Launching your business website is an exciting venture, but it also comes with many important decisions to make. One of the most critical decisions is choosing a web hosting provider.
Of course, free web hosting may sound like a pleasing and attractive choice for many beginners and people with a limited budget.
However, like most things in life, there are both pros and cons to free web hosting that should be considered before making the decision.
Today we’ll discuss the Pros and Cons of free web hosting, and why you should avoid it unless you don’t have any other option.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that provides storage space and resources on a server for a website to be accessible on the Internet.
When you create a website, all the files, images, and content associated with it need to be stored on a computer server.
These servers are powerful computers that are constantly connected to the internet and have the necessary software to handle web requests and deliver web pages to visitors’ browsers.
What is Free Web Hosting?
Free Web Hosting is a web hosting service that has been offered by a web host company for customers for free (at no cost). They allow website owners to host their sites on servers without paying anything for them.
And in most cases, these web hosting companies make their money by offering paid upgrades to their users, displaying ads on their sites or user’s website, and upselling their customers to premium plans.
While some free web hosts may offer additional features, such as website builders or email hosting, their services are limited and come with many down backs. That being said, let’s discover the Pros and Cons of free web hosting.
Pros of Free Web Hosting
Now that we know what free web hosting is, let’s take a look at its potential benefits.
1- No costs:
The main pro of free web hosting is that it’s free. You won’t be charged money for using the services these companies provide.
This can be a great option if you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford to pay for hosting service or just starting out with a new website.
2- No commitment:
Most web hosting providers offer long-term plans such as annual plans, and you will have to pay for the entire plan upfront before you can use their services.
With free web hosting services, this is not the case. Since you’re not paying for the service, you’re not locked into a long-term contract. If you decide that free hosting is not your desire anymore, you can easily switch to a different provider.
3- Gain knowledge:
If you are a beginner in the web hosting and websites field, you may want to learn and test things without paying for the paid service. Free web hosting can offer opportunities to learn about website creation, management, and administration.
When you sign up for free web hosting, you are given access to a web hosting environment where you can experiment with website design, development, and administration.
That being said, you will learn much about the subject, and when you move to a pro service, you will find yourself with enough knowledge to work with it without any external help.
Cons of Free Web Hosting
While free web hosting may seem like a great option for you, there are some downsides you should look at before you make the decision.
1- Limited resources:
With free web hosting, you won’t get the resources you wanted for your website, rather, you’ll have limited storage, bandwidth, and other resources.
This can make it difficult to grow your website with time, especially if you’re expecting a lot of traffic soon.
2- Unreliable Service “Common Outages”:
Free web hosting providers may not have the same level of reliability as paid hosts since they offer these services for free. This can lead to your website being down frequently, which negatively impacts your search engine rankings and user experience.
If your website visitors find that they have to wait a long time to get to your website, or they can’t access it at all, they will leave your site and look for other options, often your competitors.
Also, Google will not be pleased with a site that usually goes down as it monitors the internet, it will likely find it difficult to rank in search engines.
3- Lack of support:
The support people you contact to get paid. Since you are not paying the web host, they may not be very interested in providing you with support. You will likely have limited support options.
If something goes wrong with your website, you may not find fast and reliable support, or even not have anyone to turn to for help.
Many free web hosting services force display ads on your website in exchange for free hosting since you pay them nothing.
These ads can be bad for your business website if your business should not host display ads to look professional. Also, this can be distracting, or even detrimental to your website’s overall user experience.
5- Limited pages:
Pages are data stored on servers, such as storage space, RAM, etc. Some free web hosts offer limited pages you can build on your website. This is due to the limitation they make in order to maintain as many users as they can or a way to convince you to pay for more pages.
If your desired websites will have lots of web pages, consider hosting your website on a paid service so that you can create as many pages as you want.
6- Branding limitations:
Some free web hosting comes with some branding limitations that can impact your website’s appearance and branding. If you want to build a real business, you will need to make your own branding.
These limitations can be limited customization on your site. You may not have the ability to customize your website to the extent you would like, limiting your branding potential.
Also, some of these web hosts may not allow you to use your own domain name, rather, they offer a subdomain of their website, such as “yourwebsite.freehosting.com,”.
If branding is important to you, it may be worth investing in paid web hosting services that offer more customization options and the ability to use your own domain name.
7- Security issues:
Since free web hosting providers offer their services for free, they may not have the financial resources to invest in top-notch security measures like firewalls and regular security audits.
They may not have the same level of security measures as paid web hosting providers. This can make your website vulnerable to attacks such as hacking, malware, and phishing attempts, which can compromise your data and harm your visitors.
Security is one of the most important things every website owner should think about before they make any decision regarding their website hosting.
With bad security, you may face a lot of problems, money, time, and even more. Save yourself a headache and try to use a paid service.
Is Free Web Hosting Right for You?
The answer to this question depends on your specific needs and budget. If you’re just starting out and don’t have the budget, free web hosting may be a good option to get your website off the ground.
However, if you’re looking to grow your website and have a more professional online presence with your own brand and customization, paid hosting may be a better choice.
Ultimately, regardless of which option you choose, do your research and choose the best web hosting provider based on reliability, support, security, features, loading speed, and more.