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The Hidden Costs of Free Web Hosting

 

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Are you wondering why hosting companies offer free packages?

After all, if they provide the service for free, what’s the point of paying for one of the paid packages they offer?

What do you get with free hosting, and what’s the catch?

Believe it or not, there are situations where free hosting can end up costing your company plenty of money, so let’s get right into it.

Should I choose a free host or one of those cheap web hosts offering service for only a couple of bucks a month?

 

Is it a Good Idea to Use Hosting That’s Free?

Sure, free hosting plays its part in the world of website development.

Design teams and developers will often use free hosting services to stage and test new ideas and products before bringing them to market.

However, if you’re relying on free hosting to run your website, you might want to change your plans.

Free hosting has its benefits, but it’s a terrible hosting solution for your website especially if you are running a small business.

Free hosting might come at no upfront cost, but there are usually limitations on bandwidth and disk space.

The hosting provider will also usually run ads on the free hosting model to recover the service’s costs.

Most hosting companies don’t put much effort into monitoring and maintaining a free service, therefore, you’re probably going to experience more service interruptions and downtime.

Since it’s a free service, there’s less incentive for the service provider to quickly restore the server. Free services also rarely include any form of technical support, and if things go wrong, you’re on your own.

If it’s already clear to you that a free hosting provider is not a good idea, you can check out our article on the best web hosting providers in Canada to see reasonably priced options for your hosting needs.

 

Is Free Hosting Safe?

Depends, some service providers run a secure free hosting service while others don’t pay too much attention to it.

However, as mentioned, the service provider is unlikely to allocate the same human resources to monitoring its free services as it does with paid options.

Therefore, there could be privacy issues occurring in the free server, or gaps in server security leaving it vulnerable to data leaks, so be careful with what information you put on a free server.

 

If it’s Free, How Do They Make Money?

Free hosting services are open to all users, but they cost the company a stack of money.

There’s the cost of maintaining the servers and all the other assets involved with providing it to prospects free of charge.

Most service providers offer free hosting, and it becomes a standard offering among the top companies.

However, think of it as more like a free trial than a full version.

To recover the costs of operating the free hosting service, the company might decide to run ads on your cPanel and throughout other website functions.

However, the free hosting service acts more as a marketing gimmick than a real solution.

 

What Should I Use Instead of Free Hosting?

Free hosting is the worst option for your business.

If you’re looking for entry-level hosting options, we recommend going with a shared hosting solution or cloud host.

Shared hosting solutions allow you to split the hosting costs with other websites, meaning you get great service but at a small cost.

The host signs you all up to use a single server, allocating resources to each website.

While shared hosting solutions offer you an affordable way to start your online presence, you’ll grow out of it fast as your company expands and traffic increases.

At that stage, you need to investigate VPS or dedicated hosting for your website.

A dedicated solution gives you the resources of an entire server at your disposal, and you don’t have to share it with anyone else.

Dedicated solutions come in managed and unmanaged options, allowing you to have the host take care of the server maintenance or doing it yourself with your IT team.

 

Free Hosting FAQ

 

  • Is WordPress hosting free?

  • WordPress is a free, open-source CMS (Content Management System). However, WordPress does not include free hosting with its sites. You’ll need to get a custom domain and register with a hosting provider to launch your site.

    Dedicated WordPress hosting solutions make an attractive option for WordPress users as they offer free updating and maintenance of your website, as well as including other WordPress specific perks with your subscription package.

  • Can I create a website without hosting it?

  • Without giving an overly technical answer, yes, it is possible to build a website without hosting it. To do so, you’ll need to have experience with setting up your PC as a staging server. Most beginners don’t have that kind of expertise and rely on professional design services for the process.

    However, with web-builder programs, like Wix or Squarespace, you can build your site within the platform without the need for hosting.

 

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Shawn Gant

Shawn is a passionate techie particularly interested in the fintech space. He loves to dig into the ever evolving number of apps and SaaS platforms available to Canadians. In his free time, catch him on the mountains shredding some powder.