Creating a website for free is not unheard of today. In fact, there are even many web hosting companies that offer their services for free. However, free hosting is not the same quality as a dedicated or VPS hosting plan. In fact, the inefficiency and risks of free web hosting is a cause for concern if you’re thinking of creating your dream website on a free plan.
Read on to find out the pros and cons of a free web hosting plan for freelancers and small-to-medium sized businesses.
What Is Free Hosting?
When you sign up for a web hosting membership without paying anything in return, it is referred to as free hosting. It is a simple process that works when the web host buys physical server space so as to offer free web hosting for multiple sites via virtual private networks (VPN) servers.
The following three points explain how web hosts offering free plans profit:
- Sell Marketing Space: The host might sell your website space to advertisers to generate ad revenue that may or may not be shared with you.
- Bait & Switch: Web hosts offering free services often upsell or cross-sell their services by limiting the resources of the plan so as to encourage users to spend money on add-ons or paid hosting services.
- Sell The Business: For most web hosts offering cost-free plans, the aim is to accumulate maximum users on the shared server in the hope of selling it to another business for bigger profits.
The One Advantage
The sole merit of signing up for a free web hosting plan is its cost-effectiveness. Given you don’t have to spend a penny on hosting, this option is compatible with a wide range of budgets. It is especially affordable for developers who are new to the process. If you’re a beginner, the free hosting plan will help you get acquainted with hosting functions, features, and processes without any financial risks.
Before you invest in free web hosting, find out the biggest risks of doing so from the following before it’s too late.
Shared Domain And Resources
The biggest drawback of this plan is the lack of control. Web hosts restrict bandwidth, security, user accounts, emails, and other features on their free hosting option. Moreover, you can forget about having an independent domain with such a plan. For example, signing up for WordPress free hosting means your website will show up as www.yourwebsitename.wordpress.com.
There are chances that your website might end up sharing the space with suspicious or illicit websites when you sign up for a free plan. Moreover, there is a high chance that the web hosting company might disappear all of a sudden without notice. Another risk is that users have no assurance or guarantee of receiving consistent resources with such a plan.
Advertisements By Other Companies
Free web hosting service providers may sell your website space to marketers. As a result, you will see pop-ups and banner ads from other companies on your website. Unfortunately, it can tarnish your brand identity in the long run. Imagine how customers might feel upon seeing an ad for a psychic consultation on a sleep health site.
Negative Impacts On SEO
Typically, web hosts that offer free plans will pack the shared server with as many websites as they can. In such a case, your website will not load quickly; thus, leading to poor SEO rankings.
Zero Customer Support
Another crucial reason to avoid free hosting plans is the lack of customer service. If you’re a newcomer, this might lead to loss of work when you try to troubleshoot issues on a website you were working on for months.
The Overall Picture
While free web hosting is good for beginners who want to get acquainted with the process, the same is not viable for commercial use. It poses multiple threats to security, brand credibility, SEO, and hosting functions for SMEs and freelancers.
With limited resources available to you, growing a high-traffic website is impossible on such a hosting plan. Moreover, admins have no guarantee regarding the resources they receive on this hosting membership. Restricted resources such as bandwidth and information transfer often lead to downtime issues too. Also, free hosting is a direct threat to branding. Your customers might mistake your webpage as a spam-site if they see undue or irrelevant ads upon visiting your page.
On the other hand, paid hosting plans offer multifaceted features to combat the challenges of free hosting. Hence, if you want the best of the best, go for a secure and premium hosting with Verpex dedicated servers.
Signing up for free hosting does not mean that you will get all the web hosting features for free. It means that your domain will be hosted for free and any extra feature may come at an additional cost. Moreover, it’s not a long-term option for small business and freelancing agencies. This is because the host will either pester you with frequent upsells or confuse your visitors with unwanted advertisements.