The Internet is flickering with offers to create a free website, personal or for your business. Sounds tempting, but why do people still pay hundreds or thousands for what looks like the same product they can get for free? In this article, you will find 18 basic reasons why creating a free website are not worth for your business and why they are often not completely free.
What is a free website
Many newcomers to the business want to save wherever they are, and that is perfectly understandable – taxes and miscellaneous costs. So if you are tempted by a free website where you do not have to pay for website hosting, web address or email, as soon as you sign up you will notice that the website management tools are very limited, you will not choose the web address you want and everything you want to get extra, you need to pay.
If you still like the idea of a free website, here is a list of other restrictions you may not have thought of.
Companies that provide free website hosting services usually host hundreds of websites on the same server. Web site speeds are severely affected, and slow sites are disliked by users as well as Google and other search engines. So your site’s SEO ranking suffers too – you will not usually find slow websites on the first pages of the Google search engine.
An unprofessional looking web address
Free web sites usually have quite complex addresses – instead of myname.com, you will have the address myname.freewebsite.com. The problem first is that this address is hard to remember. Secondly, such an address will not give you confidence in your potential customer. If you are offering a product or service, you need to show that you are serious about it and not save wherever possible.
Companies that offer free websites also need to pay their bills and salaries. So do not be surprised if you have to pay for additional emails, photo hosting or similar services.
Another nuance is that if you want to buy a more solid domain for a free website, it will probably cost significantly more than buying it from a company that deals with paid website hosting.
Difficult to transfer information
Many customers who use free sites sooner or later want to move to paid servers. However, it is not always possible to move free sites elsewhere – so you put a lot of work into preparing information for a free site, and when you want to move it elsewhere, you will need to do all the work again.
Links and advertising on the site
A number of free websites are maintained by advertisements or hosted links that you can not remove. So you have no choice but to display advertising on your site that is unrelated to your services or goods (or worse, competitor advertising).
A free website may stop working at any time
Since you are not paying for the service, you probably have no guarantee that your free site will continue to function today and in the month after. If a company offering free websites decides to change or close down, you probably have an idea of what will happen to your site.
Lack of tools
The tools and capabilities of free website management are far from those of WordPress or other content systems. You may lack both the rarer text editor features, the menu or other item controls, and you will not be able to install them.
Unsecured data security
Because free web providers also want to save money, they often use older code and do not invest in fully securing their websites. So, if your site is “hacked”, there may not be a chance to restore it or fix security vulnerabilities.
Free sites usually have very limited disk space, as a large number of sites must be hosted on the same server. If you use up the space provided to you on the server, you will be charged for the additional space.
Limited amount of information
Some web hosting companies allow you to have a limited number of pages on your site. You will need to subscribe to a paid plan if you need more.
A limited selection of design templates and design elements
If you have an unlimited selection of different style design templates and extras for your website with WordPress or another content management system, you may not expect this from the free website management tools. Usually, there are poor looking design templates out there that you will not have a great choice of. Template compatibility with mobile devices will also is unclear. That is a huge argument that creating a free website is not worth.
No professional help
Having a professionally prepared website ensures that you will receive prompt and professional help in the event of uncertainties or technical problems.
With a free website, you either will not get help at all or you will have to pay for it.
Companies offering free websites do not back up their websites (however, this is an additional cost that no one bears). So there will simply be no backups when needed.
No detailed visitor statistics
If you use professional hosting services, you can easily install Google Analytics or other software on your site that will allow you to see the statistics of visitors to your site – how many people visit your site, how many of them return, which pages of your site are visited frequently, etc. using a free website will at best give you minimal visitor information.
Limited attachment options
With professional hosting services you will have virtually unlimited file uploading capabilities to your site, both through an FTP server and through the content management system itself. With a free site, you will likely need to upload files one by one, and not necessarily in the size or format you want.
Rigid contact forms
Every website should have a form of contact so that the potential customer can contact you as quickly as possible without the need for additional programs. Free websites, even if they have contact forms, are usually minimal, without the ability to add new fields, send information to multiple emails at the same time, and similar features.
Lots of time due to uncertain results
Proper preparation of information, even for a free website, takes a considerable amount of time. If you can not easily transfer or backup your information later, you will sacrifice quite a bit of time, but you have neither the convenience nor the assurance that your work will not go in vain.
Not suitable for practice
The last reason why creating a free website is not worth. If you think that a free website will help you learn the basics of website management, you will be disappointed. Later purchasing a paid website will require you to learn from new – quality and full-fledged content systems have completely different management tools and layouts, so you will have to start over anyway.
Alternatives to Free Sites
After all these reasons you now know why creating a free website is not worth, you probably already suspect, alternatives to free sites are… paid sites. At the very least, a paid web address (domain) and website hosting should be the minimum to start with.