Whether you’re a business owner or an individual looking to start a personal website, one of the first things you have to decide is whether to choose a free website or a paid website. It’s not actually the website that you’re getting for free, but rather the hosting. Whether you choose free or paid hosting, the design of the website and what content you put on it is up to you.
Free websites, or ones made on a free hosting system, won’t cost you anything because the company providing the hosting will be making money off of ads placed on your site. Your hard work to create content and integrate SEO tactics to bring in visitors will be making someone else money.
Besides being wrought with ads, free sites are limited in their layout. Most free hosting companies offer just the bare-bones options. Your site will be limited in size and embedding your own Google AdSense Ads won’t be allowed. It’s very difficult to make money off a free website. The lack of layout control isn’t the only problem. Free websites can also be taken down whenever the host wants to, and often without warning. Furthermore, there’s typically no support for free websites, meaning you won’t be able to get help if your site gets removed.
While all of that seems bad on its own, the biggest problem with free websites is that people just don’t take them seriously. Not only will you be less credible by choosing a free site, you’re almost guaranteed that you will not sell anything through it.
So what good are free websites? People looking to have an outlet for their own personal website or blog can benefit greatly from a free site. If you’re looking for a hobby rather than a business opportunity, a zero-cost website can be a great choice. The average home-user is who free sites are aimed at, and the options available are best suited for casual use.
For business owners, paid sites are the way to go. The biggest advantage of a paid site is that you can make money off of it! When you pay for the site, you’ll have complete control over what’s on it. If you want to put up an AdSense Ad, nobody can stop you. If you want to sell something, you’re free to add a shopping cart and as many products and pages as you wish.
Paid websites start out like a blank slate. You can choose whatever layout you like and you aren’t limited to the number of pages your site can have. Without any restrictions on the size or number of images, you can choose better quality graphics to draw in visitors. You can give your site a professional appearance by hiring a professional web design company to help create a custom layout.
Before purchasing a website, you should do some homework. There are a lot of hosting services out there and not all hosting services are created the same. Be sure to check what features each hosting service offers and compare prices between at least two to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
While on the surface paid websites and free websites may seem very similar, they are used for two completely different purposes. For individuals, a free website may be plenty, but for businesses, free is almost never the way to go. Remember that the next time you’re looking into setting up a website and make sure you get the right type of website to suit your needs.