Why should I pay for a hosting when I can use sites like Blogger or 000webhost to start a blog for free?
This is a question I see being asked by aspiring bloggers many times on different forums out there.
Most of the people that are just about to start their blogging career do not realize that using a free hosting can have very negative consequences down the road and it is important that you know about many drawbacks that can not be overlooked if you are ever going to use such a free service yourself.
We all love (yes, me too) freebies and it is nothing wrong about that fact but most of the time if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
I have to admit with shame that I have fallen prey to the lure of websites like Blogger or WordPress.com that offer you “an amazing” hosting without spending a dime.
I had lost a one free blog back in my early twenties and it has been a very hard lesson to learn for me but if I would not make a mistake of using a free hosting, I would not learn many crucial things.
If you are new to the online business and you just want to start your very first blog, then please do consider these ten reasons before you use any of sites that are offering free hosting services.
1) Your Free Blog Can Be Shut Down At Any Time
Do you read the terms of service of sites or even apps that you use yourself? We are speaking of some of the most popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail?
Most likely you are not, I was not reading them as well, because why would you waste your time on something so dull?
I was thinking that way until my free blog was shut down.
I was creating content for months and even after some time I started to get some nice traffic from Google and I thought that it would be nice to monetize my blog in some way.
So what I did is I signed up for an affiliate program that had an interesting course that I thought that it would be very useful for my viewers so I started promoting it to my audience and I even made a few sales here and there.
But one day, I got an email from the free host that I used at that time saying that my blog has been deleted from their site and I will not be able to get the data so my posts will be lost forever.
I was shocked because I thought that I did not do anything wrong and I quickly replied to them and they sent me another email where they referred me to their standard terms and conditions which stated that they are allowed to suspend my account and delete my blog at any time they wish for any reason and it also said that any affiliate marketing promotion is prohibited.
Now, I do not really want to tell the name of this free host since they may threaten me with a legal action or something, but big blogging platforms like Blogger aka BlogSpot or WordPress.com can do the same thing with your site since their terms and conditions state that they:
“may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.”
I am pretty sure that it is not something that you would expect from such well known brands.
So if you decide to use a free host for your blog, there are quite big chances that all your hard work aka content will be gone because mistakes get made and unintentional TOS violation can happen to anyone.
But do not think that this is the only reason why you should never use such services, there is more to come.
2) Google Will Not Take You Seriously
This is something that you may not know yourself, but search engine sites like Google, Yahoo or Bing do not take free blogs seriously just like your visitors.
The combination of very slow loading times, an unprofessional address (like yourblog.freeblog.com), frequent down times, non stop server failures, making it really hard to rank a blog that is using a free web host.
Every blogger’s aim is to get as much organic traffic as it is only possible because without any traffic you will not make a penny, but if you get just a one thousands of unique visits from Google, you would be able to convert it into sales.
If you use a free blogging platform like Blogger or WordPress, you can say goodbye to Google because it does not matter how good your content is, you can have the best posts in your industry, but you will never get any significant number of visitors from the search engine websites.
On top of this, free hosting providers do not let you to upload SEO plugins such as Yoast-Seo which can significantly help to improve SEO of any website.
The truth is that blogs that use a paid hosting will always rank higher than you so what is the point of creating awesome posts daily and putting lots of effort into it, when people will not be able to find you on Google?
3) You Will Not Be Able To Earn Any Money
Here is a deal breaker: you are not able to earn any money off of your blog on almost all free hosting sites.
WordPress.com does not let you to even put a one affiliate link and if you do not abide this rule and if they will catch you red handed, they will ban your site forever and you will never be able to access it again.
There are only a few free hosting providers that might let you to make money with your blog, but they will give you a permission to use only specific ad networks that they choose beforehand.
For example, one of the most popular blogging platforms, Blogger will only allow you to add Google AdSense ads and but this kind of blog monetization is never going to make you any serious money unless you have millions of unique views every single month.
As if it were not bad enough, free hosting services will place very intrusive ads on your blog so you will write posts, attract traffic, do social media marketing, but they are the only ones that will make any money out of your blog.
They will make sure to add as many ads as possible to maximize the profits and it is pretty sure that this will negatively affect your reputation and you can expect that your readers will leave your blog after just a few seconds because everyone hates annoying and unrelated advertisements (even Google bots).
It does not sound like a good business plan, isn’t it?
4) You Will Have To Pay Sooner Or Later
If you think that you are never going to pay for your “free” blog then you are deadly wrong.
All free blogging platforms give you a very limited storage space, so after you start adding more posts which contain different pictures and other media, you will run out of the disk space pretty quick.
You will have no other option but to upgrade to a paid plan which is way overpriced.
What will happen when your blog gets so much traffic to the point that it becomes literally not accessible?
Well, guess what? You will need to pay to upgrade once again.
Free blog platforms deliberately provide their free clients with very limited resources because it is in their best interest to make sure that you will sooner or later convert into a paid customer.
They know very well that only inexperienced people use their services and most of their new clients like you, will eventually start paying because you do not know how to move from them so they basically have you locked in.
5) Transferring Is Very Difficult Or Even Impossible
Are you fed up with your free hosting provider after they started to charge you for basic things like email accounts or SSL certificate and you finally want to move your blog to a real, paid host?
I have got some bad news for you:
Transferring from a free host is very difficult for a person that just started blogging and there are some providers that do not allow their clients to migrate!
You need to understand that all free hosting provides will do everything to prevent you from leaving them and they are so desperate that they will not offer any tools that would help you with moving your blog to your new home.
Some of them might go even further than that because they do not give you access to your files which makes it simply impossible to move your blog data from them.
This one is another big no no.
6) Free Blogs Are Unprofessional And Look Ugly
Do you think that having a blog with a (sub)domain name like mysite.freeblogs.com will instill trust in your readers?
Would you buy something from an online shop that has such a long address?
I think it is an obvious one.
Not only the addresses of your free blog screams that you are not serious about blogging, but also that you are just a dabbler, therefore you should not be taken seriously.
How about your web page design?
Most of the free web hosting services offer only a few templates to choose from and some more popular services like Blogger may have hundreds of themes that you can use but almost all of them are outdated and are looking very amateurish.
To make things even worse, the very free hosting provider that you use for blogging will display own advertisements on your blog and they will make sure to put them literally all over the place, even in your posts.
So, your blog has a very long address, it uses a one ugly theme and your every post is loaded with very distracting ads, all of which makes your blog looks very unprofessional.
7) There Is No Real Customer Support
I have tested many free web hosting services and I can safely say that none of them provide a real customer support.
If you use sites like Blogger, then you are basically on your own so you will have to fix all issues yourself.
When your blog goes down, you will be ignored and if you are lucky, you might get a reply from the support after a week but do not think that they will want to actually help you.
They will always blame you, the themes or plugins that you use, just to avoid the responsibility.
Since free web hosts care only about one thing which is money, they will hire a small team of clueless people who do not know a thing how to manage a server, how WordPress works, et cetera, there are there to just create an illusion that they provide a real customer service.
8) Free Blogs Take Ages To Load
Are you planning to start a blog with Blogger?
Say hello to very slow load speeds.
Free web hosting providers put literally thousands of blogs on the one server, whereas the most reliable paid hosts add only several blogs on the same server to ensure that there are not any or very few down times and their customer’s blogs load in less than few seconds.
It is not a big secret that most of the free hosts (if not all) cut costs in every avenue possible, so such services are running outdated and overloaded servers, they reduce the amount of technical team to the bare minimum and all of which makes a blog load slowly.
I think that I do not need to tell you that surfers that come across your blog, will quickly abandon it if they will have to wait more than four seconds for your posts to load.
I have got even more terrible news for all of you that want to use free web hosts:
Having a slow blog is not only bad for people that will want to read your posts but also for SEO, because Google said many times that the sites that load faster will always get more love from them aka rank higher than the ones that take ages to load.
When I was starting my blogging journey, all blogs were significantly slower since there were no CDN providers, very few hosting offered solid state disks but today, site speed is a very important ranking factor.
The bottom line is that if you use a free hosting for your blog in this day and age, you will find it very hard, if not impossible to rank it for any worthwhile keywords and on top of that, your visitors will leave your blog in seconds.
Here Is What I Recommend
Did you ever hear this old and popular saying “you get what you pay for”?
It is still valid and it definitely applies to web hosting as well.
I hope that I convinced you to not use any free hosting providers unless you want to use them to create a personal blog that you will not mind losing.
But even if you want to run a personal diary, then I would recommend you to go with the real hosting that will save you from lots of headaches and endless issues that you would face if you would use a free provider.
I can understand that your budget might be tight but in 2018, the costs of web hosting are as low as never before so it is just not worth it to use sites like Blogger or 000webhost anymore.
Can you please tell me where else you can start a business for less than the cost of the pizza?
BlueHost is a web hosting that I personally use for most of my blogs and they are known for their amazing support and a newbie friendly control panel which allows you to create a WordPress blog within just a few clicks (literally!).
Now, they are offering the special deal for all StartABlog2Day readers. If you use this link, you will get their basic plan at the lowest possible price of just $2.75 per month and they will also give you a real domain as a bonus.
NOTE: I will get a small commission from BlueHost if you use any of the above links and sign up with them, but in the return, you will get the best deal possible.
So forget about Blogger or any other free host service and take the very first right step to start your own blog this year using this guide.
Have you ever used any free web hosting provider? Please share your experiences with us and do not be afraid to ask me anything 🙂