Are you trying to decide whether to go with free hosting or paid?
I will show you with the pros and cons of each and how to avoid making a major mistakes that can hurt your business.
What is free web hosting? Certainly, it is the cheapest web hosting option for anyone, including small business, but is it worth your consideration?
You want to make informed decisions about your business and choose the right options for you. So, let’s take a look at what free and paid web hosting will mean.
Free Web Hosting
You can set up a website at no cost. WordPress offers free hosting services for blog sites.
You get access to free templates for themes and a few tools that help you create a better blog.
The downside is you have to deal with the WordPress brand, their ads, and you cannot monetize your site.
Sure, you get your brand out there, you can show people what you do, but you are limited in what your clients will see and learn from your site.
It is like having your business listed in Google without actually controlling your Google page.
- People might search for you, but they may not find you if they do not use the right keywords.
- If you are designing a website with one to five pages that tell your story, your location, and what you do or sell, without wanting to use it as an income generator than free is okay.
- You have to advertise on business cards, in the newspaper, phonebook, and use online listings like Yelp, Google, Bing, and Yahoo to help direct traffic.
But it can help let online users find you if they know the name and location of your company.
The cheapest web hosting may be free, but it does limit you.
Paid web hosting can also be moderate in price. In fact, the cheapest web hosting you pay for can be as little as $2.99 per month.
It sounds great until you realize that it is little better than free web hosting.
There are inexpensive packages that you can consider as the cheapest web hosting, with actual benefits.
Hostgator has packages they offer on sale for under $5 per month.
You get plenty of benefits. You get access to 4,500 plus templates, plugins, ad tools, and other tools, plus you gain security and protection.
The safety and protection you receive with some of the cheapest web hosting like Hostgator packages are more secure than what you obtain with free web hosting.
Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Free Web Hosting
- You pay nothing.
- You get a website immediately.
- Templates are available.
- You can add content right away.
- You can always change to paid web hosting later.
Cons of Free Web Hosting
- You are limited to the templates.
- Converting to a paid site later is more difficult.
- You lack specific plugins.
- Ads on your site are not yours and may not be relevant.
- You cannot monetize your site.
- You have to work harder to get your site known.
- You may never achieve high rankings in search engines due to the domain name.
- Most domain names are your business plus the domain host, such as x.wordpress.com. Making the domain name longer and harder to remember for your clients.
Pros of Paid Web Hosting
- Paid web hosting packages come in all sizes to fit all types of businesses.
- You get to use plugins, templates, and additional tools to design your site.
- You are not limited to specific ads.
- Your site can be monetized.
- Your domain name is your business, and nothing else.
- You can choose from the cheapest web hosting and dedicated server packages.
- You have a team who is there to support you.
Cons of Paid Web Hosting
- You pay for the web hosting.
It is difficult to come up with cons for paid web hosting unless you talk about specific companies.
It is also more of a “con” regarding the knowledge you have for setting up your website, running it, and making money from it.
It’s important to understand that your education is the limiting resource because there is always a team on hand to help you with any questions.
For example, a few years ago, a small business idea never gained ground, for various reasons.
The business owner thought his cheapest web hosting of a dollar per month was enough to get started, and it would have been.
Except, this person did not realize the site was not indexed by search engines.
Web hosting does not mean you are automatically get indexed by Google, even when you pay for web hosting.
Before you purchase a plan, even the cheapest web hosting plan, you want to make sure you can:
- access 24/7 support with any questions, and you will not be told to buy more just to get the help you need.
Hostgator is a paid web hosting option, with some of the cheapest web hosting packages online.
Hostgator offers you full support, for any questions you have about their products, services, and tools.
They also have a team of experts to walk you through how to index your site…
…how to use the keyword tools they provide, and contact numbers for specific services like Google Adwords that you may need to use.
The central part of web hosting, whether it is the cheapest web hosting or more advanced is that the host is there to provide a domain name…
…security measures to prevent hacking, and templates to help you set up your website.
Search Engine Optimization
Many paid web hosting services do offer SEO tools and can help you with getting your pages indexed, but they are not responsible for your page rankings.
You are responsible for the content and generating enough new and organic content to keep visitors coming to your site.
If you are not in a position to pay for web hosting—ask yourself—are you willing to lose money because you are not paying for a unique domain name, support, and security?
Businesses require investment and only with investment can you get the help you need to set up a dynamic website that will start making you money.