There are a ton of options out there when it comes to choosing a reliable hosting plan, but one of the most common mistakes that people make when starting their website is choosing free hosting over a higher quality paid service
“But it’s free!” you say. And while yes, choosing a free hosting plan seems like an obvious win, there’s a lot more at stake than a few bucks saved on web hosting. A free hosting plan is less ideal than a normal, paid plan for the following reasons.
Unwanted advertising on your website
If you aren’t paying for hosting, your provider needs to make money another way. This often means that they will insert their own advertisements onto your website, where they will make a profit from any ad revenue that comes through. It also means you have no control over which companies and services advertise on your website, and you may end up with ads that you’d rather not be associated with.
Because free hosting often crams numerous websites onto a single server, bandwidth limitations can cause you serious problems down the line. Free hosting dramatically limits that amount of visitors your website can handle at a time, and your site could be shut down without warning if you surpass those limits. If you expect to grow your web traffic over time, a paid service is definitely the way to go.
Lack of ownership
Here’s the stark truth: If you don’t pay for your website, you don’t own it—your free hosting provider does. If you look carefully at Google’s Terms of Service, it makes it clear that although you own the intellectual property of your website, its “container,” so to speak, is owned by Google. That also means that if your hosting provider decides they don’t like your content, they can remove it at any time without warning. This is a fairly common practice among free hosting providers, and can sometimes result in websites being completely lost if they’re unexpectedly suspended.
That free domain is not all it’s cracked up to be
Many free hosting websites also offer a free domain name as well. But what many people may not realize is that the free domain you’re getting is actually a subdomain for their website. So instead of yourcoolsite.com, you’ll have the domain yourcoolsite.freehostingprovider.com. No only are you essentially giving them free advertising every time you share your website with someone else, but you also look less professional and trustworthy.
Finding a reliable, paid hosting plan that has a high percentage of guaranteed uptime and plenty of bandwidth it a smart idea for anyone who is serious about their website. With different levels of hosting plans available to website owners, you can easily find a plan the suits your needs at a reasonable price.