- 9th Jan, 2018
So you’re a new or small business and you’re operating on a tight budget. Every cent counts and you’ll take savings wherever you can find them. The opportunity to enjoy free web hosting services is a no-brainer, right?
Wrong! When they say it’s too good to be true it usually is.
Type ‘hosting services’ into Google and you’ll get 12 million results. A very large percentage of those are offering free services. How is this possible? Are these hosting companies working for nothing? Of course, they’re not!
The word ‘free’ hooks you in and then the added costs appear. Your free version is likely to be very limited, but you can upgrade at a cost! There’s virtually no storage and very little bandwidth but guess what? Yep, you can upgrade – at a cost. And on it goes.
That’s frustrating enough but it’s not the biggest problem with free hosting services. The biggest problems are security and reliability.
The reality is that professional hosting services are very affordable, and they come with features and guarantees you’ll never get with a free service. Suncoast Web Solutions offer a 99.9% Uptime Guarantee on Network. That means your website will be accessible to potential customers pretty much 100% of the time.
Can free hosting services offer that? Absolutely not. The fact is your website could go down any second. It could even completely disappear along with all your content. If you made the mistake of using their ‘free’ domain, any backlinks to your site will disappear, too.
If you’re lucky you’ll get a warning. That might give you a few hours to transfer your entire website and all your content to another provider. However, it’s more likely that the warning was buried somewhere in the host’s T&Cs and you didn’t see it.
If you do manage to transfer everything, you have another problem. You will have to completely restart your SEO campaign as all the progress you’ve made will be lost.
Probably the #1 reason why you should always choose professional hosting services is security. Apart from the ongoing risk of your website crashing or being deleted, you have no way of protecting sensitive material with free hosting services.
If you are operating an eCommerce site, that one will be very hard to explain to your customers when your site is hacked. And there is a very strong possibility of getting hacked because you are using a shared server.
Servers cost money so any organisation offering free hosting is going to jam as many sites as possible onto the one server. This makes it a prime target for a hacker, who can make a lot of money out of selling your clients’ personal and financial information.
There are many more reasons why you should only use professional hosting services. For starters, with free hosting, you don’t actually own your website. That means you have no control over it and you can’t onsell it. You can’t make any improvements, either. As most free sites are pretty basic that will really impact your marketing strategy.
So how’s that free offer sounding now? Not so great? Then do yourself a favour and switch to professional hosting services.