You’ve probably seen the free website hosting options out there such as Blogger, Squidoo, and WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org). They’re great – heck, you don’t have to pay a dime for them. But the question I pose is… are the savings worth it? Basic “Regular” hosting, also known as shared hosting, costs between $5-10 per month coming to around $60-120 per year. Saving this amount would indeed be preferred, but by the end of this article you’ll realize that the savings are actually not worth it… that spending the nominal monthly fee is actually beyond beneficial for your online presence.
For easy reading, I’ve broken this article into three main reasons. These reasons, as you’ll soon see, more than justify the costs. Should you disagree with my opinion by the end of this article, we may just have to brawl.
- You never know your growth potential. When you first start a website you have no idea where it’s going to go. Maybe it’ll be a flop, maybe it’ll be the next big thing. Regardless, when you have a website that you don’t own (i.e. YourSite.WordPress.com), you have no control over it. You can’t edit it as you please to make it your own. Not only this, you can’t change to a paid option down the road. There’s no “upgrade” option – the only option is to essentially “restart”, buy hosting elsewhere, and start from the ground up. Talk about a waste of time – all over a measly $100! A silly mistake for such an unsubstantial amount of money, huh?
- Your professionalism is negatively impacted. When your website looks like YourSite.WordPress.com and not YourSite.com, it simply looks less professional. It’s like going to an interview without proper attire – you wouldn’t show up in shorts and a t-shirt, would you? Of course not! And professionals don’t resort to free hosting. No matter what your goal… no matter what sort of venture your website will be your online storefront for… never is a free website a good alternative.
- The opportunities to monetize are much decreased. If you’re being given a free website, you can confidently bet that website isn’t going to make you rich through advertising venues such as Google AdSense. What incentive do the hosting/blogging platforms have to make you a wallet full of cash when you’re paying them nothing? Can’t think of a reason? It’s because there isn’t one. Some options such as Squidoo allow you to monetize the site, but they keep part of the earnings. I don’t know about you, but I like keeping the money I earn.
So there you have it my friend. As they say, nothing in life comes free, and in this case it’s not true. Unfortunately free comes at a cost which are the downsides listed above. Perhaps, and I hope, my reasons were convincing enough that next time you’re in the market for web hosting you’ll go with a paid option. You may sigh and kick and complain at first, but after your website starts taking off you’ll come back thanking me and just laughing that you ever considered anything different. Check out our web hosting reviews to find some good low cost options.