Alright, so you have decided you want to have your own website but you just don’t know whether or not you should pay the money for your own domain and hosting. It can be quite confusing at first when you are trying to figure it all out, but once you understand the main differences, you will easily be able to make your decision. So, in this article we are going to cover the main ups and downs between free and paid hosting.
The most obvious benefits and downfall is going to be about the price. Having your own domain is usually around $12 a year while the hosting has a monthly fee of about $10. The monthly fee can go higher depending on the company and the package you decide, but if you are looking into basic packages, expect to pay around $10 a month. While the free hosting is, well… free.
A big downside to signing up for free hosting is you won’t be able to have your own domain name. Depending on your reason for having a website will determine if this is a big factor for you or not. If you are going to try to run a business or a blog that will bring you revenue, then this can really hurt because it makes your business look unprofessional and people tend not to trust their money with a website that is using a free domain.
If you are only looking to blog about your daily life or to just practice writing, then using a sub-domain wouldn’t hurt you at all! You could keep just doing what you’re doing without worrying about if people are willing to spend money, etc, etc.
Slow Load Speeds and Bandwidth
So naturally, you won’t be the only one using the free hosting site, which means you will be sharing the bandwidth with everyone else. At peak times, you will notice that the loading times for your site are much slower and can even time out completely. If you expect a decent amount of traffic to your site, you might want to invest in your own hosting because if people can’t load your pages, they might not try again.
Limited Design and Upload Options
A great thing about having your own domain and hosting is that you are able to do anything you want with your website. Any design, any content, anytime. You will be mostly limited to small uploads and have very limited design options when it comes to using a free hosting site. If you really don’t care much about the design aspect of your website, then you shouldn’t have any problems, but it is worth mentioning just in case.
No Control Over Your Account
This one is a bit tricky because if you follow all of the free hosting site’s rules, then you should not run into any problems. With a free hosting site, you have no control over almost any aspect of your account, it could technically be deleted whenever they feel it is necessary. This can be a bit scary for most people since they put all this work and effort into their free site, only to then realize that they could eventually lose it. Not only do you not have control over your account, but you won’t be able to forward people to other sites using your sub-domain.
If you ever decided that it is time to get your own domain name and hosting, you will have no way of diverting the traffic to your new site. Free hosting sites try to keep all of their traffic in house to get more advertising revenue, so if you decide to leave them, you will basically need to start of scratch. You might be able to try and convince all of your viewers to follow you to your new website, but most likely only a fraction of them will go.
So basically, when it comes down to it, whether or not you will use free hosting just really depends how successful you want your website to be. If you don’t have your own domain, you can’t really brand, have high amounts of traffic, or design your site properly. If you don’t really plan to use the website a lot, then free hosting might be your perfect solution.