Free web hosting is a huge scam and I am going to tell you why you need to avoid it and stop being a sucker for the whole “free” thing.
Free gets you nowhere.
You get what you pay for.
It’s all true. Web hosting is no different. Free is just an old gimmick.
Okay so let’s define free web hosting.
What Really IS Free Web Hosting?
There are these web builder sites like Wix and Weebly, amongst many others, and honestly, they’re pretty “feebly”, if ya know what I mean.
Get past the celebrity commercials and how they make it look so great in the television or web commercials, and really understand that you are getting a free web hosting “website” built with a proprietary software system that is hosted by a third party company that wants to sell you upsells of varying degrees, and the free part is to get you in the door and in the hook.
You DON’T want to put any site that means anything onto one of these petri dishes because you are TOTALLY at their mercy in that whatever you build will be loaded with their markup language artifacts and also you are bound by their terms of service. All someone has to do (and this can be a competitor that wants the easy way to blow your site out of the water) – all they have to do is complain and make something up and your site will most likely get suspended and your account deleted since it is the easiest cookie cutter way to protect THEIR site and reputation. So what’s one free web hosting freebie customer and their work that gets deleted? Who cares! (You will!)
You are worse than a number. (for real)
It’s very similar with the other free web hosting services like Blogger or WordPress.com , or Tumblr, or whoever. They give yo the basic site and site builder tools and then there are upsells and such, like custom domain names that they will attach to your account if you want to pay. Hey, wait, wasn’t this supposed to be free? Well, not once you want real services. Oh, and you get to be bound by their TOS restrictions even if you are a paying customer. Heaven forbid you run an ad they don’t like or someone does’t like, and you get reported.
Another con of the free web hosting sites is that since they are giving you this fourth rate hosting for free, they also reserve the right to run their own ads on your site and that gets shown to your site visitors. This isn’t always the case but it can be depending on the service in question.
Are These ALL of the Free Web Hosting Limitations and Gotchas?
Those are the most obvious.
There ARE other things, too.
Let’s say that you want a blog or a website that is build on top of WordPress.
Now, you create your content and add it all… BUT… something is missing, OR, you decide that you want to add things like inline ads, or maybe backend cron jobs, or certain other customizations to your site.
These are called plugins.
WordPress is a great platform that can be extended with various plugins. These additional capabilities come in really handy.
Say you want to add RSS feeds from other sites to your site, for example.
While the free services have certain tools that you can use, if you want something that isn’t included, then you are out of luck.
Stand alone WordPress that YOU install on your own non free web hosting (but pretty cheap to the point it’s almost free) has the flexibility and open standards that provide the website owner with what they need to get a world class site online.
I have several WordPress blogs and the ONLY type of blog that I would put on one of these free web hosting sites are feeder sites in which you create some related content that then pushes people to your main content, and that is ALWAYS hosted on your own web hosting account.
By all means USE the higher domain ranking of these various services with small sites that are keyword optimized and then POINT any web surfers to your main site or related article that is, once again, hosted on a real web host account and a real WordPress installation that you install and administer. (and secure)
The Best Way to Avoid the Free Web Hosting Bait and Switch
Don’t get involved with these site except to create small feeder sites for your main sites. Use their domain authority that they have with Google to draw in web searchers to certain keyword search terms and then link to your main site with related content, or an article on your site with the related content.
Build your site with a real web hosting service that has uptime guarantees and offers backup services, SSL, and other things that you may need to put forth a professional looking internet presence.
Remember that FREE is just a way to suck you into a web of lies, and that if you fall for this and trust your creative content to such services that at any time you can lose that content through getting shut down for any reason. (even through the complaints of some anonymous internet person)
I have seen and read tales of people who had real websites that they depended on to get the word out about their business or organization and how just due to the complaint thing they lost everything when the site was made offline by the free web hosting service and their account was disabled, so if they didn’t have that site backed up then the content was GONE. Not only that, most of the people who go the free route never buy a domain name, so they rely on the site address being whatever they call it and then that is tagged to the dot com of the free web hosting service, and once it’s offline, their site readership base doesn’t have any way to find them again except for the address (URL) that is now disabled.
It’s a bad situation made worse, and most people never think about these things and don’t even know what can happen until it happens to them.
The last thing that you need is to live one of those situations outlined above.
If you are going to take the time to put content together, and it takes times to create content, art, and put all of these ideas down in a coherent fashion and then do it on a regular basis so that you can have an entire website at your disposal, then do you REALLY want to risk it by being a cheapskate and not going for a low cost high quality web hosting account?
It’s your content and your choice.
Make a it a good one.