Look up the term “free websites” on Google, and you will get a ton of results. Each of them will offer you an easy and free solution for building your site without you spending anything. Sounds too good to be true. Right?
Have you ever wondered – What’s the catch? Why are they providing these services for free? Why isn’t everyone using these free websites and spending money on getting quality hosting? And, a lot of other questions arise.
If you’re someone who’s thinking of getting free websites then this article is especially for you. Here you will get to know why you should be avoiding free websites at all costs. But, before that let’s break down the meaning of “free websites”.
What’s the meaning of Free Websites?
Many beginners who want to start a blog (or site) online want to keep their costs low. Which I can understand because I have gone through the same, but it isn’t good. The biggest cost of starting a site is web hosting.
But who would like to pay if you can get things done with free web hosts?
Thinking of getting a free website can get anyone tempted. However, the reality is different. There’s nothing free in this world. if you aren’t paying for something then you’re the product. You should remember this!
These so-called Free web hosts come with many limitations and drawbacks. If you or anyone wish to get started with them, make them stop right now. Here are some reasons to avoid free websites –
24 Reasons Why Avoiding “Free Website” Is Good For You!
#1 Slow Websites
Everyone hates a slow loading website. It’s been proved that 40% visitors exit a page if it doesn’t load under 3 seconds. And, what are free websites known for? Their damn slow speed and it obviously sucks!
It’s simple, if you own a free website it will load too slowly because there are hundreds of free websites on a single web server. Slow loading is also bad for SEO, we all know speed is a major ranking factor. Which also increases the bounce rate.
#2 Unprofessional URL
Let me ask you a question, Which URL looks better – bloggingloop.com or bloggingloop.random-web-address.com? I’m sure your answer would be the first one. But with free websites, every time you will get a clumsy web address.
It doesn’t look nice at all. If you are looking for customers or readers without even having a proper domain name, then you’re doing it all wrong. No one is going to take you seriously when you can’t even get a domain name. (It only costs 15$/ year.)
#3 Hidden Charges
You are naive if you think you are getting an absolutely free website. Even these free web hosting providers need to make money, they aren’t just being kind. After using them for some you will find the hidden charges.
You will need to pay for their overpriced services like FTP access, email services, and much more. Their prices will be way higher than their normal pricing. Free web hosts make money on a freemium model, i.e, offering limited features for free.
#4 It’s Possible To Become a Part Of Link Farm
Want to get a Google penalty and get de-indexed? If yes, go with free web hosts. Most of the time these free website services sell links from your blog without telling you. And why would they tell you? Technically, they own everything.
There have been a lot of cases when people go with these free hosts and later notice unusual links pointing to other domains. Your free website providers won’t tell you anything and you will suffer as your site gets hit hard. It’ll be your loss.
#5 Lack Of Security
There are tons of hacking attempts made at popular blogs (or sites) every day. But with free hosts you have to worry a lot, they don’t even provide basic security features. so getting admin access to your site will be easy.
Security is often the biggest concern for big sites and blogs. However, with free sites, you won’t be able to grow your blogs and it won’t be worth anything but even then your personal data like email, contacts, and credit card numbers can be stolen.
#6 Unprofessional Design
Most of the free websites are just basic designs with HTML & CSS. If you’re thinking that you will get a site that will look professional then I’m sorry to break your expectations. They all look the same and are just UGLY.
And again, no one will trust someone who can’t invest in the looks of their sites. If you use a self-hosted platform like WordPress you can buy a lot of premium themes. If you are serious about your site then you need to invest in a quality design.
#7 Lack of Site Building Tools
Most web hosting services provide site building tools to their users. But this isn’t the case with free websites. They leave you on your own to make changes to the look of your site. And, most of the time you can’t even install these tools.
There have been cases that many free website users were not even able to install WordPress. Talk about having a bad day, being a free website user would be trouble. These free web hosts place too many limits on your sites.
#8 Limited Trials
Almost always, the “free websites” you get are limited in features. Just like WordPress.com offers a free site setup but places so many restrictions that you have got no other option than to upgrade your plan which costs a lot.
The business model they use is a freemium one. You can get WordPress hosting, in fact, it will be cheaper than using free websites. You can get charged, without any warning if you give them your credit card number while signing up.
#9 You Are Not The Owner Of Your Content
How would you feel if someone stole your site’s content and you couldn’t do anything about it? That would suck, I guess. This is what happens most of the time with free websites, everything you have and work on, nothing belongs to you.
Technically, everything is owned by the free hosting providers. Not only do free hosting providers do so, but it’s also the case with hosted blogging platforms. If you want to live in the fear of not owning anything on your site, go ahead with free websites.
#10 Your Site Can Be Shut Down Anytime
Apart from not being the owner of your site, you will also have the fear that your site can be shut down at anytime. That too without any warning, you should remember you are on a free server after all. They can kick your site out anytime.
Even if your site stays alive it will face a lot of downtimes. As the servers will be loaded with many sites, if someone uses more resources your site will go down. This is a problem many shared hosts face, and we are talking about free sites here.
#11 They Can Disappear Without Telling You
These free website providers don’t give a sh*t about their users. They can exploit your sites and if they think their business isn’t generating profits they can pack up and disappear. The only ones to suffer will be the users.
And you won’t even be able to raise a complaint against them. Why? Because in their terms and conditions these free web hosts state they can shut down anytime, without any notice. You will also have another fear of your free host running away.
#12 No Support, No Backups, etc.
When you are using a self-hosted blog like WordPress, you won’t have to worry about support and backups as your web host takes care of them. Again, such isn’t the case with free websites. It’s almost impossible to create a backup of a free website.
And, then there are a lot of support options you get with WordPress. The community is big, and there are a lot of experts you can call when you’re stuck on something. Managed WordPress hosts also give you free expert support so you don’t have to worry.
#13 They Can Put Irrelevant Ads On Your Site
As we say – these free websites don’t care about their users, they only care about their profits. And one other thing that they do to make money is by putting ad banners on your site, of course without your permission.
There is nothing you can do to remove these ads. You will do the hard work and these free web hosts will make money on autopilot. These ads look ugly and also promote your competitors. That wouldn’t be fair for you as you do the hard work.
#14 It’s Not An Easy Task To Delete Them
You may forget about the site you created when you were 12 but the internet won’t. As easy as to set up a free website with just a few clicks, it’s also damn hard to delete them. If you don’t have the technical knowledge then it may stay online forever.
There have been many people who have been embarrassed due to a free site they created in their teenage years. You also don’t want to be like them. Do you? Save yourself the trouble and look for a better option other a than the free website.
#15 Your Information Can Be Sold
It’s no secret that many companies make a lot of money by selling their user’s information. Free website providers are also the same. Not only do they sell your email address, but if you have stored other kinds of information, it would be in danger.
All the information will be stored on their servers, even if the information is private they can still see it. Although not all are like this but prevention is better than cure. You should avoid free websites to keep your information secure.
#16 Limited Disk Space & Bandwidth
Even if you get the website for free, there will always be troubles. Some of the troubles you face with free websites are limited bandwidth and disk space. These free website providers are strict about providing more resources to you.
Disk space is the storage you are given to upload your files. Bandwidth refers to the number of visitors your site can handle at a time. With free hosts these things are limited, you can upload more images, and videos or have many visitors on your site.
#17 Visitors Won’t Be Able To Trust Your Site
If you’re thinking of operating a successful business through your free website then you are delusional. It’s impossible to run an online business with a free website if it was possible everyone would only use them. There are many reasons for this.
The reasons are – it looks ugly, there are tons of limits, you don’t own anything and all the points in this list. And, why would someone buy products from a free website? Selling something online requires good presentation which free sites lack.
#18 You Can’t Run Ads On Your Site
What’s the most common reason people start making websites? Of course, it’s money. And if you think that you can make money with free sites then you’re again going to be proved wrong. Some free sites don’t allow their users to make money.
Some of these sites state in their rules that you can’t place ads on your site. Most people don’t read these rules and are shocked when they find out about them. Even if your site makes money it won’t ever come to you.
#19 Your Site’s SEO is Limited!
There are a lot of things required to do SEO on a website. There are only some things SEO experts fear, one of them being their client someone who owns a free website. It’s damn hard to do SEO on a free website.
As proper SEO requires access to a site’s backend but with these free sites, you can only make use of keywords in the title and content. Sure, content is necessary but ON-Page SEO is much broad. Also, search engines don’t like unprofessional URLs.
#20 You Won’t Be Able To Shift To Another Platform
Even if you are getting used to your not so good looking website, you can move it to other blogging platforms. Each time you will have to design and work on it from the start. And yes, all of your content will also be deleted.
These free hosts support only a handful of blogging platforms. Some don’t even support WordPress, so if you think that you can work on a free site first then move to WordPress then you’re in an illusion. It’s hard with these free web hosts.
#21 Redirecting URLs Isn’t Possible
When you own your own site, it’s possible to retain the SEO value of an old domain by setting up a 301 redirection. But if you decide to leave your free website, you can’t redirect it you will have to post a link on your site telling users you’ve shifted.
You will also lose the SEO value of your old domain. Not only that you can’t even set up simple redirection of old pages on your free website to new ones. On WordPress, a redirect can be easily set up with the help of redirection plugins.
#22 It’ll Be Difficult to Move To A Different Web Host
These free website providers often make money from you. And, who would want their cash cow to get away? Therefore, they make it difficult for you to move your site to another web host. It’s a hassle to move a site from their servers.
Most of the time, they don’t even give you backup options and without backups, it’s impossible to move a site from one host to another. Unlike good web hosts who provide features like daily backups, free websites provide none.
#23 There Will Be Tons Of Upsells
When you sign up with free websites, the one thing they will (obviously) need will be your email address. Have you ever thought – Why do they even need your email address? The answer is simple – to sell you more stuff (or do more upsells).
Once you give up your email address they will spam you with promotional emails. They will try to squeeze every single penny out of you. They will also sell your email address to other companies. So, think twice before giving your email address.
#24 They Are Just Not Worth The Time & Effort
If you’re planning to build a profitable business on the internet you should never ever start or go with free websites. Of course, you are starting out for free but the costs of messing up your start will be too much in the future.
You get what you pay for, the cons of free websites are just too many to be ignored. If you’re thinking of operating a business without any investment it will be impossible. And, getting a decent website doesn’t cost thousands of dollars.
So, these were 23 reasons why you should not be using free websites. (I can write an essay on why you should avoid free sites. This list goes on and on…) Even if you just want to practice, they will suck and ruin your excitement.
There are many options and spending some money on quality will save you from the hassles. In the end, it’s your choice but we recommend never going with free web hosts. If you want to earn money online you gotta invest!
If you want to have all the drawbacks of free websites, you can still go with them. Else, look for better options! And, now you would be wondering if I can’t go with free sites then what should I do? Don’t worry, we have the answer to that.
The best alternative to a free website is a paid one. There are a lot of web hosts you can trust, which also won’t burn a hole in your pocket. And, almost every good web hosting company provides WordPress Hosting.
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