There are various reasons why having your blog on a free web host is bad for you. In this article, I shall be highlighting everything you need to know about it.
Starting a blog? Don’t want to spend a penny on web hosting? I have good news: you have a couple of free web hosting options.
But, then, I also have a piece of bad news- you should not choose to host your blog on a free web host.
Before moving on to that, let me clarify a few more things…
What is Free Web Hosting?
When you host your website for free on a web server, it refers to a free web hosting solution.
And, if you are using a web hosting provider that claims to provide free web hosting, there are several red flags about it.
Why Should You Even Care About Your Hosting Provider?
For starters, it is only fair to think about the cost associated with a hosting provider.
However, it would be best if you looked beyond the pricing. After all, your website, the content, and the future of your blog will be affected by the hosting provider you choose.
So, I would say that it is pretty important to think about the hosting provider.
Given the context of this article, free web hosts are in no way beneficial for you. Let us explore why.
Downsides of Using a Free Web Host
It is important to note that there are various free web hosting choices that include:
- A free WordPress.com website
- Hosting a blog using Blogger
- Hosting static pages with GitHub pages
- Third-party free web hosting providers
All the reasons mentioned below apply primarily to third-party web-hosting providers.
Free web hosting providers make bold claims about their uptime and availability. You probably would not notice it at the start.
But, as you continue using their service and set up an uptime monitoring check, you will end up realizing that the downtime is more than you expected. It could hurt your conversions and leads if you are looking to make money using your blog.
Even if you are not making any money, readers will lose interest in returning to your blog if it does not load when they try to access it.
And, the concern does not stop there; you could wake up one morning and notice that your website does not exist. Unfortunately, you won’t find any robust backup solutions from your hosting provider to restore it.
There is always this one crucial aspect that free hosting providers fail to provide, i.e., performance.
The faster your site, the better the user experience. And, with a good user experience, you can expect better interaction from your readers to generate leads or share your blog along with their social circle.
If your website does not load up quickly, visitors will move away to find another resource and eventually avoid visiting your blog.
Considering you do not pay for resources, free web hosts cut corners. Overall, the servers are not optimized and will fail to handle any modern website with several dynamic elements.
While the performance impact with free web hosts is easily noticeable, you should test your site’s performance to check for yourself.
With the rise of cyberattacks, securing your website is essential than ever before.
Unfortunately, you may not even get the basic account protection measures like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) with a free web host.
Suppose you get the basic security options, they will not actively maintain the server stack to bring you the most secure environment for your website. So, it does not make things better.
For instance, the server may end up indefinitely using an older PHP version.
In either case, they may not even perform security audits on their back-end to ensure that the web servers have not been compromised.
Whether your website deals with any sensitive information, any security breach will mean disruption of your blog in some form. So, having a secure web server is ideal for every blog.
Staying True to Their Promises (Not Really!)
Free web hosts make countless claims that sound too good to be true for a service that you do not need to pay for. Indeed, they have to make money in some form and attract more customers.
Most of the features advertised are either subject to certain conditions or do not exist at all.
Of course, marketing gimmicks are not just limited to free web hosts, but even some reputable companies do it. However, when a well-established company makes a fake claim, they are held accountable for it and may even make up for it to their customers.
But, most free web hosts have no proper existence. They may even disappear off the internet, and you cannot do anything about it.
So, it is safe to assume that they won’t be staying true to all their promises.
There can be instances where you upload important documents or resources to your web server (related to your website or anything else).
With good web hosts, where you pay for the service, they often do not access your content unless they need to troubleshoot a problem. Also, they have a robust access control system that lets the company hold employees liable for what they access and why they do.
Regarding a free web host, any employee can access and configure/access/delete your file whenever they want. Such companies enforce no proper rules to prevent this from happening. So, you should not expect any of your data on the free web servers to be completely private.
Some free services often enforce resource usage restrictions after you start using their web server and ask you to pay to unlock restrictions.
It is only fair that they charge for the services offered, but in these cases, they do not inform you about any hidden charges upfront. You get deceived that it is an entirely free service.
Lack of Control
Compared to paid shared web hosting, you do not get all the necessary controls to manage your website. You will have to restrict yourself to a few configurations when setting up your site.
For instance, you may not even find the option to install WordPress.
This can vary depending on the service, but overall, you do not get to control your web server.
Incidents can happen to any hosting service. However, it is vital to have prompt customer support service and the ability for quick resolutions.
If things go wrong with your free web host, you will have to endlessly wait for their response or for them to resolve the issue. Some services do not even offer a support channel. So, you cannot even reach out to them in any case.
How to Get Around the Downsides?
To overcome the hassles of a free web host, you can opt for cheap web hosting solutions. For a small investment, you will be able to do a lot more with your website compared to any free hosting method.
We recommend opting for affordable web hosting providers with a good reputation and reliability that matches the industry standard.
Some of our recommendations include:
iPage is one of the most affordable hosting providers, starting at just $1.99/month.
If you want all the essentials with good customer support, iPage can be a good pick for you. It also offers a separate WordPress hosting plan if you need it.
Hostgator is an excellent pick for every type of website. Whether your website needs minimal resources or a dedicated server in the future, Hostgator has got you covered.
It costs a tad bit more than iPage, but it offers various hosting choices if you want to scale up. Also, you get flexible billing plans where you can choose to purchase a subscription even for one or six months.
If you notice the screenshot above, Hostgator offers aggressive discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. So, you may want to wait it out if you want it for cheap.
It is also one of the best reselling hosting platforms for your business.
GreenGeeks presents itself as an eco-friendly hosting solution that aims to be carbon neutral while running its server.
You get shared hosting options, WooCommerce-optimized plans, and virtual private servers as well. In addition to the competitive pricing, you can expect all the essential features and good customer support. It may not be the most popular shared hosting platform, but it is an exciting choice for many.
A2Hosting is a popular recommendation that offers various hosting choices. Starting from shared hosting to dedicated servers, you will find options fit for beginners and popular websites.
They aim to provide powerful servers at an affordable price. You can consider giving them a try.
A Good Web Host Saves Time and Helps You Improve the Blog
I’m sure that you have had your reasons to get started with a free web host. Unfortunately, you will end up losing precious time tackling the issues that come with it.
So, you should save up a little and get any of the best shared hosting providers to get complete control over your website.
And, if you want the best for your WordPress blog and decide to spend more, I’d place my bets on managed hosting options.