36 Reasons Why Having a “Free Website” is a Bad Idea


imageThe thought of getting a free website is tempting.The internet is full of companies offering free website hosting, even for self-hosted WordPress.

You’re probably wondering what’s the catch? Why isn’t everyone else using a free WordPress website?

In this article, we will share all the reasons why having a free website is a bad idea and something that you should AVOID at all costs.

What Do We Mean by a Free Website?

Most beginners who want to

start their own website want to keep the costs low, which is understandable.

So, you typically Google the term ‘free website’ and find many companies offering free website hosting services.

The thought of having free web hosting and building your site without paying anything is tempting.

Until you get a reality check, once you sign up for these so-called ‘free website services,’ you slowly start discovering the limitations, and many of them turn out to be not free at all.

TLDR: We recommend

Bluehost and Hostinger as alternatives to free website services.They are top WordPress hosting companies, and your website will be in much safer hands with them.

If you are thinking about getting a free website, then stop now.

And read these 36 reasons why free websites are almost always a bad idea.

1.Extremely Slow Websites

Most free website hosting providers put hundreds of websites sharing the same server.

This makes all their websites load at very low speeds.Slow websites create a bad user experience and are bad for

SEO (search engine optimization).

2.Unprofessional Web Address

Having a website address like

mysmallbusiness.Freewebsite.com does not look professional at all.

Visitors and potential customers will find it quite difficult to take your website seriously when you don’t even have a proper

domain name.

And when you ask these companies for a custom domain name, you usually have to pay a premium – something like $19 – $25 for a domain that usually costs $14.99.

3.Trial Service is Not Really Free

Many of these free website services often turn out to be limited trials.

After a while, you are asked to sign up for a premium plan.

In most cases, this price is usually way higher than normal

WordPress hosting services.If you added a credit card during signup, then they can charge you without giving you any warning.

4.Hidden Charges for Free Website

Like any other business, these free website companies need to make money, too.

Some of them charge their users for additional services like image hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, eCommerce stores, etc.These charges are often outrageously high.

5.They Can Lock Down Your Data

Many users who start with a free website and then want to move to a paid service, find it impossible to move their website data.

These service providers do not offer any tools or integrations to migrate your site easily.Users end up paying freelancers to manually export their content, which can quickly increase their bills.

6.Irrelevant Advertisements on Your Website

Most of these free website services are supported by advertisements.

You create content and build your website, but they get paid for the ads.Often, these ads are distracting, intrusive, and look ugly.

The worst part is that sometimes your savvy competitors can then pay these free website hosting companies to advertise on your website.Talk about sabotaging your business.

7.They Can Shut Down Your Website

The terms and conditions of these services clearly state that they can shut down your website at any time without providing you with a reason.

If they shut down a website, they usually don’t give your data or provide you a way to save your content.

8.These Companies Can Disappear at Anytime

At any time, the free website company can decide to pack up their business and go.

If they shut down their servers, you would lose your website and all the data.However, their terms of service give them full legal protection to do so.

9.You Will Lose Your Site Address

If they decide to close the service or shut down your website, then you will lose your web address.

Most of the time, it is a subdomain associated with the service.

You cannot replicate that address or redirect users to your new site elsewhere.

10.They Can Sell Your Information

Remember that these services need to make money to remain in business.A good rule of thumb is that if you are not paying for it, then you are the product.

These companies find other ways to make money, such as selling your email address,

phone number, personal information, and website address to other companies.Their terms and conditions, which no one really reads, provide them total legal immunity.

11.No Site Building Tools

Unlike real web hosting services that offer easy drag-and-drop

website builders, these free companies offer very limited website building tools and functionality to their users.

With these limited tools, the website you will create will look even more unprofessional.

12.No WordPress

Many of these free services do not allow you to

install WordPress on your free website.

This means that you can’t install helpful

WordPress SEO tools, social media plugins, eCommerce plugins, and other WordPress marketing tools to grow your business website.

WordPress requires a little more resources than a free website builder service can afford.

13.Limited WordPress

Even if they allow you to host WordPress, their servers are simply not capable of running it.

You will come across many errors, and it will ruin your WordPress experience.


Malware Distribution

Free website services are notorious for distributing malware.This could be due to their poor

security, or they could be doing it for monetary benefits.

In either case, it hurts your website’s reputation and SEO.


You May Become Part of a Link Farm

The reason why these services keep disappearing and then reappearing is because they try to generate money using unethical methods.

Building link farms is one such practice where they sell thousands of web pages created by their users to spammers, fake drugs and gambling sites, online scams, etc.

16.Limited Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred from the server to the user browser.

It costs money and most free websites come with very limited bandwidth caps.

17.Low Disk Storage

Free website companies host hundreds of websites sharing the same server and hard disks.

They usually give you very limited storage to store your data.When you reach that limit, you are often asked to pay for more storage.

18.Vulnerable to Hacking Attempts

Due to poor security, free websites are often more vulnerable to hacking attempts.

If your site is hacked, it will be a lot more difficult to get it recovered because these companies give you very limited access to your own files and data.

19.HTML-Only Sites with Limited Number of Pages

Some of these free website companies offer only a limited number of pages on your website.

If you want to add more pages, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan.


Low Credibility Among Your Users

When your site is hosted on a free service, your users will feel less inclined to trust it.

If users are not comfortable sharing their information, then the whole purpose of creating a website will be defeated.

21.Limited Design Choices

Unlike a self-hosted WordPress site where you can choose from thousands of

WordPress themes, free websites offer only a handful of poorly designed website templates or layouts.

You cannot use your own website designs or any other design from the web.

22.No Help or Customer Support

These free websites offer no help to users.

You will have to set up your site on your own with the help of very limited and poorly presented documentation.You are pretty much on your own if you can’t figure it out.


You Can’t Run Advertisements or Make Money

Even though your free website company runs its own ads on your website, they do not allow you to run ads.You will not be able to add affiliate links or add

Google AdSense to your website.

Many free website services also won’t allow you to

start an online store, create a paid membership site, or use other popular monetization strategies.

24.There Are no Backups

There is no concept of regular

backups on these free websites.

They do not back up your data, and if your site is damaged, you cannot restore it.

25.Difficult to Get Rid Off

The companies offering these services often make money from content created by users like you.

They intentionally make it difficult for you to delete your own website.This means your website will remain on their servers, and you will have a hard time removing it.

26.No Statistics or Decent Analytics

With a good hosting company, you can get built-in statistics about your site’s visitors.You can even

install Google Analytics or any other traffic counter.

On free websites, they do not allow you to add Google Analytics because they run their own analytics code on your website.

27.You Will be Targeted With Email Offers

Remember that these companies need to cover their costs by making money using alternative methods.

They will continuously send you email campaigns with special offers.

Not to mention that they could sell your email address to other marketing companies as well.

28.No Support for Mobile Devices

You cannot update your website from your mobile or hand-held devices.

Free website companies mostly design their dashboards for desktops, which makes it harder to update your site from mobile.

29.No Responsive Designs

Most free website companies offer web designs that are very old and do not work on mobile phones.

Mobile users make up a significant portion of internet traffic.By not having a

responsive design you will lose all those users, and it will be difficult to grow your online presence.


No Branded Email

You cannot create

email accounts with your own domain name.

This means you will have to use your Gmail or Hotmail email account which does not look very professional for email marketing.

31.No Contact Forms or Email Forwards

Every website on the internet needs a good

contact form.

However, these free website companies do not allow you to add custom contact forms.

You also don’t get to forward emails received on their own poorly configured form scripts.

32.Limited File Upload Features

With paid hosting companies, you can upload unlimited files to your site using an

FTP client or media uploader in WordPress.

Free website companies only offer you a web-based interface where you can upload one file at a time.


No Way to Setup Redirects

With WordPress, you can

set up redirection in many different ways.This is a very useful way to maintain your site’s SEO scores.

With free websites, you cannot set up any kind of redirects at all.Even if you move to a paid service later, you will not be able to redirect users from your free site.

35.Investing Time in Free Website Is Unwise

If you have any serious intention of building a small business on the web, then you should never start with a free website.

As you have read in this article, they are unreliable, unsafe, and difficult and severely limit your growth options.

36.Not Even for Practice

Free websites are terrible, even if you want to practice only.

Good Alternatives to a Free Website

The best alternative to a free website is, of course, a paid professional website.There are plenty of hosting services offering WordPress hosting at meager costs.

You can start with

Bluehost.They offer shared website hosting services and are one of the official WordPress hosting services.

For WPBeginner readers, they offer a generous discount, a free domain name, a free SSL certificate, and more.Basically, you can get started for just $2.75 per month.

You can follow our step-by-step guide on

how to make a website (the right way).

If you don’t want to pay at all and just want to learn, then you can practice on your own computer.

You can easily

install WordPress on your Windows computer using WAMP or MAMP for Mac.

If you haven’t used WordPress before, you can learn about it with our

free WordPress course.This step-by-step video course will walk you through initial installation and how to use WordPress to build professional-grade websites.

We hope this article helped you learn why having a free website is a bad idea.You may also want to read our guide explaining

why you should use WordPress or this article on why is WordPress free, what are the costs, and what is the catch?

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our

YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials.You can also find us on.

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