Free Domain Name And Hosting – Is The Deal Worth It?

Head Surfer
August 12th, 2012

Being offered a free domain name and hosting could sound like a really good deal, but sometimes this may not actually be the case. Whether this is good for you will depend on what you use your website for.

It is very common for web hosting companies that are popular and have an excellent reputation to give you a free domain name when you sign up to use their hosting services. Due to the fact that the hosting industry has a large amount of competition, hosting companies often give a free domain name in order to attract customers and make them purchase their hosting plans. This is not what we are actually talking about in this article. Instead, we will be taking a look at free domain name and hosting services.

The issues with free domain name and hosting companies

It is not actually a true domain. Free hosting companies do not actually give their clients an actual domain name, but it is actually a subdomain on the host’s top level domain. It looks quite unprofessional and also does not allow you to brand your site around the domain. It simply screams “cheap” and does not present a good image of your business. Many people would be reluctant to deal with a business which doesn’t want to spend a few dollars on a real domain name.

You don’t own the domain. As you don’t own the domain, it is not possible for you to sell the website should it become profitable later on and you would stand at making some money from the sale.

Host placing ads on your site. Free hosts usually place ads, such as banners, text ads and pop ups on their client’s websites as a way to make money for themselves. These ads could be quite unwelcome on a business website as they could distract your visitors and cause them to click out of your website.

Low bandwidth and disc space. Free web hosting companies only give a low amount of disk space and bandwidth, which will probably not be enough once your site grows and you start receiving more traffic.

Reliability problems. You have no guarantee that your site will always stay functional. In fact, you can never be sure as to whether your site will still be in operation the next day.

Free Domain and Hosting for Your Needs

The only good thing about free hosting is that it could be useful for someone who creates a website just for fun or to learn various techniques in creating a website.

Due to the fact that paid hosting is now extremely affordable, it is definitely a good idea to spend a few dollars a month and go with a host that gives you reliable hosting, uptime guarantees as well as customer support that is available 24 hours a day.

Free domain name and hosting should not be used to host a business website as the features and services which are provided by them are not enough to give you a reliable hosting environment that allows for the growth of your business.

Building A Website For Business

If you need a website for your company, you will notice that the most recommended way to build a free website for business is to choose an inexpensive web host that gives you a free domain name when you sign up with them. A lot of the main web hosting companies give you access to free web development tools that will let you create a website for your business by using the free domain name that you were given when you signed up.

Your Options With Regards to Building a Free Website for Business

You essentially have two choices when it comes to building a free website for your business. Either you go with a free web host or a paid one. These two options are quite different and not just in price.

Using a Paid Web Host

Many hosting companies give you a free domain name in order to encourage you to sign up with them and become a customer of their hosting service. In some cases, you will not need to pay any renewal fees for your domain, as long as you stay a customer of that same web host.

Of course, you get to select your own domain name and make it something that is relevant to your business. Many SEO experts recommend that you pick a domain name which has the main keyword that you want to target in search engines.

Even though many web hosting companies give you hosting that is very inexpensive, sometimes as cheap as $3 per month, these are actually reliable hosting companies who have been in the market for several years.

The low prices result from the fact that the web hosting market has some very serious competition going on. Companies are always looking to attract customers by giving them hosting packages that are less expensive than their competitors. This is very good for someone that wants to learn about building a free website for business or for their own personal use.

You will be given a large amount of disk space and monthly bandwidth to begin with, however as your site grows you can always upgrade. Some other great features are 24/7 technical support and an uptime guarantee which states that your site will be up for 99.9% of the time. Paid web hosts often provide web development tools and templates that allow you to build your site rapidly. These tools are very simple to use and don’t require you to have any experience in building web pages. You can also install WordPress blogs easily thanks to a Fantastico script that is available in the control panel.

Using a Free Host for Building a free Website

Using a free web host is not recommended for various reasons. Free web hosts often give a very limited amount of disk space and it is quite impossible to increase it without upgrading to a paid package. Technical support, if any, is usually limited to a ticket system or email. This means that if you have a question, you will often have to wait a day or more to get an answer.

Free web hosts place ads, such as popups and banner ads on your site in order to make profit for themselves. They don’t give you a free domain name either. Reliability if also a serious issue. Free web hosts don’t give you any guarantee that your site will be up all the time and will tell you that since the service is free anyways, reliability is not their main priority.

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