Free vs Paid Website Hosting

by Mike on October 8, 2008
in Hosting

Free vs Paid Website Hosting

Many newbies to the world of blogging and website building think they can save themselves some money by using a free web host. And while they do save themselves a few bucks a month, they cost themselves a lot more in the end. In this showdown of free vs paid website hosting the winner is clear…and its a knockout.

Here are 7 reasons why free website hosting sucks…

1. Your domain name looks like crap.  If you use a free service to host your site or blog you’ll have a domain that looks similar to these:

http://www.geocities.com/mikecollins/

http://mikecollins.blogspot.com/

You don’t really have your own domain, you’re just piggybacking on someone elses.  It looks amateurish and if you’re trying to build an online business no one will take you seriously.  They’ll just think, “What kind of business can’t afford the $9 a year for their own domain?”

2.  Most free hosts severely limit the amount of disk space you have to build your site. You’ll only have enough room to build a few pages and then you’ll quickly run out of room. 

3.  In addition to space limitations you’ll also get slapped with a bandwidth cap.  As soon as your site becomes even mildly popular you’ll exceed the cap and your site will be shut off.  No one will be able to access your site until the cap is lifted at the end of the month.  That’s just an insane way to do business.

4.  Offering web hosting services for free is probably not the most profitable business plan.  In order to actually make some money or at least break even free hosting providers impose their own advertising on your site.  Check out this typical geocities site to see what I mean.  Do you think the guy who created all the content on that page makes money off those ads to the right?  BUZZ!!  Wrong!  Geocities does.  Nothing like giving away your visitors for free!

5.  Most free hosts don’t offer any domain based email.  In other words you won’t be able to have an address like me@yourdomain.com.  This isn’t the end of the world as I actually prefer to use Gmail most of the time anyway…but it does look more professional to have a real email address that matches your domain. 

6.  One of the biggest expenses web hosting providers face is customer support.  A well-trained and effective customer support team doesn’t come cheap.  Many free hosting providers get around this by severely limiting support.  Others eliminate it altogether.  Now if your site is down or you run into technical problems, wouldn’t it be nice to know you had someone to turn to?  Even the cheapest of paid hosting services offer 24 hour support and you’ll be glad its there when you need it. 

7.  When it comes to free website hosting…you don’t actually own anything.  You’re simply borrowing space on someone else’s site and they can take it away at any time and without warning.  Awhile back there was a big uproar over Blogger blogs being deleted without notice.  Lots of bloggers lost all of their original content and had to start over from scratch.  What if your host deletes your account (on purpose or by accident) or goes out of business?  You’ll lose everything. 

So there we have it.  The battle of free vs paid website hosting is over.  By now you should see the importance of finding a reliable web host and price shouldn’t be your only concern.  Look for a reliable host that offers a combination of features you need for an affordable price.  And be sure to check out web host reviews to see what actual customers are saying before making a decision.

Comments

18 Responses to “Free vs Paid Website Hosting”
  1. Jason Fulton (19 comments.) says:

    I totally agree. Hosting is cheap compared to what you are able to do with your site. Free hosting sites normally put their own advertising all over your website which takes the attention away from what your really trying to do.

    Take the leap and register a domain name.

    Jason

  2. Shoto Azikuri (2 comments.) says:

    Of course paid hosting is better then free, so you can start with blogger or wordpress.com and make little money for domain and hosting and then start your own business.

    I use bluehost and i have total freedom it is great when you do everything what you want on your blog or site.

  3. zolar (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve using free and pay hosting..
    There’s a pro and cons..
    I agree that free site has a limited but a pay hosting sometimes easily to hack and get more problem…

    zolars last blog post..100 Million Dollar Challenge

  4. Melvin (2 comments.) says:

    No doubt paid hosting works better. But you always have to also consider the budget. Free hosting is criticized so much but the thing is its free and harldy cost anything for people to try

    Melvins last blog post..You Always Have To Rotate

  5. Sly from SlyVisions dot Com (5 comments.) says:

    Go with paid hosting all the way! It’s the only way you can be successful at any online business.

    Great post by the way. :)

    Sly from SlyVisions dot Coms last blog post..Where Is The Sly Guy?

  6. Mike Collins says:

    @Melvin, its not always the cost in dollars that’s most important. Its the cost in terms of what you give up when you use a free host. Losing visitors to ads that you don’t get paid for sucks. Lack of support and downtime can cost you serious profits. And if the host suddenly deletes your site you’re out of luck.

  7. Bruno Auger (5 comments.) says:

    I personally think if you can go buy a cup of coffee a few times a week you can buy hosting for like $3-$5/month.

    Bruno Augers last blog post..How to Make your Blog a Success

  8. Sly from SlyVisions dot Com (5 comments.) says:

    @ Melvin – Yes, budget might be important, but think about what Bruno said. If you can buy anything for $3, why not use that $3 for monthly hosting?

    Sly from SlyVisions dot Coms last blog post..Quick Links – October 11, 2008

  9. Christopher Ross (15 comments.) says:

    Funny thing to me is that way businesses view their online presence so differently from their ‘real word’ businesses. They would never think of skimping on a mailing address but I suspect a lot of the problems they’re facing is from leaving their online web presence to the IT guy instead of appreciating the marketing value of it.

    Christopher Rosss last blog post..Google Changes the Way SERP’s are Displayed

  10. Dennis Edell (46 comments.) says:

    I couldn’t even count how many times I’ve gone over this with beginning readers so far…but that’s my job ;)

    Dennis Edells last blog post..Do Advertisers Judge You By Design? What Do You Think…

  11. Yan (12 comments.) says:

    Budget aside, I guess most beginners are unaware of the real benefits of paid hosting so article like this is what they need to read before they decide to choose between the two.

    Perhaps, they probably aren’t even aware that there is such thing as paid hosting. Good stuff, Mike.

    Yan

    Yans last blog post..Stop! Step Back and Think! by Miss Gullible

  12. Dennis Edell (46 comments.) says:

    I’d say the main problem starts at the very beginning…they hear all the ways they can make millions per year with no cash outlay…

    Ugh.

    Dennis Edells last blog post..Do Advertisers Judge You By Design? What Do You Think…

  13. Rhys - Monetize Your Site (1 comments.) says:

    At least when you buy hosting, you are in control of what happens – as long as you don’t rent from ‘cowboys’!

    Having your own domain name ans associated e-mail is a really big PLUS.

    Rhys – Monetize Your Sites last blog post..How To Hide Adsense From Social Traffic

  14. fun info (2 comments.) says:

    I use free hosting only for dummy blogging. For main site or blog, paid hosting is a must for me.

    fun infos last blog post..MSI Wind U120, The new series of MSI netbook

  15. Funny Stuff (15 comments.) says:

    I never go for free hosts. I used to try them when I was learning HTML, but now, I refuse to use free hosts because they can never be relied on.

    Funny Stuffs last blog post..The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Gangsta Version

  16. Web design SEO (6 comments.) says:

    I wish to make my own website using Microsoft FrontPage.. Are there any web hosting sites that provide services of uploading a microsoft FRontPage site?? It can be paid. Thanks

  17. Mike says:

    Most of the popular shared hosting services allow frontpage extensions.

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