Congrats on being ready to start your own website! It is such a big, beautiful step that has the potential of completely changing your life for the better! Yes, it requires a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of work and definitely dedication and perseverance, but it is going to be worth it.
If you’re researching web hosting, then you’re committed to creating something beautiful and we are here to help you make a good decision for you and your business. Now that you’ve figured out that one of the things you need is web hosting, you’re researching your options and two big ones come up: free web hosting or paid web hosting.
Is there any reason why you should pay for something that is already available some place else for free? Well of course there is. As we all know, when it comes to business great tools and resources don’t come for free; in fact, they are usually quite expensive, but let’s dig in and see exactly what the pros and cons of free web hosting are.
The first and most obvious advantage of choosing this option is the fact that you won’t have to pay anything. This comes in handy if you’re just getting started and you want to test the waters and see how it goes. Maybe you are testing an idea, or you want to see what your website would look like and actually test if you’re willing to go all the way through with your plan. Maybe you simply do not wish to pay from the very beginning, and that’s okay.
Secondly, if your requirements are minimal, then you can easily choose free web hosting. When you don’t need much, free options are okay and will do the trick; you will be able to test some software script on a web hosting portal, for example.
So, if you are just getting started and you simply wish to test the waters and see how things go, choosing the free web hosting option is a good choice.
Freebies are great, but do they deliver exactly what you want and need? No. As in numerous other situations, you have to pay in order to get access to high quality products and services; this is simply how things go, as all businesses need income and profit to keep moving forward.
One of the most important disadvantages that free web hosting has is the fact that you won’t be able to have a main domain. This can truly downgrade your entire business as having a subdomain instead of a domain will make you look unprofessional, especially that nowadays domains are really easy and also cheap to get. Having a domain will not only make you look professional and trustworthy in front of your potential customers and website visitors, but also in Google’s eyes.
As you know, the Google algorithm supports and pushes forwards websites that are as clean and professional as possible, and having your own domain fits right into this category.
Choosing a domain name can be tricky as you want it to fully speak for your brand; thankfully, there are many tools available to help you pick the right one. For example, a domain name generator provided by Wix will give you some ideas to use when choosing your final domain name. You simply type in words that fit your brand and niche and the tool will come up with beautiful ideas that will inspire you.
Another disadvantage is that ads will keep popping and showing up on your website. Why ads? Nothing is 100% for free, which means that the company that provided you with free web hosting still needs to make some money out of you using their service. How? By displaying ads on your website that you won’t make any money from. All the profits from your visitors viewing and clicking on these ads will go straight to the web hosting provider. This means that if your website grows big enough, you will be making them more money than you would have paid if you had chosen a paid plan from the beginning.
Shared branding is another major disadvantage. What does this mean? It means that the web hosting provider will treat your website as a way to promote their brand. Whether it’s putting their logo somewhere on your website or having their name as part of your URL, they will make sure that their brand is visible across your website, which can make you look unprofessional.
Let’s not forget about customer support: you won’t have it with a free web hosting plan. This means that the company’s employees won’t offer you too much help with any issues you might have while setting up your website simply because they are not getting paid for it.
Moreover, with a free web hosting plan you will also have limited pages and bandwidth. Some free web hosting plans put a strict limit on the number of pages you are able to create for your website. In addition to this, how much bandwidth you have directly affects how long your site takes to load; and slow loading times have a huge influence on how many of your visitors will keep sticking around, as well as on how well you rank in search engines. Google does not like a slow website.
All in all, the conclusion is pretty clear: if you’re simply just getting started and you want to get used to creating a website, setting things up, seeing your work live and so on, then choosing a free web hosting plan is a good choice; however, you will definitely need to purchase a paid plan once your business grows.
If you’re looking to building something big and need a solid foundation, then go straight to the paid plans and you won’t regret it for one second.