Whether you’re starting a blog or you’re considering an e-store, every newbie considers whether or not they should go with a free hosting plan or a paid hosting plan. Many people consider free hosting a sin for online commerce. Even with blogs, free plans can be seen as a way of hurting yourself.
The fact of the matter is that free hosting and free domains give you a no cost way of starting an online enterprise. But do the benefits outweigh the downfalls? This isn’t easily answered because it’s mostly dependant on what you want out of your online venture. There are a lot of advantages to free hosting and free domains, but there are a lot of things that you can miss out on. Here are a few things to consider when you are pondering free hosting and free domains.
Blogger And WordPress
Most people do not start out with a paid host and a paid domain. Blogger and WordPress have given even the most un-savvy Internet users a way to put their content on the web. The problem with Blogger and WordPress is actually universal to all free plans. You do not get a domain. You get a sub-domain. For instance, let’s say that you do have a Blogger account. Your domain is going to be “domain.blogger.com.” The domain is a sub-domain of Blogger. This is the same with WordPress, Yola or any other free site. Can you still rank in the search engines? Yes. Will it hurt your ranking? Yes. When you pay for a domain, you own the domain and your can have keywords attached. This is more recognizable to the search engines and will help you rank faster.
When you go with free hosting, you might not have all of the features of a paid host. Let’s take WordPress as an example. WordPress is one of the biggest platforms on the Internet. It’s used for sales pages, landing pages and one sheets for millions of products online. But when you are using a sub-domain of WordPress you do not have the ability to install plug-ins.
Blogger doesn’t allow you to use WordPress if your blog is adult oriented. These are the consequences of using a free domain and free hosting. When you pay for a host and pay for a domain, you own the domain and you pay for the features of your package. Again, if you’re just starting out, features might not be what you’re looking for. You might want to gain a following before you opt in for a hosting package.
Free hosting is notorious for putting their own ads on your website. If you’re going for a free package, you should be aware of this. Your web page’s ad space should be utilized for products, RSS feeds or Adsense. Not an ad for your package. When you pay for a package, you don’t have to put an ad on your page. Placing an ad on a free package is the host’s way of making up for the fact that you aren’t paying for their service. The fact of the matter is that hosting doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can easily find an affordable host like HostGator for very little money. Consider this when you are determining your packages.
The customer or reader on your blog is why you have a blog or website in the first place. When you are trying to establish yourself to the reader, it’s important to realize how they will see you. Will they see you as a professional who is paying for premium web hosting and a great domain? Or will they see you as an amateur who is using free services? Your domain is key. When they see that your site is a sub-domain, they could instantly be turned off. The same goes for free web-hosting advertisements. These are a dead give away that you’re not serious about your website.
The bandwidth on your website is essential for handling traffic. Free web hosting is going to have a bandwidth cap on your site. This means that even if your site takes off, you will not be able to handle the amount of users who want to visit your site. Upgrading to a hosting package increases the amount of users you can have visit your site in a given day or month. Upgrades can be implemented when needed and you probably won’t notice bandwidth caps when you first start out. Consider a hosting package if you’re getting a lot of traffic.