While everyone loves the low, low price of absolutely free – zero dollars – better than forking over cold, hard cash, sometimes things which are free aren’t as great as they seem. Frankly, in this day and age, we’ve come to learn the sad fact that if anything is given to us as free, there’s always some kind of catch, as advertisers and others are seek to profit from our involvement. That’s why it’s so important to consider a proper paid website for hosting your own business or personal blog.
There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
That fast-loading, awesome website you love so much has to be hosted by someone’s server located in a distant computer lab. Servers are expensive pieces of equipment, and companies are built on the foundation of turning a profit. If you’re not paying money to host your website, be aware that you’ll be compensating the company in another way. Free websites may look like they’re free, but as the old maxim goes, “if you aren’t paying for a product or service, you ARE the product.” Many free websites are little more than cheap skins applied to a junk advertising network of sites that turns your hard work into a steady stream of income for your host provider.
Not A Master Of Your Own Domain
Every company or brand needs a strong online identity, which can’t be done with a free web host that insists on controlling the domain name of your digital masterpiece. While an elegant web address like www.classyortrashy.com builds credibility and trust, a clunker address like www.classyortrashy.freewebhosting.com will make your customers think you’re running your business out of your mother’s basement. Of course, some dedicated fans and clients will respect your website no matter what its address, but most businesses and professionals need to make the extremely small investment of actually owning their own online domain. In almost all cases, a custom domain name is easier to remember and looks far better, increasing the likelihood that customers will remember the address to your site and visit it at a later date.
No Ranky, No Findy
It’s a fact of life in today’s hurly-burly digital world that certain search engines that Shall Not Be Named are responsible for driving the majority of traffic to your website. Since their powerful algorithms determine how easily people can find you, using a low-ranked free provider host can be the death knell for your business or professional services company. Search engines rapidly learn that free hosting websites are often of low quality and thus get ranked far lower in user results. Many very successful brick-and-mortar offline businesses have been dismayed to find out that poor online rankings leads to very few customers being able to find them to be able to purchase their quality line of products or services.
Free hosting services put their users in a box, severely controlling or limiting functionality and custom options. While many free hosting services attempt to entice users into paying for more features, free services are often bare bones, barely suitable for non-commercial blogging. With many free hosting sites, you can’t even change the background colors, use your own images, or re-arrange the layout to suit your needs.
Calling But Nobody Is Home
Many first-time website creators think they’re getting away with a good deal when they elect to use a free hosting service provider to run their content. But when something goes wrong, or user feedback begins mounting over glitches and errors, it’s important to have a reliable team of professionals on call to reliably and quickly fix the problem. Unfortunately, many free website hosting providers offer little or no customer service, figuring that non-paying customers are not worth the effort.
Bogged Down with Advertisements
It might be free to you, but for your visitors, they will have to wade through a sea of blinking, distracting advertisements, many of which may potentially be of an offensive or discomforting nature. With no control over your own hosting solutions, free web site providers are eager to recoup their investment by plastering your popular web site with advertisements. In many cases, a website running on a paid host provider that uses user-customized advertisement can be far more profitable than a free website bogged down with ad revenue that goes entirely to the host provider.
Many free website hosts brag about offering dozens or even hundreds of templates to choose from, but many of these are cheap, poorly-designed affairs cranked out in minutes by underpaid coders in digital sweatshops. Visitors to your site will instantly acquire the impression that your website is unprofessional and poorly-designed, and will be unlikely to extend their trust to you.
No Bells or Whistles
Most free website hosts and service providers use a stripped-down form of html or php code to run your website. This prevents professional bloggers and writers from using other services and add-ons that could potentially earn you large amounts of revenue in affiliate marketing and other advertising on the site. Even basic blogging uses a simplified form of functionality on most free website hosts providers as advanced features are usually reserved for paid hosting options. Free websites are often just the absolutely minimum possible operable code to get a site up and running, with any additional functionality coming at a price.
The Pride of Self-Ownership
Unless you’re planning on sharing a few private thoughts with friends, it’s almost always better to plunk down money to get a professional paid web host to run your website. Businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals can benefit from a wide range of options and professional design capabilities when they use paid web site hosting, something not possible when relying on crude free hosting sites. With your own domain name and professional URL, you can proudly hand out your business or company’s online address with confidence.