Thinking of getting a free website is inviting. There are a lot of companies on the internet offering free website. You’re probably wondering why everyone else isn’t using a free website. In this article, we will share 36 reasons why having a free website is a bad idea and should be AVOIDED at all costs.
What Do We Mean by Free Website?
Every beginner will want a website relatively cheap or even free. Looking up in Google the term free website will give you companies offering free web hosting services for free, hence, the thought of having free web hosting and building your site free becomes tempting. As you sign up on those websites you will the truth and limitations of owning a website for free starts unfolding. So stop thinking of getting a free website.
Examining the following 36 reasons will help you on making the right decision
Extremely slow websites
Most free website hosting providers put hundreds of websites on the same server. This makes their websites load very slow. Slow websites drive away visitors.
Unprofessional web address
If your website address looks like mysmallbusiness.Freewebsite.com it does not look professional at all. And your visitors and potential customers will know you are not serious with business.
Trial Service is Not Really Free
Most of these free website services providers often turn out to be limited trials. Later you will be asked to pay for it. In most cases, this price is usually way higher than normal website hosting. If a credit card was added during signup, they can charge you without giving a warning.
Hidden charges for free website
These free website companies are there to make money too. Some of them will charge you for additional services like image hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, etc. These charges are often outrageously high.
They can lock down your data
It’s impossible to move your data from a free web server to paid server. They don’t offer tools that will make it easy for you to migrate your site. And you end up paying extra bill for migrating your website.
Irrelevant advertisements on your website
Most free website services are supported by advertisement. They will put up boring advert on your website, which may be against your business
They can shut down your website
The terms and conditions of these services clearly state that they can shut down your website at any time without providing you a reason. And if they do so there is absolutely no way to save your data
These companies can disappear at anytime
They can pack their bags and go at any time. Hence being covered by their terms of service.
You will lose your site address
If they decide to close the service or shut down your website, you then your website and your data and there is no way to redirect the address.
They can sell your information
Remember that these services need to make money somehow to remain in the business. A good rule of thumb is if you are not paying for it, then you are the product.
These companies make money by selling your email address and other because it’s what keeps them going. Their terms and conditions which no one really reads provide them total legal immunity.
No site building tools
No professional site building tool like Wordpress, Magento or Joomla. And even if you manage to install such you will come across so many errors that can’t be fixed
They do not provide any security for your website and are known for malware distribution thereby harming your website reputation and is bad for SEO. Most of them do no support https which is bad for any website that is serious with business and SEO
You may become part of a link farm
Why they keep disappearing and appearing is because they generate money using unethical methods. Building link farms is a practice where they sell thousands of pages created by their users to spammers, fake drugs and gambling sites, online scams, etc.
Since their service is free so their bandwidth is limited as well.
Low disk storage
Because they put your website on a shared server and hard disk, hence you are provided little amount of storage. And you will be asked to pay extra fee if you want to expand it.
Vulnerable to hacking attempt
Due to poor security, free websites are more vulnerable to hacking attempts. If your site is hacked, it will be difficult to get it recovered because you are provided with limited access to your files and data
HTML only sites with limited number of pages
These free website companies offer limited number of pages on your website. If you want to add more pages, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan.
Low credibility among your users
When your site is on a free service, your visitors not trust you. And if they are not comfortable with your website then why go online.
Limited design choices
Free websites offer few poorly designed templates. You cannot use your own designs or use any other design from the web.
No help or customer service
These free websites does not offer help to users. You will have to setup your site on your own with the help of very limited and poorly presented documentation. You are on your own if you can’t figure it out.
You can’t run advertisements or make money
Even though your free website company runs their own ads on your website, you are not allowed to run ads or make money from your website. You cant be able to add affiliate links or add Adsense to your website.
There are no backups
There is nothing like backups on these free websites. They do not backup your data and if something bad happens to your site, there is no way to restore your data.
Difficult to get rid off
The companies offering these services make money from content created by their users. They intentionally make it difficult to delete your website. Then your website will always be on their servers, and it will be hard to remove
No statistics or decent analytics
With a good hosting company, you can get free statistics about your site’s visitors. You can even install Google Analytics or any other traffic counters. On free websites, you are not allowed to add Google Analytics because they run their own analytics code on your website.
You will be targeted with email offers
These companies need to cover their costs by making money with alternative methods. They will continuously email you with special offers. Not to mention, they can sell your email address to other marketing companies as well.
No support for mobile devices
Your website can’t be updated from your mobile or hand-held devices. Free website companies mostly have their dashboards designed for desktop. This will make it hard to update your site from a mobile device.
No responsive designs
They offer website designs that are very old and do not work on mobile phones. Mobile users make a poor portion of internet traffic. By not having a responsive design you will lose all your visitors.
No branded email
You can’t create email with your domain name. This means you will use your gmail or Hotmail email account which does not look very professional.
No contact forms or email forwards
Every website on the needs a good contact form. They do not have a way for you to add custom contact forms. You can’t forward emails received on their own poorly configured form scripts.
Limited file upload features
With paid hosting companies, you can upload unlimited files to your site. Free website companies only offer you a web based interface where you can upload one file at a time.
No way to setup redirects
With WordPress or any CMS you can set up redirection in many different ways. This is a very useful way to maintain your site’s SEO scores. With free websites, you can’t setup redirects at all. Even if you move to a paid service later, you will not be able to redirect visitors from your free website.
Investing time on free website is unwise
If you have any serious intention of building something on the web, then you should never start with a free website. As you have read in this article, they are unreliable, unsafe, difficult, and severely limit your growth options.
Not even for practice
Free websites are terrible, even if you just want to practice.
Good Alternatives to a Free Website
The best alternative to a free website is a paid website. There are lots of websites and eforum members who offer web hosting option and Professional web design services. As all their websites are SEO optimized