Are Free Website and Blog Hosting Platforms REALLY FREE?
Have you ever heard of the statement that "you should not set up shop on someone else's land"?
Okay. So maybe I am probably totally jacking up the statement. But I am sure that you get my drift on this one.
Today's blog post is probably going to hit a nerve for a few – but I felt compelled to write this post up for you all expressing my concerns with free hosting services.
For many of you, I understand that in the initial stages of starting a business money is tight. But…. for growths sake, you want to create a website of some sorts for your small business.
So what usually ends up happening is that you opt for the free route.
But here's something that you may not know: free sites and blogging platforms (while it will save you money in the beginning phases of your business to use these platforms) may end up costing you in the end.
The Allure of Using Free Website Hosting Services + Blog Platforms Years ago when I started building and creating websites, I searched online for information that would help me create a site quickly with low to no costs associated.
Sometime later, I stumbled across some info about setting up shop using FREE website and blogging platforms.
As you can imagine, I was stoked + pumped to get started.
I signed up and created an account on one of the most popular platforms (one that I will not name).
I was all set to start building my new site until I started digging into the FREE stuff a little more.
I started reading comments in forums about some of the issues that folks were having with using free blog and hosting platforms.
In this post, Lisa share's an email from one of her loyal readers.
In this email, Lisa's fan outlines the issues that she encountered with using a free platform to host her blog:
I don't know about you, but if I put in all of the work that goes into building a site, only to have it taken down, I would be highly PO'd. (pardon my French).
The Problems You May Encounter with Using a Free Site Website Hosting + Blogging Platforms As I've stated previously FREE comes with a price. Here are some of the main drawbacks of using free hosting platforms:
Little to no customer support. Um…no thank you! If something is going on with my blog or site, I want assistance pronto
You are limited to the features that you can add to your site or blog (payment buttons, opt in forms, widgets and etc.,)
The templates that they offer are not very attractive and aesthetically pleasing
Site load times are slow and sluggish
Your pages will show advertisements from the hosting company on them
You will not be able to use a branded domain name for your website
Your prospects and potential clients may doubt your credibility
You do not own your website; You are renting on land that someone else owns
You do not have complete ownership of your content
Why You Should Use a Self-Hosted Website or Blog for your Small Business There are plenty of reasons to use a self-hosted website or blogging platform for your business. Here's a few of them:
You own your domain and can use a branded domain name for your site
You have complete ownership of your own content
You will have complete ownership of your website
You can add more features to your blog or website (a store, opt in forms, widgets, etc.,)
You will have complete autonomy over the design, look and feel of your site
Your self-hosted website will inspire trust with your prospects + establish credibility for your business
Access to a ton of website + blog themes that you can use to spice up the design of your site
Access to customer support in case issues crop up
4 Investments that You Should Make at a Minimum to Jump Start Your Brand Online If you really want to make an impact on the web and you only had $100 to spend, at a minimum you could make the following investments in your business: