Free Web Hosting Solutions
First-time website owners and experienced developers alike can benefit from one of the many free web hosting services out there. It provides a great means to build your website while avoiding the costs that come with paid hosting. However, free hosting services often come with a few key limitations that are important to understand if you’re hoping to build an online business.
Regardless of the web hosting service you choose, you’ll want a way to monitor your website’s traffic and user behavior. StatCounter’s free web tracker allows you to see how users are interacting with your website so you can work to improve their overall experience. But before you can optimize your business’ website, you’ll want to make sure you’ve selected the right web hosting platform. Let’s take a deeper look at free web hosting solutions.
To gain more insight into the types of web hosting available and how each will suit your business and website, take a look at the articles below:
Free Web Hosting
There are countless free web hosting providers available today. These platforms set you up with varying amounts of storage space, bandwidth, and a variety of additional features. They might provide a complimentary email address, easy drag-and-drop web design capabilities, or seamless e-commerce integration. And all of these features come without the monthly premium that’s typically required from paid web hosting services.
While these free web hosting platforms might sound appealing, it’s important to note they come with specific limitations. If your business is looking to build a strong, professional online presence, it’s important to consider the shortcomings that come with free web hosting platforms. Let’s look at some of these disadvantages below.
Free Web Hosting Benefits Casual Users
A free web hosting solution offers all the basic tools to build a relatively small website or blog and start creating a web presence. Free web hosting is an inexpensive way to build a small site and create content for anything. It is incredibly user-friendly and perfect for people new to building websites. It is a great way to learn about web design and practice in content creation without paying for that practice.
A free web hosting company will provide all users with some free server space, free sub-domain name, and web building tools or templates to get you started. These tools are perfect for creating personal blogs or websites that aren’t necessarily trying to gain a profit. While a free web hosting solution is great for beginners, it is limited in its capabilities. Free web hosting services don’t provide platforms that can be utilized for business growth. They simply don’t equip businesses with the tools they need to customize their sites and manage high traffic volumes.
The Limitations of Free Web Hosting Solutions
Free web hosting is no doubt appealing to casual and professional website owners. But there are some key limitations worth considering before you opt for these free hosting services. These services are free because they don’t offer the tools to create a more robust website or online reputation. Some of those crucial limitations include:
- Impersonal Website Address: Many of the free web hosting sites will add their own name into your website’s URL, which might make your domain name look unprofessional to the outside eye. It also prevents you from communicating your business or brand through your website.
- Security: Security is not typically the biggest concern for free web hosting sites, and thus your website can be more vulnerable to things like identity theft, malware, and hacking. This also means a website on a free service should not offer products or services because it doesn’t offer the security ecommerce requires to be successful.
- Unwanted Ads: Free web hosting services often incorporate advertisements into your site’s layout, so your website might look spammy to users, and could even be negatively affected in search engine rankings. On top of this, hosts often charge to remove these ads from your site and do not support individual ad monetization efforts.
- SEO Limitations: With limited templates and on-page customization abilities, your SEO efforts with free web hosts will be limited to on-site content optimization. Not only that, but search engines will actually consider your domain less important in its search engine results.
- Limited Content: With free web hosting, you’ll likely see a tighter limit on storage space as well as bandwidth for your site, which will limit your ability to create content. Users also have limited control over the code on the site and are unable to edit HTML and CSS.
As seen above, SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s often necessary in garnering attention around your business, bringing in traffic to your site, and getting site visitors to take action, whether that be complete a signup form or purchase a product from an ecommerce store. In short, SEO strategies seek to bring traffic to site organically, or without paying for traffic.
Why you Should Consider Paid Web Hosting
If you are looking to create a more serious website that is professional or business related, it is definitely worth looking into paid web hosting services. Businesses are overwhelmingly more successful paying for a web hosting service then even possible on a free web host. With a paid web hosting service, businesses control ownership of their data and domain, have more customization options, gain extensive security features, and have the ability to create a successful web store with e-commerce support. Furthermore, paid hosting can present you with the following advantages:
- Website and Domain Ownership: A paid service allows businesses to purchase a domain and have more control over their content. They can import custom or purchased themes, select their preferred Content Management System (CMS), and choose a domain that doesn’t include the web hosts name.
- Customization: Businesses get more say in the resources they want for their website. They can pick servers, operating systems, storage space, RAM, and any other feature of the server hosting their site. Paid web hosting services also allow users to scale their solutions at any time to handle their current needs. If a website begins to grow and traffic increases, businesses can easily scale their solution to handle the growth.
- Security Features: Security is incredibly important for businesses. The features provided by paid web hosting providers will be able to protect websites from hackers, malware, and identity theft. Users can even implement SSL Certificates and other security measures that will allow them to utilize ecommerce through their site.
- Ecommerce: Most free web hosting services don’t allow users to implement ecommerce platforms on their site. For businesses offering products and services over the Internet, it is crucial to have ecommerce. Paid web hosting allows businesses to manage their webstore and earn money on their website.
In short, free web hosting isn’t a great solution for businesses looking to thrive online. For the most part, it’s only suited for small websites and blogs who aren’t necessarily interested in selling a product or service. To truly grow your business, create a strong site, and acquire traffic to your site, you’ll need to consider purchasing a web hosting service that suits your business’s specific needs.
Track Your Website With StatCounter
Once you’ve created your website and have chosen a web hosting service, it’ll be time to monitor your website closely to ensure it’s receiving traffic. Using detailed metrics within StatCounter’s web tracker, you can determine where traffic is coming from and how users are interacting with your website. To further improve your website and help boost traffic, however, be sure to check out our SEO Insights. Here, you can find valuable information as to how you can improve your site, acquire more traffic, and convert site visitors to paying customers.
As the trusted domain and web hosting provider of StatCounter, 1&1 offers a wide range of affordable, yet quality, web hosting solutions. From shared hosting, to VPS, and even dedicated servers, 1&1 surely has a solution for your website. Check out some of the awards 1&1 has recently received below.
If you have any questions regarding our tools, you can contact StatCounter support by filling out the form below.
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