A trusted web hosting provider makes sure your website stays up and running smoothly with minimal downtime. However, not all providers out there are reliable. Worst case scenario, you can end up with a package that it detrimental to your online business’s success (e.g. SEO ranking, traffic, loading time). As a business owner with little experience online, you should be aware of all the risks. Your online reputation can affect the reputation and reliability of your brick-and-mortar organization; regardless of its size and complexity.
Test Web Hosting Providers Before Making a Final Choice
Did you know that most hosting providers have free trial offers? Steer clear of packages that look good to be true though. Assess reviews and check a hosting company that exudes confidence and has excellent reviews. Also, you might want to read their terms and conditions. Even if you choose to pay at the end of the trial period, you have the option to ask for a full refund if the services you’ve been provided with didn’t live up to your expectations.
Not All Web Hosting Providers That Market Free Services Are Trustworthy
If you’re 100% sure that the web hosting option you can afford is the free package, you need to assess your options carefully. Free hosting means that you’re giving up control over what happens on your websites. Providers have the legal right to place whatever kind of ads they want; even if they’re not related to your niche or domain.
The mere fact of having random ads popping onto your website can affect your reputation. If you want to be perceived as being a professional online business, you need your web design to be as focused as possible on your target audience.
With Free Hosting You’re No Longer the Owner of Your Website
There is a mere fact that you’re no longer the rightful owner of your website when you sign up for free web hosting should be a deal breaker. Did you ever stop to read the terms & conditions on the website of a free hosting provider? Probably not! In most cases, the conditions are meant to benefit the host and not you. With blogger.com, for example, you don’t have ownership of the space you “rent” on their servers. If you want to sell your website, and you get caught, Google will impose a lifelong ban on you.
No Customization Options and No Customer Support with Free Hosting
Free hosting often limits the options you have when it comes to controlling what happens with your website. One of the core downside is that you won’t be able to personalize the structure of your website or the templates. Most providers advertising free services have specific free templates that can’t be modified. This means that there’s a high probability for your online business to look just like other business.
Furthermore, you have limited plugin capacity with free hosting. SEO tools are fundamental in the online space because they can help assess your traffic and analyze your visitors. Also, if you run into any sort of issue – such as slow website loading – you’ll have to figure out the issues all on your own. Free web hosting services don’t provide customer services, meaning that common PhP, MySQL, database or email concerns will have to be fixed by you.
If you have little experience with website maintenance, you won’t be able to solve the issue on time. While your website is down, your reputation is at risk; not to mention that your visitors, prospects or customers will immediately hit the “X” button and check out the competition.
Last but not least, with free web hosting you has limited bandwidth and storage space. Provided you’ve made the choice to go with shared hosting, know that you won’t be allowed to use more that the bandwidth limit you have available. As your business progresses, more visitors to your site and more uploaded content means at some point you’ll reach the storage data limit.
Relocating to a different web hosting is time-consuming. Rather than compromise on the quality of your online business, a more realistic option would be to choose managed or dedicated web hosting, which feature lots of added benefits at a convenient price package.