how free web hosting can hurt your website

Websites are becoming more and more important to businesses these days to build an online presence. While talking about websites, it is important to know about web hosting. Web hosting is something you will need to build a website. You will see that there are free and paid web hosting options, as well.

A well-planned website is all you need to establish a strong brand. A good website will help with your business’s marketing. When you do a search for companies providing web hosting, you will come across several companies offering free hosting for your website. You will also come across paid services. Just like anyone else, you might consider going for a free service over a paid one as you might think both will offer the same service. Many new website owners on a budget tend to go for free hosting services. If you do so, sooner or later, you will only realize that you made a huge mistake by choosing a free hosting service. Though free services might sound like a good deal, there will be a lot of drawbacks. There could be hidden charges and you might end up paying more.

This article lists the disadvantages of using free web hosting. If you are looking for free web hosting, then this article is for you. If you are wondering what could be the possible drawbacks, keep reading to understand why it is a bad idea to go for a free hosting provider. Here are the disadvantages of free web hosting.

1. Performance

Most free hosting providers do not provide good performance, which is one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to websites. The user experience will not be as you expected if your website is slow. Your site needs to be fast for a better user experience. Your visitors could leave your website and avoid visiting your website in the future if it is not fast. Likewise, you may not be able to generate leads if the user experience is not good. If your website involves advanced dynamic elements, your free hosting provider’s servers may not be able to handle it, and eventually, your site will slow down. This is bad for SEO, as well, as search engines are not very fond of free websites and free websites are penalized. As a result of that, your rankings will drop.

To avoid this, you will need to go for a premium web host, as such hosting providers will host only a certain number of websites on a server. This will help improve your website’s performance and your website will run fast. Removing unused plugins, themes, etc., and redundant scripts, etc., will also help improve the overall performance of your website.

2. Security & Privacy

With cyberattacks increasing day by day and security breaches happening almost every day, it is crucial to secure your website. You will need to go for a secure hosting provider if you wish to keep your website and your users’ data secure. Free hosting providers may be able to provide only basic protection but not firewalls and other essential security features.

Free hosting providers will be able to access and delete important files or resources you uploaded to your website. They may not have proper privacy rules and your data may not be completely private with free web hosts. But, this may not be the case with paid web hosting providers as they will have proper privacy rules and they may not access your files unless or until there is a need to troubleshoot an issue.

3. Hidden Charges

Most free hosting providers are not completely free. They may let you sign up for free and ask you to pay in order to use certain features. They do not notify users of these hidden charges upfront. This way, they deceive their users as they initially claim to be completely free but later ask for a payment.

4. Bandwidth and Disc Space

You could easily run out of bandwidth as free hosting providers come with caps on bandwidth. When you run out of bandwidth, your site will slow down, and as a result of which, you will lose customers and readers.

Even if there is unlimited bandwidth, there might be restrictions on the disc space. With insufficient bandwidth and disc space, you may not be able to maintain your website.

5. WordPress

Servers of most free hosting providers cannot run WordPress as WordPress requires more resources to run. Many of them do not let users install WordPress and if users are allowed to install it, the hosting provider’s servers may not be able to run it. You will only run into errors and you’ll end up having a bad WordPress experience.

6. They May Sell Personal Information

Free hosting providers also have to make money to operate and run their businesses. Most of them make money by selling their users’ personal information, which includes their email addresses, phone numbers, etc. But this may not be the case with a paid service and your personal information will be safe with paid services.

7. Your Site Could Disappear

Without prior notice, free hosting providers can shut down your website. In such cases, you will not be able to back up your data and you will end up losing your site and data, as well. Likewise, these services can shut down at any time. If they stop offering hosting services, your website will be shut down and you will lose your data, along with your website.

8. Irrelevant Ads

Free hosting providers display irrelevant ads on their users’ websites to make money. You might spend a lot of time creating quality content for your website, but they can ruin it all in just a fraction of seconds by displaying intrusive ads that can even sabotage your reputation and business. This is one of the important reasons to stay away from free web hosting providers. That is because you may not have any control over the type of ads that appear on your website. Apart from slowing down your website, these ads will also provide an extremely poor user experience.

Free web hosting providers make money through these ads and there are also chances of your hosting providers placing your competitors’ ads on your website for a payment. This will eventually sabotage your business. At the same time, as the hosting provider runs its own ads, you will not be allowed to run ads. Adding Google Adsense or affiliate links to your website will also be impossible.

9. Poor or No Support

If something goes wrong with your website, you will not be able to get in touch with the support team. You will only have to keep waiting for someone to resolve your issue, but you may not receive a response at all. That is because most free web hosting providers do not have a customer support team, so you may not have anyone to reach out to in case of issues with your website. But, with paid hosting services, you will receive prompt responses. As issues can arise at any time, it is crucial to have a strong customer support team that can help users with quick resolutions.

10. Limited Webpages

Free web hosting services will pose a limit on the number of web pages your website can have under the free plan. While a few pages or just a single page website may be sufficient for some users, it may not be enough for websites that are looking for growth and users who would like to add more pages to their website in the future.

11. Downtime

The servers of free hosting providers might go offline very often for various reasons like hardware failure, etc. Frequent outages will sabotage your business and you may not be able to build your brand. Reputable hosting providers offer a 99 percent uptime guarantee. But you may not come across any free web hosting providers offering such a guarantee.

12. Impossible to Transfer Your Website

If you had ever read the terms of service of free hosting providers, you might have understood that the hosting provider and not you will own all the content and images published on your website. You may not be able to claim ownership of your website and domain. This, in turn, means you cannot sell your domain name or republish your content or images. You also may not be able to transfer your hosting to a different hosting provider. You will only be left with just the option of upgrading to paid services your free hosting provider offers, which could be expensive. You will not be able to transfer to a reliable provider, as you basically don’t own the domain or the content. But this may not be the case with paid hosting providers and they will let users transfer to a different hosting provider at any time.

Top Trustworthy Hosting Providers

WooCommerce Hosting

Used by millions of large and small businesses across the globe, WooCommerce hosting is one of the most trustworthy hosting providers. It offers exceptional performance and speed. People who wish to sell products online, can use its platform to design large and small stores online.

We recommend A2Hosting, BlueHost, and DreamHost, as they offer best-in-class security features and will help you create a secure online WooCommerce store.

Drupal Hosting

Drupal is an impressive content management system that comes with strong security features. Using its reliable platform, people looking to set up their online stores can build their websites quickly. Despite being quite unpopular when compared to its counterparts, Joomla and WordPress, Drupal can be used to build small and large websites, blogs, e-commerce websites, and forums. It comes with limited features but is a powerful platform for creating websites.

Rochen, Cloudways, and GlowHost are the three Drupal hosting providers we recommend. These providers are sure to offer superb performance and security.

Magento Hosting

A flexible e-commerce platform, Magento lets users customize their online stores based on their requirements. It comes with cost-effective programs and developer-friendly features, using which businesses can build online storefronts.

If you are looking for a secure Magento hosting provider, we recommend going for Fastcomet, A2Hosting, or Nexcess. These hosting providers are secure and reliable.

Joomla Hosting

Another popular content management system, Joomla, is a great choice for building e-commerce websites and other corporate websites. This popular platform is also used to build simple blogs for publishing content and also for high-traffic websites.

Among the hosting providers we tested, we found Rochen, Fastcomet, and InMotion to be the best on the market when it comes to Joomla hosting. These hosting providers offer a secure Joomla hosting solution.

WordPress Hosting

One of the most popular platforms and the one used by millions across the globe, WordPress, is a great choice for building small and large websites and blogging sites. It is easy to use and this makes it popular among businesses looking to build an online presence.

We tested quite a few WordPress hosting providers and Hostinger, Bluehost, and A2Hosting are the best among the ones we tested. These providers offer built-in security features so that you just have to focus on building your website as the provider will manage the security features.

The Final Word

While there are free as well as premium hosting providers, it is important to choose the right one for your website. If you want to keep your website very simple and you are not looking forward to adding new web pages to your site later, you can use a free web hosting service. But if you wish to grow your business and add more pages to your website, you will need a paid hosting plan. Paid web hosting does not have to be expensive. You will only spend a little on web hosting, but in return, you will get a better bandwidth limit, better security and privacy, and more. A good hosting provider will help you improve your website and save a lot of time, as well.