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Top 6 reasons free website hosting is a mistake

While it might not be at the forefront of your mind, web hosting services play an important part in your website’s success. When it comes to the website development, every little thing matters. While we all know that design and usability of a website directly affect user experience, website hosting is an important component in building a successful online presence too. Of course, it’s a pleasure to save some money but, sometimes, the result is quite the opposite.

The best way to save your budget while building a website is to save on its development. Sure thing, it’s not easy to find an affordable and at the same time professional services. Then again, remote is, probably, the future of work and there’s outstaffing model that is more reliable and efficient. Thus, it’s no longer a surprise that hiring web designers in Ukraine or any other popular outsourcing directions will save some cash. Actually, this is a common way to reduce the price when building a website but, of course, nothing is without flaws.

Let’s get back to choosing a reliable website hosting provider that follows your business needs. Since there are many ways the web host you choose can impact your website (business), you should educate yourself on well-known mistakes you’ll want to stay away from. Wondering what’s at the top of the list? Choosing free web hosting is the most common mistake most businesses make when developing their online presence.

Why hosting matters when you build a website?

There’s a lot of work you need to do to plan a website. There are many ways different ways to create your perfect online image, but one fact remains the same regardless of what route you take. Finding a reliable web hosting company is an important step in delivering the best user experience to your customers. And this is something free web hosting services don’t offer.

After you decide on a website design, the development process begins. To successfully deliver your content to viewers, you’ll need a place to store your files. That’s where hosting comes in. Remote computer servers serve as a source of storage for your information. Your host keeps your files safe and accessible, so your website can deliver the information you want viewers to see when someone opens your website.

Business success is often measured by profit margins and a company’s ability to maximize their profits. This being the case, many businesses avoid anything that can negatively impact their overall profit gain. Because most businesses today are competing for the most effective, most well-liked online presence, choosing the right hosting solution for your business is important. When you do not take the time to research the right fit for your web hosting needs, you run the risk of losing revenue, negatively affecting your SEO ranking, and facing potential security issues and malware attacks. So, how can you ensure you are making the right decision for your web hosting while still making a sound financial decision?

Top reasons free website hosting is a mistake

Free sure is tempting. With all the expenses businesses face today, it may seem like a breath of fresh air to see that you can get a web hosting service for your website for free. The problem with falling for the temptation of choosing a free website host is that it ends up costing you more money in the long run. You also risk the integrity of your website, can ruin your online reputation and can lose revenue and customers while facing these negative repercussions of choosing “free.”

One of the major problems with free web hosting is the amazing marketing tactics hosting companies use to draw you in. It’s almost as if you can’t say no! The great news is that you can turn down free offers and you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of money to get what you need. There are many managed and shared hosting options available that offer affordable premium hosting. These companies can save you money long-term, but they can also save you a headache and mess of making the mistake of choosing a free website hosting service in the first place.

So, what is it exactly about free website hosting that has created such a fuss throughout the world of internet and online business? Here’s what you really get when you choose a free website hosting and the top reasons for making that decision is a mistake for your business.

1. Is anything REALLY free?

Think about it. Anytime you have signed up for something “free” in your lifetime, has it truly been free without a surprise gimmick or some way of paying down the road? When you ask if something is really free, you should also consider the other end of that question. What about limitations?

The problem with free website hosting is that there are often serious limitations that come with it. Once you discover these limitations and realize you need to reach beyond them, you are left with one of two scenarios to face. You either need to pay an excessive service fee to get what you need, or you are stuck with what you have and hinder your business’ success.

Most free web hosting services limit the amount of storage available to your website, the bandwidth of your service, and do not allow FTP access. Since you probably signed a contract that says you are locked into a long-term commitment, you will be forced to upgrade your services for a much higher fee than most premium hosting providers offer. And if you failed to read the tiny, tiny print in the terms of services, it’ll be near impossible for you to safely get out of your contract with your website in tow and intact.

2. You forfeit reliability

Many of the most highly marketing free web hosting providers are new companies themselves. The offer free web hosting to try to draw in customers to pay for their other services. Since premium hosting can easily be offered at an affordable rate, these new companies draw you in by giving it away and focusing on charging you for some of their most expensive services.

The major risk you face when you choose to host with a new company is that you forfeit reliability. So, what happens if that company is unsuccessful and ultimately folds? You will lose everything. If they shut down, so does your entire website. Everything you have worked so hard to create can be lost for good. You will likely have no backups of your website. If you purchased, or renewed, your domain through the company you will lose your domain as well. And this will hit your SEO ranking right where it hurts. All the time and money you put into your website services will be permanently lost.

3. You can’t transfer your website

Most free hosting solutions have a way of working some tricky wording into their terms of service. So, while you think you own your website and your domain, you don’t. In addition, your hosting provider will likely own all your content. That means you can’t sell your website, you can’t sell your content, and you can’t republish any of your works. Just think about being a photographer or artist who publishes their images on their website to show their customers their work. Once you put that up, your “free” web hosting services go to work and you no longer own rights to that content.

To make matters worse, once you realize you need better services, it’s nearly impossible to transfer providers. So, if you can’t afford the upgrades needed from your free hosting provider, forget looking for a more affordable, reliable company. Since you don’t actually own your website, your content, or even your domain, you can’t transfer to a better provider. It’s that simple.

4. You have no server control.

Free website hosting means you get what you pay for, and since you didn’t pay, you are limited to what you get. Chances are your website is not scalable. This means if your business grows, your website can’t grow with you. Most free hosting services cannot handle lots of traffic, so if business starts booming, your website can’t handle the influx of visitors. This translates to slow website speeds and lots of downtimes. When it comes to business, downtime means you’ll lose readers, visitors, and customers. Loss of customers obviously means you’re going to be losing money.

The great news is that premium hosting is not that expensive. When you invest in hosting, you invest in security for your website and you invest in your business’ future. If you exceed your limits with a premium hosting provider, you can easily upgrade your services at a fair and affordable price. And you don’t run the risk of slow website speeds that can turn away visitors or even downtime that can result in the loss of customers!

5. Your website won’t look professional.

I think by now we have established that nothing is free! Free hosting means you are only able to use basic themes for your design. You may be able to make small changes, but you won’t’ be able to customize your website or make improvements as your budget allows. You will also be dealing with unprofessional domain names because you will likely be using a subdomain.

WordPress hosting is a great example of a free hosting provider that limits your capabilities and prevents you from looking as professional as possible. Clients who use the free WordPress hosting services often have a domain like biz.wordpress.com. A professional hosting provider can get you a top-level domain at a low cost and you can implement professional .com emails that enhance your business.

Since many functions require plugins, and free hosting excludes plugins, your website won’t be capable of executing common, important website functions. Just think, no selling and no mailing list. In addition to limitations, you will likely have to deal with forced ads that are placed on your website and have no relevance to your business. After all, your free hosting provider needs to make their money somewhere.

6. Your SEO ranking will suffer.

Since we’ve now established that your webpage can face slow site speed, increased downtime, and look unprofessional, there’s a more serious impact this can have on your business. SEO is a science. If you have invested in SEO, you’ll understand that it takes time to build a solid online presence. You can not only lose all you’ve worked for if your free hosting provider takes down your website, you can face many negative impacts on your ability to rank in the first place.

Google has created high standards to allow websites to rank at the top. All the negative impacts listed above regarding free hosting make your website harder to rank because of its low quality when it comes to Google Standards. You won’t be able to get your business on the map when it comes to search engine results. This is a major preventative of growth for your business.

If you want to create an online presence that can bring your business growth and success, free hosting is not the way to go. While it may look like a way to save money as you start out, it will cost you customers and revenue in the end. Your business website should be professional.

Professional, premium hosting providers offer you full control over your website, better SEO, a real, professional domain, and a scalable website that will grow with your business. When you choose a reliable web hosting company, you contribute to your brand. And this means a greater chance of success as you continually exceed your limits and grow to your full potential through your professional online presence and your supportive, premium web hosting services.

 

Guest Author:  Alka Parti, Digital Marketing Consultant

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Infographics

How to Identify A Poor Web Hosting Service Provider?

When it comes to starting your online business, choosing the best domain name, picking a robust website builder and selecting a reliable web hosting are 3 important factors that you need to get right at all costs if you want to achieve success and grow in the online business.

Without getting these basic foundation right, you will simply disappear in the sea of other online businesses out there. Thus, today, we’ll tackle one of these factors, which is web hosting and to assist you in making the right choice.

One of the major warning signs of a low-quality web host is frequent and unplanned downtime. The result of which is a loss of potential customers, leading to decrease in sales, which could ultimately affect your ROI. Also, a sub-standard hosting provider doesn’t invest in the kind of a robust infrastructure that is essential to keep your website safe from all potential harms and cyber threats.

If you are planning on getting a hosting for your site then do check out this infographic to make a well-informed decision.

Comprising of 21 warning signs, this infographic provides you with an overview of the important web hosting features that you need, in order to run a successful online business. These features are essential for your website to perform and function optimally at all times. Plus, it will help you stay a step ahead of your competitors.

A hosting service provider’s failure to offer these basic essentials is a sign of a poor web host.Thus, take a look at the infographic below to identify a poor web hosting service provider, and make the right choice when choosing a web host for your business.

21 Warnings That Indicate It’s Time to (Switch) Your Web Hosting Right Away [Infographic

 

About Guest Author:

Sudhir Bhushan is a Tech & Social enthusiast. He is also a Web Entrepreneur by Profession and loves to write about latest trends in Social Media & SEO. You may also follow him on Twitter | Facebook | G+.

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Articles Hosted Cloud Apps Hosting News Start-Ups Technology Web Hosting

5 Important Tips to Choose a Good Web Hosting Provider

Here is your first bit of web host buying news, and it is not good: unless you happen to have some very sophisticated web tools at your disposal, you cannot be sure of your web host’s hosting services. However, just like buying any service, there are ways to avoid getting ripped off.

Here are a few things you need to consider when buying web hosting:
A free web host comes at a cost
This is a burningly accurate statement which you ignore at your peril. Your first thought may be that if you use a free website service, then you have nothing to lose. But, what you in-fact have to lose is any and all the time and money you invest into building, developing and maintaining your website.

Most free services install adverts onto your website, which is going to cost you some credibility. Others will make it so that you cannot leave the host once you are on there, so you will have to leave your website where it sits and start a new one if you want to leave the host. Some free services have a very poorly maintained server, which is going to be hacked frequently, which means that anything you upload is not safe.

Be careful when reading reviews
If you are not at the stage where you are cynical about everything you read online, then please send five dollars to this site. If you are already cynical about everything you read, then be careful when it comes to hosting reviews.

Ideally, if you want to find a good hosting service, the you need to start looking at hosting reviews. But, do not look at the positive reviews because they are written by the hosting company. You need to look at the negative reviews. Think about it, when you pay for a service and they do their job, do you go online and write a good review about them? No, you do not. So, why would you believe all of the good reviews online?

You need to look at the bad reviews. You need to look for consistency within the negative reviews. For example, if you were buying a microwave and several negative reviews mentioned that its paint flakes off, then you may draw that conclusion that its paint probably flakes off. You need to do the same thing with the hosting service and look for consistencies throughout the negative reviews.

The distance selling laws apply
The people selling you hosting services should not be able to lie to you. If they say that they install the latest and most advanced virus checkers on their servers, then they have to by law, otherwise you can sue them. If they say that they give you a massive bandwidth amount, then they have to give you the amount they quoted.

This is because the distance selling laws allow you to sue the people who lie and mis-advertise to you. However, the laws do not apply across the world. If you are dealing with a company in the European Union, or with Canada, or in America itself, then the distance selling laws apply. If not, then people can lie to you about their hosting services and there is nothing you can do about it.

Concentrate on disk space and bandwidth
These are the things that are going to affect your website the most directly and in the most positive or negative manner. It is up to you to find the amount of disk space and bandwidth that you are going to need for your particular website. You really need to check to see if your host offers an upgrade service where you can buy more bandwidth or disk space.

If they do not then you need to look upon them with great suspicion, as it may mean that they are selling-on their own bandwidth and disk space, which is not going to be ideal for you. Plus, if you cannot upgrade then you risk having a popular website that you cannot expand, or that only a limited number of people can visit at one time.

Call their technical support staff
The bad hosts have great sales staff that answer right away, and terrible support or complaints staff that leave you on hold for a long time. Call the support or complaints staff to see how long it takes before you talk to a person. Also, do not go for a host that charges you more than the standard phone call rate for any sort of technical support.

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Hosting News Partnership Web Security

CloudFlare Releases V 3.3.3 of Railgun; Offers Hosting Customers One-Click Dynamic Caching

The Web Performance & Security Company CloudFlare yesterday announced that its next generation web optimization protocol, Railgun, is now free and one-click simple on 30 of the world’s largest hosting providers including VEXXHOST, MediaTemple, Softcloud Hosting, x10Hosting, Namecheap, 040hosting, A2 Hosting, DreamHost, BlueHost, CoreCommerce, FastDomain etc.

Railgun goes beyond what traditional performance boosting technology has provided, making even highly dynamic content load faster than ever before. – Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO, CloudFlare.Matthew Prince, CloudFlare

The company has also announced the release of Railgun 3.3.3 which has been tested on high-traffic sites and has run billions of requests in a number of different environments through the new protocol. To make the process of installing Railgun easy, CloudFlare has released RPMs for most the popular Linux and BSD variants including:

  • Ubuntu 12.10
  • Ubuntu 12.04
  • Ubuntu 11.10
  • Ubuntu 10.04
  • FreeBSD 9
  • FreeBSD 8
  • CentOS 6
  • CentOS 5
  • Debian 6

With this news, Railgun has become the first to cache a site at the byte-level, resulting in much faster load times and better performance for websites. It allows highly dynamic content to load as fast as possible. Also, one can enable Railgun with a single click and without having to install any software or change any of code.

“CloudFlare’s mission is to build a faster, safer web,” says Mr. Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO, CloudFlare. “To further improve the performance of an increasingly dynamic, API-driven Internet, we needed to reinvent some of its 23-year-old protocols. Railgun goes beyond what traditional performance boosting technology has provided, making even highly dynamic content load faster than ever before.”

A List Of Optimized Hosting Partners

In addition to the hosting providers listed above, the company has also released packages for Rackspace and Amazon Web Services customers to install Railgun on their servers. “It’s this next-generation performance that was previously unthinkable. As you get more API calls, and the type of the content on the web becomes more personalized, it becomes more and more important,” says Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder, CloudFlare.

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News

VEXXHOST Partners With CloudFlare to Offer Railgun web performance optimization

VEXXHOST, a leader in online web hosting and cloud hosting services, on 18th Dec. announced their expanded partnership with CloudFlare, the web performance and security company. VEXXHOST is the first hosting provider to offer CloudFlare’s innovative Railgun web performance optimization technology as a free option for all its customers.

“We’ve worked with CloudFlare from the inception of Railgun up until its launch and the technology behind it is simply astounding,” said Mohammed Naser, CEO of VEXXHOST. “On average, we’re seeing customers using CloudFlare with Railgun experience three time faster HTML load times. It makes web pages pop when you load them.”

“I was simply amazed at how much faster my sites began to load after turning on Railgun,” said Jamie Starke, a VEXXHOST customer who was part of an early testing group of Railgun. “VEXXHOST hosts many of my websites, including www.jamiestarke.com. I am incredibly happy with this new partnership and look forward to seeing the added performance benefits to all of my websites.”

CloudFlare powers a global network of 23 data centers optimized for performance. CloudFlare’s Railgun technology optimizes connections between VEXXHOST’s network and CloudFlare’s edge servers. Combining both traditional CDN techniques as well as innovative dynamic network optimization, the net effect is a massive performance increase for VEXXHOST customers’ sites regardless of where they are accessed around the world.

“We’re excited to have VEXXHOST as the first CloudFlare Optimized Partner to go live. By providing Railgun for free to all their customers, VEXXHOST has established themselves as one of the fastest hosts on the Internet,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of CloudFlare. “VEXXHOST implementation is incredibly smooth, making it easy for any website owner to install CloudFlare with just a click.”

VEXXHOST’s new CloudFlare management portal was built by VEXXHOST from the ground up and is tightly integrated with cPanel. The management portal allows any customer to sign up for CloudFlare and enable the services features, including Railgun, with just a few clicks. CloudFlare charges its Business and Enterprise customers hundreds of dollars a month for the Railgun service. As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, VEXXHOST is offering Railgun as a free option to all its customers. This surely is a boon for VEXXHOST’s clients.

About VEXXHOST
VEXXHOST, Inc. was founded in 2006 to provide online hosting services and it has grown to be one of the large technology leaders in the hosting industry, offering the latest cloud based services to thousands of customers, from small businesses to governments, from over 150 different countries.

About CloudFlare
CloudFlare, Inc. makes sites twice as fast, protects them from attacks, ensures they are always online, and makes it simple to add web apps with a single click. CloudFlare supercharges websites regardless of size or platform with no need to add hardware, install software, or change a line of code. The CloudFlare community gets stronger as it grows; every new site makes the network smarter. Thanks to our awesome sauce technology, every month hundreds of millions of people experience a faster, safer, better Internet. CloudFlare was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer, named the Most Innovative Network & Internet Technology Company of the Year for the last two years by the Wall Street Journal, and ranked among the world’s 50 most innovative companies of 2012 by Fast Company. CloudFlare is based in San Francisco, California, USA.