Guest Post by Tiffany Dow
Creating an online business is so affordable now that you can even find hosting that won’t cost you a single penny. The best business website hosting you can choose will depend on your specific entrepreneurial needs.
If you’re brand new to running an online business, aren’t sure how well you’ll succeed and want to proceed with caution, then getting hosting that doesn’t cost you is a great idea. But like everything that’s given freely, there are always pros and cons – so let’s take a look at what you might encounter with this kind of hosting.
What are some of the pros? Obviously, the first pro is the cost. You can’t beat free as a price, especially if you’re just not at the point where you have the money to pay for hosting. It’s better to have something showing your business than nothing at all. You get to learn as you go with worrying about costly mistakes.
Another pro is that you can set up as many free websites as you want to for your business. This way, you’ll get to judge if there’s an interest in what you’re offering before you pay for hosting. Having a free site is a good way to see what your target audience wants. If you don’t see a lot of interest, then you’ll know not to shell out any money on that business idea.
The best business website hosting doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to offer you some features you absolutely need in order to successfully have an online presence. Your online presence is the same thing as a reputation.
So let’s take a look at the cons of free hosting to see how that might affect your reputation. Sadly, many websites that are freely hosted are very unprofessional in appearance and that in turn will say to some viewers that your business may also be unprofessional.
Most free hosting sites also come with built in ads – you don’t get a choice on whether you have them or not. Free hosting sites can afford to offer free sites because their revenue comes from the advertisers that pay them.
There are often reliability issues when you use unpaid hosting. Just because your site exists today doesn’t mean it’ll still be there tomorrow. You could have your site taken down without warning if the business closes up.
Sometimes free web hosting is only for a limited time – and then you’ll be changed over to one of their pay plans, which are usually a lot more expensive. You’ll also find that bandwidth can be a problem as well as customizing the site.
More often than not, there is a lack of support with the service – when it’s free, the general attitude is that the company is doing you a favor, so you don’t have the right to complain if something goes wrong. The ones that do have support are frequently manned by people who are paid by the call rather than the hour, so they want to rush you off the phone as quickly as possible.
Features offered on free sites are limited. There’s usually no email address offered for users to provide to their visitors or they’re very user unfriendly, like this: janedoebusinesssolutions.itsafreesiteforme.freeusage followed by dot com, org or net. The best business website hosting is rarely found among the free offers.