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Is Free Web Hosting Services Really Free?

Published on 12 October 17
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If you are looking at setting up a website for the first time then you will probably be looking through all of the varying options to see what will work best for you. One of the key decisions you will need to make is what sort of hosting package to go for and look at all of the costs associated to each option.

When you are just starting up a business, money can be limited and you look for ways that you can keep costs down. So when you are looking at website options, you will be looking for ones that are cost effective. When you then see advertisements for ‘free hosting’ then you can be very tempted to jump on board without doing any research into the finer details through reading reviews.

So if you are looking at using a free web hosting solution, we will give you a helping hand by discussing the details that you may not know about.

1. Limited storage

Free hosts very rarely offer enough to support a growing website. If you are looking to create lots of content and to publish regular blogs then your storage requirements will be quite big. Most free hosts will provide a very limited amount of storage and therefore once you have used it all, you will need to upgrade to get more storage. So that free hosting solution doesn’t actually end up being free.

2. Your domain

Another factor to be wary of is that most free hosts will provide you with a sub domain of their own domain. So basically your web address will be pretty long and difficult for customers to remember, making it less likely for them to find your website. Some hosts will allow you to use your own domain for a fee. So again, you are paying for that service.

3. Limited bandwidth

Like with storage, you will probably have a limitation on how much bandwidth you are allocated. What this means is if your website suddenly becomes a huge success and you are getting high volumes of traffic, your host may not support this. And guess what? You’ve probably guessed it – you will need to upgrade.

4. Ads

Many hosts use the websites for which they provide free services to display business ads. This will generate money for them from other customers. Whilst this doesn’t involve you paying any money, what it can do is make your site look less professional, or can drive people away because they are annoyed by the ads. So you will probably be losing business that you would otherwise have gained, if the ads hadn’t influenced your website visitors. So in an indirect way, there are perhaps even higher costs related to this.

Now this might sound like we are totally against the use of free hosting but that is actually not the case. For some people a free hosting solution is worthwhile, people who don’t rely too heavily on it for business leads for example. It could also be helpful for people that just need a very basic site with very limited content so that their company can be searched on the internet to get their contact details.

If you cannot afford to pay around £5 per month to get a shared hosting package then free hosting may be the ideal solution. It will usually serve better than to have no website at all, as long as it looks professional and doesn’t drive visitors away.

If you are looking at setting up a website for the first time then you will probably be looking through all of the varying options to see what will work best for you. One of the key decisions you will need to make is what sort of hosting package to go for and look at all of the costs associated to each option.

When you are just starting up a business, money can be limited and you look for ways that you can keep costs down. So when you are looking at website options, you will be looking for ones that are cost effective. When you then see advertisements for ‘free hosting’ then you can be very tempted to jump on board without doing any research into the finer details through reading reviews.

So if you are looking at using a free web hosting solution, we will give you a helping hand by discussing the details that you may not know about.

1. Limited storage

Free hosts very rarely offer enough to support a growing website. If you are looking to create lots of content and to publish regular blogs then your storage requirements will be quite big. Most free hosts will provide a very limited amount of storage and therefore once you have used it all, you will need to upgrade to get more storage. So that free hosting solution doesn’t actually end up being free.

2. Your domain

Another factor to be wary of is that most free hosts will provide you with a sub domain of their own domain. So basically your web address will be pretty long and difficult for customers to remember, making it less likely for them to find your website. Some hosts will allow you to use your own domain for a fee. So again, you are paying for that service.

3. Limited bandwidth

Like with storage, you will probably have a limitation on how much bandwidth you are allocated. What this means is if your website suddenly becomes a huge success and you are getting high volumes of traffic, your host may not support this. And guess what? You’ve probably guessed it – you will need to upgrade.

4. Ads

Many hosts use the websites for which they provide free services to display business ads. This will generate money for them from other customers. Whilst this doesn’t involve you paying any money, what it can do is make your site look less professional, or can drive people away because they are annoyed by the ads. So you will probably be losing business that you would otherwise have gained, if the ads hadn’t influenced your website visitors. So in an indirect way, there are perhaps even higher costs related to this.

Now this might sound like we are totally against the use of free hosting but that is actually not the case. For some people a free hosting solution is worthwhile, people who don’t rely too heavily on it for business leads for example. It could also be helpful for people that just need a very basic site with very limited content so that their company can be searched on the internet to get their contact details.

If you cannot afford to pay around £5 per month to get a shared hosting package then free hosting may be the ideal solution. It will usually serve better than to have no website at all, as long as it looks professional and doesn’t drive visitors away.

This blog is listed under Server & Storage Management Community

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