With the boom in Internet marketers, writers, freelancers, bloggers, company advertising etc. there are large number of people and companies looking to create a presence in the best way to do that online is through website. So many different options on the table between free and paid sites and domains it pays to understand the pros and cons for each selection.
Free website hosting and domain
Nowadays there are a lot of options for free websites, a few of those options include: Blogger (blogspot), Weebly, Wix, WordPress.com plus many more. But are these free sites going to provide you with the online presence, the tools and the freedom to do what you want and need to do with your website? Well let's find out.
With a lot of the free website hosting and domain options that are available to you you will often find easy to use site builders integrated into the site that will make site creation fairly simple for an amateur. However, you will most likely also find that there are limitations on what you can do and what you are allowed to do on your free site. Some of these limitations may include ; customizing HTML or CSS, integrating ads, monetization limitations, theme selection or customization, embedding documents or videos, personalization and potentially many other design factors and tools.
Do these limitations mean you can't create an attractive site? The honest answer to that is – not necessarily. More than likely what you will be faced with is settling for design that looks okay but is not necessarily what you had hoped to create for your personal or business site. There is also the chance that you may be perfectly content with what you create using the tools you're able to utilize on your free hosting and domain site. Another consideration as to what you end up with is your level of knowledge on website creation. Those with more advanced knowledge in designing a free website may have little trouble in creating professional looking websites.
Advertising is something else you could possibly find issue with when utilizing free website hosting and domain sites. Some sites do not allow personal monetization of the free site and some may also require that you allow them to place advertisements on your site that benefit them. For an individual looking to share their thoughts, recipes or other day-to-day happenings or ramblings this may not be a big deal – for those looking to build the business, make money or create a professional looking website or web presence this could be a real dealbreaker.
- design limitations
- less professional appearance
- may require more advanced knowledge to achieve the desired appearance
- good hands-on learning
- ability to create a standard site with limited web design capabilities
Paid Website Hosting and Domain
Even more so than with free site design websites – the selection for paid hosting and domains can seem almost overwhelming. There seems to be a new contender and even more competition between paid hosts sites with every passing day. Luckily for most rarely will you find a hosting site that dozens of others haven't already tried and often several of them have likely shared their opinion regarding their experience somewhere online. To help get you started a few of the more popular web hosting sites are: Fat Cow, Ipage, Blue Host for what is often the way to go for cheap website hosting services or a few pricier website hosting and domain services you have: Host Gator and GoDaddy.
Paid website hosting and domain names can come with a lot of benefits – depending on your needs. With the paid site you are more likely to be able to create a professional looking website which in turn can make it easier to build your reputation online, promote your business or products and even potentially be picked up and regarded higher by the search engines. A good majority of the paid sites will also offer easy to use site builders and tools that make it simple for even those creating their very first website. On the other side of that they will also offer those with web design know-how (HTML, CSS, PHP...) a more versatile canvas to work with. Not to mention it is easier to sell whatever you're selling whether that may be your services, your experiences, your business or products with a more professional domain.
- not free
- may require more skill or web design know-how
- too many choices
- more design and customization tools
- built-in support
- more publishing platform options (word press, Joomla...)
- custom domain name (often more memorable and professional)
- more monetization options
What we've gone over here in this article just touches on some of the pros and cons to both the free website hosting and domain site versus a paid hosting and custom domain. Before locking yourself into anything do your research on free vs. paid hosting, know what you expect from your site, understand what you want to put across (what you want people to think when they view your site) and choose an option that is best suited to your website hosting and domain needs, your abilities and skills and your personal situation.