Free web hosting is not always free, it’s usually bad and ends up costing money.
Understandably when reading this headline, you may view my motives with skepticism. I’m writing about how free web hosting is a bad thing and I just happen to offer web hosting I charge for. Like I said, understandable, I’d probably be a little skeptical too, but please bear with me.
We’ve all heard the old adage many times:
nothing in life is free.
And how about this one:
you get what you pay for.
Free Web Hosting
This Wikipedia article gives a good explanation of free web hosting. Remember, were specifically talking about free web hosting and why it’s not free (and Bad). Let me explain why I say this.
The infrastructure that web hosting runs on is high-tech and expensive. This specialized technology requires highly skilled training people to administer. This all costs money, a lot of money. Web hosting companies have to find ways to bring the costs down.
One way to bring the costs down is to spread the load. One way this is accomplished is by sharing resources between multiple websites. This is probably the biggest factor in why web hosting today is more affordable than it’s ever been.
As servers get faster and storage capacity increases, more websites can be accommodated with the same number of servers. Thus it be comes a numbers game. The key is to keep the web hosting fast and reliable but also keep the pricing affordable. This way it’s the best of both worlds. This is also most often where good web hosting companies are separated from the bad.
Bad web hosting companies will share a finite number of resources between too many websites. So what about “free” web hosting companies?
Nothing is free, someone somewhere will be paying for it, that’s just a fact of economics (and life). A common way hosting companies pay for free web hosting is by various methods of advertising.
This advertising can often be unsightly. When visitors browse a website on free web hosting pop ads will appear. Sometimes those ads are in the header or footer of the page.
Another common feature of free web hosting is stripped down services. Free web hosting usually offers less than adequate features, often times forcing users to then upgrade to get the really useful features.
Service with Free Web Hosting?
Can you really expect good service with free web hosting? I don’t believe you can because it’s unsustainable. Support staff must be trained and (well) paid. Expenses in the tech industry can be very high. Don’t expect (good) service with free web hosting, it won’t happen.
Free Web Hosting Locks You In
What this means is the website you build with your web hosting usually cannot be moved away. This is because the website building platform is proprietary. Your choices are to stay there forever or move to another web hosting company and start all over. This leads to our next reality.
Free Web Hosting Costs Money
I’ve helped many clients transition away from free web hosting, usually for one or all the reasons mentioned above.
People usually get disillusioned with free web hosting after a while. They’ll start out happy enough, but not for long. There will be features lacking in their free web hosting, or the service will be poor. It’s when they start to see their website as an investment, as an integral part of their business that this realization happens.
This is where free web hosting ends up costing. Time has been invested in getting their website up and running, and they can’t take it with them. So either stay with an under performing website or walk away and start again.
Time is money. I don’t know about you, but my time is worth something to me. It’s how I provide for my family and pay my bills. No doubt your time is valuable too.
This may seem like a bit of a rant, my apologies if seems so, it’s not meant to be. See this as friendly advice, when looking for web hosting for your website. Don’t make the mistake many others have. Your website is an investment in your business, not an expense. It brings in money. Your website is also an extension of your business, it’s an asset.
I’m going to close off with a quote that perfectly describes free web hosting:
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten – Benjamin Franklin
When looking for web hosting, free web hosting is not a good option. Consider our fast reliable and extremely user-friendly web hosting, we know you’ll love it.