Money. It’s the whole reason that most affiliate marketers get into the game, and why virtually every business exists. And while maximizing your income is important, so is cutting costs wherever possible. After all, the less you spend, the better your profit margin will be.
However, there are some areas where it really isn’t worth it to cut corners and try to skimp on money. One perfect example of this? Using free WordPress website hosting. It’s tantalizing to sign up for one of the free WordPress website hosting options out there, but the truth is that for the most part, you’ll end up being glad you spent a few extra dollars on a paid service.
Looking Past The Allure Of Free WordPress Website Hosting
But just why is it a good idea to look beyond free WordPress website hosting? Why should you ignore the money saving benefits of free WordPress website hosting in favor of something that you pay for? There are a few reasons, and taking a look at them should help you see just why paying a few dollars each month with a hosting service like WP Engine is a better choice for virtually anyone.
- Ads – Sure, it says you’re using free WordPress website hosting. But ‘free’ isn’t really free. Instead, your free site will be hosting ads on a regular basis. This doesn’t’ look professional at all, and can destroy your brand before it’s even built up. That means that your company may not seem like it’s worth doing business with. After all, if your main page is filled with advertisements for random sites and companies, it doesn’t reflect well on your commitment to what you’re doing.
- Limited Support – The odds are that if you are using free WordPress website hosting, you’ll end up being pretty much on your own when something goes wrong. Paid hosting services have tremendous customer service, while free WordPress website hosting has little to no support in place. This is a prime example of ‘you get what you pay for’.
- No Domain Name – You’ll get a sub-domain name when you use free WordPress website hosting. Instead of a .com or .net, you’ll get something like .hostingservice.com. Not only does that look less professional, but it also makes it harder for users to type into the address bar. In other words, a free subdomain backed site means that it’s less likely that visitors will head to your website.
- Limited Bandwidth – Those free WordPress website hosting services restrict everything for you. You’ll get reduced bandwidth, lower data transfer speeds, and more. If your business starts attracting visitors on a consistent basis, the site may not even be able to keep up with it.
- Security Risks – Those free WordPress website hosting services don’t always provide great security features – if they provide security features at all. It’s possible for a site to be hacked, taken down, infiltrated, and more when you don’t have high quality security in place.
- Limited Features – From FTP to SMTP to CGI scripts and more, you’ll get a lot fewer features when you use free hosting services than you would with paid options. That means that you may not be able to make your site work the way you want it to.
- Reduced Options – Want to host a video right on your main page? What about an audio file? Thinking of putting up a podcast on your site? These things may not be possible with free WordPress website hosting. Paid services give you the power to do almost anything you want with your site, with fewer restrictions or problems.
If you take look at these drawbacks, you’ll see that when it comes to free WordPress website hosting, the only real benefit is the fact that you don’t pay for it. And as I mentioned above, some things are simply worth paying for.
The Big Picture
All of this isn’t to say that free WordPress website hosting is something that has no merits. It has several good applications including:
- Perfect for learning how to build a basic website or blog.
- Good for learning how to use applications, self-hosting features, and more
- Good for learning the basics of designing an effective website
- Great for testing sites, applications, and other online uses
- A solid place for new users to experiment and learn the basics of the internet and building a site
However, if you’re ready to get serious with your business then you owe it to yourself to start looking into what paid hosting provides. Consider the benefits:
- Dedicated, reliable support teams are available when you need them
- Cutting edge technology is used in every aspect of the hosting service
- Security is tremendously improved, with high quality encryption and protection in place
- Better features and better control over your website
- Improved hosting space means you don’t run out of room
- Management tools let you dictate permissions and assert better controls
- Vastly improved bandwidth means more people are able to visit your site
- No ads means that your site looks professional and that your brand identity is stable
- Your own URL lets your company stand out as well and improves professionalism
All in all, it’s important to understand that your hosting service has a massive impact on virtually every aspect of your web presence, and can even impact things like the clickthrough links coming over via social media pages. You may have the most well-designed site in the world, but with a shoddy hosting service you simply won’t get the reach or the impact that you could otherwise.
If you’re just starting out with your online presence, free sites are well worth using for your things like figuring out your design or learning the basics of hosting and web presence. But once that you’re ready to stand out, get professional, and start guiding your company into the future, you owe it to yourself to start looking into paid hosting services that you can trust. It makes more of a difference than you might think.