Free Website – Do NOT Fall For It!

Some companies offer FREE websites (domains; website builders; etc.) but be very careful. Nothing comes totally free. Know what is involved.

Questions to Ask

Before you rush into a decision, take the time to ask the questions. It will help you understand what is involved and what you will actually be signing on for if you opt for a free website.

  • Can you register a domain name or is it in control of the web host
  • Is online accessibility guaranteed
  • Is there a time limit to the free hosting
  • Will you be able to install WordPress
  • What are the limits on your design choices
  • Can you use your own images and, if so, what are the limitations
  • Can you set up an online store
  • Will there be unassociated paid advertising on your website, and, if so, by whom
  • Will you have an email account with the extension as your domain name? If so at what cost and what is the level of security
  • Will your audience be able to connect with you through the website
  • What are the limits to the size and bandwidth
  • Does the web host have a comprehensive security concept
  • Are there backup systems in place
  • Is there a database connection and is your data locked
  • Can you run your own ads or make money from your website
  • If you need to grow your website, can you transfer your database and file

Best FREE Hosting Sites

The following are some of the best web hosts offering FREE websites.  But give careful consideration to the fine print and the limitations for each:

  • WordPress.com
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • GoDaddy website builder

Examples of limitations include:

  • Company branding. …
  • Advertisements. …
  • Limited storage. …
  • Limited or no customer support. …
  • Restricted features
  • Difficulty in moving to any other website platform

A few things to consider

  • some free websites can be extremely slow, have limited bandwidth and low storage capacity.
  • There may be some flexibility to your design but you are limited to the pre-programmed software that is provided.
  • You will not be permitted to add plugins for enhanced functionality.
  • Generally the designs are not responsive and will not work on mobile phones.
  • You will not be able to generate custom forms and there will be no way to forward emails.
  • Will your data be locked?  Will you be able to access the database or files associated with your website?
  • There may be limited or no support unless you opt to purchase services from the host provider.
  • If you are dissatisfied with your site, you may be able to upgrade to a paid service. BUT that upgrade will be difficult and the cost can be heavy duty.
  • Will you be stuck with unwanted advertising on your site.  Banner ads and popup advertisements may appear either above, under or sometimes in the middle of the pages. This is one of the ways the web host company makes money. They offer paid advertising on all free websites hosted by them. You will have no say or control over these ads.
  • The domain name is likely to be free for the first year only.
  • In some cases with less reputable companies, you you may not actually receive a domain name but a sub-level domain which appears with a main domain related to the host company. For example instead of a registered domain such as www.yourdomain.com, your page may show as: www.yourdomain.freehosting.com. This is an unprofessional web address and will damage your reputation.
  • There may be times when your site is not accessible. In worst case scenarios, the hosting company may simply terminate the free hosting service leaving you with nothing.

You certainly can opt for a ‘free’ website but rest assured, there are strings attached to ‘free’. Be careful as it will not be the best use of your time and efforts if you are serious about your business.

Very quickly you will realize the hidden financial costs can be quite real and extensive.

Bottom Line … A FREE Website Is A Bad Idea! Avoid It!

Look For ALMOST Free

All that being said, there are companies that offer really, really, good deals for web hosting (ex:  +/- $3.80 per month with free features like domain name for year 1, free SSL certificate, etc.)  Now in our opinion, that amounts to ALMOST free.  These are the hosting companies and packages we recommend you investigate further.

Best Web Hosts That Offer ALMOST Free ...

Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They are the officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.  They are ideal for small business, non-profits and bloggers alike.

They have agreed to offer Bouzane Consulting clients a free domain name, free SSL Certificate, 1-Click WordPress install, expert 24/7 support and more at a 70% discount. You can start for approximately $3.88/month (CD).

bluehost

SiteGround

SiteGround is another great web host. They, too, are officially recommended WordPress hosting providers.  They are well known for their exceptional support and fast performance.

They have agreed to offer Bouzane Consulting clients a discount on all featured hosting packages.  

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