Do you really need to pay to host your website? Truth be told, there are sub-par hosting providers on both sides of the aisle. That can make choosing whether or not to pay just as difficult as deciding on the right provider. Even so, there are some common differences between the two that can help you decide.
Paid providers give you more options, and this frequently includes choosing the amount of bandwidth that is right for your site. If your site depends on video, high-quality images, and other visual aspects that take up space, paid is probably the way to go.
With free providers, having an image-heavy site that gets decent traffic can be tricky. Free hosting often has a low cap on how much bandwidth you use, and might be more likely to subject your site to downtime. Check out a siteground review for example specs, including how much downtime their sites average.
- Customer Service
If you’re not a web wiz, don’t worry – most people who have their own sites aren’t experts. However, you want to have a plan in place for those times when you need a little professional assistance. For instance, it’s not uncommon for an owner to be lurking their own site, only to notice a slow-loading page, an error, or glitch. Even worse, your site might be offline.
If you’re hosting for free, who do you call? The answer is unclear, but you can expect a reply to your email in the next, say, 48 hours. Most paid services offer you support when you need it, so there are no nail-biting days spent wondering what’s going on with your website, and how on earth it’s going to be fixed.
Paid services can make your site exude more authority and professionality. There are a few different ways this is accomplished. It all begins with your domain name. If you want to stand apart in your industry, you don’t want to use a free host that inserts their name into the domain, too.
The next difference comes in advertising. If there are ads on your website, a free host will most likely decide what it’s an ad for, and there’s no guarantee there will be any consideration or method to this. For all you know, it could be a competing ad. This is not the case with most paid hosts.
These two aspects can influence the final aspect – search ranking. If your free host opts to use ads and links on your site which are less than reputable, it can knock you further down in search results. All of the above leads to lighter traffic, and no matter what your goals are, that’s never a good thing.
It’s helpful to know that paid web hosting doesn’t have to be expensive, either. If your bandwidth expectations are reasonable, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from paying a little for faster performance and professional appearance. Get a clean domain that’s all yours, customer support to minimize errors, and ads that are relevant and authentic – if you choose to display them at all. With paid hosting, it’s easy to get your money’s worth.