Loving free things is natural. Free lunch, free shopping and possibly a free Lamborghini. After all, the constitution doesn’t spell a jail sentence for being a miser. Thus when setting up a website, the temptation is engrossing to go for the free web hosting and pocket some dollars – especially your hard-earned dollars.
The enchantment of free web hosting is quite irresistible, right? They promise you a scintillating website without you spending a dime. Some woo you further by offering you a “free domain”. Such heavenly generosity!
What if I tell you not to accept those charming offers of free web hosting? Yes, the ensnarement is one regrettable dungeon you don’t want to be imprisoned in. While free web hosting has this momentary glow about it, it is far too fleeting to be worth the migraine that comes with it.
The downsides to free web hosting are voluminously devastating. You don’t want to be caught in all that menace just because you want to save some few bucks.
It is true that not every free web hosting provider is that catastrophic. Albeit, none promise you the smooth ride you envisage. Better not to start what you can’t finish. So if you were already popping champagne in celebration that you have hosted your website for free – a jackpot- sorry to burst your bubble. Here are some reasons why you should speedily abandon the thought of using a free web hosting.
- You share it all
If you were expecting privacy on shared hosting, you probably would be expecting snow in summer. It is that impossible! Practically, with shared hosting you are sharing the server with thousands of other websites. So just like the family (of lovers of free things), you share everything.
So when one website on the free hosting has a bug, well, you guys share it all affectionately. So in one spirit of comradeship, all sites crash together when one unexpectedly crashes. Hence think about it, do you want to be part of such spontaneous instability? Do you want to share that type of sacrificial communion?
- There is little or no support
Thinking of support on free web hosting? Wake up dear; you are hallucinating! Anticipating adequate support from your host is almost as ungrateful as expecting someone who gave you a free house to still come and do the dishes for you! So on a free web hosting, if your website crashes suddenly, well you are all on your own.
Equally, if you are expecting updates on a free web hosting, you may as well wish Christmas was on December 26! Simply, such luxuries are non-existent. And till you choose to go for a paid web hosting, you may have to gulp all that pain in deliciously and keep soaking your pillow with tears.
- Impromptu and regular shutting down of free web hosts
On a free web hosting, eviction can be so erratic – you can be thrown out any day. It is a known fact that many free hosting companies shut down on a daily basis. You may wake up a day, have some nice coffee, and type your URL into your address bar hoping to find that beautiful website of yours – but it is no more, vanished into the thin digital air!
Welcome to reality, that is the spontaneity of free web hosting providers. Today these providers are sparkling (looking to last forever), and tomorrow they are gone permanently. They wouldn’t even have the courtesy to inform you ahead (kind of prior notice) to move your website. They just close shop impulsively, and it is Au Revoir! This is why you shouldn’t be thinking of getting a free web hosting.
What is the essence of energetically investing precious hours building your website only for it to disappear into oblivion without warning? It would have been better if you spent that washing your neighbor’s car. It wouldn’t be that wasteful (compared to spending it on a free website) because who knows he might invite you for dinner – one of these days.
- Such miserable paucity of resources
On free web hosting, you will be painfully starved of resources for your website. Yes, when you go on free web hosting, you will barely get enough resources that your site needs to function optimally. There are limitations left right and center — limited disc space, limited bandwidth, limited number or email accounts.
You wouldn’t be able to upload any media file. Such bondage! It is clear your website is in “prison” having been milked of every drop of freedom. It would have been nice if the malady ended there, but no! On a free web hosting, CGI doesn’t work, Perl scripts don’t work as well. In most cases, you are abandoned with a single catch-all email to use for everything.
There is strong limitation on getting multiple accounts. With a biting limitation on storage and memory amidst a bulk of things you can’t do, you could even have more freedom in jail.
- Please don’t think of branding
A free web hosting is like a house you can’t furnish. You can’t do anything significant in branding. The design and the functionality of the website is autocratically foisted on you. There is very minimal space for customization.
In most cases, the hosting providers will reserve exclusive rights to the branding leaving with no space for inventive maneuver or tweaking.
There is minimal opportunity to control the website from your end. A subdomain could restrict URLS. The templates too in most cases can’t be manipulated. It is like the hosting provider yelling at you ” take it or leave it!” There is also a very limited avenue for modification as to the graphics. It is more like you are “sentenced” to the website as you barely have a choice of expressing yourself on the design of the website.
Therefore with sparse space for branding, there is no way you would aesthetically polish the website enough to reflect your personality and creativity. Thus what is the need to have a site that you are not proud enough to call your own?
- The servers notoriously overflow
Overflowing of servers is one common malaise when it comes to free web hosts. The communicability of viruses as well as prohibited materials is not rare.
This is because the server is overloaded. And as is common with overpopulated areas, disease outbreak is common. All these will impede the performance of your website as revealed in slow loading, a proliferation of spammy materials on your site. Yes this will lethally hurt the credibility of your website.
- Kindly forget about anything SEO
On free websites, search engine optimization is yet a fantasy. How diligently do you avoid your creditors? Fine, that is how Google and other search engines will avoid you on free web hosting. This is no prejudice. Basically, you lack sufficient access to a free website to adequately optimize into better alignment with the algorithms of search engines.
Don’t forget most of the design and templates are forced on you tearfully with little space for customization. Many free web host will not shut you off from accessing the meta description and title tag. Regrettably, the meta description and the title tag are what the billions on Google see on the search results for their queries. Also on a free website, there is an embargo on the plugins you can use. These limitations are going to hurt your SEO for sure.
Therefore barred from appearing on search engine results, the only way people are going to access your website is when they possibly type your URL in their address bar. Now, how many would have the cognitive energy to memorize your URL especially as it is going to be long being a free hosting. Or how many people would have the time to be typing in your lengthy URL when they have many matches to catch up on Tinder?
Google for one despises free hosting. And even with the most delectable content, Google would still rank a paid hosting more than your free website. Does this sound unfair? So the million dollar question now is: what is the need of having such a stunning website with spellbinding content if no one is going to see it? Or perhaps, the site is reserved strictly for you and your family to browse after dinner!
- Sorry, you can’t sell your blog
For one reason or another, you may want to sell your blog. Yet on a free host, you don’t have the option of selling your blog. Oh, it is not really “YOUR” blog in the first place. If you take some time to read through the heap of terms and conditions from your free hosting provider, you will see that technically the ownership of the website is not yours.
Now, upon signing up for free hosting, what you get is a “free domain name.” This could be something like dolly.itisfree.com. Fundamentally, this is seriously unprofessional if you have serious business in mind. Also apparently you see that the site address is not actually yours. Therefore don’t make the mistake of thinking you own the domain name.
Should the free hosting services shut down, your lovely website and your supposedly owned domain name would be among the deceased in the casualty list. Therefore you can’t sell your blog on free hosting. This could be heartbreaking if you were already dreaming of selling your free website for some hefty thousands. Sorry we all dream, I even dreamt of being the President at 19!
- The excessive pop-up ads would make you throw up
On a free hosting, you are going to be tortured with overwhelmingly excessive pop-up ads. Come on, you think you were really going to have that website for FREE?
Sure, not paying for a server space will inevitably drain the provider. Since they can’t chase you out, there are going to explore alternative ways of payment – this is you painfully paying in kind.
Therefore your hosting provider is going to drench you with pop-up ads. This could extend to spamming your page with unnecessitated banner ads and all that. The idea is that the hosting is desperately hoping to recover the cost of the free hosting when someone clicks on the ads. Now think about how this is going to hurt your visitors.
It is going to be a frustrating nuisance for your visitors when these annoying ads keep jumping on their screens uninvited. With your website flamboyantly dressed in advertisements, your visitors will be discouraged from visiting your site. This is because they would spend more time closing ads than they would enjoying your content.
So are you willing to compensate for the freeness of your website with the user experience of your visitors? The longer your visitors snarl in angry disapproval of the invading ads, the shorter they would spend on your site. And possibly they wouldn’t come back again for fear of being bathed with irrelevant ads. Even worse, being a free website, your visitors are naturally going to be few. Thus these ads would still chase the scanty visitors you have away. So painful!
- Moving a free website is more difficult than wooing the Kardashians
If you are thinking of moving your website on a free hosting, prepare for World War III. It is enormously difficult. Often most of the impediments you face when moving your site to another hosting provider, are deliberately planted by the free host you want to leave.
They don’t want you to break up with them so easily like some smart casanova who used and dumped them. Most times you either have the option of paying them or bading goodbye to your website. Hard choices, aren’t they?
- Oh I almost forgot, you are NOT making a dime from a free website
That hurts, doesn’t it? Yet it is the blunt reality. You can’t monetize a free website. A considerable fraction of free host providers will not allow you to place ads on your site. In most cases, affiliate links are vehemently forbidden. This is disappointing if you hoped to pocket some bucks from the website.
So in face of these “mountain” of problems and limitations, do you think it is worth it going for free hosting? You don’t need to be an MIT genius before you know a resounding NO is the answer.
Fortunately, not all paid plans are expensive. There are ridiculously affordable paid hosting providers like SiteGround that allow you to keep your sanity yet still pay so little. So, in the end, you don’t need to be regularly popping BP pills just because you have a free website. The best things in life are free…but definitely not a free website!
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