When it comes to web hosting, there are many options available to you. With so many alternatives to choose from, you might be tempted to consider one of the many free web hosting services. However, there are some common pitfalls associated with this approach that can end up costing you and your business a lot of money. Therefore, it is important to know what these warning signs are so that you can avoid them.
Here are 6 good reasons to avoid free web hosting:
- Lost credibility. Your website is often the first impression potential customers have of your business. With free hosting, you may get stuck with a very long domain name like http://freehostingservice.com/~yourbusiness. A domain name like this is an instant signal to your prospects that your business is still in the minor leagues. It is very difficult to build trust and credibility when your web presence seems to be flying.
- advertising banner. The main reason these services are free is because you agree to allow banner ads on your site. So you invest time, money and energy to drive traffic to your website and the free hosting service profits by directing that traffic away from you. Obviously not the best way to build a successful, long-term business.
- Limited Features. Free hosts usually offer a limited set of services. This lack of flexibility can seriously affect your ability to run and grow your business online. For example, if you choose a free service, you may have no or limited access to email, FTP accounts, content management systems, or e-commerce options.
- lack of portability. When you pay to register and host your own domain, you have the option to transfer it. This is usually not the case with free hosting services. So if you spend a year or two building your website and driving traffic to it before realizing how beneficial it would be to have your own domain name, your hard work might be out the window.
- Crowded Servers. This results in slow page load times and increased downtime for your website. Of course, both of these issues can have a serious negative impact on your company’s growth and profitability.
- Bad customer service. Another major problem with free hosting services is that they offer little to no customer support. If there is a problem with your website, you will have a very difficult time contacting someone to help you solve it. Every minute your website is down comes with a huge opportunity cost in the form of frustrated customers and lost sales.
From this list, you can see that with free hosting services, you “get what you pay for”. Instead, think of quality web hosting as an important investment in your business – an investment that will continue to bring positive results to your business in the future.