Ten Reasons to Not Choose A Free Domain Name or Host
Why do businesses, decide that they need to get a webhost, and a domain name, and they want it all for free?
Someone gets a bright idea for a website, or worse, a website for their business. They decide they really don’t want to have to pay money for a website, the domain name or even a designer, and they fully expect to make money – lots of it – with this free site. After all, the web is free, right?
They go about getting the free website, they get a free *subdomain* (after discovering that top level .com names are not free), build their website and find out, well, nothing is happening. No one is visiting the site, or if they do they just leave. Why?
A free website gives the impression that your business will not be around for long. It simply appears that you’re giving it a trial run, and if nothing happens in X amount of time, the business will be gone. No harm, no foul.
If you’re not willing to invest in your business, how can you expect your customers to invest in your business? Think about it. You are not willing to put –maybe– $150 a year into your business? Domain names run around $10 a year and up. Hosting runs $5 a month and up. You can even find web hosting for less than 5 bucks a month.
No brandability – a brand allows you to create a memorable name. Think Microsoft. All you need to do is type Microsoft.com into a browser. No need to do a Google search. If Microsoft uses a subdomain like Microsoft.somedomain.com, folks are less likely to remember it, if at all.
Doesn’t instill trust in your business. If a potential customer doesn’t trust you, they will not buy from you, and your business may not be taken seriously.
Using the free options gives the host (or ISP) a chance to shut you down.
A free host will be abused by spammers and other miscreants by using their free site for illegal content. A free host usually will not bother with backups, leaving the backing up to the user. It’s important to read the terms of service and understand it as well.
There may be advertising on your website that isn’t yours. Any money to be made from the ad will go to the free host. This could cause you to lose business, and the ads aren’t always, shall we say, attractive, or in line with your morals.
You may be banned from search engines – Recently, Google de-indexed/banned to.cc domains because of spammers. Your site may never get indexed at all, and if it does, your site may never get to the top pages in a search engine.
Bad server performance. Free sites are notorious for loading slow. Web hosting is a tough business, and it’s a lot of work to keep servers up and running optimally. A larger company has a better chance of running a free server, but the free server will never be top priority in the grand scheme of their business. Paid server support will always come first. If the free server is being run by some guy in his garage, chances are good that he doesn’t have the money to pay for support and he’s doing it all himself.
No support – won’t get the support you need, when you need it
No control over your website – limited on what you’re allowed to do
Free web hosting is fine if you’re just starting out and you’re going to build a personal page, or you’re just going to mess around and experiment.
If you want to make money, the small investment in paid hosting is the way to go.