When it comes to running any business, impressions always mean a great deal. A chef will tell you that presentation is 90% of a meal — the food can taste amazing, but if it doesn’t look like it tastes amazing, no one will want to eat it. And chances are that even if they do eat, it will only taste as good as it looks. The same goes for business; if you want to make money, you need to look like you already have money. People will trust businesses that look like they are successful because they must be doing something right and know something that others don’t know.
Using free wordpress hosting doesn’t make a good impression on anyone, and it’s very easy to spot a website on a free hosting site. Some free hosting sites label pages advertising their free hosting services, and even those that do not are still liable to cover your webpage in ads. Free hosting is free for a reason, and these sites will make money off of the ads on your webpage to earn their profits. There is no control over what ads pop up, and they could even be for a competitor within the same industry.
Most free hosting sites are limited in what you can do on them, with cookie-cutter templates, and a lack of interactive abilities. Some sites will allow you to have more than one page, so you can build yourself a website on three pages, but whatever template you choose will be on all three of those pages, there is little to no selection process to change how individual pages look. Some free sites won’t allow you to add a shopping cart, so running a business could be made difficult with this.
Unlike paid hosting sites, there are very tight limits on bandwidth and disk space on free hosting sites. Many sites will advertise lots of unlimited features, but if your website ever becomes busy, you may receive an email advising you that your site is either too large or taking up too much bandwidth and you will be asked to move to a paid plan. There are comments throughout the free hosting reviews that actually suggest this can happen within a matter of days of a site going live, with extremely low traffic volumes.
Those who have set up a site on a free hosting solution and want to move to a paid site will have some problems. Remember that the free website isn’t owned by you, and the free materials used to build the site generally cannot be transferred. All the links you have built will be lost, and you will need to essentially start over. Free hosting sites normally offer you a site with a sub-domain linked to their domain, so this will be lost when you move.
Unfortunately, free hosting sites have a reputation for lots of downtimes, over-crowded servers, and poor customer service support. Anyone who has run a business before knows how frustrating it can be to have things go wrong consistently, and not be able to get them fixed quickly. There are usually no guarantees that your site is safe, and there are situations where people have lost sites through refusing to pay for upgrades or getting accused of spamming and being outright deleted.
Do yourself and your business a favor — buy a domain and buy yourself some space on a large and reliable web hosting site. There are lots of good options, and they’re so cheap that it is a small price to pay for security and image. Create a good brand for yourself and own it. Even if you are using the website for non-commercial reasons, it is still in your best interest to use a real web hosting company. Who wants to lose all their hard work if it can be avoided easily and economically?