Once your business is ready to create an online presence, you have to make the decision between choosing free web hosting or paid web hosting. At a time when your company isn’t bringing in as much money as you’d like, or perhaps isn’t operational yet, it can be tempting to skimp on the price of web hosting and go the free route.
However, the web hosting option you choose is an important factor in your online reputation. Spending nothing is a perk in itself; missing out on a custom, professional domain name is not. The verdict: You get what you pay for with free web hosting. Here’s why.
You miss out on a custom, professional domain name
You’d love to have a website that is easy to remember, short, and focused on your business. But choosing free web hosting doesn’t really come free–you’ll have to share your domain name with the web hosting provider in exchange for the free hosting.
CompanyBlog.com or OurWebsite.com are much easier to remember and shorter than the free domain options. These domains don’t come free, but they aren’t expensive either. For about the cost of a cup of coffee each month, you can use paid web hosting and improve your website immensely.
You have to leave everything behind
You won’t be able to keep a free domain name or the template for your free website’s design once you stop using the service. Any other free software or offerings (such as eCommerce software) you might have used from the free service will no longer be available to you.
This is another reason experts recommend that you choose a paid web hosting provider instead of a free one–the freedom to take your business elsewhere should things not work out with a particular provider is worth the low cost of paid web hosting each month.
Features are limited with free hosting
As we mentioned above, free web hosting is never really free because you’ll pay for the service in the lack of effective web hosting support, custom, professional domain names, server capacity, reliability of the service, backups and security, and more.
To make sure you aren’t caught off guard by missing or limited features, make a checklist of the features and support you want from your web hosting company so you have a guideline to compare services to.
While free web hosting might seem like an attractive offer at first, it’s usually not the right choice for a business or anyone who is serious about establishing a professional online presence. The cost of paid web hosting is often about the price of one cup of coffee each month, and the benefits are well worth the small expense. Don’t settle for free web hosting–remember, you get what you pay for.