Free vs Paid Web Hosting Service
Internet is flooded with free web hosting service providers. It does attract startups, small business owners and fresh bloggers to choose free web hosting service vs paid web hosting service. However, it is important to know the differences between both before making a selection. Free not necessarily means a wise choice when you intend to monetize your blog. For those who haven’t yet started a blog, but are interested, reading my article “How to start a blog” will be helpful.
If you are a hobby blogger and you only blog to talk to your audience a free web hosting service might be suitable. The free web hosting takes away the burden of an on-going cost associated with blogging. You are also not required to manage the security, software updates etc. These free web hosting services also offer you a free sub-domain and you can get started in less than 15 minutes and start reaching out to the world. If you like to know a more details about free web hosting services please read Robert Darrell’s article on Best Free Web Hosting Service Providers.
The free web hosting appears lucrative because of no up-front cost associated with it, however, there are a number of disadvantages associated with them. When your website represents your business, you cannot compromise on your site. A few of the disadvantages associated with a free web host are:
Domain name vs only Sub-Domain
Sub-domain is more like staying in a Paying Guest. If you have ever stayed in a PG, you would know the pain of it. Also, the bank never approves a loan if your address is of a PG. The free web host provider provides only sub-domain facility. It doesn’t create a professional image of the brand that you are trying to create. A personalized paid domain name is what a business will need.
The free web hosting services only allows you a number of visitors to hit your website per month. If in case the number of visitors increases the services are halted.
Research says that if a website load speed is more than 2 seconds you have high chances of visitor leaving your website and look at a different website. You don’t want that, right? However, you have very limited options if you are on free web hosting.
If your customers try to open your website and gets error like “Error 521”, you are going to lose your customer. Free web hosting platforms do not guarantee uptime. Websites hosted on free platform are bound to face a lot of downtime. Losing a customer because of downtime is very painful.
If you are a business website owner, you wouldn’t really want advertisements. Yes of course, you can have advertisements on your website but they should either be advertisements of your business or advertisements that makes you money. Free web hosting providers run their advertisements on your blog.
You want your site to rank high. Who doesn’t? But the free hosts display a lot of irrelevant advertisements that is not preferred by the search engines. Since these are free platforms anyone can build any type of websites and a lot them are spammers. Google does not give high weightage to all of this when it comes to SEO.
Practically the customer support is NIL. You just so need assistance when you are stuck with a technical issue. Paid web hosting service providers will provide complete support and help you resolve your issue and gives you a lot of peace of mind.
When your intent is to monetize your blog, you need a professional web hosting platform instead of a free platform. You must buy a hosting plan from a reliable source and host your WordPress site yourself. If you choose free platform and then try to customize the free blog, you will end up spending a lot more than buying a web hosting service. Read this brief guide of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org and understand why you should not host your business site on free blogging platforms.
Choosing a hosting plan could be a daunting task. It’s like renting an apartment for yourself. Remember, how many apartments you had to check and find out what suits best. When I was buying hosing plan for myself, I tried to look for cheapest hosting plan. Everything seems ok till I didn’t have visitors, but the situation dramatically changed thereafter. Performance issues were pulling my site down. Google AdSense refused my application, because when they crawled my website for verification, my site appeared down to them. People would encounter error 503. I had to spend numerous hours and 2 days of downtime with my site on the very first technical issue. I realized my mistake and moved to SiteGround.
Reason for my recommendation is not about their Free Site Transfer or Unlimited Sub Domain service. It’s because of their uptime, superior support and an excellent price. The whooping 60% discounts makes it a steal deal for now.
SiteGround is by and large one of the most reliable web hosting service provider I have experienced. I am sure you all will have your own experiences which will be great to know. Why not leave me a comment and share your experiences with different web hosts.