The idea of getting a free website is tempting. The internet is full of companies offering free website creation and hosting, even for self-hosted WordPress. You are probably wondering what the catch is? Why Don’t All Serious Entrepreneurs Use a Free Website? In this article, we’re going to share multiple reasons why having a free website is a bad idea and something you should AVOID at all costs.
What do we mean by a free website?
Most newbies who want to build their own website want to keep costs down, which is understandable. So, you usually search for the term “free website” on Google and find many companies offering free website building and hosting services. The thought of having free web hosting and building your site for nothing is tempting. Until you get a real test. Once you subscribe to these so called “free website services” you slowly begin to discover the limitations, and they turn out to be limitless. If you are thinking about creating a free website for your business, stop now. And read these reasons why free websites are always a bad idea.
Have a look on the topics that we are going to talk about
- Extremely slow websites
- Non-professional web address
- The trial service is not really free
- Hidden fees for free website
- They can lock your data
- Irrelevant ads on your website
- They can shut down your website
- These companies can disappear at any time
- You will lose your site address
- They can sell your information
- No site building tool
- No WordPress
- Limited WordPress
- You can be part of a link farm
- Limited bandwidth
- Low disk storage
- Vulnerable to hacking attempts
- HTML sites only with a limited number of pages
- No contact form or sending an email
- Limited design choice
- No branded email
- No help or customer service
- You cannot advertise or earn money
- There are no backups
- Difficult to get rid of
- No statistics or decent analysis
- You will be targeted by email offers
- No support for mobile devices
- Malware distribution
- No sensible design
- Low credibility of your users
- Limited file download functions
- No way to configure redirects
- Investing time in a free website is not wise
1. Extremely slow websites
Most free website hosts put hundreds of websites sharing the same server. This makes all of their websites load at very low speed. Slow websites create a bad user experience and are bad for SEO.
2. Non-professional web address
Having a mycompany.website.com address doesn’t look like a professional at all. Your website visitors and potential customers would find it quite difficult to take your website seriously when you don’t even have a suitable domain name. And when you ask these companies for a custom domain, you usually have to pay approximately double the amount for a domain’s actual cost.
3. The trial service is not really free
Many of these free services on the website often turn out to be limited trials. After a while you are asked to pay for it. In most cases, this price is usually much higher than normal hosting services. If you added a credit card during registration, they may charge you without notifying you.
4. Hidden fees for free website
Like any other business, these free website building companies also need to make money. Some of them charge their users for additional services like image hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, etc. These fees are often shockingly high.
5. They can lock your data
Many users who start with a free website and then want to upgrade to a paid service find it impossible to transfer their website data. These service providers do not offer any tools to easily migrate your site. Users end up paying freelancers to manually export their content, which can quickly increase your bill.
6. Irrelevant ads on your website
Most of these free web services are supported by advertisements. You create content and build your website, but they get paid for the ads. Often these advertisements are embarrassing, intrusive and ugly. The worst part is that sometimes your savvy competitors can then pay these free website hosting companies to advertise them on your website. Talk about sabotaging your business.
7. They can shut down your website
The terms and conditions of these services make it clear that they can shut down your website at any time without giving you a reason. If they shut down a website, they usually don’t share your data and provide you with a way to back up your content. Site not found.
8. These companies can disappear at any time
At any time, the free website business can decide to pack up and go. They would just shut down their servers and you would lose your website and all data. Their terms of service give them full legal protection.
9. You will lose your site address
If they decide to shut down the service or shut down your website, you will lose your web address. Most of the time, this is a subdomain associated with the service. You cannot replicate this address or redirect users to your new site elsewhere.
10. They can sell your information
Remember that these services must earn money to stay in the business. Generally, if you don’t pay, you are the product. These companies find other ways to make money, such as selling your email address, personal information, and website address to other companies. Their terms and conditions which nobody really reads provide them with full legal immunity.
11. No site building tool
Unlike a real web hosting service, these companies offer very limited tools and services to their users. By using these tools, the website you are going to create will be even more unprofessional.
12. No WordPress
Many of these free services do not allow you to install WordPress on your free website. WordPress requires a few more resources than a free website service can afford.
13. Limited WordPress
Even though they allow you to host WordPress, their servers just aren’t capable of running it. You will come across a lot of errors and it will ruin your WordPress experience.
14. Malware distribution
Free website services are notorious for distributing malware. This could be due to their low security, or they could be doing it for monetary benefit. Either way, it hurts your website’s reputation and SEO.
15. You can be part of a link farm
The reason why these services keep disappearing and then reappearing is because they are trying to generate money using unethical methods. Link farm building is one of those practices where they sell thousands of user-created pages to spammers, fake medicine and gambling sites, online scams, etc.
16. Limited bandwidth
Bandwidth is the amount of data, which is transferred from the server to the user’s browser. It costs money and most free websites have a very limited bandwidth cap.
17. Low disk storage
Free website companies host hundreds of websites sharing the same server and hard drives. They usually give you very limited storage to store your data. When you reach this limit, you are often asked to pay for more storage.
18. Vulnerable to hacking attempts
Due to insufficient security, free websites are often more vulnerable to hacking attempts. If your site is hacked, it will be much more difficult to get it back because these companies give you very limited access to your own files and data.
19. HTML sites only with a limited number of pages
Some of these free website companies only offer a limited number of pages on your website. If you want to add more pages, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan.
20. Low credibility of your users
When your site is hosted on a free service, your users will feel less likely to trust it. If users are not comfortable sharing their information, then the purpose of building a website will be totally destroyed.
21. Limited design choice
Design and Layout Unlike a self-hosted WordPress site where you can choose from thousands of WordPress themes, free websites only offer a handful of poorly designed templates. You cannot use your own designs or use any other design from the web.
22. No help or customer service
These free websites do not offer any help to users. You will have to set up your site yourself using very limited and poorly presented documentation. You’re pretty much alone if you can’t figure it out.
23. You cannot advertise or earn money
Even if your free website builder company runs their own ads on your website, they don’t allow you to run them or make money from your website. You will not be able to add affiliate links or add Google Adsense to your website.
24. There are no backups
There is no concept of regular backups on these free websites. They don’t back up your data and if something bad happens to your site, you can’t restore your data.
25. Difficult to get rid of
The companies that offer these services often make money from content created by users like you. They intentionally make it difficult to remove your own website. This means that your website will remain on their servers and you will have a hard time deleting it.
26. No statistics or decent analysis
With a good hosting company, you can get free statistics on your site visitors. You can even install Google Analytics or any other traffic meter. On free websites, they don’t allow you to add Google Analytics because they use their own analytics code on your website.
27. You will be targeted by email offers
Remember, these companies have to cover their costs by making money using alternative methods. They will always send you special offers by email. Not to mention that they might sell your email address to other marketing companies.
28. No support for mobile devices
You cannot update your website from your mobile or handheld device. Free website companies usually have their dashboards designed for desktop computers. This will make it more difficult to update your site from a mobile.
29. No sensible design
Most free website companies have very old website designs that won’t work on mobile phones. Mobile users generate a significant portion of Internet traffic. By not having a responsive design, you will lose all those users.
30. No branded email
You cannot create email accounts with your own domain name. This means that you will have to use your gmail or hotmail email account, which doesn’t look very professional.
31. No contact form or sending an email
Every website on the internet needs a good contact form. These free website companies have no way to add custom contact forms. You also cannot forward received emails to their own misconfigured form scripts.
32. Limited file download functions
With paid hosting companies, you can upload an unlimited number of files to your site using an FTP client or media uploader in WordPress. Free website companies only give you one web interface to download one file at a time.
33. No way to configure redirects
With WordPress, there are a number of ways you can configure redirect. This is a very useful way to maintain your site’s SEO scores. With free websites, you can’t set up any type of redirect. Even if you upgrade to a paid service later, you won’t be able to redirect users to your free website.
34. Investing time in a free website is not wise
If you are serious about building something on the web, you should never start with a free website. As you have read in this article, they are unreliable, insecure, difficult, and severely limit your options for growth.