[INFOGRAPHIC] Why You Should Not Settle with Free Web Hosting Services

[INFOGRAPHIC] Why You Should Not Settle with Free Web Hosting Services

There will come a time when you need to build a website–whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to create an online presence for your business or individuals looking to start their passion in blogging. For website newbies who are unsure on where to start, a familiar question is asked quite often: is it better to go with free or premium web hosting service for my website?

In today’s post, we will explain the difference between the two and provide you with a list of pros and cons so you know which one is best for you before you create your website or blog. Check out our infographic below to help you decide between free or premium web hosting services.

 

Should I use free web hosting services?

Free Web Hosting

Free web hosting service is great for those who just want a personal blog where they can share their hobbies or photos of their recent travels. Its ease of use is especially catered for those who don’t have the budget or time to learn the technical aspects required when hosting their own site. To get as many possible options for free web hosting, use these terms on popular search engines:

  • Free Web Hosting
  • Free Website Template
  • Free Blog Sites
  • Free Website Builder
  • Free Website Creator

For the search results, most of them should be free website builders out there but only a few will stand out.

A website builder is an all-in-one solution to get your website up and running with as little effort as possible. It will also provide with free domain name, hosting service and built-in design or template for you to help create an online presence for your website.

Pros

  • Free Domain Name – Users on a free plan will be provided with a simple domain name in this format: username.freewebsitebuilder.com/sitename.
  • Little to No Technical Skills Required – Going through the painful process of coding every web page of your site and testing them if they work will be the least of your worries because these free website builders makes it very easy for new users, or even those with zero web design skills can create their own website.
  • Easy Drag & Drop Interface – A website builder is like a magic box for non-web designers. It handles all the coding and programming in the background, providing a simple solution to users with zero design skills. You can create your website with minimal effort, through their drag-and-drop interface and text editing tools. It’s simple, quick and fuss-free.
  • Free Templates – They have pre-built templates and designs that offer the ability to tweak the colours, layout, font and design of the page.
  • Low to No Cost – The only resources required to use these website builders are your time and creativity. So you can save that money to hire a web designer!
  • Step-by-step Guide – From designing your own page, choosing your preferred website name to finally publishing your website, it’s all covered under their user-friendly guide.
  • Free Web Hosting – You are given a certain amount of hosting space for free. Once your website is created through a website builder, it will go live immediately.

Website builders are great for quick-fix solution. While these site builders may seem to cover all the basic things you need to power a website, you will definitely need more hosting resources than these free site builders will allow the moment your website grows its traffic over time. Let’s take a look at the other side of using a free web hosting service.

Cons

  • It’s Not Ad-Free – Website builders show their ads on your site for them to generate revenue. Their free service comes as a cost as well. Imagine what your viewers will think when they’ll see all these irrelevant and unprofessional ads plastered on your website. This might negatively affect your site reputation and thus, increase your site’s bounce rate because your visitors leave at first glance.
  • Lack of Flexibility in Design and Functionality – Your website is limited to whatever design or template is available. Customisation is only limited to certain elements so you may not be able to achieve the exact layout and look that you want. You won’t be able to add interactive features or plugins to boost your site’s performance as well.
  • You Don’t Own Your Content – Bad news. You don’t really own all the content posted on these free sites. If your website is flagged for spam or anything that’s against their policy, they can delete your content at any time and for any reason they deem inappropriate. Think of all the time and hard work you’ve spent go down the drain when that happens. In addition, if you decide to leave their service, all your content and work will be gone!
  • Website Migration – Not all website builders allow migration from their host to other web servers. Some of them are use a proprietary system that does not allow you to transfer content or design of your existing site. If your website is locked to their internal web host, you will have no control on how their web server performs, as well.
  • Customer and Technical Support – Website builders don’t provide 24/7 customer support for free users. Furthermore, you may not be supported for technical issues if you are using the free plans.
  • Page load times (shared hosting, sharing bandwidth) – Page load time is one of the most crucial factors to consider for a better user experience. Based on the statistics provided by KissMetrics, “A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion”. With website builders, you have no choice but to share hosting and bandwidth resources with the other users on the shared environment. Your page load speed may also be affected by other users on the same server, and what’s worse is that you have no control over it!
  • No Unique Domain Names – With free web hosting, you will be using the web host’s domain name, example: yourcompany.yourwebhostprovider.com instead of yourcompany.com. Keep in mind that a right domain name will help build your brand and you can’t achieve that goal if your domain name is hosted on free website builders. By using a paid web hosting service, your company website will appear professional and reliable to your customers.
  • No Advanced Features – There’s not much you can do to enhance the look and functionality of your site because there’s only a limited number of templates available. Interactive features like plugins, forums, shopping carts, and others are not available on free web hosting services.
  • Not Free Forever – With your site tied to their in-house hosting, it might even cost you more when you decide to upgrade to their premium plans later on. Some website builders offer free hosting or discounted introductory rates at the beginning but the succeeding rates are outrageously expensive. Make sure to check out the fine print at the bottom so you know what you are actually paying for.
  • Not SEO-Friendly – Website builders have improved as far as Search Engine Optimisation is concerned, but they are not as advanced as those with popular CMS like WordPress. It is easier to rank with a WordPress site due to its coding and wide array of SEO plugins available. Additionally, if you don’t have a unique domain name to start with, your site will have a hard time ranking in Google’s search engine.
  • Not Mobile-Responsive – There are themes and templates designed by website builders that are not 100% mobile-friendly. Some of them allow you to adjust your website’s view port to suit mobile devices. With Google’s Mobilegeddon, your search engine ranking results will drop even further if you’re site is not mobile-responsive.
  • Few web pages – Some only offer a single page and this may not enough if you have many content to post on your site. This reduces the amount of web pages that Google can crawl which means less traffic and searches going to your website.

With that being said, when should you use a free web hosting service?  Here are 4 tips to remember:

  • When you only need a simple platform to post your content
  • When you can’t 100% commit to managing your website regularly
  • When you have limited to no budget for web hosting
  • When you need a quick and easy solution to build an online presence

 

Premium Web Hosting

If you think that free web hosting is not suited for your needs, we suggest that you get a hosting plan for your website. This is great for those who want to run an online business or hope to get their personal blogs monetised in the future.

Pros

  • Complete control over your content – You own every content posted on your self-hosted website. Your website won’t easily be shut down for just about any reasons. As long as you’re not posting anything illegal in your country, then you have complete control over website.
  • More options for customisation – Paid hosting packages allow you to install plugins, play around with different themes and modify theme files when necessary.
  • Use your own ads – With paid web hosting, you have control over the adverts displayed on your website so you don’t put yourself in a situation where your competitor’s ads are shown on your website.
  • Cost-effective – From around $2 to $8 dollars each month, you can already get all the premium features from your web host like customer support, thousands of choices for plugins, themes, and others that are otherwise not available on free hosting. If you’re scrimping on a limited budget, you might want to choose the lowest rate hosting package that offers a good compromise that won’t cost you an arm or leg while allowing you some control on your site. Upgrade your plan only when you enough funds to do so.
  • SEO Credibility – Purchasing a unique domain name + web hosting package allows you to stand out from your competitors and adds credibility
  • Reliable Performance -With free hosting, you’re not guaranteed maximum performance at all times but with premium web hosting service, you’re paying for higher bandwidth and disk space so expect your website to experience less downtime and faster page load speed.

Cons

  • You need to update the website yourself
  • You need to regularly perform backups. However, there are hundreds of useful plugins to help you with that.

 

Which one should you choose?

If you only want a website as a personal blog and do not intend to generate income from it, by all means, choose free web hosting. However, you might want to also think a few steps ahead because chances are your blog will soon grow and you will need to upgrade to accommodate the spike in traffic and other hosting requirements. Get your online presence right from the start so you can prevent yourself from any major headaches down the line.

With Vodien, you get reliably fast web hosting service to take your website or blog to the next level. For as little as S$10 a month, you can enjoy 24/7 SuperSupport, unmetered bandwidth, one-click auto installer, user-friendly control panels, web hosting from enterprise-grade servers based in Singapore, scheduled backups and free Premium WordPress themes to help you get started with your website building experience. To discuss the right hosting package for you, make sure to CLICK on the link below.

Vodien 24/7 Managed Web Hosting

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