Getting free website is tempting. The internet is full of companies offering free website hosting even for self-hosted WordPress. You’re probably wondering what’s the catch? Why isn’t everyone else using this then?
Well there are plenty of catches, here are 10 of them:
1. Extremely slow
Free sites are on servers where one server can be running 1000’s of websites. They’re unreliable, often go offline and your website will be usually extremely slow to load and interact with.
2. Unprofessional web address
Having an address that looks likie
mysmallbusiness.Freewebsite.com does not look professional at all. Your potential customers can’t take your website seriously. And if you go ask them for a custom domain they’ll usually charge you premium prices of over $20 for domains you can easily get for 12$ or less.
3. Fishy practices
Your data is not yours and they can do with it whatever they like. Your site could disappear any day for no reason and you’ll lose all your information.
Companies offering free websites usually try to upsell you somehow in fishy ways. They might charge your credit card without authorization for “renewal” services after a few months and other fishy practices.
Free sites are usually very limited regarding bandwidth and storage. They wouldn’t allow you to grow beyond a few images or visitors. Add to that the compromised resources and you’ll get a very unreliable product.
Companies offering free websites won’t have a security staff and most likely won’t run security checks on their servers. That makes it a massive target for attacks and hacks. If you have sensitive data on your site, you’re risking a lot.
6. Limited design choices
Free sites usually offer you a few, outdated options regarding the design of your site. Free sites look unprofessional, templated and not unique. These designs are usually not even responsive.
7. Terrible customer service.
Or maybe none at all. If anything goes wrong on your free site, good luck. These companies usually don’t offer customer support or if they do, it’s usually slow, unreliable and rarely solves your problems.
8. So many NO’s
No statistics, no contact forms, no support for mobile, no responsive design, no custom code among many other restrictions.
If you can’t put your own code, can’t track your visitors and check stats, can’t have a mobile site then it’s not even worth it.
9. Time lost
Spending hours trying to design a free website in an outdated, clunky tool to end up with a site that’s unreliable and doesn’t look they way you want it is just a big waste of your precious, limited time.
10. You’re the product
Two pigs talking to each other: “Hey, it’s really good here on the barn, we get fed, they take care of us, a nice places to sleep, I really like it here”.
If you’re not paying for it, they’re selling you. Your site could be used for hidden link farms, or they could sell your information and data, maybe even use your name for malware distribution. Always watch out for the hidden cost of the “free” tag.
What can you do?
If you’re serious about getting a website but your budget is limited, you can always get a professional to give you a hand and recommend you options that are within your budget.
For example: Divisites are a great way to get a nice website with a unique design and professional support behind it.