Do a search for free websites or free hosting on Google and you’ll get 191,000,000 or more links to websites that offer this so called deal. If you are planning to setup a family site, with the latest news, photos of the kids etc, or you’re a genealogist and would like to post your family tree and information for other genealogists, and all the traffic you want or need is your family, friends and whatever strangers you happen to meet and would like to send to your URL, then by all means take advantage of their offer. Because that is probably all the traffic you are going to get to visit your site. However if you are seriously considering becoming an internet entrepreneur, find yourself a reputable web design company and an affordable hosting plan. Free hosting is not suitable for
internet entrepreneur so always Avoid Free Website and Hosting Deals.
There are three factors which I encourage my clients to keep in mind when selecting a website for their online business venture. The deciding factors when selecting your web design should be the ease of navigation and the suitability of the page layout to your content. Customers come to your site searching for a product, service, or information. If your site does not provide easy access to the content they want, they not going to hang around just to admire the design elements of your website. By selecting a layout suitable for the content you intend to place on your web pages, whether its product images and descriptions or informational content, like this article for example, you can save a lot of time and–if you intend to have your support staff setup your content– money as well.
The third factor is the basic web design. While many experts, and myself as well, believe customers are sub-consciously motivated by colors, (red encourages them to take action, blue promotes a sense of trust, yellow and orange, a sense of well being or contentment, etc), the basic design elements of your website such as the background colors, images, bullets, flash etc, are really a matter of personal preference.
If you are determined to succeed in the online marketplace, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you start out right. Before you leap on that free website, free hosting offer, do your research. Read the fine print and see if the deal they are offering will meet your needs now and calculate the cost that you could incur if you have to exceed the allotment of services they provide for free in the future. If you want your own domain, then add the cost of the provider’s membership too. Talley the costs of “free provider’s services”, then set it aside and shop around a bit. Visit a web design company offering professionally designed websites for less than a hundred dollars and see what they have to offer. Take a look at the hosting plans available with all the features you need. Now, compare the costs of both options. Keep in mind that, as with any business, you will eventually have to invest a little money if you truly want to succeed.
If you are planning to use a free provider, then don’t bother purchasing a domain for your new site unless you intend to shell out the provider’s membership fee. Most free providers provide you with two membership options—free or paid. If you choose the free membership option, the provider will set up your URL for you website like this: FREE PROVIDER DOMAIN/YOUR USER ID, or even worse, like this: FREE PROVIDER DOMAIN/DIR/YOUR USER ID. Settle for either one these URLs, and you’ll be lucky to even get your site indexed by the search engines and directories at all. You see, many search engines and directories will not accept your website submissions if your URL contains a forward slash. Some major search engines and directories categorically refuse to accept submissions for websites hosted with free providers at all. Google rarely indexes sites hosted by free providers, and even more rarely gives the site a ranking greater than 0/10.
Even if you are lucky enough to land yourself a few customers for your site, the inclusion of a free provider’s domain in your URL can also have an adverse affect on your ability to get repeat customers for your site. Yourdomain.com is fairly easy for your customer to recall. Your provider domain.com/your user id would be extremely difficult for them to remember since they have probably never done business with your provider. .
Of course your free provider will be more than happy to setup your website under your own domain—provided you pay their membership fee and purchase the domain yourself to boot. Sort of defeats your purpose of saving a few bucks, doesn’t it?
They are not providing free hosting out of the goodness of their hearts, my friend. Read that fine print again. The majority of free providers offer limited amounts of web space, bandwidth and features. Better check the number of web pages you’re allowed to setup under your free account while you’re at it, because some providers set a ridiculously low limit. If you exceed whatever limits your free provider allows, you’ll have to pay their membership fee and/or purchase one of their hosting plans.