Is is worth it to pay for a hosting service? Is there a real difference between free or paid hosting besides the money? Which hosting provider is the best?
These are common questions among people who just started blogging and want to make real money online. If you also have questions about this topic, keep reading as I am going to hand you the answers you need.
But first let’s establish some things clear:
What is a hosting service?
Think of hosting as the real estate of the Internet. It is the space you place your website so others can visit. You also get an address (domain name) so people know where to find you.
Now, there are two types of hosting service you can get on the Internet:
Free Web Hosting.- Another company owns the space you put your website information. You are free to post whatever you want AS LONG AS you follow all their guidelines and settle with their limitations.
Paid Web Hosting.- You pay for the space to put your website. That means that you own it. It also comes with freedom to post whatever you want in whichever way you find best (just keep it legal) and more respect from search engines.
You are free to use whichever you want, I’m not going to tell you what to do. I am not your boss and remember that the whole point of Primal Income is to be free from
tyranny following orders.
Here I am only going to provide you with important differences you need to consider. This will allow you to make a well-informed decision.
#1 Your Web Address
Which one of these you believe looks more professional?
Now, take a look at this conversation between two friends who met at a cafe:
“Hey! You should check out my website”
“Sure! How is it called?”
“It’s Cool Geek Gadgets”
“Mmm… It shows an error on my phone”
“No, no, no. You have to put “weebly” dot “coolgeekgadgets” dot com”
So now if someone wants to go to your website, they need to visit “weeblydotcoolgeekgadgets.com”. You can think that it is not such a big deal, that people with get used to it and you’re right!
But that will take too much time to grow. Think of all the audience you will lose because it is more difficult to remember. This will be a problem every single time anyone tries to talk about your website.
And the biggest issue comes from the Search Engines like Google. They can tell the difference between paid and free web hosting.
For that reason they rank higher websites with paid hosting. Because they look better, they are meant to be serious business. Anyone can create a free blogging account and say whatever they want about any topic.
When people are paying for the hosting they are investing for the chance of being heard by an audience. That is an extra confidence point they get in front of Search Engines.
#2 Your Content
This one I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Every time you are using free hosting you have to stick to their content rules.
It varies from one provider to another but some of the limitations may include:
- Intrusive ads.
- No money making content.
- No affiliate sales.
- Revenue sharing.
- No overdo SEO.
- No file hosting.
- Limited design options.
Free hosting limits you on the design of your blog. You are tied to use only the templates that they offer. Now, I’m not going to lie to you, some of the templates are really professional looking and well designed.
However, do you know how many websites are out there using the very same designs? It will take a lot of credibility out from your site if people have already seen something that similar.
If, by any reason, they decide that they do not like your blog anymore, they will immediately delete your account. No heads up, no warning, no nothing. You will just try to log in to an account that does not exist anymore and your content will get lost forever. This is because YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR CONTENT when is stored in someone else’s hosting service.
When you are using a professional Paid Hosting, you do not have to worry about this kind of things (as long as you are not doing anything illegal). Your content is yours and you can do whatever you want with it. It will be secure and backed up.
#3 Promotion Strings
Another great problem running Free Web Hosting is that it does not get along pretty well with Social Media.
This is because it is really easy to create an account and get that space that you did not paid for. A lot of people have abused this over the years to create spam pages. For this reason you might have to deal with security confirmations if you post too many links from a Free Hosting domain in a Social Network.
It does not matter that you have played by the rules the whole time. Social Media prefers not to take any risks. They can decide to block all traffic from free hosting at any time they want.
#4 Upgrade Capacity
One of the goals of having an online blog or business is to grow. Managing more visitors of your blog will get your Free Hosting bandwidth to the limit, forcing you to purchase an upgrade.
Did you know that the Web Hosting service I hired more than 5 years ago still covers all my needs. I haven’t upgrade my plan because there has been no need at all!
I am able to host more than 20 different websites, dozens of sub-domains and countless emails without a single problem or extra charge. I can create a backup of everything I have with one or two clicks and migrate to another hosting if I wanted to.
If you are using Free Hosting and you would like to increase the capacity of your hosting, you would have to pay a considerably larger monthly fee.
You will have to pay to get more domains hosted and extra any business email you would like to use. Everything will cost you and it adds up pretty quickly.
Also forget about having a backup of your blog posts. Most Free Hosting Services make it impossible for you to move to another hosting. You will get tied to continue paying for THAT hosting if you want to keep your website alive.
Here is a chart with my two favorite services on both sides comparing their features:
Of course I listed only the main features of each one. It is impossible to make a complete comparison as both of them are too different from each other.
I just can’t list all the features included with the purchase of the Bluehost hosting plan. They could never be compared to the ones offered by a simple free hosting plan not even in the top tier upgrade.
A Free Hosting can work out if you only want to make a quick website to share with your friends and family. Something personal to do as a hobby.
But if you are serious about making money online then Paid Hosting is a MUST HAVE. It is one of the core parts of my Complete Guide to Build an Amazon Affiliate Website. You just can’t go to sleep at night wondering if all you have built so far will be gone next morning.
Keep in mind that if you take action and start generating income online, your hosting will pay for itself before you can even notice.