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Should I Choose a Free Web Hosting Solution?

Getting something for free is always appealing but you always have that thought – ‘what is the catch?’ Businesses rarely give something away for free unless they are getting something in return. It could be to get good PR for a perceived good deed or it could be because the free offering can generate income for them in different ways.

When it comes to free web hosting solutions, getting something for free can be good as long as it matches your requirements. For example, someone looking to set up a website to showcase a hobby or a community group etc. However, if you are looking for a web hosting solution for your business, you are probably better to avoid free web hosting, unless you are completely limited in terms of budget.

So what it is that prevents free web hosting from being a good option for businesses?

For a start, you are massively restricted on what you can do with a free web hosting solution. To elaborate on that, you will have a limited amount of space. So if you are looking to create regular content like blogs or want to upload lots of files, you may find that you run out of space pretty quickly. When the space runs out, you will either need to start removing content or you will need to upgrade to a premium hosting account.

As well as limited space, you are going to get limited bandwidth. For businesses that send out marketing campaigns to boost traffic to the website, you could see your website grind to an untimely halt. Limited bandwidth is fine if you don’t expect many visitors to your website but for businesses, that is not going to help you generate customers. In fact, if you go with a free host and send out a campaign and your target audience arrive at a page that is unavailable, it will do more damage than good for your company.

Adverts are one of the ways that web hosts are able to generate income and when you set up a website with a free host, you have no control over how your website is used. If your host wants to display all kinds of ads all over your website, there is nothing that you can do to stop them. This could get quite annoying for your visitors and can make the site look unprofessional.

Another reason people stay away from free web hosting is because you are not able to use our own domain, you have the one that the host provides. This makes for a long, difficult to remember website address, which isn’t good for marketing. You can however pay to use your own domain with some free hosting options.

Customer service can be really important if something goes wrong or you need help setting up your website. You are not going to get any customer support at all if you go with a free web host, so make sure you think about how you would resolve technical issues. Paying a web specialist is likely to cost a whole lot more than a premium web host package.

To summarise, if you are looking for a professional business website, the better option will be a paid web hosting solution. You can get a shared web hosting package for around £5 per month which will provide customer service, unlimited storage/bandwidth, allows your own domain and even provides easy to use website building tools.

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