Should Entrepreneurs Take Advantage of Free Web Hosting?

If you’re a business professional or entrepreneur who is looking at your options for having a website of your own, you might think that it’s easier to go with a free webpage or free hosting service. It’s important for you to realise that this may not be in your best interests.

Free web hosting space sounds great, doesn’t it? You don’t have to pay anything to have an online home where you can set up a blog, a business site, or advertise your services. But most people who sign up for a free hosting service find that there are several problems with this.

First, you don’t have typically had to register your own domain name. Very often your domain name is added onto someone else’s as a www.theirhostingsite.com/yoursite or www.yoursite.theirhostingsite.com. If you want a website for professional purposes, this setup will lower your company’s profile in the eyes of potential clients and in the eyes of search engines that could send you traffic. At the very least, a company who wants to demonstrate professionalism needs a website of their own.

Second, when you go with free web space, your site may be filled with advertisements that you cannot control. Because it does cost money to host a website, the provider is hoping to cash in on your traffic. This can also reduce the professional image of your site. In some cases, competing websites could be advertising on your free site, which could cost your business a lot of money. If you’re offering a freelance professional service on a free hosted site, there could be contextual advertisements on the page that pull your potential customers to a competing website!

Third, there are typically some limitations with a free service. The average free or hosted web space site only offers limited functionality so if your website needs to grow or change; there are limited features and functions available to you. Some of these sites will let you migrate to your own plan with more features but many charge exorbitant fees for migration, or worse, have no options for you past a certain size. If you’ve established a presence on a site like this and are getting traffic from search engine indexing it can take a long time to start over again. For many, it makes sense to start off on your very own domain with your own webhost from day one so that you can grow and change as you need to.

Taking up paid Web Hosting makes more sense and the return on investment can be huge. You can get premium webhosting extremely cheap. There are plans that offer:

  • unlimited bandwidth,
  • unlimited subdomains,
  • cPanel webhosting,
  • statistical data to help you grow your business,
  • website backup,
  • and more.

You can sign up for a service that offers a wide array of professional templates or the ability to add a website template of your own. And, you can even keep things simple by buying web hosting with your credit card or PayPal on a subscription-basis and take advantage of shopping cart technology so you can easily sell directly from your website.

Free web hosting sites don’t often provide great support because they have a large number of users and they don’t have a commitment to keep those users on their site because a departure would be of little consequence. When you pay a small fee for your hosting, your provider makes your needs and satisfaction a priority and some premium hosting companies will even offer a money back guarantee which completely eliminates the risk of investing in your own website.

If you want to establish yourself as a professional to your potential online audience, having your own domain and a website with design and features you can control is going to speak volumes about you as a professional.

To see a comparison of free and paid web hosting plans, click here.

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