Like selling free domains, there are a few companies that are offering free website hosting accounts.
In this article, I am trying to explain why it is a bad idea to choose a free hosting service provider.
Before I begin, I wanted to tell you that there are many costs associated with running a web hosting business.
Cost of electricity, ISP charges, Air Conditioning, Engineering support and maintenance, physical and online security, local taxes and human resources allowances, etc., are directly connected with an upstream provider or known as a Data Center provider.
When it comes to the retailer hosting provider who operates using a Reseller account or a VPS, or even a Dedicated server, there are similar costs.
Marketing and Sales expenses, running an industry-standard 24/7 support systems, efficient and knowledgeable technical support staff, monthly fees to keep the control panel software, automation software, and other server related software, salary and office expenses are a few expenditures.
How can any company give you something free of cost when it is costly to the company?
Well, there would be some tradeoffs.
Please note that I am not talking about service providers who provide a free trial for a limited time; the websites offer free hosting accounts for a lifetime.
Offer Free Domains to Acquire Customers
Many of us are eager to get everything free or cheap. It is human nature.
So the word free or cheap are high ranking keywords in search queries. And companies that give free hosting services will get the benefit here.
Most of the time, attracted customers will sign up for a free account. Still, an experienced buyer will always know that there would be something they need to compromise.
After a few weeks of sign up, these companies will use some dirty tricks to force them to opt for a higher paid plan.
You’ll Have Limited Resources
Generally, with such free hosting accounts, features like the number of allowed email accounts and databases will be shallow, like 1 or 2 email addresses.
There would be a limitation on the number of visitors the websites can have per month. Once the sites hit the limit, the website would be down.
Poorly Performing Servers
Uptime is a significant factor for any website.
Free accounts may get allocated on a very old server spec where the hardware and software are outdated.
I have seen companies limit the PHP version 5.xx to their free tier customers.
The official PHP team has stopped maintaining this PHP version. It may not work with the latest frameworks and applications, and there won’t be even security patches.
Suppose you are using an old program or software or any scripting language. In that case, you are missing a much higher performance and putting yourself in danger.
Due to the lack of quality technical specs, even a simple static page will face frequent downtime.
Your Site Won’t Load Fast
As part of their upsell strategy, they may have reduced the resources allocated to any FREE plans and forcing customers to upgrade.
If you are concerned about your website’s SEO, then this is a situation where you need to think again.
Page Speed is a critical factor in SEO. This metric is one of the page ranking metrics that Google publicly confirmed.
Ads as a Source of Revenue
Adding your free websites to their Ads network and placing ads on your sites is one of their revenue streams.
While you are trying hard to get visitors to your website, these companies are busy making tons of money from your sites.
Denied Access to Essential Services
This denial of essential services is another action I see from a few websites.
Imagine a situation when you logged in to their control panel to access critical services like email accounts or file managers.
You will then see a message that says Access Denied; pay us to unblock this section. You may not have any other options as all your digital assets are inaccessible now.
Another example is not offering ways to integrate essential services like SSL certificates.
I have recently identified a significant threat from free hosting providers, which is more dangerous than what we listed above. It will affect all of the parties involved here.
The shorter form of this threat is that while you depend on a free web hosting account, your website becomes a part of the crypto mining network. All your visitors will be the victims.
Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency using their devices’ CPU power.
In this case, it is your website visitor who puts trust in you.
Hackers and the free web hosting service providers do this by getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads crypto mining code on the computer.
The crypto mining code then works in the background as unsuspecting victims use their computers usually.
The only sign they might notice is slower performance or lags in execution.
Unfortunately, most of the Anti Virus software can’t identify such processes as in this method; nothing is installed on the victim’s computer.
Since the website is hosted on their server, they inject the mining code in all your website pages without letting you know.
You see, using this Cryptojacking, the free hosting website providers can make hundreds and thousands of dollars very quickly each month.
You see, if you are serious about your websites, then I strongly recommend you not to use such companies.
I understand that cost is a significant fact why anyone looks for a service provider who is offering free products.
Our mission at Rovity is to get more people online and make the Internet a better place.
Because of this, we offer our Silver plan as low as ₹149 per month.
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