Top 5 reasons why free web hosting is a mistake for your business website

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Your online presence matters - free web hosting might not suit your needs

You’ve heard the saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” right? The same can be said of a free service. If you find yourself in search of the best free web hosting service for your website, read on.

These days, many hosting companies claim to allow anyone to host and build their websites for free. Although in principle many of them appear to do so, a closer look shows that the results are quite the opposite.

Many small business owners who are starting out often fail to see the true cost of a free web hosting service. Most of them only realise later how far they can actually go with them.

Free web hosting comes with several downsides such as lack of stability, customisation and not having a domain name of your own.

If you are not sure why you should pay for web hosting and a good hosting provider, this guide will elaborate some of the main reasons why it is worth it.

  • You won’t get a good domain on a free website
  • Storage & bandwidth limitations
  • SEO
  • Lack of backup
  • A paid subscription for hosting is affordable

1. It’s tough to get a good domain on a free website

Man Looking At Laptop Screen

Dear business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, let me tell you something, a free website builder to create your business website is not the greatest idea.

I’ll tell you why.

Website builders will not give you a domain name of your choice. Instead, you get a sub-domain name that will look like it has nothing to do with your business.

For example:

Yourbusinessname.freewebhostingsite.com

Not really professional-looking, right?

Who wants to type anything that long these days? And on top of that, they’re not easy for your customers to remember.

This happens because the site address you are provided with is not really your own.

Also, these types of URLs will affect your brand’s ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). But we’ll talk more about SEO below.

Now you must keep in mind that picking the right domain name is a very crucial step to your online presence. It must be catchy, relatable, short and easy to read. In case you’re having a creative block, this guide can help you out by choosing the perfect domain name.

Keep reading below, you’ll find that after all, it’s not that costly to create a top-tier website with all the features your business needs, and most importantly, that you can call your own.

2. Storage & bandwidth limitations

Bandwidth limitation is the next thing you should be aware of.

You want your site to attract as many visitors as possible to increase your conversion opportunities.

But chances are that a free site won’t make the cut.

 

Ideally, you would want your website to grow as your business expands. But in reality, here’s where your free hosting plan will bring some constraints.

Free hosting plans typically limit your bandwidth to a few gigabytes per month, which doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realise how quickly those GBs can disappear if you aren’t careful about using images or video on your website.

In other words, once the allotted bandwidth has been used up, your site will take longer to upload.

… and nobody likes a slow site.

That’s why you should consider investing in a premium hosting plan straight off the bat and give your visitors the ultimate experience when they are first exposed to your brand.

In case you need help, GoDaddy can help you set up and host your online business in a place where you have full control over your site for a reasonable price.

3. SEO who?

This is yet another common problem people face with free web hosting plans.

While working with free platforms to build a website, people often overlook the fact that they would most likely perform poorly in terms of SEO. Thus, getting little to no traffic (defeating the very purpose of having a website altogether).

There are two main reasons for this.

First and foremost, most, if not all, of these platforms don’t have any SEO features built-in.

Secondly, most free platforms use limited content management systems which don’t allow you to code properly or add additional elements to your web pages.

Website traffic is one of the most important factors for a website to stand out. If you want higher conversion rates you need to think about how to bring people in organically (Without ads, or buying backlinks).

As you can see, not all websites are created equal.

In this age where everyone is fighting to be in the digital spotlight, SEO is your ally. You can check our thorough SEO guide to understand in-depth how to rank your site at the top of SERPs and get substantial traffic.

Let me just say that unfortunately, Google tends to ignore free websites as it assumes their quality isn’t that great. Thus, harming your reach.

4. Lack of backup

Data Files 

If you’re using a free website provider you may be putting your site at risk.

Why?

Well.. these services do not offer any substantial security for your content and also make it difficult to backup properly. In the unfortunate event of a data breach or server outage, you might lose your website and all the work you’ve put in.

 Free web hosting services do not make regular backups of their systems to prevent data loss. 

 

With the possibility of losing all your content, database and website at any time, hackers can easily take advantage of this and gain access to your information.

Sure you can still use these platforms for blogging and other basic tasks, but if you’re running an eCommerce store or selling anything online paying for a hosting service is the safest way to go.

A paid plan offers full customisation and plugins to improve the browsing experience for your visitors. Owning your own domain also gives you the ability to backup and restore your site properly because you can easily upload files or databases to the server yourself.

Free website providers are free, but that’s pretty much it.

5. A great web hosting service will only cost you a few dollars per month

There’s nothing really free. But a good cheap hosting provider? That’s very likely!

Once you hit a dead end with free web hosting, you will likely have to pay for hosting. If you’ve read all the way here, you might have come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately, a lot of people still think that a great website will cost thousands.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth!

A premium website doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can have a great site for a few dollars per month, and you don’t need to be an expert in coding or design.

Remember: There’s a big difference between trying to be frugal and not investing in your business.

Websites have become an integral part of marketing strategies across all industries. Now more than ever those starting out their online business journey should invest in a professional website early on to solidify their presence in the online space.

Godaddy can help you out with all you need to know about web hosting to make the right choice in your online journey.

At this point, It’s a no brainer to choose a premium hosting plan if you want to be in this for the long run and have a thriving business.

Free websites are not the best way to meet your business needs.

Three People In A Meeting Room 

Truth is, all free web hosting providers will restrict you in one way or another. They could limit how much traffic you can receive each month, or the amount of space that you have to upload files. Some might not provide you with enough tools to increase your visibility.

GoDaddy believes that no business should have any limitations on what they can do with their website. Your website is one of the most important digital assets for your brand. This is why we would love to be a part of your website success.

Ready to sell from home with a reliable web host? Then consider trying our E-store which provides you with all the features you need to make a lasting impression with your potential clients.

Boris Lee is an overly-enthusiastic storyteller and late night pizza fan turned copywriter under the pen name ‘Nitai’. Over the past 5 years, Boris has created content for a variety of clients around the world in the fields of tech, mental health, business and education.