New business owners often want to start their own website to keep corresponding costs low. It is easy to be lured in by companies claiming free website services, but upon further investigation these services are not free at all. In addition, you will be wasting valuable time on creating a mediocre website that can comes with an array of problems. See our list of 10 reasons a free website is a bad idea.
1. A Slower Website
In conjunction with errors, you also run the risk of a slower website. Free website hosting providers are usually hosting your website with thousands of others on the same server. This will prompt a slow load speed that can cause a bad experience for the user, as well as have a negative impact on your SEO.
2. Advertisements on your Website
Free website services are supported by irrelevant advertisements that have nothing to do with you or your website. They place these ads on your website to receive cash; these ads end up littering your website pages and driving away potential customers looking for information or services.
3. Hidden Charges
While these website services advertise they are free, there can be numerous hidden charges that come along with it. They might charge extra for services like email accounts, website transfer, website support, image hosting and more. These charges are often incredibly high.
4. Your Website is not Mobile Friendly
Google states that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. With that, 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. Having a responsive site that works for mobile devices is incredibly important as mobile users are a significant part of traffic online. With free websites, they offer very little designs that are mostly outdated and do not work with mobile devices.
5. They Can Sell Your Information to Other Companies
One way these free website services make money is by selling your information to other companies. While they will mention this in the Terms & Conditions, the reader often overlooks it or will not read the Terms & Conditions to begin with.
6. Your Domain Looks Unprofessional
If you are looking to market yourself or your business, it is important that your domain name is not only relevant, but makes a good first impression. If your website address is something along the lines of “mydomain.myfreewebsite.com”, this counteracts any great impact you were trying to make and site visitors may doubt your credibility.
7. No Backups of Your Website
With free websites, it makes it difficult and often impossible to backup your website properly. If something bad were to happen to your website and all of your hard work, data and content disappeared, you would have no way to restore your website back to its original state. Free websites have no concept of regular backups to prevent you from losing everything.
8. Free Website Services Can Shut Down Your Website
Free website hosts are notorious for shutting down websites for a number of uncertain reasons. Once your website goes down, your content is lost. Not only that, any SEO, page authority, or pagerank that you’ve built up over time will ultimately be lost as well.
9. No Google Analytics
With free websites, they often do not allow users to add Google Analytics. This is often because they are running their own analytics code on your website, tracking far less data than Google Analytics. Without Google Analytics, a user is not be able to track the performance of their business online and prevents them from free statistics about the website’s visitors.
10. Free Domains are Less of a Priority to Search Engines
Free websites are almost always considered to be less considerable and show up lower in the listings. There is a high probability that you may even become penalized if there are a lot of websites considered to be spam associated with a domain.
More often than not, what is offered for free is definitely not free. For websites, this is many times the case. It takes a significant amount of time to design, plan, develop, and test a practical website. While they may state that they are free, the negative aspects to using a free website are more than the positives, and in the long run will cost you.