Being able to bring a project in under budget is always a positive thing, but if it is done at the cost of your company’s website, it quickly becomes negative. There are various reasons you should not use discounted or free hosting. Here are a few of the more conspicuous reasons.
Free is Never Free
When it comes to free site hosting there are several reasons why you should clearly avoid it.
Pop Goes the Conversion
The first and most apparent reason not to use free hosting to which your customers will react is ads. In exchange for free hosting, your website has any number of banners, pop up, ads or side ads. If you want visitors to your site to know about your brand, this is the worst possible way to go about it. Instead of seeing your colors, language, fonts, and images in line with your brand; the user sees a pop-up ad three seconds after your site has loaded, for any number of products.
These types of ads do nothing to improve your conversion rates; to the contrary, every pop-up ad on your website from a free host has the potential to take that visitor to another site. Even if a pop-up ad does not take the visitor away, user perception is so negative when it comes to pop-ups they are unlikely to visit your website again anytime soon. Ads for other companies on your site also gives the impression that your company is at best, amateurish.
Is Anybody There?
Free web hosting means fewer features on which you can count. Is your site down due to a hosting issue? Good luck with trying to reach a human being to help you. Customer services is an expenditure, not a profit center so with a free host that means you will have zero support if there is an issue with your website.
Two Gigabits Does Not a Website Make
If you are a small business or mid-sized company and are serious about branding or perhaps e-commerce, then you should not use a free host. The two gigabits offered by most free hosts is not enough to hold all the company data, customer data, and financial transaction data that is required for any actual business website.
One at a Time Please
Free websites also lack the bandwidth to allow more than a handful of visitors to your site at once.
It was Here a Moment Ago
Free websites don’t back up your data, so if you are used to having a site host as a contingency when it comes to back up, look somewhere else. At most free site hosts back up data once a month, that is a lot of time between backups when you could lose valuable data.
Free web hosts do not offer SSL certificates, which means that a user’s private data travels from their computer, across servers, to your website completely unencrypted. Informing your customers that your company was responsible for their vital data breach is devastating for your branding.
Where Did it Go?
You can count on free hosts having downtime about as regularly as Old Faithful erupts. Sometimes free host can be down for 24 hours or more, so think of that in terms of lost sales. With that sobering fact in mind, the host isn’t really free, is it?
Paid Shared Hosting has slightly better support, uptime, bandwidth, and storage than a free website, but there is a major issue with using shared sites. Shared websites are probably the best way to get hacked or get a virus in your server because you are sharing a server with countless other websites.
The Bottom line is that if you care about your bottom line, discount web hosting will cost you more than it saves.