For starters, it’s worth demystifying free hosting. Free web hosting providers are not run by benevolent philanthropists.
To put it simply, know that a general rule applies to almost all free internet services: if you pay nothing, you are the product.
Many of these hosts operate with a different business model. They use a variety of methods to generate revenue, including displaying advertisements on your site pages, reselling information, or selling additional hosting services at a premium.
A free website hosting provider therefore allows you to put your site online in return for the income it intends to generate by hosting you.
As you will have understood, apart from being free, free hosting is rarely a good solution. This is especially so when it comes to developing a professional project.
Here are some of the reasons:
Very slow page load times
This reason alone should suffice. Google hates sites with pages that load too slowly and more importantly, your visitors hate it too.
Free hostings have very poor performance and you probably won’t be able to optimize this even when using caching plugins.
An unprofessional domain name
Most free web hosting will not allow you to use your own domain name. Your site will therefore probably have a subdomain using a subdomain of the host. So, if your host has the domain name example.com, your internet address will look like your-domain.example.com.
Fake trial offers that hold your site hostage
Some free hosting is actually trial offers in disguise. When these time-limited offers expire, users have no other choice than to subscribe to a hosting plan (sometimes at a premium) in order to be able to continue using their site or even to recover data from it.
The risk of business failure
“If it’s free, you’re the product”!
To fund the services that are provided to you for free, your free website host may sell your personal information, email address, or site address to other companies. Again, these practices are protected by their terms of service.
Difficult to use CMS: WordPress, Joomla, …
If you find free WordPress hosting, or even better free WordPress hosting with no ads, have no illusions. You will not be able to run a WordPress site properly on this type of hosting due to lack of resources.
Shared servers spammed and blacklisted on Google
You may find yourself on a spammy server because of the low level of protection offered by its hosts. And at the same time, your server’s IP address may be blacklisted on Google because of the illicit activities of some of your roommates.
Recurring malware infections
Although it is not systematic, the security on the servers of free site hosts is rather weak. Which can lead to your site being blacklisted by several anti-malware companies.
Little disk storage on outdated technologies
The storage space your free web host will provide you with will be very limited and will likely use outdated and slow storage technologies. This will contribute to the poor performance of your site and will greatly limit the possibilities of evolution of your project.
Little database storage
The storage limitation also affects the database that will be made available to you by your free web host. This will drastically limit the amount of data you can store there and consequently the development of your site.
Limited and saturated bandwidth
Initially, bandwidth limitations may not affect your business. However, as your site gains more traffic, your visitors will experience slowdowns. And your site may become inaccessible once you consume your bandwidth quota.
Customer service is often poor
The customer service of a free shared hosting will either be completely absent or mediocre. A free service cannot be expected to provide decent customer support. As a result, if something goes wrong with your site, you shouldn’t expect a quick fix.
The impossibility of making automatic backups
Backups are an integral part of your site security. On free hosting, you will not be able to make manual or automatic backups. You will therefore not be able to restore your data in the event of a problem. If you value the site you are developing, you will need to subscribe to a paid backup service.