What normal person in their right mind—especially in a capitalist society—would ever take a deal that resulted in them paying for a product or a service that they could’ve gotten for free? No one, of course, because it’s a ridiculous prospect to our brains. Even to the least-greediest among us, it doesn’t matter: what matters is that you’re spending money that you didn’t have to, money you could’ve saved. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a penny-pincher or are really on a very tight budget, the end result is the same—you don’t pay for things that you don’t need.
Website hosting shouldn’t be counted in this list of ‘things you can get for free instead of paying for,’ but for some reason, it is. No one is actually sure where this started, but once something like this gets whipped up, you can be certain that it won’t ever cease. It doesn’t matter how stupid the idea is, how nonsensical—it’s not going to stop.
So what are some of the most ridiculous facets of this idea? Well, we’re here to examine those today.
Myth #1: Paid Hosting is Unnecessary / Free is ‘Good Enough’
You might have heard of someone who started some amazing site, and they used free hosting in the beginning. If this is the case, you might think, ‘why can’t I do that?’
They might be charismatic, though, or have good business-sense. They might have had help, or had prior experience. There’s many reasons why an individual can be successful.
You can bet most of these people probably used paid hosting, though, and there’s a reason for that: it’s worth it.
You might think, ‘Well, as long as it works, it’s fine, right?’ And you’d be somewhat right, but not really. Think, for a moment, about your favorite brand of snack, and then think of the off-brand. The flavor’s not right. The smell isn’t. It doesn’t have the same crunch. They use cheaper ingredients. There’s a reason why one is the name brand, and the other is the off brand.
Website hosting is the same. You get what you pay for, and paid hosting is better and is worth it, for a million different reasons—so many it’d take forever to list. Stability and general quality is merely the simplest reason. It runs deeper than that. If you want something really quality and great, you’re going to have to pay for hosting. It’s just the truth.
Myth #2: Free Hosting is Cheaper
In some ways, believe it or not, the above statement is incorrect. You might be utterly confused, so read the following explanation to understand it in a different way.
If you’re looking at a business as a source of revenue, you should also be reviewing it to see how you could possibly increase and push the potential revenue even more. Now, cutting costs is one way to do that—but another way is just increasing the sheer amount of money flowing in, instead. Cutting costs can only be pushed so far, but acquiring a new customer base and pushing your business to a new tier of relevancy is a more worthwhile course to pursue, and is more permanent and long-lasting.
In other words, it’s technically cheaper, but if it’s costing you customers, page views, and sales because the free website hosting loads terribly slow or has other issues, it’s really not that cheap after all. You’re paying, just in a different—and arguably more expensive—way.
Myth #3: Free Hosting Has Plenty of Features
This is related to myth #1, somewhat tangentially, but is really more of a separate topic. The quick and short answer is really that no, it doesn’t. In fact, to the contrary, free website hosting can have a lot of issues. They can sometimes show their own ads on your page, you’re stuck with whatever servers they have, which could be slow, and you have to deal whatever templates they have. A lot of pages and websites also don’t have the proper security that comes with paid hosting, and while that probably won’t end up affecting you, do you really want to risk and deal with a potential headache or security breach of your website because you didn’t want to pay a monthly fee? Hopefully, the answer is no.
Myth #4: It’s My Site, and So That Means I Own It
Yes, it’s going there, too, which probably isn’t a happy thought for a few of the readers. The free website hosting providers, these companies, you’re using their space. For free, yes, but you’re still using it. It belongs to them.
You don’t own it.
You might discover this as part of a rude awakening if you’re sitting there, trying to sell your website, and then you find out that no, actually, we own it, and we can do what we want with it, technically. You aren’t even actually a customer in the strictest sense of the word, because you’re not paying them anything. So expecting loyalty is a show of naivety that some might be all too eager to take advantage of. Paid hosting avoids all of this, and by now, you may be seeing a pattern.
Myth #5: Free Websites Look Fine (No, They Really, Really Don’t)
We can’t help but to judge what we look at, most of us, and that includes website appearances. Their user interfaces, the ways that they’re built to give us information, all of this either appeals to our senses, or, in the case of poor design, irritates us.
You probably don’t even use a single website that has free hosting on a regular basis, because it’s that bad. The options for those who own the website are just too limited, and so what usually ends up coming out is some generic, bland site that not only looks boring but more often than not is boring and cannot at all hold your attention or offer any kind of valid product or service.
Even if hosting is a bit more expensive than you anticipated, it’s still not that much, and the result of it is a high quality website that will run well and work for as long as you upkeep it. If you’re at all serious about running any kind of website, using paid hosting is certainly the way to go in almost every single case.