What Does a “Free Website” Mean?

April 10, 2018
Posted in: Web Design, Web Development, WordPress

When creating a website, beginners typically lean toward a “free website” for either practice or to keep the price low while starting up. There are many companies out there that offer free websites with free hosting services. These services are advertised as a quick and user-friendly way to start up a website, which is why so many choose this option. However, a “free website” can come with some baggage…

Here are 10 reasons why a “Free Website” may not be the best option for your business:

1. Looks Professional

Users could doubt your credibility due to the lack of professionalism on your website – this could be due to design, layout, unwanted advertisements, etc. The entire package needs to look professional in order for the user to get a good first impression. Typically, when choosing a free web service, instead of receiving your own domain, you will receive a subdomain. A subdomain can look unprofessional to some users. However, many services will offer to upgrade your subdomain to a domain for a small fee.

2. It may not be Free Forever

Trial services can trick you! Make sure you thoroughly read through the terms and conditions before signing up. There can be hidden charges such as image hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, etc. These extra charges can often be very pricey, so be careful.

3. Lose Ownership of your Content

Free web services may take your content – and have every right to do so! Make sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly as it can clearly state that they are allowed to do this.

4. You could have Limited Disk Storage

Due to the service being free, there may be a limited amount of storage for your website. Every service is different, so this may not apply to every service, but it could become an issue if you have a lot of photos, or large files you want to upload/store.  

5. Unwanted Advertisements

The company could possibly gain profit by letting other companies use their service for advertisements. These advertisements can be shown on your website and can sometimes be completely irrelevant to your page.

6. Vulnerable to Hackers

Free websites may have poor security, meaning your website could be vulnerable to hackers – which could possibly lead to low credibility for your website.

7. Website may have Limitations

Since it is free, the design options can be limited. Without paying, they may make it difficult to customize your site, or add new features. Creativity and uniqueness of your website can also be affected. Your may not reach its full potential due to these limitations within the service.

8. No Help or Customer Service

Unlike services you pay for, there can be a limitation on the customer service or community available to help you navigate the service or give you tips on how to make your site more attractive and successful. This can be a major disadvantage for beginners who are looking for a cheap and easy way to start up.

9. Management Limitations

Many of these free services do not allow you to install WordPress on your free website. This is because WordPress requires more resources than most free website services can afford. You will have to use the service’s content management system in order to modify the content. Unfortunately, if you do not like what they offer, you cannot change it.

10. Limited Support for Mobile Devices

Free services may not provide you the option to update your website via mobile, only on a desktop. Being able to open your website on both a mobile device and desktop is crucial. It makes it much easier for quick changes on the go.

As you can see, there can be many limitations and restrictions when choosing to use a “free” website service. Are there people that can make a great site using a “free” website service? Definitely. However, these people usually have the background necessary and won’t struggle with these limitations and restrictions. If you are new to building websites and know nothing about how to start, go with a paid service. You can get the support you need to build a successful site.

Ben Simpson

Web Developer
613-801-1350 x103
[email protected]
Ben creates custom, fully responsive WordPress themes for our clients. His attention to detail ensures that a clean, easy to maintain product is created during every project. View full profile