A free website seems a logical solution for saving a lot of $$$$ for small businesses including home-based businesses. Many people feel that the cost of having someone else do their website just isn’t justified and the cost savings of a free website is the first place they start.
Is free REALLY free? The saying, “You get what you pay for” definitely pertains to free websites. Here is a snapshot of a great article I read on wpbeginner.com – 36 Reasons Why Having a “Free Website” is a Bad Idea
There are a lot of free website companies out there and if you Google the term free website, you will find no shortage of companies that will fulfill your ‘free’ wishlist. Please look deeply into all the fine print when you are researching these companies as you will quickly determine the ‘free’ isn’t free!
I have summarized some of the top reasons why you should avoid these free website temptations.
Unexpected charges & restrictions associated with Free Websites
As mentioned in the article by wpbeginner.com, there can be many unexpected charges, restrictions and add-ons that you as a user may not be aware of or get charge for such as:
- Additional charges for services such as hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, etc.
- When you decide to leave the free website company and build your own site, your data may be locked down or not accessible unless you pay high fees for release.
- Let’s say you want your domain name separate from the free website domain, this could cost you double what it would cost you normally to purchase a domain name from a hosting or domain company.
Hours Deciding on Theme
Hours Trying to Build Site
Calls to Friends For Help
Friends that have NO idea
Your free website ISN’T yours!
Free website companies can shut down your website without providing you a reason AND there usually isn’t a way to save your content (no FTP service).
These companies can advertise on your website without your consent unless of course you PAY to have no advertisements. Can you imagine having a competitor advertising on YOUR website…not good!
Your website can become part of a link farm which is a popular avenue to generate income on websites. We like to call them spam ads…annoying and they can drive traffic away from your site.
Not only can your information be sold, you are also vulnerable to hacking attempts. Free websites normally don’t offer you the protection that hosting companies do. I working with a hosting company and to date I feel protected with the services that they offer. Plugins that help protect your website from hackers is automatically added to your account as well as if there are concerns, I contact their support and they have teams of people looking into the threat for me.
There are no additional ways for you to add backup plugins to your site incase of a glitch. Websites can be erased or corrupted for numerous reasons and having the security of regular backups can save you time and money. Free websites typically do not offer backups.
Free websites = Bad investment
I’m sorry but free websites just are not a good investment if you are serious about being competitive in the online market. You put a lot of time and energy into building a website – if you actually finish it, so why waste that time if it isn’t completely yours? Many people soon realize even a free website is still not easy to build, they are unreliable, out date quickly, can be unsafe and severely limit your ability to customize your website to suit your needs.
Free websites really aren’t even a good idea if you just want to practise. They don’t offer proper setups, don’t work with WordPress and again…your time is money…invest wisely!