Is there a
really a "free site"?
The answer is yes! And for a website to be truly free, the domain and hosting must be free, as well as invest some of your time and effort. But running a business with a free site has its risks. If you still do not know where the stumbling block is, continue reading this article.
What is a domain and what is hosting?
The domain is the name we see in the address bar of the browser as https://hosting.com (this is an example, not a real hosting company!). Free to use domains are called subdomains - https: //my-website.hosting.com. This means that the owner of the subdomain is the primary domain, not you.
Hosting is the "place" where your site is located. Free hosting is the so-called "shared hosting". Their name comes from the use of shared resources - main memory, RAM, CPU time, Internet connectivity, etc.
Unlike paid hosting, where you have 100% with the rented resources at all times, in the free one you use "what is left" and "when it remains" from the resources. This means that your site may not work most of the time, or if it works at all, it may be slow enough to "kill" any interest in its visitors.
Is SEO possible with a free website?
In theory, yes! But practically not. Search engines like Google have very strict requirements regarding the ranking of sites in search results. Some of the main criteria are:
- loading speed less than 2 seconds (forget the word speed when using shared hosting)
- the presence of banned ads (for a hosting to be free for you, someone else must pay the "bill")
Last but not least, the subdomain is a problem - you are not the owner. In the eyes of search engines (and not only in theirs) this seems to put it mildly frivolously…
Can we advertise on Google with a free site?
One of the basic requirements for using google ad is that the advertised site should be "cleaned" of foreign ads and should be "accessible" 24/7/365 days a year. This cannot happen with a free site located on a shared domain and hosting, because in order for them to be free for you someone else pays for them, and this is done by placing banner ads on your pages. An additional problem is the inability to guarantee at least 99% accessibility to the site.
Free sites have limited functionality.
In order to be as accessible and easy to "create" as possible, the free sites are "equipped" with basic functionalities - a photo here, a little text there, a contact form and that's it. This is extremely insufficient to design a good looking and functioning website.
What happens if you want to add additional options? Platforms like WiX for example, offering a free site also have a large set of additional features, but paid of course. And because you are dependent on their platform, you can only use software recommended by them. The price - as much as they want, because you have no choice.
Where to make a free site?
What do you gain and what do you lose in conclusion?
Every website - free or not, must be built with the users who will visit it in mind. The main disadvantages of free sites are:
- you can't transfer it to your own domain and hosting even if you have one
- everything can disappear overnight and no one has to explain why
- use shared resources "when available" and "when available".
The most important thing to remember is that there is no business from which you can only profit - you will first have to give something in return - time, money or both. And if you're about to start your own business, a "free website" is not a good option, at least because before you can beat your competitors, you have to catch up. And how many of them use a "free website"?