The dangers of free web hosting

When looking for a web host, the sheer number of options available can be daunting, however, there is one general rule that can be applied in this search - you get what you pay for. Of course this rule doesn’t always hold, as it is possible to find a better service for a reduced price, however, when it comes to the topic of free web hosting, this rule is golden. The negatives of free web hosting services almost always outweigh the positives and serves as a poignant reminder that even free products come at a price.

Free web hosting may seem great in theory but there are many unseen pitfalls. So what are the dangers of free web hosting?

Your content is continuously at risk

Perhaps the greatest risk posed by free web hosting is that your page is never 100% secure. Free web hosting services possess neither the money nor the incentive to provide adequate security for their clients. This leaves you extremely vulnerable to both malware and spam attacks. This has several severe implications that include you being locked out of your account, a hostile outsider taking over your page and the potential risk of malicious viruses taking up residence on your home computer.

Another risk posed by free web hosting services is the web host itself. Web hosts that offer free services are notoriously volatile with the vast majority not lasting past a first year. The damage to your content if the web hosting company is shut down, would be catastrophic. Your content would literally cease to exist. So, unless you backed it up, months or years of hard work would be gone in the blink of an eye. Therefore, using a free web hosting company’s services is always a risky endeavour.

Extremely difficult to make money

So, you’ve found a bargain web host, set up your blog and presume that it’s only a matter of time before the money starts rolling in? Think again. Because the web hosting service is free, the web hosting company must find alternative methods of generating income, namely advertising on YOUR page.

Free web hosting companies usually reserve the right to advertise on and alter your page as they please. Therefore, the advertising money is going to the web host and not into your back pocket. Furthermore, it can limit your business’s earning potential in a conventional sense due to poor search engine optimisation performance.

Free web hosting sites are characterised by slow Website speeds, lots of downtime and database errors, all of which send you spiralling down Google’s search results page. This can seriously affect how much traffic your business page generates and could have a direct affect on your potential income. Therefore, it can be seen that if you want your page to generate money, then free web hosting is not a good strategy.

Details, Details, Details

Using free web hosting services can be extremely frustrating from a personal side. Most free hosting companies provide an extremely limited range of design templates, which renders your page disconcertingly similar to every other blog on the company’s books. This has the effect of making it very hard to stand out from other pages, which ultimately results in less public interest in your page.

Besides the limited design options, there are many other flaws that leaves your page looking unprofessional. For example, you can’t choose your own domain name, which normally results in a domain name that people find hard to remember.

In conclusion, paying for web hosting is not expensive when compared to the hassles involved in using a free host. When it comes to free web hosting remember the golden rule: you get what you pay for.

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