We’ve rarely met a person who didn’t like getting something for nothing, and we suspect you’re no different. After all, with the cost of living getting ever more expensive these days, a freebie thrown our way every now and again can come as a real blessing.
This is especially true when it comes to starting a business. In these tough economic times, it’s harder than ever get to get the loans we need to fund a successful new venture. As such, we’re often left trying to make every penny count in an effort to launch a business on a shoestring budget.
To make savings, we might decide to build our own website. To make even more, we might well be tempted to take that brand new site we’ve spent countless hours creating, and place it on a free hosting account.
On the one hand, few people could blame us. With so many other costs to consider, eliminating the price of hosting could free up some cash to pay for better quality business cards, stationary or other essentials.
On the other, taking out a free hosting plan could actually end up costing us more money in the long-run than it initially saves. That’s why we recommend choosing a shared web hosting plan which start from as little as £1! Don’t believe us then compare the best web hosts here.
Here’s just three reasons why.
Despite what they might tell you, free hosting companies don’t give away their plans just because they’re generous, kind-hearted people. Just like you, they’re in business to make money. To do that, you’ll often find that they limited the amount of storage and bandwidth you’re allowed with your free plan, and charge you for larger plans.
What this means for your business, is that if you have any amount of success, your free hosting plan may not be sufficient to adequately serve all those visitors who come flocking to your website.
When you consider that you can get unlimited storage and bandwidth allowances for less than £2 per month with some of the leading cheap hosting deals, that freebie plan suddenly doesn’t seem like such a bargain.
Another key way that free web hosting companies manage to turn a profit is by placing advertising on your website. In some cases, this might just be an ad for the hosting company itself. In others, it might be advertising for a different company altogether.
Either way, this has two major drawbacks for you as a business.
First, there’s the fact that you have no real control over where those ads are placed, meaning they may well be hiding some crucial part of your site, such as your Call to Action or pricing information. Even if they don’t, let’s not forget that you worked hard to create this website, do you really want some ugly banner ad spoiling your beautiful design.
Second of all, it’s worth remembering that your site is designed to entice customers to buy from you. If a different website is advertising their products or services on your site, it could distract your customers from what you’re selling, and may lead those visitors away from your website.
An Unprofessional Look
One key factor in convincing your customers that you’re a business worth buying from is the way you present yourself. Customers want businesses they can trust, businesses who take what they do seriously, and who, above all else, are professional.
Even a novice web user can spot a website that’s hosted on a free plan from a mile away, which hardly sends out the right impression. Think about it, if you’re telling your customers that you couldn’t even afford a few pounds a month for your own website and domain name, what does that say about the quality of the products or services you provide?
Sure, it may take a small bite out of your budget in the short-term, but as your business grows, paying for your hosting could end up making you more money than opting for a free plan could ever save.