The Perils of Using Free or Cheap Website Platforms

I bet you think building a business on the Internet using free web hosting is smart? I mean, after all, you save yourself $500-$1,000. You probably don’t understand why someone in their right mind would spend money for something they can easily get free. What I’m about to tell you isn’t actively publicized.

Very often there is a huge price to pay when you totally rely on free stuff you find on the web. “FREE”, really isn’t so free. Especially when you use free web hosting to run your Internet business. There are several problems with free and budget website hosting that you probably aren’t aware of.

1) Your Potential Customers Won’t Take You Seriously!

Believe it or not, people on the Internet are wise to what a REAL website looks like, and what a FREE website looks like. Most people know that real websites look like this:

However, when they see that your website looks like:

…they instantly know that you are not serious about what you sell. If you can’t afford $500-$1,000 a year to get a REAL domain, why would your potential customers believe in the quality of your product? They won’t!

If you want your potential customers to take you seriously, you need to invest your money in a REAL website. Get a real domain that says you’re serious about your business and not just playing games.

2) It’s Hard To Build Large Amounts Of Traffic To Your Site!

Did you know that the secret to making money on the Internet is getting large amounts of traffic to your website? You may be asking yourself, what’s a large amount of traffic. Well, it’s about 500 unique visitors a day. Depending on what you sell, the price, the profile of your market, etc – this number may be too small. I’m just giving you a number to work with.

The more people that come to your site, the more chances you get to make a sale. But if you use free web hosting, it’s hard to get ranked high (within the first 2-pages) on the major search engines. This is because some of the major search engines use the analysis of a sites “meta” tag description to rank the sites relevancy for certain keywords. If you have a free website, often times you can’t add “meta” tags to your site. Also, the major Internet directories (Yahoo and Looksmart for example) will NEVER list your site in their directories because they only consider businesses with a real domain for inclusion in their directories.

In short, it’s almost impossible to do good SEO on a free website platform.

3) You Can Lose The Traffic You Worked So Hard To Get!

Let’s say through some very hard work, you managed to build your website traffic to 500 unique visitors a day. Then, your free web hosting company goes out of business (Yes, this can happen!). Every one knows your website as:

Since you’ve moved your site to ANOTHER free web hosting service with an address like:

…people can’t find you because they only know your other website address. All the time and money you’ve spend to build your traffic is lost.

If you had a REAL domain like: – you could easily use that same domain name with another domain hosting company. When you have a real domain name you can take that name with you. You won’t lose any traffic or sales. A matter of fact, your visitors won’t even know you’ve changed hosts unless you tell them.

4) You Could Lose The Contents Of Your Website!

Did you know that some free web hosting company’s have you sign an agreement that says THEY own your website content? So if they decide later on to start charging you, you can either pay their fee or lose the content of the website you worked so hard to create.

5) Your Website Traffic Can Be Easily Stolen!

Some free web hosting company’s require you to place THEIR banner (or someone else’s banner) on YOUR website. Listen to this scenario: “you work your butt off to build traffic to your site. When your visitors get to your site, they are presented with an opportunity to go elsewhere. So you lose the visitor BEFORE they even had a chance to view and maybe purchase from your site.” Wouldn’t this make you mad?

6) Your Site May Not Always Be Operational!

Some free web hosting services don’t spend big bucks on equipment and staff to make sure your site is ALWAYS operational. This is also true of some budget domain hosting services where they charge you like $99 a year. Since you aren’t paying any money for them to host your site, they may not spend any money to make sure your site is always operational. This is something you wouldn’t even realize.

If you plan on doing SERIOUS business on the Internet, even if your goal is to make just $50,000 a year, you must get a real domain. Never use free website hosting. People will not take you seriously. Free web hosting is fine for personal use. Maybe you have some family pictures you want to upload to the site so family members all over the globe can easily view them. Or you can use a free web site to communicate family news. That’s what free website hosting is best for. Not for business! If your business depends upon your website, then you need to invest in good web hosting.