If you’re just starting out in the realm of WordPress websites, you may find paying for a hosting plan to be either out of your budget or unnecessary. This is especially true if you’re looking for a free way to host your personal blog or a small affiliate marketing website.
In an attempt to save as much money as possible, you’ve likely come across advertisements proclaiming the wonders of free WordPress hosting services. While the idea of a completely free hosting solution is tempting, is it actually free? Moreover, are there any serious concerns when choosing a free WordPress hosting service over a traditional paid service?
To help determine whether or not a free WordPress host is worth your time, let’s take a few moments to dive into the cheap world of free WordPress hosting services.
Why Free? What’s In It For Them?
Whenever someone offers you a historically expensive service for free, the first question you should ask is, “Why is it free?”
This is especially important when you’re weighing the pros and cons of a free WordPress hosting service. There are two primary reasons why this service is being offered for free:
- Advertising Revenue – These providers may have forced ads on their free services, which means that while you’re not paying anything, you’re basically a source of advertising revenue. This poses a potential risk should the ads be malicious.
- Upgrade to Premium Services – In some cases, a free WordPress hosting service is simply an advertising trick to get you to upgrade your side to their premium hosting. This may be required after length of time or once your site reaches a specific bandwidth or traffic rate. Oftentimes, these premium services are much more expensive than comparable standard WordPress hosting services.
The Downside of Free – Disadvantages of Free WordPress Hosting
As you can imagine, there are many disadvantages of going the free route rather than the paid pathway. While not every free WordPress hosting service is filled with nothing but disadvantages, it’s not exactly one filled with advantages, either. Here are some of the most common issues that plague the free WordPress hosting world:
- Server Issues – Whether it’s a lack of uptime availability, slow response times or an endless array of errors, free hosting servers are often unreliable and can even open your site up to security threats.
- Plugin Incompatibility – WordPress runs on a host of plugins. In fact, this is one of the most attractive reasons as to why so many people choose WordPress. However, free services often aren’t compatible with the technical requirements most plugins require.
- Slow Performance – Even if the server is managed, free services typically feature slow and lagging performances. This spells disaster for anyone who tries to visit your site. Not only will they likely skip out on reading your content, but Google penalizes websites that are notoriously slow.
- Security Threats – If the server isn’t updated, or professionally managed, then there are a host of potential security breaches capable of destroying your website. The old saying rings true, you truly do get what you pay for.