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Most beginners start off with free web to keep the cost as low as possible hoping to upgrade to a paid website when business gets better. We understand the tight budget you are working with; however, we hope to give you some reasons to not do your business a disservice by going this route.
1. Very Slow Website
The server would be supporting thousands of other websites, sharing the bandwidth and resources. Online, every second counts. We cannot wait for 10 seconds to load a website. We will just click off and this would increase your bounce rate. As the saying goes, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression”, slow loading sites will turn visitors off. It can keep someone from visiting your site again. All these factors will hurt your visitor rate.
2. Not that Free Afterall
These free website services often turn out as limited trials. They could be limiting the features you can add to your website, limiting on the number of pages you can set up within the site; limiting the traffic or the time they are providing you the service for free.
After a while, you are requierd to pay. In most cases, this price is usually way higher than normal paid hosting services which you could have signed up for in the first place. So pay attention to the fine prints, especially if you are required to fill in your credit card when signing up! This can mean they can charge you without giving you any warning.
3. Advertising For Other Companies on Your Website
Let’s say you found something which fits all your technical requirements with the right kind of support and bandwidth which can get your website running.
But let’s not forget the fact that how would one stay in business if they are not making any money? If you’re not paying for it, they would be seeking revenue in other ways. They could sell your information and data gathered through your website or even use your name for malware distribution.
We’re not saying that all free website providers are that malicious, but it’s always good to be safe than sorry, always watch out for the hidden cost of the “free” tag.
4. No Branding
The basis of marketing is to build your brand. But when you are tagging onto another host’s site, you don’t have the ability to create or host email accounts branded to your company (email@example.com). This would hurt your professional image and lose the credibility to your clients and customers.
Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish, discounting the importance of having a “real” email will hurt your company brand especially when you are just starting out.
5. Losing your hardwork
No regular backups and because you don’t own the hosting and domain. There is no guarantee how long the free website host will be around. Be also aware that when choosing certain free hosting accounts, such as Wix.com, you are most likely unable to move your work from their server should you decide to leave them.
Thinking that it’s fine since you are able to pay for the services now? Don’t be surprise that they would charge you at a premium when you are ready to go full fledge. This premium price would usually be higher than regular hosting services. This would probably contradict your idea of being business savvy from the start.
6. Watching your efforts go down the drain
Efforts takes time and time is an opportunity cost. As you are not paying, free hosting servers are not obliged to be responsible for your content and design. As a result, all the time and hard work to build and design your website can be wiped out when the free hosting service decides to ditch you suddenly.
Your website is an integral part of your business plan and it is important to get it right! Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.
Don’t lock yourself into a service that would be a bother to you when you intend to grow.