Having your own website is always a good idea, especially if you’re looking to start a business or make money with your side hustle. A website allows you to showcase your portfolio, products or services to potential customers 24/7. It also gives your business credibility.  
 
Sometimes investing money in a website and web hosting when you’re starting out seems like a big commitment. Most people opt for free web hosting when they are in the testing or beginning phases of their business.
 
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own website and are stuck between deciding on free or paid web hosting, you’ve come to the right place. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of using free web hosting. 
 

Free Web Hosting: The Pros 

 

It’s FREE

 
The obvious benefit of free web hosting is that it costs you nothing. If you’re still starting out and can’t afford to invest money in paid web hosting, then this is ideal for you. 
 

Easy to use

 
Most free website platforms are easy to use and are ideal for someone with limited experience in website creation. They make it very easy to get your website up and running in no time with no coding knowledge required.
 

Good training ground

 
Free web hosting platforms are also a good place to learn the basics of starting and running a website. It can teach you file management and uploading, website maintenance and monitoring. 
 

Great for entertainment or personal use

 
If you only need a website for personal use or entertainment, then free web hosting is the best option. If you’ll be using it as a personal online diary for instance, then it’s better to use the free web hosting option. 
 

Free Web Hosting: The Cons 

 

Expect ads everywhere

 
If you’ve ever wondered how service providers can afford to offer free web hosting, it’s because free websites serve advertising purposes. They place adverts on free pages, so if you have a free web hosting option, your website is very likely to display ads. 
 
Limited pages and bandwidth
 
The other limitation of free web hosting is that the bandwidth and number of pages can be capped. The amount of bandwidth you have affects the load speed of your website. If your site takes too long to load, then your visitors will most likely drop off. The number of pages you can have is also capped, so if you’re planning on growing your business you will have to upgrade to a paid option
 

Lack of customer support

 
If you’re not a paying customer, you can expect poor customer service because of the sheer volume of queries. The paying customers will get priority, and if you want dedicated customer service, you’ll have to upgrade and get that personal touch.  
 

Website outages are common

 
Paid website providers can promise solid uptime. Free hosting providers can afford to be a little lax with the uptime because they aren’t making any money from you. The amount of downtime your website experiences can negatively affect customers. And also result in a loss of sales.
 

So should you get free web hosting? 

 
If you are starting out and have limited money to invest in paid web hosting, use a free trial. If the website is for personal use and you want to first learn about website management, then a free hosting provider is the way to go. At the end of the day, if you need reliability, dependable customer service and room to grow, it is best to get paid web hosting
 

Is paid web hosting expensive? 

 
No. The key is to do your research and get a package that fits your needs. Our web hosting packages start at only R80 a month plus include a free domain. You can also upgrade to a bigger package as your business scales. 
 
Investing in your business or side hustle is never a waste of money. And with service providers like 1-grid, a little does goes a long way.