When you decide to launch your website, the first thing you do is create a website. This can be done offline using a range of tools available. However, if you want to make it accessible online, then you need to store the site and all associated files on a web server. Buying a webserver can be costly. Therefore, most site owners opt for a web hosting service.
When you start looking for one online, you are met with two types of services – free and paid. There are different types of paid web hosting services available like Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, etc. In web hosting, Linux is usually a preferred operating system due to its open-source nature that ensures affordability of plans. While some site owners prefer Windows too, the choice depends upon the requirements of your site.
This is where most new site owners get confused. If they are getting something for free, then why should they pay for it? Even if it is something as affordable as Linux Shared Hosting.
In this article, we will talk about choosing a paid Shared Web Hosting plan while highlighting the disadvantages of going with a free web hosting service.
Web hosting in India has numerous options in free and paid services. Before you opt for a free hosting service, it is important to note that for a provider to offer web hosting, there are various costs involved. These include buying and maintaining the server and associated infrastructure, manpower, etc. Hence, in most cases, free web hosting services come with some kind of a trade-off.
Here are Seven Disadvantages of Choosing Free Web Hosting:
These are one of the most common trade-offs of free web hosting plans. Since the hosting company is not charging you for web hosting, it has to ensure that it recovers its costs by other means. The easiest way to do that is by displaying advertisements on your website. All the revenue generated by these ads goes to the hosting provider. While this might not have a direct impact on your site, it can act as a distraction and make the page look cluttered.
Opting for a paid Shared Hosting plan ensures there are no unnecessary advertisements. And, if you choose to host ads on your site, you get the revenue earned through it.
Some free web hosting providers include their logo and/or brand name on your website to promote their brand. For example, WordPress.com includes its domain name in the URL of your site in exchange for free hosting. This can make the URL unnecessarily complex and longer.
With a paid hosting platform, only your brand/logo is displayed, making it easier for you to market your brand and for customers to remember you.
3: No customer support
Since you are not paying for web hosting services, the provider cannot afford to offer round-the-clock support services. Although some providers advertise 24×7 support with free web hosting plans, it is important to set your expectations realistically.
With paid Shared Hosting plans from leading providers, you get dedicated round-the-clock support from a team of experts through multi-channel modes like phone calls, emails, chatbots, etc.
4: Frequent downtimes
Every web server needs to be maintained and might require downtime. With paid services, the hosting provider tends to ensure maximum uptime by scheduling such maintenance tasks during low-traffic hours. With free web hosting providers, downtimes can be more frequent.
5: Number of webpages
Typically, a free web hosting provider profits by using your site for promotion or advertising. Hence, these providers try to offer hosting services to multiple clients on one server. To ensure this, many providers tend to put a limit on the number of pages that you can create.
While this might not be a hindrance for small sites, if you need more pages, you will either have to upgrade to a paid plan or change your host.
6: Limited Bandwidth
Since a free hosting provider tries to optimize its resources, free plans usually have a limit on the amount of available bandwidth. This can impact the performance of your site especially if you have a media-heavy website.
Paid Shared Hosting plans offer unmetered bandwidth plans with clear usage guidelines.
7: Paid upgrades for various features
Many free web hosting providers use free hosting as a way to get people to sign up and offer highly limited features. They hope that once the site owner has launched the site, he would not mind upgrading to a paid plan to ensure uninterrupted site services.
With paid plans, all the features and offerings – free or paid – are clearly laid down in the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Despite the disadvantages offered by free web hosting plans, we would like to specify that these plans are a good fit for websites that have basic hosting requirements. However, if you are planning to start an online business or sell products/services via your site, then opting for a paid hosting plan like Shared Hosting makes more sense. Choose carefully. Good Luck!