You’ve done the hard part of taking the courage to start your ecommerce business. Now it’s time to get technical and zero in on the best web hosting solution to power your website.
A quick Google search will return both free and paid web hosting options. You may be tempted to settle for a free web hosting option. After all, why pay for web hosting when you can get it for free, right?
The thing about web hosting is that using the right service will depend on your customised goals and priorities.
For instance, are you trying to stand out from the competition? Perhaps, you want a bigger market share. No matter what your end goals look like, a premium web hosting service is the upgrade you should go for.
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Why Free Web Hosting is Not the Best Option for Your Ecommerce Website
Unlike paid hosting, free hosting platforms don’t spend much on safeguarding your website’s content and providing robust security. Shockingly, some free paid hosting platforms may even integrate malicious malware into the system to extract confidential data and share it with others in exchange for revenue.
Protecting your ecommerce website from cyber threats should be your top priority because you’re not only putting your business at risk but your customers’ confidential details as well.
Does Not Support Mobile-Responsiveness
Unknown to many users, free web hosting platforms offer a host of themes and templates that may be complex for mobile phones.
For instance, the images may not load properly. The user may need to zoom into the text to view the content which is a huge put-off driving potential customers away. In fact, being able to shop through their mobile is an essential factor for 59% of shoppers whether to buy or not.
Customer perception is everything in the ecommerce domain.
Using a free hosting service can position your brand as lacking credibility. Most free hosting platforms require you to include the hosting server’s banner and the host’s name in your brand’s URL; think something like ‘mywebsite.freesite.com’. With this, your business will look unprofessional and cheap. Most importantly, this means you have zero control or ownership over your website!
Slow Loading Speed
One of the biggest pain points of using a free hosting option is the slow website load time — a fatal disadvantage for your brand. That’s because your website will use shared hosting and have to share the bandwidth with other users.
Maintaining site speed is the key to boosting your conversion rate. Portent suggests that a website that loads in five seconds loses triple in conversion rate compared to the one that loads in one second.
Every ecommerce website’s ultimate goal is to rank higher on Google. After all, no one goes past the first page of search results.
With that, you should know that free web hosting doesn’t guarantee website credibility. Apart from that, you could be facing frequent downtimes and slow site speed. Google looks at these factors and takes them into account on where to put you on rankings. And knowing that the search engine giant is all about quality and better experience for their users, you can expect to get low rankings and traffic.
Absence of 24/7 Customer and Technical Support
Another downside of a free hosting plan is the unavailability of the round-the-clock customer and technical support. You’ll have to go the Do-It-Yourself route for addressing web hosting emergencies instead of focusing on what matters — driving sales and creating hyper-personalised marketing campaigns.
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Annoying Pop-up Ads
If you want to prevent customers from having a bad first impression, opting for a free web hosting service will not help your cause.
With free web hosting, your website will display ads that are distracting, spammy, irrelevant, and downright annoying. Free web hosting platforms earn a commission when a buyer clicks on an ad. As for you, this means disappointed customers, an untrustworthy brand reputation, and low revenue.
The learning: An efficient paid web hosting service empowers you to bring a strong digital foundation for your ecommerce website. Whether you want to build a formidable online presence or drive sustainable growth, a premium hosting service is the way to go.
Over to You
Think about it. If you’re being offered something for free, chances are you’ll have to compromise on something— be it powerful functionalities, advanced features, foolproof security, and more.
A free web hosting service may be viable if you’re running a personal blog but it may not work for a more complex website. Instead of settling for a free hosting service, elevate your ecommerce website’s functionalities and features with a robust paid web hosting platform. You’ll get complete control of the website and the freedom to experiment with user-friendly features getting the most out of your investment.