Free website hosting is a horrible decision if you plan to use your website for your business or to make a profit. Even for a personal website, it’s not a good idea for many reasons.
You Lose Control
When you choose a free hosting option, such as blogger.com, Google hosting or another one of the popular free choices, you lose control. If the owner of the hosting doesn’t like what you publish, they can shut you down. Imagine if you worked on your site, built a blog and had hundreds of visitors every day, and then you were shut down.
You’d be very upset and you’d lose all your work. Every last bit of content would be gone and they don’t even have to tell you why. This is very possible with a free website hosting company because you don’t have control over your website.
Can’t Use a Real Domain Name
Most free hosting options only allow you to use a subdomain of their main domain. Some don’t even give you this. Instead, you end up with some long URL that you cannot easily remember compared to a website, such as www.yoursite.com.
Without the ability to use your own domain name, free hosting is useless for branding your business. Even for a personal site, it’s much easier to tell others to go to www.yourname.com than a URL with five slashes and all types of extra characters.
If you plan to blog for the long term, use multiple videos or add many images to your site, free hosting won’t work for you. It will come with limits and you will reach those limits sooner rather than later. This will cause many issues as you will quickly find out you have to delete things to put up new posts, images or videos.
Difficult to Transfer
Except for moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, transferring a site from a free web hosting option to a paid hosting option isn’t easy. Most will have to be done by hand with copy and paste, which can take days.
If you set you your new website on a self-hosted platform, such as WordPress, it can easily be moved to another host, if necessary. This is a far better option than choosing a free hosting company just to find out it’s worthless.
An Alternative to Free Hosting for Your Website
As soon as you realize free hosting isn’t a good idea, it’s time to find an alternative. If you’re working with a very tight budget, the alternative may be a shared hosting account. This is the cheapest option available and will give you far more resources and plenty of control compared to a free website hosting company.
With shared website hosting, you can upgrade when you need more space, use your own domain name (even host multiple domains, if necessary) and get the help of the support team if you need it. The best part, shared hosting can be found for less than $50 per year.