Many people ask me weather to for a paid web hosting or try and find a free one. The current economic conditions have made thousands of people to start looking for a job online or even start their own little business in the internet. Indeed, these are rough times, economy is sluggish, people are losing their jobs and I understand you may not have a lot of money to invest in a website. But the good news is, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to invest in a website. You might know already Site Builder but you don’t have to use it to build a successful site; it’s just one option if you can afford it. I would highly recommend it. Many people, though, object to that idea saying that they don’t want to spend a dime to set up an online business.
Is This A Business You Want To Start?
Well, if you want to make money whether online or offline, you are opening up a business and business requires an investment of time and money; if you want to complain about the cost of a website think about if you want to open a business offline e.g. a cleaners or a convenient or a clothing store in your neighborhood. Do you have any idea how much money you have to put to start a business offline? The beauty of the internet is that domain name and hosting is so darn cheap. Imagine a place where you could start a business for six bucks a month. Isn’t that amazing, that you can start so cheap?
You have to put it in a perspective so that next time you want to complain about hosting costs, think about how much it would have cost you if you were offline. I think someone who doesn’t want to pay the hosting fees, is not serious. If you can’t afford it right now, go get a job to fund it.
The Catch You Won’t Like
Clearly I am not a fan of free web hosting. I used to be a customer of a free web hosting years ago. The company to start pay service, charging their customers after about 5 or 6 years and I got this email saying something like, “we appreciate you being our customer but in order to keep up business going we can no longer offer our web sites for free. You either have to pay for site or you are gonna lose it.” Fortunately the sites I had hosted there were sites I could afford to lose since they were those play-around sites. But there where a lot of people who were angry cause they had businesses hosted there and they had to pay this new hosting fee which was ridiculously high because they realized people would rather to pay the money than move their sites so they height up their price. This is what usually happens with all those no name free services. It’s not worth it.
More over, the search engines don’t take seriously the sites which are in a free hosting. Of course blogspot blogs are a different story; they usually rank well, since blogger.com is owned by Google.
What About Customer Support
The main disadvantage of free web hosting is the absolute absence of tech support, apart perhaps from a forum where you will have to spend a few hours searching for what you need and then again might not find anything useful or a way to fix your issues. The most frequent service I use for my sites is the live chat tech support. To me, it’s proven to be the most necessary thing I couldn’t do without all these years.
Flexibility, Design, Customization
Another disadvantage of free host is that you can’t do a lot in terms of functionality, because a lot those platforms have security limitations, so you can’t upload e.g. your own php scripts, or install special plugins, make advanced customization to your site, trim the design etc. Most of the time, those things are restricted. In some cases, you may be allowed to make a forum or a chat room but these are template based, cheap things and they are so limited.
Bottom line is that sites with free web hosting look cheap and you wouldn’t want to launch your business on a cheap platform.
When To Go For Free Blogging Platform
Before launching your serious website you might want to see how a blog works and experiment a bit, or practice your html or css skills just to get your feet wet. Then a free blogging platform would do the job. Spend sometime experimenting to make up your mind in terms of your site structure and design. When you are ready, go buy a webhosting package. Use a hosting package from host papa to enjoy a reliable service. Sign up for a simple webhost plan. You want people to know you mean business and you are not a passing fancy fortune hunter, but a serious professional. At least, invest in your own website. You don’t have to buy software, Dream Weaver or anything. You just have to practice on some html. Use your notepad!