Free things are scarce nowadays, especially if they’re worth an awful lot on the market. The same goes for services and their providers.
Even if they consent to provide us with something for which they won’t charge us money, in the end, there is usually a toll to be paid by some other means.
We can also say that for web hosting.
Many people tend to believe that if they choose a free web hosting over a paid one they will actually save money. At first glance, it may seem so.
However, in the long run, they might lose even more than they thought they would save.
Now, it is not our intention to totally bash free web hosting into pieces. We must mention they can be beneficial for personal use.
However, business users should steer clear of using them, since they can even be dangerous for their confidential information.
When we’re choosing a web hosting for our business, we’re literally putting it into someone else’s hands. Therefore, we have all the right to be suspicious until we’re proven otherwise.
Above all, free web hosting providers tend to use amazing offers to trick us into consenting to something that wasn’t discussed in the first place.
Hence, we can wake up one day and realize that the package we thought we had is something entirely different.
What’s more, it might not even meet our basic requirements for continuing to operate our business online.
As a result, we lose clients, money, and in the end, we might even lose our business.
That’s why we decided to put up a list of all the things that we should consider if we are tempted to go down the road of free, but not-so-free web hostings.
5 Free Web Hosting Red Alerts:
1. If It’s Free It Should Be Called Charity
Let’s be honest. There isn’t such a thing as free services in this world.
Even an actor who does a monodrama for charity expects to get an applause once he bows, right?
It’s his reward for the work he did.
Now, to put this analogy aside, even though we might set up our website on such servers for free, there will be a certain toll to pay once the provider bows.
The main problem is that sometimes the provider won’t warn us beforehand.
We should always watch out for that kind of trickery.
By asking plain questions as to what we can expect from their service.
Now, let us imagine setting up our website with the help of some free web hosting service. The following morning we wake up to see that the provider has covered our website in ads.
Most of them contain suspicious content, and some of them lead straight to malware. And the worst thing is that all our efforts to remove them are to no avail.
Free web hosting will usually place these ads anywhere they want on our website and without warning too.
In fact, we will have absolutely no say in it.
The provider will fill up all the free space that we wanted to use for advertising and thus we will lose money.
2. We Can’t Rely On Something That Tells Us It’s Free But It Actually Isn’t
Free web hosting providers are in it for the money, just like everyone else. The sooner we realize that, the better.
However, one of the main differences that sets them apart from the paying ones is that they are not obligated to uphold their service indefinitely.
In other words, they can shut down their shop at any time and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
Just imagine hours of hard work disappearing within minutes and in some drastic cases even without a notification.
Even if we do get notified by email, will we have enough time and resources to transfer all our data?
And how about redirecting backlinks to our new website?
Exposing our blog to such risks is unreasonable.
However, not all free web hosting providers are like that. Some will actually be willing to wait until we’ve settled everything.
But when it comes to our business, are we willing to just sit back, cross our fingers and hope for the best? Is it worth the risk?
3. Limitations, Limitations, Limitations
Free web hosting wouldn’t be free web hosting if it didn’t offer us its fabulous premium packages.
And what do these packages offer?
Benefits that we should get in the first place.
Allow us to rephrase the word benefits into necessities.
Because all those features that we need to pay for are basic features of every paid web hosting service.
They aren’t premium, they aren’t an extra. They are something that allows our businesses to function properly on the Web.
Therefore, if there are premium packages, as a rule, there must be some kind of limitations on packages that are free. Usually, it’s the upload speed.
We’ll wait for ages to upload content on our website. And even when we do, we might realize that we’re not able to upload any more.
Because we are given limited storage space.
But that’s not all. Free web hosting services usually put limitations to the type of media that we can upload. So you can probably forget about that fancy introduction video on your homepage, even though you’ve spent a ton of money on it.
The providers also put the size of our website under control. Some of them won’t allow us to have a website that is more than 20 pages long. Some of them will allow even less.
Above all, the main problem is that our host will be able to delete our content for multiple reasons at any time, even for getting free space!
Therefore, we should always make sure to read Terms and Conditions carefully.
4. They’re Not Investing in Security and Customer Support
Since these web hosting services tend to have fewer users that pay, they also have less money to invest in security measures and customer support.
Free web hosting services are usually all about making a profit overnight. Most of them don’t care what happens with their users, as they can easily disappear.
Their servers are usually outdated, and thus they are an easier target for hackers.
The effects of such attacks can be devastating, especially if our business operates with confidential information about our clients.
Another thing worth mentioning is that customer support is low-quality to non-existent.
Basically, we’re on our own. If something goes wrong, and it probably will, we’ll just have to deal with it ourselves.
That is stressful, time-consuming, and at the end of the day, we’ll probably have to pay someone to help us solve the problem.
Customization options are barely there. Even though we haven’t mentioned it so far, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t important.
The visual aspect of our website is everything nowadays. It must have a unique and flawless design in order to attract more and more visitors.
A website that looks expensive will also build our online credibility.
However, free web hostings usually offer few templates and will maybe allow us to make a little tweak here and there.
The result is a uniformed look that we’ll share with others that have chosen to go down this path.
5. Our Online Credibility Will Fall Down Into Pieces
Our website’s traffic and eventually revenue strictly depend on how it looks in the eyes of an average visitor. The website’s credibility directly affects whether the website is reputable or not.
The website’s reputation, however, will have an effect on the overall success of our business.
If an average user sees that we’re using a free web hosting, he or she will automatically think that we’re not serious enough about our business.
Well, since we’re not ready to invest in a domain or a hosting service, we come off as someone who doesn’t believe in the product or service they’re selling.
Therefore, the customer will view our offer with suspicion and we will have minimal chances of actually selling something.
Another problem that should be addressed is the credibility of users with whom we share the server.
If they have a bad reputation on the web, we might be mistaken for them since we’re all riding the same bus. All of that can have serious consequences both in the short and long run.
With so many opportunities to successfully advertise our business on the web, are we actually ready to miss out on them just because someone promised us free space?
To Sum It All Up
Free web hosting can be great for someone who is just starting out and wants to learn the mechanics of owning and promoting a website.
They are actually a pretty decent choice for practice.
However, once we get serious about our business, we shouldn’t let it suffer because of poor hosting choices. Where there’s no pain, there is no gain.
By investing in reliable and quality solutions we’ll save ourselves from a lot of headache in the future.