A user who wants to create an online presence with under a low cost would most likely go for a free website hosting service as the thought of having free web hosting and simple site-building without paying anything is tempting.
Once you start using those “free website services”, it would soon prove difficult because of their limitations and hidden costs, which is opposite of being “FREE”.
1. Extremely long loading time
Long loading times to access your website will not only harm the user experience but is also bad for SEO since there are multiple websites hosted on the same server with most of the free hosting providers; free sites will load at extremely slow speed.
2. Unprofessional URLs
Having a website address like “professionalbusiness.freeweb.com” will bring negative impacts on your credibility as well as reputation. Although you can request having a custom domain, an additional charge would be applied.
3. “FREE” Website Services
Unlike paid website services, there are many limitations and hidden costs for these so-called “free services”. While you want to get more features, more pages or more storages, etc., you will have to pay. And you will realize that what you get at the beginning for FREE is way too essential, which is similar to trialing services.
4. Surprising Hidden Costs
Getting just the basic features from free web service means that your bill will be increased automatically, like adding to your shopping cart while online shopping without realizing it’s adding up!
5. Difficulty in Data Migration
It’s quite common that users who tend to start with free website services, eventually move back to paid services to save time and further costs. However, this little trick never works well as the free service providers would lock down your data. Users end up paying much more money to hire IT professionals to migrate your data manually.
6. Failure of getting 100% control of your website
Again. You need to know the limitations before signing up for free website services. Apart from site performance and hidden costs, you may not be able to add affiliate links or Adsense as well as google analytics tracking codes. As they are usually contract-free services, your website’s data will not be fully protected, which means there is a possibility that you may lose your site and all of the data associated without notification.
7. Risk of Data Security
Free website services are often more vulnerable to hacking attempts. If your site is hacked, your site may be at risk as you have minimal protection measures, but also there are no services for regular backups on these free websites. With free website services, the providers have less of an obligation, which also means you have fewer rights.
8. Low Data Storage
Free website companies usually give you insufficient storage to store your data. When you reach the limit, you are often asked to pay for more storage.
9. Limited Design Choices
Unlike a self-hosted WordPress site where you have access to thousands of design options, free websites only offer a few design templates, and you can’t fully customize them easily.
10. Limited Support
Support is insufficient if you’re using free website services, you will have to set up your site all on your own. If there are emergency errors or bugs, you would also need to figure out what the problem is or hire a web designer or developer to help you fix the problems.
Free websites can provide you with some great features, and the free services are tempting, yet you’ll need to clarify what you’re looking for when building a website. If you want to create a website and have a long term vision that is aligned with your services and brand, the free website services may be risky and a lack of guarantee that may harm your brand and its reputation.