The True Cost of Free Hosting: What You Need to Know

31 Aug, 2023

It’s time for some digital truth bombs. Be ready because I’m about to shake your perspective on websites and branding.

You’ve got your brand, your business. Now, you’re stepping into the digital world – it’s like the wild west out there. And the website, that’s your digital fortress. It’s your banner flying high in this digital landscape, making you, your brand, stand out.

You type ‘website hosting’ into Google, and voila! You’re hit with a list longer than Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road traffic jam. Free options, paid options, companies promising you the moon and the stars. Sounds perfect, especially if you’re tight on budget and fresh on the scene.

Free hosting? Feels like stumbling on a treasure in Cubbon Park, doesn’t it?

It’s like a shiny free lunch. Seems like you’ve found a treasure of zero-cost opportunities, right? Nah, it’s more like a plate filled with hidden costs and side effects. Like they say in Bengaluru, there’s no such thing as a free Bisi Bele Bath.

Free website hosting might look like your ticket to online presence, but it’s more like a one-way ticket to the middle of nowhere. You’ll soon find that this ‘too-good-to-be-true’ deal is exactly that.

And you know what they say, “If something’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” In the end, you’ll see you’re paying far more, in more ways than one, than if you’d just opted for paid hosting in the first place.

Take a deep breath. I will hit you with ten solid reasons why falling for free hosting is like setting a trap for yourself.

Don’t Get Fooled by Free Web Hosting: Here’s Why

Hey, you’re probably thinking, “Jafar, they’re offering me a website for free, with zero hosting costs! Why on earth would I want to pay for one?”

Now, I get it. Free website hosting can seem like a golden ticket, especially when you’re just starting and don’t know what’s what. But here’s the brutal truth – it’s not the paradise it’s painted to be, especially if you’re trying to build a proper business.

I always see people thinking they’ll start with free website hosting and switch to pay when they’re rolling in the big bucks. It’s like they’re tying an anchor to their own legs!

Let me put it straight – free hosting is like that friend who says they’ll help you move but then drops you when it’s time to lift the heavy stuff. Sure, they might save you a few bucks initially, but they’ll eventually come up with their hidden fees and restrictions, making you scratch your head, thinking, “This is not what I signed up for!”

So, don’t fall for the “FREE” tag; it’s a false promise. Because in the long run, that “free” could cost your business more than you’d ever imagine.

“But It’s Just One Page!” – Why Free Web Hosting Still Stinks

So you say, “But Jafar, I only need one page for my site. Why shouldn’t I just use free hosting?”

Listen, in this digital world, there’s no such thing as ‘just one page.’ And let me tell you, free hosting isn’t ‘really free.’ It’s like a Trojan horse, looking all harmless but loaded with drawbacks ready to storm your online presence – low bandwidth, limited disk space, and a big, fat zero on upgrades. It’s a trap!

Over the years, I’ve seen people getting roped into this ‘free’ website fairytale, only to wake up in a nightmare of regret. When you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product. These ‘free’ hosting companies make their green by selling you and your data.

So, I’m going to break it down for you in this blog. I’m going to show you why free web hosting is as useful as an Uber car in a Bengaluru traffic jam and how you can secure dependable, affordable paid hosting without burning holes in your wallet. But first, let’s sweep away the fog and see what this ‘free website hosting’ truly stands for.

The ‘Free’ Web Hosting Scheme: What’s Really Going On

So you’re looking to mark your digital footprint. Great! You need a website for that. And for your website to stay alive and kicking on the internet, you need web hosting. Free web hosting services will throw at you the sweet deal of free web hosting and sometimes even a free domain name.

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But hang on, it’s not as simple as ordering a plate of idlis in your neighborhood tiffin center.

Let me break it down for you. Hosting is like your website’s apartment, where all its stuff gets stored. The domain name? That’s the address where people find your website. Now, think of free hosting as that cheap apartment that attracts you with low rent but then hits you with problems.

This ‘free’ hosting comes with more limitations than a restricted area. You get to host only a few websites, have limited disk space, slower site speed, zero guarantees on uptime, barely-there backup provisions, and a tight bandwidth cap. You thought the ‘free’ ride would be smooth, didn’t you?

And that’s not all. These free web hosting companies will tempt you, only to sell you more expensive hosting later. Plus, there’s no guarantee they’ll be there for the long haul. Can you imagine setting up your business only to find your hosting company’s vanished overnight? Nightmare, right?

The ‘Free’ Hosting Illusion: Why It’s a Trap You Need to Stay Away

Alright, let’s talk about these free hosting companies. They start by tempting users with the carrot of unlimited features, like bandwidth and disk space. But here’s the kicker – it’s like a bright star that burns out quickly. Because of their own inefficiencies, they fail to deliver on those big promises. My friends, don’t get seduced by these ‘too-good-to-be-true’ deals.

Imagine, you build your digital home, and then suddenly, you’re stuck with a hosting provider that can’t keep up. It’s like being stuck in a sinking ship! The pain of moving to another host can give you more headaches than a tequila hangover.

And you know what’s even worse? Shelling out more money and putting in extra effort just to get out of the mess, or paying through your nose to continue with them. You end up risking your entire business just to save a few bucks. That’s like saving on shoes only to trip over your own feet!

The smarter move? Opt for a reliable, affordable hosting provider like Rovity. Save yourself from a world of headaches and protect your digital assets.

Now, let’s dive into the meat of it – why free web hosting is a bad idea and why you should avoid it like a plague.

Free vs Paid Hosting

FeaturesFree HostingPaid Hosting
PriceFree of chargeMonthly/annual fee
Custom DomainSubdomain provided by hostComplete control over domain
SecurityMinimal to no protection from cyber threatsRobust security features
Customer SupportLimited to community support, if any24/7 professional support
Control and CustomizationRestricted configurations and customization optionsFull control over website management
AdvertisementsUncontrollable ads on your siteAd-free, or you control what ads show
Storage and BandwidthLimited, often inadequate for more than a basic siteFlexible plans, scalable as your site grows
Ownership of ContentThe host may retain rights over your contentYou retain full ownership of your content
SEO and Google RankingNegative effects on SEO and Google rankingOptimized for SEO, better chances of high Google ranking
Server DowntimeUnpredictable and often extendedReputable hosts offer 99.9% uptime guarantees
Migration PossibilityOften non-transferableEasily migrate to another host if needed

1 – “Free” Web Hosting: Limited Features, Limited Growth

Alright, let’s keep it real. You’re not shelling out a rupee with free web hosting, so you’re getting… pretty much nothing in return. It’s like turning up at an Indian wedding without a gift and still expecting a lavish buffet. Your website isn’t scalable – so when your business grows, your website is stuck like a car in Bengaluru peak-hour traffic.

Most of these free hosting services can’t handle the heat. If your business booms, your website suffers under increased traffic pressure. This leads to slow website speeds and frequent crashes. And let’s face it, in business, downtime equals disaster. You’ll lose readers, visitors, customers – goodbye revenue, hello frustration.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Quality hosting doesn’t mean you need to rob a bank. It’s an investment, not an expense. You’re investing in your website’s scalability and your business’s future.

Exceed your bandwidth limits with a premium hosting provider? No problem. Upgrade your services at a fair price. Say goodbye to slow website speeds that send your visitors running or downtime that results in customer loss. Remember, in the digital world, speed is key, and uptime is king. Make the right choice for your business.

2 – No Free Lunch in Hosting: The Performance Crisis

Here’s a universal truth: performance always takes a hit in FREE hosting.

Speed is a language everyone understands. Your website needs to be like Usain Bolt – fast and flawless. A zippy website equals a great user experience. That’s the golden ticket to better audience interaction and turning curious visitors into customers or leads.

Imagine this – your website is like the slow-moving traffic in Silk Board Junction, taking ages to load. Visitors? They’ll disappear quicker than an auto-rickshaw in a Bengaluru rainstorm, off to find a site that respects their time. And once they’re gone, getting them back to your site is as challenging as finding a parking spot on MG Road during rush hour. Why? Because free web hosts cut corners – you’re not shelling out any cash, so they’re not putting in any effort.

The servers they use are like an overloaded BMTC bus during peak hours, crawling along, incapable of dealing with the horsepower of a modern, dynamic website. The performance hit from free web hosts is as hard to ignore as the traffic jam on Outer Ring Road, but you don’t just have to take my word for it. Test your site’s performance and witness the reality firsthand.

3 – When ‘Free’ Equals ‘Vulnerable’: Your Site’s Security at Risk

If you’re thinking of using free website hosting services, be ready to hang a giant ‘Welcome’ sign for hackers. Yep, your website becomes a playground for these tech troublemakers because of minimal protection. It’s like leaving your front door open and expecting no one to walk in.

Your provider has fewer obligations. That means you have less control and more headaches. These services come with security flaws wide enough for hackers to drive a truck through.

But remember, with paid hosting, it’s a different ball game. You get safe, secure hosting options with solid security features, all at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

As a webmaster, you’re the guardian of your digital kingdom. Protecting your site from cyber-attacks is a major part of your job. A strong password and up-to-date files – that’s the bare minimum. A trustworthy web host is your knight in shining armor, defending your castle from unwanted invaders.

Free web hosts, on the other hand, offer little to no protection against these cybercriminals. But here’s the silver lining – plenty of reputable web hosting services are standing by, ready to provide secure hosting. And all this without asking you to empty your pockets. That’s a deal you can’t afford to miss!

4 – You’re on Your Own: The “Support” Fallacy in Free Hosting

Let’s talk about something you usually get when you pay for hosting – a lifeline, 24/7. Yep, I’m talking about support. That little chat box in the corner of your screen, the helpful human at the end of the phone line, or a rapid response to your frantic email.

This is crucial because, sooner or later, you’ll need support like you need an umbrella during Bengaluru’s unexpected downpours. Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? But do you know what you’re getting with free WordPress hosting? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s like waiting for a cab at MG Road during rush hour – it just won’t happen.

You might find a forum or something similar. If you’re lucky, you might stumble upon limited ticket support. But most free hosts will shrug their shoulders and point you toward a community support forum.

Everything’s on a diet with these free web hosting services, including customer support. When your website crashes and burns, it’s up to you to put out the fire, with barely any help from them. Got a question? Ran into an error? You’re pretty much on your own, hitting refresh and waiting for that email support to respond.

When you opt for free website services, having access to support is like trying to catch the local BMTC bus at peak hour – practically impossible. You’re a one-person show, setting up your site, and wrestling with every emergency or bug that appears. Your only lifeline might be to hire a web developer to help.

Sure, these free services might look like a jackpot from an IPL match, but you’ve got to look closely at the scoreboard. If you’re in it for the long haul, have ambitious plans for your brand, tinkering with free websites is like crossing the bustling Brigade Road without a pedestrian signal. The lack of guarantees can make your journey fraught with risks and potentially leave a dent in your brand’s reputation over time.

5 – The (Sub)Domain Swamp: Image and Control in Free Hosting

Imagine this – you’re walking into a meeting, and you’re ready to give out your business card. But instead of “,” your card reads, “” Yeah, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Your potential clients might look at it, tilt their heads a bit, and then, bam – they’re second-guessing how seriously they can take your business.

Let’s face it, if your service provider decides to pull the plug on your website, you lose everything. Your web address, which is just a sub-domain tied to your provider, and all your data, poof – gone. And you can’t just clone your free website onto a new site.

Unlike paid shared web hosting, free hosting leaves you grasping for control. You’re boxing yourself into a corner when setting up your site, having to make do with limited configurations.

Here’s a bitter pill to swallow: you might not even find the option to connect your custom domain. I know, it’s wild. But you generally have little to no control over your hosting and domain when you opt for free hosting. So, you’re stuck with a subdomain courtesy of your hosting provider, like an unwanted tattoo.

6 – Taking Over of the Ad Hosters: The Advertising Pitfall of Free Hosting

Let’s get real for a second – who is actually a fan of ads? Show of hands? That’s what I thought. Especially when they’ve got absolutely no connection to do with your business. This is another red-hot reason why hitching a ride on the free website hosting bandwagon can leave you burnt.

These pesky ads aren’t just annoying; they slow down your website, tanking your user experience to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Remember the last time you tried closing an ad on your phone? Half the time, you exit the whole site in frustration, trying to hit the teeny-tiny “x” in the corner. Long story short, you have zero control over the advertising chaos on your website.

Now, here’s the twist: Most of these free web services operate like a crowded Mumbai local at peak hours – they’re making profits from advertisements while you’re breaking your back, creating content, and crafting your site. These ads have all the nuances of a Bollywood dance number at a quiet library – they’re in-your-face, disruptive, and seriously unattractive.

And the cherry on top of this frustrating sundae? Your savvy competitors might just pay these free website hosting companies to display their ads on your website. So, you’re not just shooting yourself in the foot – you’re paying for the bullet!

7 – Resource Rationing: The Struggles of a Tight Budget on Free Hosting

When you’re hopping on the free hosting bandwagon, you’re driving on India’s hilly hairpin bends without brakes. And trust me, it’s not as thrilling as it sounds. You’re always dealing with the rationed resources like you’re managing space in a Mumbai local during rush hour. We’re talking about server space and memory here. And let me tell you – what they allocate to you wouldn’t suffice even for the most basic website with three or four pages.

And then we enter into the territory of customization, or lack thereof. You’re slapped with restrictions on themes and plugins, and your e-commerce functionality is basically a kiddie pool when you need an Olympic-size swimming facility.

The site-building tools they hand you? As bare as Old Delhi’s spice market at dawn. You’re left with bare-bones design options, and believe me, in this digital era, that’s a hurdle bigger than the traffic on Silk Board Junction. Instead of being puppeteered by these free hosting services, like a Yakshagana puppet show, cut those strings and give your business the freedom it deserves, as vast as the peaceful skies over Cubbon Park!

8 – SEO Struggles: The Pitfalls of Free Hosting

Let’s face it, Google has expectations as high as the towering Burj Khalifa when it comes to ranking websites. So, if your site’s not top-notch, it’s not making the leaderboard. And free hosting is like a rickshaw in a Ferrari race, pulling you back. Given the subpar standards of free hosting offers, you have about as much chance of hitting those top ranks as finding a quiet spot in Mumbai during rush hour.

Worse yet, building a solid online presence is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, effort, and buckets of patience. But if your free host pulls the rug out from under you and your site goes dark, it’s game over. Everything you’ve toiled over, all that hard-earned ranking in Google – gone.

And the aftermath? Customers bail on you faster than a bad date, leaving you with a business that’s dead in the water.

But here’s the silver lining: when you saddle up with a reputable web hosting company, you’re setting your brand on a path to success. You maximize your potential through a professional online presence and get top-notch support and services.

SEO, that’s the magic word, right? You’ve invested time and money into it. It’s your ticket to a prime spot in search results. But if your website’s sluggish or, god forbid, offline due to shoddy free hosting, your SEO takes a serious hit.

Remember, to Google, your website’s a newcomer trying to make a mark. You need to play by the rules, show ’em you’ve got quality content, a professional domain, and a site that scales as your business grows.

Aim for premium, professional hosting providers who give you complete control, improved SEO, and scalability of your website needs. When you choose them, you’re not just picking a service; you’re partnering with your brand’s future on Google Search. It’s all about setting yourself up for success and hitting your full potential, folks. Trust me; it’s worth it.

9 – The Hidden Traps of Free Hosting: Why You’re Not Really in Control

Free hosting is like the crowded streets of Bengaluru: It looks vibrant from a distance, but up close, it’s chaotic. You don’t get to be the driver of your own site, bhai. You think you’re setting up your digital office, but you’re limited to the subdomain the hosting provider assigns you. No custom domain, no real command, just playing the sidekick to the host’s domain, like a startup lost in the hustle of Bengaluru’s tech park.

But here’s the real kick in the pants: they’ve got your hands tied when you migrate your site elsewhere. And here’s the kicker: the sneaky small print in their terms of service.

Get this – while you might think you’re the boss of your website, you’re not. That ‘free’ host? They own the keys to your kingdom. Your content? That’s their property now. You can’t sell your website, you can’t republish your work – it’s like you built a house but don’t own the deeds.

Imagine you’re an artist or photographer, showcasing your work on your site for customers. The second it goes up on your ‘free’ host, bam! Their terms kick in, and you’ve just signed over the rights to your masterpiece.

Worse yet, when the ‘free’ services don’t cut it anymore, and you’re ready to switch to better digs, you hit a brick wall. Transferring your site? That’s a no-go. If you can’t cough up the dough for your ‘free’ host’s upgrades, don’t even think about finding a more affordable, reliable provider.

Why? Because in the grand game of website hosting, you don’t hold any cards – no ownership of your website, content, or domain. It’s their ball game, and you’re just playing in it.

10 – The Unseen Price Tag of ‘Free’ Hosting: The Uptime Blues

Let’s get real here. The age-old adage “you get what you pay for” rings truer than ever with web hosting. With paid web hosts, you get a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and that’s the gold standard, my friend. But free hosts? They’re not rolling out the red carpet for you. Hardware issues, poor maintenance, their servers are more ‘off’ than ‘on.’

And remember customer service? It is more like the silence in an Indian household during the climax of a Bollywood film.

And here’s another curveball: Free attracts all sorts. Not just the eager beavers trying to build their dream site, but also the malicious players looking for a free playground. They’re out there spamming, distributing shady software, launching DDoS attacks – all at the expense of your ‘free’ service.

So, one bad apple in your shared server barrel? That’s enough to turn the whole server sideways. That’s every site going dark, including yours. Whether it’s your online shop, your big project, or your portfolio, it’s sinking with the ship. And trust me, that downtime will “cost” you way more than you bargained for.

Here’s the real kicker: because you’re on the ‘free’ ticket, you’re not entitled to a dime of compensation. So think about that the next time you’re tempted by the ‘free’ label.

Let’s Wrap This Up: It’s Not About ‘Free,’ It’s About Value

Pay attention! ‘Free’ might sound like sweet music to your ears, but will it still sound so good in the long haul? Let’s get real. Your website is your blood, sweat, and tears made digital – and you’re going to trust that to a shaky, no-name host?

Sure, it might seem like you’re making bank by going the free route from the get-go. But remember this: tiny problems can morph into colossal headaches, and before you know it, you’re dealing with a hot mess instead of focusing on your actual business.

This isn’t about counting rupees or running a race against the Indian Standard Time. It’s about your grand finale, your Taj Mahal dream for your site. If you’re after unshakeable support, Dhoni-level performance, professional email, and a guarantee your site won’t go offline – you gotta pull out some cash and pick a well-respected paid web hosting company.

Enough talk. Time to level up and stake your claim in the digital space. If you’re ready to roll out a new site, or you’re stumped on picking a hosting service, check out Rovity – the Usain Bolt of WordPress hosting in India.

Rovity: India’s Go-to for Fast, Reliable WordPress Hosting

From wallet-friendly plans to a setup that’s a breeze for beginners, Rovity has got you covered. And hey, if you’re already a website owner and want to jump ship for a faster, more reliable host, Rovity’s the port you should be sailing to. Especially for those targeting traffic from India, our powerhouse servers, stationed right here, will give you the home-field advantage.

Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest-growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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