A new survey by the ISP Fasthosts gives us the shock revelation: companies that use free web hosting lose customers.
Particularly for web-savvy customers, any company that does not have its own domain name, at least, is considered untrustworthy or illegitimate.
Though it might seem like the easy option to set up a web site on a free service, problems can surface later on that potentially cost the company more money:
- Having a daft, unmemorable web address like www.freehostingcompany.co.uk/webspace/~companyname/
- Running out of storage space or bandwidth if the site becomes popular.
- Potentially lower website reliability due to high ratio of shared accounts on the web server.
- Difficulty transferring to a dedicated domain and hosting later on.
- Having to buy in external tools and services to handle such
things as security and ecommerce, which would likely be included on
paid web plans.
- Backups solely the responsibility of the business, not the free webspace provider.
- No control over advertising and other rubbish displayed on free pages.
- Poor search engine optimisation
Need we go on?
Of course, if you’re a small or medium sized company, Fasthosts would
love for you to run to them with fistfuls of cash and beg them to host
and maintain your web presence for you – but of course you could go and
find any decent UK provider to do this for you.
Another example of when free really isn’t free – and could cost businesses not just cash, but reputation as well.