As you begin your career in affiliate marketing you will be looking for opportunities to keep your overhead low and avoid unnecessary expenses. Due to this, you may be tempted to consider going with free hosting for WordPress to keep your costs down. Though many of these free WordPress hosting services offer a variety of seemingly beneficial features, there are either a ton of hidden costs or disadvantages that outweigh any benefits you may receive. Nothing in life is truly free, especially a service with operational costs, so before choosing this option for your WordPress hosting, here are some important things I think you need to know.
Ask Yourself: Why Are They Offering Their WordPress Hosting Services For Free?
WordPress hosting requires a lot of hardware, support, and technical know-how which are expensive business costs. So most of what they offer is either of low quality or a way to get a lot of money from you down the line. The business model of free WordPress hosting does not really offer any strong benefits for your business. First of all, free hosting for WordPress is usually extremely limited. They offer a limited amount of storage, bandwidth, and customer support. Small packages really don’t cost these companies anything, but they do cost you. Once your business begins to grow, you are really stuck with two options:
- Stay small and miss out on a variety of growth opportunities and business expansion or;
- Upgrade to their “premium service” to meet your needs at a much higher cost than you would spend on another hosting site.
There are also often hidden fees with free hosting for WordPress that you won’t find with a typical hosting platform. They may charge a premium for standard features like security, backups, higher traffic levels, and support. These fees can add up very quickly and end up costing you more than if you would have gone with a paid WordPress hosting service.
The Technical Disadvantages Of Free Hosting For WordPress
Beyond the fact that these hosting services are not truly free, there are a whole range of technical issues that can really stand in the way of your business success. Here is a rundown of the most common problems users face when they opt for free hosting for WordPress:
- Server Errors: Server errors are probably the most common problem faced by using a free WordPress hosting site. You may have to uninstall and reinstall your WordPress over and over again to get it up and running. Then once your site is launched you can still have issues with the servers not working correctly and causing a variety of technical problems that you are unable to solve on your own. Just as with confirmation, without the dedicated support staff, you have to wait these issues out which can be costly and frustrating.
- Plug-In Glitches: If you are looking to add plug-ins like a storefront, email capture, or even basically features like a search bar or video hosting, you’ll face a ton of problems with your plug-ins. Free hosting for WordPress is not the highest quality service, so they aren’t up to date or even compatible with the most common plug-ins. With some many plug-in issues, you’ll be limited in the functionality and design of your website.
- Website Malfunctions: Between the server problems and plug-ins, this causes a lot of issues for people visiting your site. They may encounter a variety of malfunctions that make the content hard to access and the site difficult to navigate. Your website is critical to your brand and if your visitors get frustrated by these malfunctions, you’ll lose them forever.
- Slow Load Time: With limited bandwidth and storage, your users will also experience very slow load time of both your website and your content. In this fast-paced market, where customers are used to instant results, slow load time can be a killer for your business. If they can’t access the information they need right away, they’ll navigate away from your site and look elsewhere for what they need. This leads to serious missed opportunities.
- Increased Downtime: Along with slow load time, you’ll also find free hosted sites experience long periods of downtime because of their lack of offerings and support. With your website down, you can’t do business and that is the most costly problem of all of these issues. So you aren’t actually saving any money.
- C-Panel Navigation Difficulties: Finally, with many free WordPress hosting sites, they have a clunky, outdated, and difficult to navigate C-Panel. This presents a problem for not only beginners, but even seasoned experts may get frustrated looking for access to the most common features. There is also no real support, so you may be left to post any questions you have to a board and hoping someone who has figured it out can answer.
These technical issues ultimately drive up the costs of your web hosting. Furthermore, you’ll find other issues like obnoxious and inappropriate ads clutter up your site and problems with security breaches, so in the end, you are paying more for free.
A Better, Affordable Option
With the interest of still keeping your overhead low, what can you do besides finding free hosting for WordPress? I personally found WP Engine to be a great option. The hosting plans are affordable and scalable to any potential growth. Even the least expensive plan offers high-quality features like 10GB of storage, free SSL certificates, and the ability to handle up to 25,000 visits a month. Plus, they are always running specials, so if you buy at the right time you can save even more. They are extremely compatible with the latest plug-ins and have an easy to navigate C-Panel, so you never have to worry about your website performing the way you need. WP Engine also offers incredible customer service so anytime you have questions, you simply give them a call or shoot them an email.
So rather than have your costs rack up from so-called “free hosting for WordPress” consider going with a service that has no hidden fees like WP Engine.