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Pros and Cons of Free WordPress Hosting

Pros and Cons of Free WordPress Hosting

Whether you’re using it to create a business website, a blog, or a portfolio, WordPress is a great content management system that comes with a plethora of customization options. It’s completely free to use, too – core WordPress software is open source and readily available to be used for all your projects. There’s just the small issue of taking care of hosting.

Hosting is where costs come into play, as you’ll have to pay a hosting provider to take care of it for you. The two ways around paying a hosting provider are to run your own server, which also requires an investment, and to use free WordPress hosting.

We’ll discuss the second option – free WordPress hosting – in this article. The topics we’ll cover include:

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Pros of Free Hosting

Pros of Free Hosting

First, let’s explore some of the things that make free WordPress hosting a solid choice. Even though it has a bad rap, there has to be some upside to free hosting, right? Let’s see how many we can find.

It’s Free!

Starting with the most obvious, and the most important, pro of free hosting – you don’t have to pay a dime for it. While it’s certainly possible to find paid hosting at very low prices, nothing beats knowing that you’ll never have to pay anything to have the website up.

Take a moment to appreciate just how important having access to free hosting can be. You can use your website to learn about WordPress, blogging, or affiliate marketing – free of cost. It can be a tool you can use to lift yourself from poverty, a tool for learning and experimenting.

Free WordPress hosting can be your first step on a road to a career in marketing, web design, programming, or entrepreneurship. If this would be the only benefit of free hosting, it would be enough to justify its existence.

Access to a Variety of Services and Features

When you compare a couple of free WordPress hosting providers and their offers, you’ll quickly realize that you’re looking at a surprisingly wide scope of services that are on offer. You’ll find that you can create email accounts, have many MySQL databases, support for SSL certificates, and access many other important features and services.

The presence of some services and features in a free hosting offer might shock you. Some providers will offer access to live human support. Others might provide you with full server access. Need a content delivery network? Some hosts will provide access to it for free.

Reputable Service Providers

Contrary to what you might hear, free WordPress hosting providers aren’t sketchy businesses that pop up overnight and offer you free hosting so they can steal your content or whatever. At least not all of them are.

You’ll find plenty of reputable hosting service providers who have a free plan under their name, like AccuWeb Hosting does. Some offer free hosting through a sibling brand that’s used specifically for free hosting, like Hostinger does through 000webhost. While it would be impossible to claim you won’t come across any nefarious actors among free hosting service providers, you can rest assured that they won’t be all you come across.

Possibility to Upgrade

One of the reasons why reputable hosting service providers might choose to offer hosting services for free could be because they want to upsell you a hosting package later on, as the need arises. Offering services for free can be a marketing model, but it’s one where you get an added benefit, too.

When your website’s needs surpass whatever the hosting provider is offering for free, the question of transferring your website to another host will come about. However, if you have a good host and they have paid plans to offer you, transferring your website might be either unnecessary or managed by them if you choose to simply upgrade to a paid service.

Cons of Free Hosting

Cons of Free Hosting

See how free WordPress hosting doesn’t sound half that bad when you focus on the pros? Unfortunately, we have to look at the cons, too, and when it comes to free hosting, it’s easy to notice that the cons tend to outweigh the pros.

Hard to Find a Comprehensive Offer

We’ve mentioned that you can have access to a variety of services and features with free hosting, so much so that you can almost find anything you’d expect to get from paid hosting. While that’s technically true, an important caveat applies – you probably won’t get all those services in a single provider.

If you were able to mix services from different providers, you’d surely come up with something that would match any premium provider. You can’t, however, so you’ll have to identify the services and features you can live without.

Likely to Suffer from All Kinds of Resource Limitations

Not being able to find free hosting that offers the same features as premium hosting is one thing. The resource and features limitation that are commonly implemented by free WordPress hosting providers is a completely different thing.

Any resource your website needs that comes across your mind can be rationed or limited – bandwidth, disk space, number of visitors, processing power, memory. Sure, premium hosting providers might limit those resources, too. They might not, however, limit the number of subdomains or subdirectories you can create. They surely won’t limit the number of pages your website can have.

Geographic Availability

Geography comes into play with free hosting in a couple of ways. The service, for example, might be available only to residents from a specific country or region. Seeing how countries have different laws regarding services, property, and the internet, it makes sense that there will be some geographic restrictions to services.

You probably won’t be able to choose where the server is located, either. Once again, this might put your website under a jurisdiction where you don’t want it to be and without any way to change it to a different location while staying with the same service provider.

Compensation Plans Might Involve Ad Placement

Finally, you should be aware that service providers need to calculate the free hosting into their business plans and still come out on top. Sometimes, they do that through upselling different kinds of services or features, or simply attracting paying customers by offering them freebies to start with.

In some cases, however, hosts will place ads on your website and use the ad revenue to remain profitable. If you’re not willing to display ads on your website, especially ads you have no control over, you should make sure that the service provider you choose doesn’t use them in their business model.

Tips for Choosing Free WordPress Hosting

Tips for Choosing Free WordPress Hosting

So there you have it – the good and the bad of free WordPress hosting. As you can see, this might be a great option for someone who doesn’t have much money to spend on a website but also doesn’t expect to have top-notch services in return.

If you’re thinking about using free WordPress hosting for your website, here are a couple of things you should do:

  • Carefully consider whether your circumstances allow you to use free hosting – if your website is business-critical or important in another way, opt against free hosting.
  • Check any Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, or other legal agreements – be on the lookout for any kind of language that declares you forfeit your right to your website or your content.
  • Shop around even if you’re choosing free WordPress hosting – get the best mix of features from the best service provider you can access in your area.
  • Think about any future use you might have for the website – choose a provider that makes upgrading or migrating the website easy.

The final tip would be, whatever free WordPress hosting provider you choose, always make regular backups of your website. Other than that, try not to forget that having a website can be exciting – have some fun with it!

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