Web Hosting Dilemma: Free vs Paid – Making the Right Choice

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Nowadays, having an online presence for a business is a requisite, but with so many options available in the market, it is evident that individuals might need clarification. There are many options for web hosting available; it could be free or paid. Choosing one between the two could be an overwhelming job, but that’s what this article is for. We will tell every aspect to make it easier for the audience to choose. When it comes to publishing a website on the web, web hosting plays a significant role. There is numerous web hosting plan available in the market to choose from, and a business can choose them according to their requirements. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Free Web Hosting Plan?

As per its name, free web hosting is free of cost, which means that the users get a lot of features for free, for which they would usually pay.

Now, we all know that the web hosting plans available are all paid, i.e., one has to pay for the web hosting services, but Free web hosting does the same job free of cost. In simpler words, free web hosting allows individuals to get their website hosted on the internet free of charge by letting them access the features necessary for publishing the website.

When we take services from someone, we usually pay them, but that’s not the case with free web hosting. Its unique selling point (USP) is ‘Free’. It is an excellent option for someone who wants a website for writing their blogs, starting a small business, etc. For example, Wix would be an appropriate example as it provides free web hosting.

But there’s a price that has to be paid for free web hosting because one has to put up with their never-ending advertisements, limited resources, aren’t that secure and can’t hold a lot of traffic. And if one looks closely, these are the features crucial for having a successful business. Therefore, making free web hosting is not that reliable and trustworthy.

What is Paid Web Hosting Plan?

‘Paid web hosting’, the name says it all. It means that the users have to pay the hosting company to use their features; now, the payment might be made monthly or annually depending upon the web hosting company and its payment plan. Paid web hosting is more credible and secure, offers more features and benefits, comes with a team of customer service that is always ready to help and provides a lot of scopes for the business to grow more by making the website look professional. What else does a business need?

And there are a lot of paid web hosting plans available so that a business can choose one according to its requirements. Paid web hosting plans are available in different types, such as shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, etc. This way, it gets easier for the business to select one that best suits their needs.

One should know where to cut costs, but cutting costs in the case of paid web hosting wouldn’t be a smart move. A carefully chosen web hosting plan has the potential to change your business game.

What is Paid Web Hosting Plan-Web Hosting Plan

Free vs. Paid Web Hosting Plan:

This is more of an investment because by choosing one between the two we are making an investment in our own business growth that’s why it is crucial to make the decision after considering each factor. Now, if it’s free of cost, it is pretty evident that the features provided in free web hosting will always be lesser in quality and credibility than those provided in paid web hosting.

We have tried comparing free and paid web hosting based on different grounds to make it easier for your business to choose between the two. Following are the differences between the two: 

1. Storage Space and Bandwidth:

Storage space refers to the space one gets on the web to store folders, files, data, etc. And bandwidth is the data a website can provide visitors over a certain period. 

There’s nothing to worry about in paid web hosting regarding storage space and bandwidth, as there are no restrictions. These features are unlimited for the user as he pays for them. But, in the context of free web hosting, storage space and bandwidth might be an issue as the company is constantly trying to fit in more users and websites on their server, thereby compelling them to cut down on these crucial features, which in turn affects the already existing customers and its business. These features are essential for businesses that are starting and shouldn’t miss out on them. 

2. Domain Name and Branding:

If one wants to build an online presence that is remarkable and easily recognizable by its audience, special attention needs to be given to choosing the domain name and branding.

In the case of paid web hosting, the user gets their custom domain name. For that, they have to pay the web hosting company from time to time so that it can be renewed. 

But we get free subdomains when a website is made with free web hosting. It means the domain name one gets has the hosting company’s name in the URL. For example, if we take Wix as the free web hosting company, the domain name will be yourname.wix.com, which will be the complete domain name for the website. But this doesn’t look professional at all. If one wants to start their own business, investing in a paid web hosting company and getting a custom domain name will always be a good idea. 

3. Security and Privacy:

A web hosting company, whether free or paid that provides robust privacy and security has the potential to attract many customers. Along with advanced technology, hackers are also getting better at their job with each passing day, which is why security and privacy are non – negotiables.

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If a website doesn’t provide enough security and privacy for its visitors, doesn’t matter how great it is in terms of features, the audience won’t be convinced to get their services as security and privacy are two crucial factors and are always considered before selecting a hosting company. A website has a lot of information stored that is related to the users; the information could be personal details, financial information, etc. And free web hosting isn’t that reliable regarding security and privacy. Therefore, going for a paid web hosting company with excellent privacy and security features would keep these fears at bay. 

4. Technical Assistance and Customer Service Support:

What would one do if their website crashes and they have no one to call for help? The probability of this happening increases considerably when services are taken from a free web hosting company because they provide no technical assistance or customer service support. On the other hand, when services are taken from a paid web hosting company, there’s nothing to worry about regarding technical and customer service support because the hosting company have always got your back. 

5. Search Rankings and Reliability:

Uptime is a significant factor when choosing between free and paid web hosting. And paid web hosting generally offers uptime greater than 99%, thereby loading the pages at a faster speed which increases the chances of the users staying for long at the website because the user – experience is excellent.

If one has decided to go with free web hosting, one also has to make peace with the fact that free web hosting will display irrelevant and unprofessional ads and links, which can harm your business. It will also go lower in rankings; eventually, Google will blacklist it because it may find it unprofessional. 

However, one doesn’t have to worry about these things with paid web hosting plans. Paid web hosting takes care of these things and doesn’t let them happen, allowing individuals to focus on the bigger picture (i.e., growing the business more). And let’s be honest here, nobody would want to waste their precious time-solving website problems rather than focusing on how to grow their business more.

6. Features and Upgrades:

If one chooses free web hosting, one also has to give up on many features and upgrades that usually come with paid web hosting. Paid web hosting provides better features and is much more reliable than free web hosting. 

Free web hosting provides the users with just enough free features to give in, and then they charge the users if they want to upgrade. So, if they are eventually going to charge for features and upgrades, it would be a smart move to choose paid web hosting from the beginning itself. 

  1. Bluehost: One of the largest web hosting companies that offer a range of hosting plans, including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
  2. HostGator: A well-established web hosting company that offers shared, cloud, WordPress, and dedicated hosting.
  3. InMotion Hosting: A US-based web hosting company that provides shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting solutions.
  4. A2 Hosting: A web hosting company that offers a variety of hosting options, including shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
  5. GreenGeeks: A eco-friendly web hosting company that offers shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting solutions.
  6. SiteGround: A web hosting company that offers shared, cloud, and dedicated hosting solutions, with a focus on security and performance.
  7. WP Engine: A managed WordPress hosting company that provides hosting solutions specifically optimized for WordPress websites.

1. Wix –

Wix is a website builder that also offers free hosting. They provide templates and drag-and-drop tools to help users create their websites.

2. WordPress.com –

WordPress.com is a blogging platform that offers free hosting for users who create a blog on their platform.

3. 000Webhost –

000Webhost is a free web hosting service that offers a variety of features, including unlimited disk space and bandwidth, PHP support, and a control panel.

4. InfinityFree –

InfinityFree is a free web hosting service that offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth, as well as support for PHP and MySQL.

5. Hostinger –

Hostinger is a web hosting company that offers a variety of hosting options, including a free plan that offers 100 GB of bandwidth and 100 MB of storage.

Final Words:

You are not alone. ‘Free vs Paid website hosting plans’ is one dilemma everyone faces when starting their business. In this article, we have covered every difference between free and paid web hosting so that our readers can choose for themselves. But, a business giving into the trap of free web hosting just because of the ‘free services’ might suffer in the long run as its online presence speaks a lot about its business, and it needs to be professional enough for users to make a purchase. Choosing a paid web hosting plan that suits the business’s needs and budget is advisable. Many people will view your website on the web, so take all the time you need to select everything for the business, be it different web hosting plans or the domain name.

The most important thing is never to assume that an expensive web hosting plan equivalent to more business growth. One can choose an affordable hosting plan and still grow their business. It wouldn’t be wrong to keep free web hosting synonymous with short–term plans and paid web hosting with long–term plans. If one wants to see growth in their business, paid web hosting will always be the right choice.

Therefore, before choosing a hosting service, whether paid or free, one should read this article as it will help a lot.

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