I won’t name names. There are plenty of them out there. You might have used one in the past. I’m talking about the free web-based website hosts.
If you remember a website by the name of Geocities where you could sign in and build a website, then you might remember that it was just a couple of years ago that Yahoo! decided to shut the site down – for good. And all those people who had websites hosted by Geocities had to move their sites, or lose them. So sad.
Some of these web-based hosts provide services like analytics, a blog platform, forum add-ons, and their sites even show up in the search engine rankings so the SEO is good. All of that is wonderful, but I mean it when I say “some of them.” Not all of them.
Still, even if you use a web-based host that provides all the services that you need and some SEO, you’ll still run the risk of losing your website if the host shuts down. That’s a big risk. Your business is in someone else’s hands.
It costs less than $20 per year for a domain name and less than $15 per month for good hosting. In many cases, you can have a domain name for $10 per year and hosting for less than $5 per month. And the SEO benefits to owning your own domain name and building your website on a traditional host are proven. Is it more work? Yes. But it’s well worth the extra cost for the added security.
Don’t use the free web hosts. Go with traditional hosting instead.