If you’re starting a blog for the first time, we know free blog hosting can be tempting. A lot of first-time bloggers use Blogger, Wix, and free WordPress to get their toes wet. We’ve all been there. It looks easy enough with plenty of templates and how-to articles to get you started. But while it all might look great and dandy at first, eventually it can inhibit your business’s growth.
Here are 3 reasons you should steer clear from free web-hosting:
Decreased Support, Security, and Control
When you have a free blog hosting site, you risk having security breaches or data loss. If you are working to grow your business using your website or blog, a free blog isn’t going to do you a lot of good if you end up having your site suspended. Considering blog traffic can increase by 30% after your site has 21-54 blog posts, it would be disastrous if you were to lose that data and have to start over.
Furthermore, support at free hosting companies is usually non-existent or unreliable, which can drastically impact uptime. If it takes too long to load your site, your website visitors may just leave. If there’s a problem with the server and no support is in place, there may be downtime on the site, which can be dangerous if you sell products and services online and a customer is trying to make an order. As for security, if your WordPress install gets hacked or brute-forced and you have no one to turn to for help, things can get ugly fast.
Free sites can also be marked as unsafe (even though they’re often verified by the main site’s security) if you are trying to sell a product. Control is important because if you don’t want to run WordPress for some reason, you could install other types of blogging software with a flexible Shared Account, and increase your site’s professionalism depending on which other software you use. This could prevent the site from being marked as unsafe.
A free blog is great if you just want to speak your mind and write, without going anywhere with it. If you want to eventually expand or offer products and services, it’s better to start with a paid host before things get too busy and it’s too hard or time-consuming to transition over.
When you can get hosting for as little as $10/ month, there’s really no reason not to go with a paid provider. Skip a coffee or two that month, and support your website instead.
A quick tip: no matter what platform you choose, consider signing up for privacy protection. It’s usually no more than $10 per year (it’s only $6 with Vivio!), and it keeps your address and phone number registrant information safe so people can’t see you own the domain. It does this by creating a placebo privacy protection email and address.
Higher Cost to Purchase a Custom Domain
With a free blog host, you can get a standard domain with their extension, such as example.wordpress.com, but paying for a custom domain is much more professional. Instead of opting for the example.wordpress.com, you can get example.com, and promote a more professional image to your clients. Knowing that 81% of U.S. online consumers trust info from blogs, having a more professional domain is a great way to increase your clout in the industry. To make matters short, a custom domain is an affordable way to improve the professionalism of a website. While you can purchase a custom domain through paid providers, it’s usually a much higher cost (usually $18-25) than it is with a paid hosting provider (usually $15).
Not As Many Plugins
If you have any intention of selling items online, we highly recommend paying for a website provider so you can obtain an e-commerce extension. Plugins are amazing because there are a lot of premade applications you can add to your site to sell products, have customers contact you and more. Free hosts are a little more limited to just generic plugins with not a lot of area for flexibility. If you need some help deciding which plugins to add to your site, we compiled a list of 9 of our favorite ones in a recent blog post.
We hope that this has made your decision to go with a paid provider a little easier. If you’re interested in learning more about Vivio’s reliable hosting options, please visit our website. As always, we are here to serve.