The promise of free web hosting sounds great, after all it’s FREE isn’t it?
Free web hosting may sound like the best thing since sliced bread, but let me assure you that it may well cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
How can that be, you ask, It doesn’t cost me a dime to host a site with my Internet provider or a free online host.
This may be true, but let me tell you a little horror story that happened to me that rivals “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
I started an affiliate marketing website in 1999. Free Internet services such as NetZero, Juno and FreeInternet.com were spending millions on advertising and there was easy money to be made.
My ISP at the time was AT&T, and they offered free web hosting, even for Internet business sites. I was naive, and free sounded real good to me.
As my money making site grew I wanted to add a PHP coded feedback form and a simple MySQL database.
OOPS, my free web host didn’t support those features. Oh well there are always time consuming and sometimes expensive alternatives.
Most free hosts won’t let you transfer a purchased domain name. Instead of being “your-website.com” you’ll get “your-website.some-free-host.com”.
That makes no difference, you say, I’m just going to submit my site to 10,000 search engines and I’ll get traffic when someone clicks, no one is going to type in my domain anyway.
Again this is true, as my site became popular, incoming links grew into the thousands, as did the visitor traffic. My site appeared on the first page of Google results for many very lucrative search terms, and was generating thousands of dollars in revenue every month.
Making thousands from a free web site, how can you complain? Please read on…
THIRD MISTAKE – THE BIG ONE!
My jaw almost hit the floor when I received an email stating:
“AT&T will no longer support AT&T Worldnet Service Personal Web Pages (PWP) as of March 15, 2010.”
How could they do this? Millions of people had personal & business web sites on Worldnet. Let me assure you, They can and they did.
I could just transfer my cash cow domain to a new host, I thought for a split second.
OOPS, I don’t own the domain! AT&T does.
I could do a permanent server-side 301 redirect to a new host, saving my thousands of valuable search listings.
OOPS, My free server won’t allow me to access the server-side code.
If you’re going to put the considerable time and effort required to create a website for personal or business use, Please learn something from my $50,000 a year mistake.
- Purchase Your Domain Name (About $10 a year)
- Pay For Full-Featured Hosting (Less than $10 a month)
- Nothing is REALLY FREE!