also don’t have the option of improving your website. If you want to sell or start a mailing list, you need to install plugins. But free hosting services offer you just the basics which do not include plugins. You need to upgrade to premium hosting if you want things other than basic.
- Shifting to a new provider is a big hassle – Moving to another provider is not all that easy. Mostly, free service providers make it a lot more difficult for people who plan to shift to another provider. Simply put, they don’t want you to leave them; hence they complicate things further for those who want to leave. They make it hard for you to leave because they want you to shift to their paid service (which as we said earlier is more than other paid services).
- Your SEO ranking can also suffer – You cannot expect to do well on the ranking front if your website loads slowly, looks unprofessional, or is frequently down. Moreover, if your free hosting provider plans to take down your website, all the efforts that you have put in for SEO will go down the drain. These things negatively impact your rankings. Google has set high standards for website ranking, and if you lack on the quality front, then you should not expect to do well. And, when you don’t rank high on the search engines, you cannot have a flourishing online presence.
- You cannot earn from ad revenue – When you opt for free hosting providers, you should not expect to earn from ad revenue. Free hosting providers, in general, don’t allow you to include ads or affiliate links on your website.
If you are planning to start your online journey, you should make sure that you opt for a premium hosting service provider instead of free hosting.
If you are starting your online journey and are looking for a reliable and professional web hosting service provider, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions. We have powerful datacentres all over the world, and that is why we are considered reliable, safe, and secure. vStacks Software Solutions also offers regular customer support. Since we back up your data regularly, your data remains safe with us.