Free is always good, right? Not when it comes to a web host. There are a number of reasons that using a free web host is a bad idea, especially if your e-commerce is the bread and butter of your company. The potential savings in using a free web hosting service are dwarfed by the lost conversions from users who expect your site to load quickly and be there when they want to visit it. Here are some reasons why you should never use a free web host.
Your company’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts depend on your website, getting a lot of clicks on a search engine results page (SERP) from potential customers. The higher the number of visitors to your site, the greater the chance those visits will convert into purchases of a good or service. Free web hosts are not designed for commercial traffic, once the number of users visiting your site begins to increase, they will likely experience slower load times, or your site may crash. In this way, you actually lose money by using a free web host. The amount spent on SEO is compounded from the loss of potential sales.
We Are Programmed to Receive
Imagine that your company either hires employees to build your website, or contracts a company to do the job, creating a high-quality website. Your company dedicates a sizable portion of its annual budget to make sure you have a website that is on par or superior to your competitors. In time, your free web host won’t be able to handle the amount of traffic to your website. After looking into another web host, you discover that you can’t leave the free host. It is not uncommon for free web hosts to hide in their terms of service that when you use them as a host, that they legally own your website and all its content. This caveat can be a devastating expense to small business and startups who don’t have the capital to embark on building another website from scratch. This issue means that many companies are stuck using a free web host that with slow load times and frequently can’t be found.
There is No Upside
Having the right keywords and content in your SEO campaign or pay per click ads can be highly effective in driving traffic to your company’s website. What is not profitable is when a customer clicks on a link in a search engines results or a pay per click ad, and they receive an error message because your website is not at the other end of the link. Free web hosts come with the price of having frequent downtime where your website is not available. These periods of downtime can last anywhere from hours to days. In addition to frustrated customers who are unlikely to return to your website, search engines such as Google penalize for websites with frequent downtime. Again, the cost of using a free web host will cost your company money, in this instance because of downtime.
In addition to the above reasons are poor security, infrequent backups of your website, and as previously mentioned downgrading of your site’s SEO rankings. The old adage you get what you pay for can be sharply felt by the companies who made the mistake of using free web hosting. Don’t follow in their footsteps and damage your company’s SEO or e-commerce efforts by not paying for a web host. The damage that was