Everybody loves free stuff. Like the butter biscuits at Red Lobster. Endless baskets of those are dangerous. So why would anyone choose to pay if they can get free web hosting? As we will see, free is not always best. Why? Well, if you have a website purely for personal endeavors, then the reasons for to pay for web hosting may be few. But if your website will be representing a business, organization, or a monetized blog, then you should choose paid web hosting over free web hosting. Here are some reasons why.
You Can’t Choose Your Domain Name
Free web hosting does not typically allow you to purchase and use your own domain name. Instead, your website’s URL tends to be something like fredspizza.webprovider.com or webprovider.com/fredspizza. Hard to remember, hard to say, and not very professional.
Free isn’t really free. Web hosting providers have to buy servers and pay staff, so they have to make their money somehow. The majority of free web hosting providers do this by putting ads on your website. What if a competitor’s ad appears on your site?
Poor Search Engine Rankings
When you don’t have your own domain name, you tend to rank lower in search engines. In fact, some free web hosts do not allow search engines to crawl free websites, which means that you do not show up in search engines at all.
Free web hosting often has many limitations. For example, you typically have to choose from one of their web templates. This means that you are restricted from adding functionality that is not included in their template, such as adding your Twitter stream, adding a PayPal shopping cart, or installing WordPress. Layout and aesthetic design is extremely limited as well.
In addition, because you are using their template, you cannot ever download your website and transfer it to another provider. So your website design will be attached to that web host forever, just like the names Colonel Sanders and KFC.
Whether you wish to attract more readers to your blog or draw more customers to your company’s website, saving $3 a month by choosing free web hosting over paid web hosting will ultimately cost you more money in the end. Having a reliable and professional appearance is so important these days.
So skip the pastry at Starbucks once a month and save $3. It will go further with your web hosting.